Leftover Rice Pancakes

$0.71 recipe / $0.36 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.28 from 18 votes
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These fun little Rice Pancakes were something my mom used to make when we were growing up. If there was leftover rice from the night before, instead of letting it go to waste, it would get whipped up into this special breakfast treat. They’re not fancy, but they’re a nice change of pace from your regular breakfast routine, and waaaay easier than traditional pancakes, IMHO! Make sure to read below for tips about rice safety and making sure your leftovers are good for use the next day!

Originally posted 2-17-2010, updated 4-26-2020.

Side view of a stack of rice pancakes with butter and syrup being poured over top

Is Leftover Rice Safe to Eat?

Yes, IF it has been cooled and stored properly after cooking. Rice can naturally contain a bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which has spores that are resistant to cooking. After cooking, these spores can “hatch” if the rice is left at warm temperatures (between 40-140ºF) for too long. Once the spores hatch, the bacteria goes to work eating the rice and producing a toxin that can make us sick. While reheating the previously cooked rice may kill the active bacteria, it does not kill the spores or eliminate the toxins in the rice, making the rice still potentially dangerous.

How to Properly Store Cooked Rice

Bacillus cereus contamination does not produce any visible signs or smells, so it’s of utmost importance that rice be cooled properly immediately after cooking. Transfer your cooked rice to a new container (do not leave it in the hot container it was cooked in), divide the rice into smaller portions if cooked in a large batch, and then place it in the refrigerator to cool. Do not let your rice sit out at room temperature. The goal is to cool the rice to below 40ºF in under two hours, so the sooner it gets in the fridge, the better.

Fun fact: I used to be a microbiologist and worked with Bacillus cereus on a daily basis! It’s one of those environmental organisms that is on the surface of almost everything and is usually benign, unless it gets someplace that it shouldn’t be, like our food.

What Are Rice Pancakes Like?

Rice pancakes taste a little like rice pudding, but have a wonderfully crispy-crunchy exterior. If you’re not a fan of crispy rice (like you’d find on the bottom of a bowl of authentic bibimbap), then you might not be a fan of rice pancakes. I don’t put a lot of sugar in my rice pancakes because I usually drizzle some maple syrup over top, so the rice pancake itself is not very sweet. If you want the pancake to be a little sweeter on its own, try adding 1-2 tsp sugar to the batter.

How to Serve Rice Pancakes

I like to drizzle maple syrup over my pancakes, which goes really well with the very cinnamon-y flavor of the pancake. A little butter on top, if I’m feeling really indulgent, but since the pancakes are fried, that isn’t always needed. Sometimes I also like to smear a little peanut butter on top of the pancakes, too! 😋

How Much Does This Recipe Make?

This is a small batch recipe, perfect for when you just have a couple cups of leftover rice. This recipe makes two servings of three small pancakes. If you wish to make a larger batch, simply change the number of servings in the recipe card below, and the ingredient amounts will change to match your desired number of servings.

Overhead view of a plate with three rice pancakes, a cup of coffee and orange on the side

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Rice Pancakes

4.28 from 18 votes
Use your leftover rice from the night before to make these quick and easy Rice Pancakes for breakfast. Reduce food waste and keep your budget in check!
Overhead view of a plate with three rice pancakes, a cup of coffee and orange on the side
Servings 2 3 small pancakes each
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (cooled) ($0.26)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)

Instructions 

  • Combine the leftover rice, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl until it is evenly mixed.
  • Add 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large, non-stick skillet (cast iron, ceramic, or teflon, your choice). Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop some of the rice mixture onto the hot skillet. Use a spatula to press the mound of rice down until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cook the pancakes for a few minutes on each side, until they are firm, a little browned, and crispy on the outside. Do not try to flip the pancakes before the eggs have set, or they won't hold together. Make sure the entire pancake is on the spatula before attempting to flip.
  • After cooking the first three pancakes, add the second ½ Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and cook the second batch in the same manner.

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Nutrition

Serving: 3small pancakesCalories: 254.85kcalCarbohydrates: 34.1gProtein: 6.3gFat: 9.85gSodium: 617.85mgFiber: 0.85g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Want more ideas for using up leftover rice? Check out these 7 Ways to Use Leftover Rice.

Front view of rice pancakes on a plate with butter and maple syrup, an orange and cup of coffee in the back

How to Make Rice Pancakes – Step By Step Photos

Rice pancake ingredients in a bowl

Start with 1.5 cups cooked and cooled rice. Add that to a bowl along with one egg, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp salt.

Rice pancake batter in a bowl

Mix the ingredients together until they form a sort of batter.

Rice pancakes being portioned into a hot skillet

Heat about ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, scoop the rice mixture out onto the skillet in about ¼ cup scoops. Press the pancakes down slightly until they are flat (instead of mounds), leaving them about ½-inch thick.

Cooked rice pancakes in the skillet

Cook the rice pancakes for a few minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned and crispy. If you try to flip them too early, before the eggs have firmed up, they will fall apart, so be patient! After cooking the first batch, add another ½ Tbsp oil to the skillet and cook the second batch in the same manner.

Rice pancakes on a plate with butter and maple syrup, a fork stuck through a bite of pancake.

Serve with maple syrup, butter, or peanut butter!

TRY THESE OTHER PANCAKE RECIPES:

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Comments

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  1. Great concept, and delicious!
    Tonight I made an Asian version to go with hot and sour soup.

    I tripled the recipe, and veganized it with flax eggs and TVP ‘beef’ crumbles. Added ginger paste, garlic powder, onion powder, scallions, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1/4 cup hoisin.

    The sugar in the hoisin made a nice crisp outer edge when cooked in the non-stick skillet.

    Looking forward to trying your sweet version and experimenting with other options. Thank you!

  2. I made these and they were so good!! I love the crisp, and they smell like elephant ears:)

  3. I should have known by all of the reviews. The 5 star rating comes from people who think it sounds good. I did too. Only one or two of these comments are from people that actually made it. I made it. Just no. I threw it out. I made some bacon on the side and sliced bananas. That is all we ate aside from the first bite. Sorry but no.

  4. Kids and adults enjoyed this breakfast! I made a double batch with leftover brown basmati rice, just added a couple Tbsp of brown sugar. Served with sliced bananas and syrup. Will definitely be a repeat next time we have enough leftover rice.

  5. Tried this looking to use up left over rice. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was delicious! I had with a tad of peanut butter atop. I am looking forward to making them again this week. Simple and light tasting.

  6. I made a savory version. I had leftovers from last night. Spanish rice, taco meat and cheese. They turned out really good. Great idea for leftover rice. 

  7. Delicious! Worked myself to death this morning. On my way home starving and knew I only had leftover rice in the fridge. Tempted to stop for food but remembered this recipe. Found it, cooked it, loved it! Added brown sugar but it was unnecessary. Maple syrup made it sweet enough.  Looking forward to trying savory next. Thanks, Beth!

  8. Another winner! I had made your Yellow Jasmine rice the other day and decided to try this recipe out for a savory version using my leftover yellow rice. I followed the directions as is but just omitted the extract and cinnamon. I kept in the salt and added a dash of garlic power and topped with ground pepper while cooking. They were SO. GOOD! Sounds odd, but I topped with your sriracha mayo and it was amazing! Thank you for yet another awesome recipe. You never fail me and I appreciate what you do and have for many years. You’ve really helped me become more confident in my cooking :)

  9. These were delicious. Used leftover brown rice and cooked with butter instead of oil, which made it unnecessary to add butter later.  For the future, seriously considering cooking rice in advance with the specific intention of making these the next day.  Keeper. My husband suggested a savory version, substituting  a different flavor profile for cinnamon and vanilla. 

  10. This is a good way to use up leftover rice. The rice becomes almost like oatmeal. The pancakes are quite bland on their own, so we might try adding a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar into the batter if we made these again.

  11. This is such a good idea! I can’t wait to try it.

    I also love your enamel plates and cups! Where did you get them?

  12. What do you think it might be like if you added some actual pancake batter to it not much, similar to using a pancake to make french toast recipe which calls 4 tbsp pancake batter. Maybe in the rice batter or a better variation would be to turn the rice pancake into french toast rice pancake n do some eggs, milk, the pancake mix as the french toast batter and wait til the rice pancakes cool and coat them with the batter n fry it up like french toast(can also be tweaked for sweet or savory). Is it just me or does that sound deliciously intriguing or am I way n it sound disgusting n impossible?

    1. That’s such a cool idea! Or, mix up some pancake batter (not a lot) and mix it into the cooked/cooled rice just until it is all moistened, then scoop it onto the griddle. I think both ways would be fun to experiment with!