Pizza Rice Is Your New Favorite Way To Eat Rice

If you love tomato fried rice, take it one step further and sprinkle it with cheese and all your favorite pizza toppings. Pop the whole pan into the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is nice and melty and you've got some pizza rice on your hands.

Video Transcript

JUNE XIE: It's one of those days you want pizza but you only have rice. What do you do? You make pizza fried rice. As with all fried rice dishes, it is best to use leftover rice for this purpose.

The rice gets a little bit dry overnight in the fridge, and then it can get a little bit crispier when we cook it. Today, I'm going to use my favorite rice, which is brown glutinous rice. But you can go ahead and use whatever rice you have on hand. You can even use other hearty grains like fero.

This recipe has three components. We're going to be making a fried rice base to serve as our crust. We're going to put together a very quick pizza sauce with canned, crushed tomatoes. And then we're going to top it with our favorite pizza toppings and throw it into the oven for however long it takes to get cheese nice and melty, and crust a little bit golden, and just overall delicious.

To make this recipe, just make sure that you're using an oven-safe skillet. This way when you put it into the oven, nothing will melt-- except the cheese. We want the cheese to melt. For the fried rice component, you're going to need a little bit of olive oil, a little bit of garlic, and either onion fresh or onion powder.

To cut down on cooking time, I'm going with a powder here. But you can go ahead and use some fresh onions. Chop them up, throw them in the pan, let them get nice and soft and a little bit golden-- maybe about 7 to 8 minutes before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

When it comes to garlic, I like a lot of it. And I also like to give it nice big chunks on the dice. This way, they won't burn in the pan and they'll remain so flavorful and so delicious. You will also need some spices-- so freshly ground black pepper, a little bit of salt, a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes, as well as Italian seasoning.

We're also going to go in with a little bit of tomato paste for that tomato oomph and just a little freshly grated nutmeg for a slight creaminess that you can't quite put your finger on. Just trust me on this. Don't go too heavy on it. All we need is about 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Of course, you'll need some rice, and then we're going to go in with a little bit of parmesan and a little bit of sesame seeds-- optional if you're allergic or just don't have them on hand. To make the rice, we're going to put our large skillet over medium heat, we're going to heat up our oil, and then we're going to toss in our garlic and all of our spices-- so onion, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning.

We're going to let those cook until the garlic is slightly soft, a little bit golden. And then we're going to go in with a little bit of our tomato paste. Tomato paste goes in, you stir, stir, stir, distribute it, make sure it gets a little bit caramelized, and then you're going to go in with your nutmeg and your rice.

If your skillet looks pretty dry after the nutmeg goes in, go ahead and pop in a tablespoon more olive oil before your rice goes into make sure every single kernel gets a little TLC. We're going to cook our rice, stirring occasionally, until some pieces starts to turn crispy and you know that whole batch is nice and warm.

If at any point you see that grains are sticking, just be sure that you're trying your best to scrape them off before they start burning prematurely. Because pieces like this, while crunchy, might not be very delicious. We're going to reduce our heat to a very, very, very low-- as low as your stove can go.

And then we're going to fold in our parmesan cheese as well as our sesame seeds. We're going to give those a toss, and we're going to leave that pan right on that very low heat. We're trying to form a little bit of a crust here, so leave it on the heat.

If at any point your rice starts to smell a little bit toasty and perhaps burny, just take it off the heat. Some ovens take longer than others to come up to preheat, so you use your best judgment. If you know that your stovetop has hot spots or your pan heats unevenly, go ahead and just move your pan over the flame at different times to make sure that most of the pan is getting all the same heat.

While our rice crust is forming, we're going to go ahead and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. It's going to be hot. We're only blistering this whole dish for a few minutes. So get it ready to 400, and then we can make our sauce.

Our sauce is super easy. All you need is a 14-ounce of crushed tomatoes. I only have 28-ounce, so I'm going to use half of it. And then you'll also need a little bit of fresh garlic. We are going to take that garlic clove and just grate it straight into the crushed tomatoes.

And then we're also going to add in a little more black pepper, a little bit of kosher salt to season it, and we're going to go in with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for spice, and a little bit of sugar to both uplift that canned tomato into a fresher taste and to offset whatever spice might have come from the red pepper flakes.

The sauce is super easy. You just throw everything in a bowl and whisk. Once your oven is preheated, we're going to spread that tomato sauce all over our rice crust. How saucy you like your pizza fried rice is totally up to you. I'm just going to go in with 1/2 cup to see, and then if I want more, I'll put in more. The more sauce you have, the more unctuous it will be.

The most important thing, as always, is to know what you like and to give that to yourself. If you have any extra sauce left over, you can go ahead, and put it in a jar or in the fridge, and use it within 7 to 10 days-- maybe another pizza fried rice? And then we'll top it with your desired toppings.

Today, I'm going with that good old classic-- Mott's and parm combo. And then I'm going to slather on some pepperoni pieces. I have the sausage. I'm just going to slice it up. We'll pretend it's pepperoni. I don't actually know what kind of sausage it is.

And of course, how cheesy you like it is also up to you-- pepperoni, anchovies, onions, mushrooms-- whatever you want, throw it on top, no judgment here. We're going to throw our pan pizza into the oven until that cheese is nice and melty, until everything looks nice and cohesive, and almost like pizza.

You know what they say-- if it smells like pizza and it looks like pizza, well, maybe it's pizza. We're going to let it cool for about five minutes, and then we'll put on some fresh basil. Totally optional, but if you've got it on hand, put it on.

Here's a hot tip for y'all-- if you ever have basal and you're worried that it's going to wither or turn black in the fridge, the best way to keep it fresh is to cut off the ends a little bit, put it in a small glass of water, and then put a plastic bag over it to trap in the moisture for the leaves. This way, basil will keep up to maybe one or two weeks, even, fresh just on your countertop.

And then all you do is slice and serve. You don't really need to slice, because it's just rice on the bottom. But we're going to pretend that we're going to slice and serve-- like a normal pizza, am I right? Guys, this is incredible.

The sweetness of the sauce, plus the nutty, smoky cheesiness of the rice, plus that salty punch from our sausage slash pepperoni, with that melty, melty cheese and that fresh basil kicking in-- if this isn't the perfect bite of pizza, then you need to get a chunk of garlic in there, and then it will be the perfect bite of pizza.

I don't know what there is to say except, you have to try this recipe, and you have to let us know down below in the comments if you liked it. Because, man, I love it. And I want you to love it too. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'll see you guys next time. Stay hydrated, feed yourself good things, and take care.