This is the Easiest Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe! Frozen veggies are used to cut down on time and money, so this protein packed vegetarian quinoa fried rice is perfect for a last minute dinner or lunch! Enjoy as a main dish with some extra scrambled eggs, or eat as a side dish to your favorite protein.
I randomly made this Quinoa Fried Rice recipe for dinner last week and it came out so good, that I knew I had to share the recipe here! This Easy Quinoa Fried “Rice” Recipe is not at all an authentic Chinese recipe, but it’s one of those quick and easy meals I could make and enjoy all the time. It’s easily customizable based on what kind of veggies you like and you can serve it with any kind of protein.
I’ve been enjoying using frozen veggie mixes lately because they make dinner so much easier. Most frozen veggies are good quality and they really cut down on prep time. You are welcome to use fresh though!
Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Quinoa – Traditional fried rice calls for cold, day old rice. I did use cold, couple day old quinoa for this recipe and it worked great. I’m sure it would taste just as great with warm, freshly cooked quinoa as well. The texture just might be a little bit different than if you used cold quinoa.
- Vegetables – As you can see, I used a mix of frozen vegetables for this recipe. I’ve been enjoying using frozen veggies because they really cut down on money and prep time. If you prefer, you can dice up your own mix of veggies though. You will need about 4-5 cups total.
- Eggs – I added four scrambled eggs to this quinoa fried rice for a little extra protein. You can omit eggs if you prefer. You could also easily use Just Egg vegan egg substitute.
- Garlic – You can use either fresh garlic or garlic powder for this recipe. I also sometimes add freshly grated ginger, but didn’t have any on hand this time.
- Soy Sauce – Soy sauce, or tamari, can be used for this recipe. Soy sauce is the main source of salt here and what is traditionally used in fried rice.
- Sesame Oil – Toasted sesame oil adds such a nice, rich nutty flavor to the quinoa fried rice. I only add 1-2 teaspoons because a little goes a long way.
- Rice Wine Vinegar – Vinegar is optional, but adds a nice fresh flavor when added at the very end.
- Optional Toppings – I like to garnish with some toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion. Chili onion crunch is also great if you like heat!
How To Make Quinoa Fried Rice
- Prepare quinoa a day or two ahead of time, so it has time to cool completely before cooking. I like to scramble my eggs separately and then add them to the quinoa fried rice at the end. You can do that, or you can scramble the eggs at the very end, in the pan with everything else.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in the frozen vegetables and about 1/4 cup of water. Place the lid on and cook until vegetables have thawed completely, 3-4 minutes. Drain any remaining water out of the pan and add in about one teaspoon of oil to the vegetables. Next, add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. If using garlic powder, instead of fresh garlic, it can be added at this time as well.
- Mix everything together and let veggies cook for about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove veggies from the pan and add in about 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add in the cooked quinoa and 1/4 cup soy sauce. Mix everything together and use the back of a spatula to flatten everything down. Allow quinoa to cook for about 3 minutes before stirring. Mix together and repeat steps one more time.
- Once quinoa has had a few minutes to start browning, add in the vegetables and scrambled eggs. Mix everything together well and add extra soy sauce or salt, if needed. Cook for another few minutes, or longer if desired.
- I like to garnish my quinoa fried rice with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Chili onion crunch is also a great addition if you like heat!
Fried Rice Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
- Is this recipe gluten free? Quinoa is naturally gluten free. Just make sure to use gluten free soy sauce, or tamari, in the recipe to make it completely gluten free.
- Can this fried rice recipe be made vegan? Yes, you can either omit the scrambled eggs, or use scrambled Just Egg. Tofu could be substituted for the egg, if desired.
- Do you have to use cold quinoa for this recipe? It is preferred to use cold quinoa, or rice, for a fried rice recipe. The quinoa is able to fry up better if it is cold, but I’m sure it would still taste great if you use newly cooked quinoa.
- How long do leftovers last in the refrigerator? If stored in an air-tight container, leftovers should last about 4-5 days. Leftovers can be re-heated on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Is this quinoa fried rice recipe freezer friendly? I haven’t frozen it myself, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be feezer friendly. I would probably suggest spreading quinoa mixture out over a large sheet pan, freezing that and then adding it to a freezer friendly bag, or container. Otherwise, it will all freeze together in a big block, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you don’t mind.