Quinoa fried rice is a healthier version of regular fried rice with a satisfying crunchy texture and tons of flavor. Make this yummy dinner with either tofu or chicken.
Do you know what's the worst? Soggy quinoa.
I'm here to solve that problem for you in two ways.
- Make quinoa in your Instant Pot. My Instant Pot quinoa recipe cooks quinoa perfectly every time, with fluffy, individual grains that have texture and flavor.
- Make Quinoa Fried Rice!
What I Love About This Recipe
- The texture of the quinoa is slightly crunchy (not soggy!)
- Veggies are fresh and crisp
- Tons of flavor
- Very versatile - add what your family loves!
- Healthy and satisfying
- Cooked quinoa
- Tofu OR chicken breast
- Bell pepper, onion and frozen peas
- Green onion, garlic, ginger
- Soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, oil
How to Cook Quinoa
As I said before, the easiest way to cook quinoa is in your Instant Pot. These days, that's how I cook it every time.
If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can make quinoa on the stove top. Combine 1 cup dry quinoa with 1 ¾ cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a very gently simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir and fluff the quinoa. Let it sit for about 5 with a lid before serving.
How to Make Quinoa Crispy & Crunchy
- Don't cook quinoa in too much liquid. The 1:1 ratio for Instant Pot quinoa cooks quinoa perfectly, with individual grains that have texture and aren't mushy
- Cool the cooked quinoa completely before making fried rice. A quick way to cool grains is spreading them out on a sheet pan or plate.
- To make quinoa fried rice, use enough oil in a hot skillet
- Press the quinoa down in the skillet, against the hot pan
- Don't stir too much - let it get brown and crispy in the skillet. I usually fry the quinoa for 3 minutes, untouched, before stirring and frying it a few minutes more.
Variations - Use what you have!
Protein: Instead of tofu or chicken breast, you could use:
- Shrimp (saute or broil it separately before adding to the fried rice)
- Salmon (flake leftover, cooked salmon into the quinoa fried rice or try this teriyaki salmon recipe)
- Leftover, cooked meat like pork or beef (chop it up and warm it in a saute pan)
- Cooked ham, sausage or bacon
Veggies: Instead of, or in addition to bell pepper and onion, you could use:
- Steamed broccoli (chopped up)
- Any assortment of leftover roasted vegetables
- Grated or thinly sliced carrot
- Baby spinach or kale
Like most stir-fry recipes, you'll need to prep all your ingredients and have them within reach at the stove. Then, you'll quickly cook and combine the protein, veggies, quinoa and flavorful sauce.
- Cook your protein, by briefly sautéing tofu or cut up chicken breast
- Briefly saute the veggies with green onion, garlic and ginger
- Heat and crisp up the quinoa in a pan with oil
- Add scrambled eggs
- Combine quinoa, eggs, veggies and protein
- Pour the sauce on top
More Quinoa Recipes
More Grains & Beans for Meal Prep
- How to Cook Barley
- How to Cook Farro
- How to Cook Red Lentils
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot White Beans
IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND LEAVE SOME STARS — I APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK!Print
Quinoa Fried Rice
Quinoa fried rice is a healthier version of regular fried rice with a satisfying crunchy texture and tons of flavor. It's easy to make this yummy dinner vegetarian (use tofu) or you can add chicken. Find inspiration for even more variations in the blog post above.
Note: You will need 3 cups cooked quinoa for this recipe. For the crispiest texture, use quinoa that has been cooked earlier and chilled in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: vegetarian
- Method: saute or stir-fry
- Cuisine: Asian American
- Diet: Vegetarian
To make cooking quick and easy, prep all of your ingredients and have them within reach at the stove.
Fried Rice Sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oil (sunflower or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Protein - choose one
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes or rectangles
- 1 to 2 chicken breasts, cut into either ½-inch or 1-inch pieces and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
Quinoa Fried Rice
- 1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- ½ an onion, cut into thin pieces
- ½ cup frozen peas or shelled edamame
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced (I use scissors to quickly snip green onions)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 inches ginger, finely chopped or thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower, canola or peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (make it in your Instant Pot!)
- 2 eggs, whisked
Mix together the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, oil, maple syrup and rice vinegar. Set aside.
Cook the protein: Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil in a wide (12-inch) non-stick skillet or wok, over medium-high heat. Add the tofu or chicken.
Chicken: Stir often at first to keep it from sticking to the pan, cooking for a total of 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through.
Tofu: Cook the tofu for 3 minutes untouched, then stir/flip and cook 3 to 5 minutes more until lightly browned on at least two sides. Lightly season the tofu with salt as it cooks.
When the protein is cooked, set it aside in a large serving bowl.
Cook the veggies + quinoa + eggs: First, drizzle a little more oil into the hot pan.
- Add the bell pepper and onion. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender.
- Add frozen peas. Saute 30 seconds to defrost.
- Add scallions, garlic and ginger. Saute 30 seconds more.
- Remove the veggies from the pan and add them to the bowl with your cooked protein.
- Add 2 tablespoons sunflower oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the quinoa, spreading it out in a thin, even layer. Push down on it gently so it’s pressed against the heat of the pan. Let it cook for 3 minutes, untouched. Mix well, then smooth it out again and cook the quinoa 2 minutes more.
- Turn the heat down to medium.
- Push the quinoa to one side of the pan. Make sure there is enough oil in the pan so the eggs won’t stick, then add the eggs, scrambling them in the hot pan and breaking up into small pieces.
- Mix the egg into the quinoa
Combine everything and add the sauce: Add the protein and veggies back to the pan. Mix well. Pour the sauce over everything. Mix well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more to reheat everything with the sauce.
This recipe makes 4 generous servings but my family always needs something more, so I usually serve quinoa fried rice with store bought egg rolls or potstickers on the side.
For the best texture, use quinoa that has been cooked and chilled in the refrigerator first.
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Keywords: quinoa, fried rice, quinoa fried rice, tofu
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