Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew [paleo-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free] | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Slow-Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect healthy comfort food for cold days! It’s hearty, flavorful, packed with veggies, and easy to make right in your crock pot. Make it for a cold winter night, or a festive St. Patrick’s Day meal! Beef stew is a simple recipe that will wow everyone who tries it.

Traditional Beef Stew Recipe

The Slow Cooker is an amazing phenomenon in my opinion. Even those friends of mine who aren’t big cookers use it! Throw all the ingredients in with the right flavor combo and BOOM: the perfect stew. It’s hands off, easy to use, and safe!

What is Irish stew made of?

Filled with beef, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes is the perfect main dish for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The beef is so tender, it just melts in your mouth!

Tips For Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Brown your meat
  • Don’t use too much liquid
  • Don’t skimp on the cook time
  • Layer your beef and veggies
  • Set it and forget it! The beauty of a slow cooker!

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This stew is: hearty, flavorful, tender melt-in-your-mouth beef, and packed with veggies! It is also paleo-friendly, dairy-free, whole30 compliant and has no sugar added… does it get any better than that? I love making this soup at the beginning of the week and enjoy it all week long!

What defines a stew?

  • In a stew you aren’t looking for the consistency of a soup, so minimizing added liquids is helpful!
  • Beef stew doesn’t need to be super, super thick. You’ll most likely be using potatoes, and their starch will naturally thicken your stew! If not, don’t worry, this stew thickens whithout it, too.

What kind of beef is used for stew?

You can buy beef stew meat, which is cut and cubed and is generally chuck or round! Beef round cuts (bottom and eye) are generally leaner than chuck (shoulder, leg and butt) and very well-suited to stew.

I always add beef stew meat to my ButcherBox order in the cold weather months. Each month, ButcherBox  curates a one-of-a-kind selection of the healthiest, tastiest meats, humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. Or you can customize your box and select your favorite cuts and get 20% more meat.The price works out to less than $6.00/meal and shipping is always free. You can also space it out so it’s not every 4 weeks, too! ButcherBox delivers your meat for the month, saves you money, and is the best quality! Order Today and get this amazing deal:

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Can you put raw meat in a slow cooker?

You certainly can, but for this beef stew recipe, we prefer to sear the meat first to bring out the amazing flavor that you’ll get!

Easy Beef Stew

Tools used to make this easy slow cooker beef stew recipe:

  • Slow Cooker: Inexpensive and works great. I’ve had mine for years!
  • Cast Iron Skillet: I like a nice, hot cast iron skillet to sear our stew meat!
  • Chef’s Knife: My go-to chef’s knife. Use whatever you have on hand!
  • Tongs: To easily flip the meat while searing.
  • Cutting Board: A good cutting board, of course! To chop all those veggies!

Want other slow cooker recipes? Try these favorites:

If you like this beef stew recipe, make these other St Patrick’s Day Favorites:

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 8 hr Total Time 8:10 Serves 6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Sear meat for about 3 minutes on each side, until brown. Set aside.
  2. Place meat and vegetables in the crockpot
  3. Add in broth, tomato paste, tapioca, and spices
  4. Mix well to combine
  5. Set on low for 8-10 hours
  6. After 7 hours, taste and adjust spices to your liking (i.e. add additional salt, cayenne, or red pepper flakes)
  7. Remove bay leaf and serve hot
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

This One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice is a hearty, warm and comforting weeknight dinner option! It’s full of veggies and uses both fresh and dried turmeric. It is dairy-free and gluten-free and is bound to be a new, and easy, family favorite!

One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

We love an easy-to-make and easy-to-love weeknight dinner and this One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice is one of them! A warm and comforting spiced chicken and rice dish that consists largely of unattended cooking and is made all in one pot for a simpler clean up! This dish uses both fresh and dried turmeric for an extra punch of flavor and has so many veggies packed in!

Let’s talk turmeric:

We’ve talked quite a bit about turmeric on this site before because turmeric is a trendy food topic these days, but for good reason: it provides significant anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit a wide variety of health concerns! Curcumin, which is a nutrient found within turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of larger medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. A natural and easy way to help keep inflammation down is through the foods you put in your body. This One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice uses both fresh turmeric and dried turmeric. Now are we saying if you eat this rice all of your inflammation will go away? Nope! But we are big believers in using a whole and real food approach to healthy living and including as many nutrient dense ingredients in our every day meals is a good start.

Where can you buy fresh turmeric?

Almost any major grocery store will sell turmeric. Look for it in the section where they sell fresh ginger, and it looks similar!

What do you do with fresh turmeric

You don’t need to peel the thin skin off of fresh turmeric, but we prefer to especially if it isn’t organic. The easiest way to do this is to take a spoon and gently scrape off the skin. You can grate the turmeric with a microplane or finely mince it. Just be careful about where you prepare the turmeric because it will leave yellow everywhere it touches, including your hands!

If you like this easy weeknight dinner recipes, check out these others:


One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:28 Inactive Time 00:05 Total Time 00:43 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-2 inch pieces fresh turmeric (about 2 tablespoon)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric dried
  • 2-½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into florets (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • Cilantro and lemon wedges, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat a 12” heavy bottomed high-sided pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil and chicken and cook until beginning to brown 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add onions and carrots and cook until soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add fresh turmeric, garlic and all spices and toast for 30 seconds.
  4. Add chicken stock and scrap up any browned bits. Add rice, cauliflower and the chicken and stir to combine. Make sure the mixture is spread evenly in the pan and the veggies and chicken are pushed into the liquid as much as possible.
  5. Let mixture come up to a boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid, and lower the heat to medium-low.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Shut off heat, quickly remove the cover and sprinkle ½ cup peas over the top. Close the lid and let steam for 5 minutes.
  8. Fluff with a fork garnish with cilantro and a sprinkle of lemon juice

Recipe Notes

Notes: The cooking times can vary with this recipe depending on the brand of rice you use, how high your heat is on your stove and how heavy your pot is. Check to make sure the rice is fully cooked after the directed cooking time. If it is slightly undercooked, cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

This Pork Carnitas recipe, made either in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker, is an easy and flavorful dinner or meal prep for a healthy start to the New Year. It’s Whole30, Paleo and Keto friendly and pairs with so many different sides (including this Healthy Cole Slaw recipe) that makes it a no-brainer to put on your cooking list now.

Pork carnitas recipe

Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

This recipe is a favorite at our Food Editor Kelli’s home. It’s on rotation at least twice a month and served for both dinner and then for lunch a few days of the week. It’s so easy to put together in either the slow cooker or the Instant Pot and with minimal ingredients. It’s also versatile in how you serve it: you can put it in tortillas as a kid-friendly dinner, serve it with cauli-rice if you’re doing the low-carb thing, or as Kelli’s favorite over a simple slaw for a quick meal that can be eaten for lunch over a few days.

Pork carnitas instant pot

We love the simplicity in the flavors here: the pork isn’t inundated with too many spices but really relying on the basics: an onion, a teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of garlic and cinnamon. Wondering about the cinnamon? There is no sugar in this recipe, but the cinnamon gives it the most subtle hint of warmness that you couldn’t detect what it is, but would surely be missing out if it wasn’t included. Trust us on this one.

We’ve included recipes for both the long method in the slow cooker, or the faster version in the Instant Pot. For the Instant Pot version there isn’t any liquid included in the ingredients. The onion and the pork will release so much liquid that it isn’t needed and will safely come up to pressure.

Pork carnitas slow cooker

After the pork is fork-tender you can do the optional step of broiling the carnitas until they’re nice and crispy. Garnish with a bit of lime and a splash of the cooking liquid and this meal is simplicity at it’s finest. Check out the Healthy Cole Slaw recipe to pair it with!

Shredded pork carnitas

Tools to make this  Pork Carnitas recipe:

If you like this easy meal prep recipe, check out these others:

Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:60 Inactive Time 00:30 Total Time 01:40 Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For Carnitas

To serve

Directions

For Carnitas (Instant Pot)

  1. Place all of ingredients in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, close the lid and set the vent to sealing.
  2. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 60 minutes, and let it natural release for at least 10 minutes (but you can let it fully naturally release if desired).
  3. Pre-heat broiler to 500ºF. 
  4. Shred the pork and using a slotted spoon place carnitas on a rimmed sheet pan and place under the broiler until nice and crispy, about 5 minutes. Spoon some of the cooking liquid and the juice of 1/2 a lime over the carnitas.
  5. Serve with cole slaw, tortillas or with caulirice.

For Carnitas (Slow Cooker):

  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.
  2. Pre-heat broiler to 500ºF. 
  3. Shred the pork and using a slotted spoon place carnitas on a rimmed sheet pan and place under the broiler until nice and crispy, about 5 minutes. Spoon some of the cooking liquid and the juice of 1/2 a lime over the carnitas.
  4. Serve with cole slaw, tortillas or with caulirice.

Recipe Notes

  1. Don't throw away the liquid remaining in the bottom of the Instant Pot / Slow Cooker, it's super flavorful and should be spooned over the crispy carnitas! There is some fat in there, so you can store it separate so you can scoop it off when it's cold, but we didn't feel this was necessary we just stored and leftovers all together.
  2. Not it isn't a mistake the no added liquid is included in these instructions! For both the Instant Pot version and Slow cooker there isn't any liquid included in the ingredients. The pork releases so much liquid that it is not needed. We are aware the it states the Instant Pot needs 1/2 cup of liquid at least to work, so we initially tested it with 1/2 cup of liquid but it resulted in an extreme amount of liquid at the end because the pork and onions releases so much that going forward we did not use any added liquid in the beginning and ours cooked up beautifully during testing, with no error in our IP. We tested it in two different Instant Pot's (a 6 qt. and an 8 qt.) with no error. If your Instant Pot has an error message, as we've gotten one comment with that, go ahead and put in 1/2 cup liquid, either water or broth. You may need to reduce the liquid after the cooking time. You are looking for a resulting flavorful broth!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Carnitas

Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice

We are well into cold and flu season and this Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice is a recipe you need in your back pocket! If you feel a cold coming on, or you are currently in the throes of one, this juice recipe with oranges, lemon, carrots, ginger and turmeric will give you an extra boost of vitamin C and antioxidants to help your body naturally feel better!Kick That Cold Juice

Kick-that-Cold Juice

When cold and flu seasons hits staying healthy can be a top priority.  Our bodies naturally do a great job at utilizing their own defenses to fight off colds but it can never hurt to arm yourself with some extra Vitamin C and antioxidants to do it. This recipe has been used in my house for years and it’s time it’s officially landed on the blog. If we feel ourselves starting to get sick we immediately make this Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice and drink up! I swear by it, but it’s also super delicious and a good pick-me-up.

Benefits of juicing:

Juicing can be controversial in the health world as it does remove some fiber from the fruit and veggies, but I’ve found, when I am coming down with something, this really does the trick! While of course fiber IS important (because it also contains nutrients and helps digestion), practically speaking, you will absorb more nutrients because the gut doesn’t need to digest all that fiber at the same time! Want more info? I like this article!

Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in the whole fruit! Since you have to use a far larger quantity of fruits and vegetables to make a glass of juice than you typically would eat in a sitting, you will get higher doses of those micronutrients and phytochemical. Juice quickly reaches your vital organs, can help reset your body, re-oxygenates yourblood, flush out fat, and more!

What I will say is: when ordering juice out, ask them how much fruit is going into your juice (so you can watch the sugar intake). Nobody needs 3 apples in one sitting!

Kick That Cold Juice

The juice is made up of oranges, carrots, lemon, fresh ginger and turmeric! The citrus and carrots add a much needed boost of vitamin c and antioxidants, the ginger is a natural antiviral and the turmeric has the nutrient curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

To prep the fruits and veggies you remove the rinds from all of the fruit before juicing. This is important because the skin/rind is what can hold the most pesticide residue and we want to keep away all that harmful chemicals, especially when your body is fighting off a cold. You can either just wash the carrots, or peel them.

Kick That Cold Juice


Tools for juicing: 

If you like this good-for-you  recipe, check out these others:

Kick That Cold Juice

Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice

Prep Time 00:10 Total Time 00:10 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 oranges, rind removed
  • 1 lemon, rind removed
  • 2” chunk ginger
  • 1” knob turmeric
  • 5 large carrots, cleaned / peeled

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients through a high-speed juicer and mix well before serving over ice. Consume immediately.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Pin it for later:

Kick That Cold Juice

What is your go-to natural cold remedy?

Split Pea and Ham Soup

This Split Pea and Ham Soup is the perfect meal to use up leftover baked ham (but don’t worry there is an option to use ham steak as well)! It’s a comfort meal in a bowl: warm, hearty and so delicious! This one pot meal is easily going to be your new favorite soup!

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

I’ve been wanting to make a Split Pea and Ham Soup recipe for so long now! While we were planning out our holiday menu for LCK the first thing I thought after we decided we were making a Maple Glazed Ham was SPLIT PEA SOUP! And this one does not disappoint. It’s so flavorful and the ultimate comfort food! The whole thing simmers away in one pot on the stove, and while it has some cooking time to it, it’s really easy to put together.

We use of course the leftover ham bone from our baked ham, but you can easily swap it out for a store-bought ham steak. This soup has such a classic flavor but we have two secret ingredients that really make this soup special: a pinch of nutmeg really rounds out the flavor of the soup and a touch of apple cider vinegar at the end of cooking brightens everything up! We know you are going to love this comforting soup as much as we do!

Split pea soup recipe

Additionally if you are looking for a Split Pea Soup recipe and prefer to leave the ham out all together, this recipe will work well without the meat. Just make sure to use a high-quality vegetable stock, or better yet a homemade one!

This soup takes about an hour and a half to cook. If you don’t have all that time before you want to get dinner on the table and you have an Instant Pot go ahead and use that! We’ve included directions for that in the recipe! The peas don’t hold their shape as well in the Instant Pot so this soup is slightly pureed, but just as tasty.

Split pea soup with ham

If you like this soup recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video here:

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Split Pea and Ham Soup

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 01:30 Total Time 01:45 Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces green split peas, sorted, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (leftover) hambone from Baked Ham (see note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups of water plus additional
  • 2 cups leftover ham, diced, plus any from hambone
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Additional Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add butter.
  2. Once hot, add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until beginning to soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, and all spices and saute for 1 minute more.
  4. Add peas, hambone, bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover and add diced ham and cook until desired consistency, stirring occasionally, about 30-45 minutes.
  6. Add apple cider vinegar, and additional salt and pepper. Remove the hambone and chop up any leftover meat and add to the pot. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you don’t have a leftover hambone replace all of the liquid with stock and use equivalent amount of smoked boneless ham steak.
  2. Want to make this vegetarian? Leave out the ham bone and ham and swap the stock out for a high quality vegetable stock, or better yet a homemade one!
  3. To make in the Instant Pot (Please note this version is a more pureed version than the stove top):

    1. In a 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot press the saute function and add butter.
    2. Once hot, add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until beginning to soft, about 8-10 minutes.
    3. Add garlic, and all spices and saute for 1 minute more.
    4. Add spices, peas, hambone, bay leaf and broth (making sure it doesn't go above 1/2 way up the Instant Pot) and set to manual pressure for 20 minutes.
    5. Use the natural release function for 15 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure.
    6. Add apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Kimchi Fried Rice (Cauliflower Rice or White Rice)

With Korean fermented cabbage as its base, this Kimchi Fried Rice is a great weeknight dinner when you want to spice it up a bit. It’s tangy and spicy and a great way to use up leftover rice or cauli-rice and veggies in your refrigerator. It is vegetarian, paleo friendly (with cauli-rice) and ready in under 30 minutes.

how do you make kimchi fried rice?Kimchi Fried Rice

With the busy holiday season upon us we thought it was time to make a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is also SUPER DELICIOUS and fun. And we love a good fried rice here at LCK, and this Kimchi Fried Rice is no exception! I almost always have Kimchi hanging around in my fridge (it lasts nearly forever) which makes it the perfect base to add to a fried rice that uses primarily pantry items. It’s super flavorful and we’ve included directions to make this with white rice or cauli-rice.

What is kimchi?

In short kimchi is fermented vegetables! It is native of Korean cuisine and can range from spicy to mild depending on what brand you are buying (or making, if you’re feeling adventurous).  Aside from being delicious Kimchi is a nutrient dense food but probably what makes me most excited about it is the naturally occurring probiotic strains that occur during fermentation. This is a great food to eat if you’re in the process of healing your gut or you want to have healthier digestive functions.

Kimchi fried rice recipe

What type of kimchi should I buy?

A good kimchi will bring a balance of salty, sour and spicy flavor while holding a nice crunch to it. We’re partial to kimchi made from cabbage, but really the most important thing is to buy a kimchi that has only natural ingredients added to it. In other words, if you can’t pronounce or clearly recognize anything on the ingredients label, skip it!

Tips for making a good stir fry:

Fried rice is a stir fry using rice as the base instead of noodles. It’s a simple dish to make, but the following tips will make sure that your fried rice will shine:

  1. Make sure your pan is nice and hot! We like to use a cast iron skillet for this, which retains heat nicely! But if you have a wok feel free to use that.
  2. Have all ingredients ready and prepped before you begin cooking!
  3. Use a high heat oil, like avocado oil.
  4. Always top it with a fried egg!

How to make kimchi fried rice

If you like this stir fry recipe, check out these others:

Kimchi Fried Rice

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:20 Total Time 00:30 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup baby bella mushroom, diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin, green and white parts separated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cups leftover white rice (see note)
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped with juices
  • 1/2 cup peas (frozen is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons asian chili paste (we like sambal oelek)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • black sesame seeds, for garnish
  • nori strips, for garnish
  • additional eggs for frying, optional

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Once hot add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the white part of diced scallions (reserve green for garnish) and carrots and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add sesame oil and rice and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add kimchi, frozen peas and chili paste and heat through, about 3 minutes.
  5. Make a well in the center and pour in the scrambled egg. Cook until the egg has almost set and then move it around to scramble.
  6. Shut off heat and add baby spinach and coconut amino and stir until the baby spinach has wilted. Taste and add salt, about 1/2 teaspoon.
  7. Top with optional sesame seeds, nori strips and a fried egg and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can make this instead with cauli-rice by substituting 4 cups fresh cauli-rice for the 3 cups white rice in the recipe.
  2. Don't have leftover cooled rice? We tested this with frozen fully cooked white rice too! It was slightly more wet, but definitely a useful substitution when you want to make this but don't have leftover rice. 
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!