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.
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 1/2-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
Step 1: Mix together the sauce
In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, oil, maple syrup and rice vinegar. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook 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. When the protein is cooked, set it aside in a large serving bowl.
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.
Step 3: Cook the veggies + quinoa + eggs
- 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
Step 4: 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.
- Category: vegetarian
- Method: saute or stir-fry
- Cuisine: Asian American
Keywords: quinoa, fried rice, quinoa fried rice, tofu