Simplified Pantry

basic weeknight family meals, from the pantry

Fried Rice Family Dinner, a home cooking “recipe”

The fridge is full of bits and pieces of leftover meals from the week, but no one is excited about eating a meal of leftovers – especially when there’s not enough of one thing to go around.

Let’s remake it into an entire new meal that seems fresh and new, instead of leftover buffet!

That’s what fried rice, a recipe in Simplified Dinners, is best for! Simple, homemade fried rice will remake leftovers into a great all-in-one family dinner.

Here’s how I did it this time around.

We had leftover rice in the fridge – about 4 cups total. Whenever we have rice, I make extra for a second meal such as this. Cooked rice can even be frozen for future use! For this meal, it was brown rice, simply cooked with water. 

Also in the fridge I had one bell pepper, onions, a little leftover grilled chicken and some roasted pork. I had carrots, but I had no frozen veggies on hand. Often I’ll use frozen peas or broccoli, but the flexibility of this meal is its charm – it can hold bits and pieces based on whatever is on hand.

  1. Start with the diced onion and other raw, fresh veggies – get them going in some oil to sauté.
  2. Add in the leftover meat, diced. Sauté it a bit.
  3. Add in the frozen veggies, preferably thawed. Don’t let them overcook!
  4. Add in the rice. Spread it out. Press it down. Chop it up. Keep it moving until it’s hot through.
  5. Make a well in the center, add a little more oil, and fry up a couple eggs in the middle. When the egg is cooked, chop at it with your wooden spatula and incorporate bits throughout the meal.
  6. Add a splash of soy sauce or seasoning salt or garlic powder to taste.

And it’s ready to put on the table! An all-in-one family dinner.

But that’s not the only way to do it!

Another time, I pulled out several frozen leftover bits.

Sometimes I have dinner leftovers that I don’t want to waste, but I know we probably won’t get to them in the next week.

Family-style Fried Rice Dinner to the rescue!

After a meal of beef or pork or chicken, I can toss the leftover meat into a freezer Ziploc and it will wait.

After a meal of rice, I can toss the leftovers into a freezer Ziploc and it will wait.

When I need a quick meal, these pieces and parts are ready for me to grab and quickly turn into an all-in-one family dinner in no time!

Especially when you add in a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, these leftovers can come together quickly with very little effort. And no one would ever know the meat or rice came from the freezer.

Do you have favorite ways to redo leftovers into a whole new meal for the family?

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