It’s gumbo season and gumbo season in our house means having leftover rice. I’d rather have leftover rice then not enough rice for my gumbo. Did I also mention the fact that I absolutely hate making rice? So I always make more than I think we will need.  Everybody seems to have their perfect idea of gumbo to rice ratio. For us, it’s a thin line between not enough and too much in our house. The one thing we can agree on, however, is leftover rice is a good thing. I love rice with lemon butter and Parmesan cheese, so after I squander some away for that, the rest is fair game. Leftover rice is a blank slate. That’s why it is the must have ingredient to make a perfect fried rice. It is so versatile. You can have rice for breakfast, Egg and Rice Frittata rice for lunch, Rice Salad rice for appetizers, Rice Rounds rice for dinner, Vegetable Beef Fried Rice and rice for dessert.

Yep, rice for dessert. I know you are probably thinking, nope, done with this post, do not like rice pudding. HOLD ON neither do I. But I love beignets! Did you know that beignets are synonymous with fritters? Need I say more!

These rice fritters are easy for there is no need to worry about rolling them in flour, egg, and crumbs. The hardest part is getting a craving and having to wait over an hour before enjoying them.

Lemon Cranberry Leftover Rice Fritters
Zesty Lemon Cranberry Leftover Rice Fritters

Zesty Lemon Cranberry Rice Fritters
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Yield: 1 dozen

Zesty Lemon Cranberry Rice Fritters

Lemon Cranberry Leftover Rice Fritters


  • 1 cup leftover rice, cold
  • 4 TBSP milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 2 TBSP dried cranberries
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla cookie crumbs, minced
  • oil, for frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine rice, milk, sugar, salt, lemon peel, egg, and dried cranberries. Chill for 1 hour.
  2. Stir in flour and cookie crumbs. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a cast iron pot over medium heat to 350*
  4. Grab mixture by the tablespoons. Hold batter close to the oil. Using a back of a spoon, gently roll it off the tablespoon into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar.


Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap On: This recipe is just as versatile as rice. During the holidays, I used eggnog instead of milk and gingersnaps instead of vanilla wafers. No lemon? Use an orange. No dried cranberries? Try raisins or other dried fruits. Think about adding some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger. Have a flavored sugar? Use it. Think about how using different kinds and flavors of rice. What other cookie crumbs would work? No much on sweets? Think about how easy it would be to turn these fritters from sweet to savory.

FOOD FUN: Want to take a “rice” vacation? There’s an estimated 40,000 different varieties of rice in the world. Choose one, research one, cook one.


Zesty Lemon Cranberry Leftover Rice Fritters
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One thought on “Zesty Lemon Cranberry Leftover Rice Fritters

  • January 22, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    A delicious treat indeed! Very easy recipe and I truly love ALL of the ingredients….would not change one thing. Who would have guessed that the leftover rice could be made into a yummy surprise. Clever!


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