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Friday, April 12, 2019

Making Cream of Rice Hot Breakfast Cereal From Leftover Rice

If you like Cream of Wheat hot breakfast cereal, you might also like cream of rice hot cereal. No box needed, you can make cream of rice cereal with leftover cooked rice.

I use leftover brown rice to which I have added a bit of moisture. I add a couple of tablespoons of water to 3/4 of a cup of leftover brown rice, and "steam" in the microwave for 30 seconds. I use my immersion blender (stick blender) in a tall narrow container (like a measuring cup) and puree until a cream-of-grain-cereal consistency, about 30 seconds. I reheat and flavor as desired. That's it.

Our local Walmart charges $3.48 for a 28-oz. box of Cream of Wheat that makes 24 servings, with a cost of about 15 cents per serving. It takes about 6.7 ounces of dry brown rice to make about 3  1/2 cups of cooked rice, or 1.5 ounces to make about 3/4 cup of cooked rice. I pay just under 50 cents per pound for long grain brown rice. 3/4 of a cup of cooked brown rice costs me about 5 cents for the ingredients alone.

Boxed Cream of Wheat for 15 cents per serving, or homemade cream of brown rice for 5 cents per serving. I love Cream of Wheat. So to get the same texture and consistency in my hot cereal, homemade cream of brown rice definitely works for me.


  1. Mmm I like to do this with leftover rice in milk to make a sweet rice porridge / loose rice pudding. Topped with fruit, nuts, granola, maple syrup, honey, etc. I've never trying pureeing it!

    1. Hi Allie,
      I love rice pudding, both the baked kind with eggs added, and the stove-top kind. We've occasionally used leftover brown rice in milk as a cereal. It hasn't been too popular in my family, but maybe we should try adding fruit, nuts, etc to switch up the texture and flavor. Thank you for the ideas!

  2. I haven't had cream of wheat in quite some time. I've actually forgotten about it as a hot cereal option. I always save and use (or freeze) my leftover rice so will have to try this or rice pudding like Allie mentioned. Lili, you never cease to amaze me with your creativity and your math! I'm a math nerd myself but many of the calculations you provide I would never even think of! So thanks for sharing. I always learn from you:)

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Thank you.
      Cream of wheat is a comfort food to me, so I was super happy to discover that I could make something vey similar by pureeing the rice. We also use leftover rice for fried rice, adding to burritos or burrito bowls, or in place of pasta with marinara sauce. Having some leftover rice in the freezer is a real time-saver.

    2. I love rice in a casserole, too! It's a nice, easy alternative to a pasta casserole sometimes, especially with leftover rice! A handful of leftover rice plumped in a couple of cups of broth--I'll thicken either with a roux at the beginning or with a handful of cheese at the end--add whatever vegetables or fridge odds and ends I have. I cook this until it's thickened and the rice is nice and plump, then dump into a baking dish, scatter a handful of cheese on top and maybe some other topping--some fried onions like you'd put on a green bean casserole or maybe some cornflakes--and bake. Boom, it's a super easy casserole that's creamy enough for picky eaters and cleans out the fridge!

      If I'm feeling lazy, I don't even bake it--I'll just serve the thickened rice concoction from the stove and call it a faux risotto. :D

    3. Hi Allie,
      I love your idea for a faux risotto! Thank you for this. I think I know what's on the menu later this week. Thickening with a roux makes it sound like wonderful comfort food -- something sure to be loved by my family.

    4. YAY! So happy to share. Let us know how it goes!! Your weekly menus are always my very favorite posts!

  3. My mother loved Cream of Wheat and was one of the things she would eat near the end when she wasn't interested in a lot of foods. I never quite understood that because it's not my favorite. When I was growing up, rice was not a starch side dish, it was a cereal that we ate with milk. It wasn't until I was an a adult that I learned how most people ate it.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      years ago, we knew a family that had brown rice and milk for breakfast on a regular basis. That was the first I'd heard of eating rice this way. I'd made rice pudding for breakfast before, but not just in a bowl with milk. The brown rice in milk was definitely a hard-sell with my family. Pureeing it changed the texture enough to make it seem like a breakfast food. That's interesting that this is how you knew rice. I wonder if this is a regional thing? My childhood family had rice as a side-dish with dinner a couple of times per week. I grew up thinking that rice either was in a casserole or was topped with soy sauce.
      Cream of Wheat is one of my comfort foods. It reminds me of pudding. I can understand why your mother might take Cream of Wheat but not much else. When I don't feel well, this is the sort of food that I turn to. I'm glad that she had caring people who would make this for her as much as she wanted.

  4. We eat rice gruel or congee at least once a week, using our left over rice. It is my favorite food when I'm having indigestion, eaten plain or with a dusting of dried seaweed and dried fish flakes (bonito). Also with side dishes, as part of a meal. Eating rice, as a gruel or as Lili does, is more carb friendly since it is prepared in lots of liquid. 1/4 c. Rice, one serving, has 39 g carb. In our younger days, we'd eat at least a cup of dry rice per person per meal, wow, no wonder we are prediabetic. Now, I eat just a small palm sized portion, if plain cooked, or a large bowl of gruel.


  5. We eat rice as a side dish but growing up it was kind of a dessert. Mom would thicken cranberry juice or sour cherry juice with cornstarch and we would put that warm mixture over top of rice. We do not do this with my kids. We did have cream of wheat which was a childhood favorite but the best breakfast of all was basically bread pudding! It was not baked but rather made on the stovetop using all the bread ends that mom collected over a month or so. There was milk and eggs and bread all cooked in a saucepan and we could eat that with butter and sugar. We begged for that but didn't get it very often because she had to collect bread ends AND then she would have to make it. My mom woke us up by flipping on the lights in our bedrooms on her way to the bathroom. When she was done in the bathroom she went back to bed and we kids got ourselves fed and out the door. She did not always stay up to fix us breakfast when we could get it ourselves.


  6. Because I subscribe to receive email alerts to let me know when you have a new post, frequently your tips and tricks and recipes come to mind. Today I was looking at leftover brown rice. I have always eaten leftover rice in it's whole form with milk on top. Blending the whole rice kernels with unsweetened commercial soymilk and salt makes a wonderful hot cereal. The texture reminds me of oatmeal. Thank you for your blog and help. I love the new picture. You continue to become more beautiful.

  7. Hi knitter4years,
    I am just so happy that you liked the rice cereal! I've always really loved cream of wheat cereal and this is so like that.
    Thanks for telling me of your experience!


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