6 Ways To Stretch Meals With Rice

Ground beef and rice

In my coupons and savings post, I mentioned that our grocery bill is, well, excessive.  Over $1000 a month! So I’m working to cut it down.  Way down.

One way I’m cutting costs is by learning how to lessen the amount of meat we use.  Several times a week I serve meals that use meat as a garnish, like stir-fry.  I also cook meatless meals at least once a week.

One of my favorite meat-stretching tips is to use rice!  Bram, my second born, is a rice fiend.  He’d eat rice multiple times a day, every day, if I let him.  He loves it so much, I often think we should move to Burma.

For Realz.

Anyway, as I was saying.  I’ve learned to stretch meat-heavy meals with rice.  Since my son loves rice, we almost always have leftover rice in the fridge. Here are 6 of my favorite ways to stretch meals with rice!

6 Ways To Stretch Meals With Rice

Meatloaf – I substitute pricey breadcrumbs with pre-cooked rice.  It mixes well directly into the ground beef.

Tacos – Sure, you can serve rice on the side. However when I do that, my boys skimp on the rice and pile on the meat. So I replace half the ground beef with rice.  That way you get a nice, saucy, meat mixture with no choice but to enjoy the rice.

Soup – Rice is delicious in most any soup.  Add a cup to “beef up” your soup.  It will be more filling and stick to your ribs.

Casseroles – Casseroles don’t have to be made only with noodles.  Rice is a great alternative! Especially in a chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole. Mmmm!

Meatballs – Just as with meatloaf, I substitute the breadcrumbs with rice. You can even herb your rice, just like the breadcrumbs for added flavor.

Stuffed Peppers and Cabbage – These recipes usually call for rice anyway, but who says you need meat at all?

Do you use rice to stretch your meals?  What are your favorite meals to stretch with rice?

2 thoughts on “6 Ways To Stretch Meals With Rice

  1. Ooo, we LOVE us some rice around here! My husband is the rice fiend in our house (he’ll only eat brown rice, or brown mixed with wild rice), and we’ve all caught the love from him over the years.

    I haven’t tried it in meatloaf yet, but that’s brilliant. I use it in casseroles all the time. I also make croquette-like things where I use left-over crock pot chicken shredded and mix with leftover veggies and cooked rice, then shape it into patties with an egg as a binder. Quick fry in olive oil, drain, and voila!

    A vegetarian casserole that gets scarfed down here is cooked rice with lightly sauteed squash, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms, sprinkled with cheese and baked.

    1. I used to love brown rice Sabrina, but got out of the habit of eating it. I think it’s time to reintroduce it to the family 🙂 Love the idea of croquettes – smart!!

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