Easy Quinoa Fried Rice may not be authentic, but it’s a healthy twist on a classic with all of the flavor and less calories!
I’ve been on a “healthy side dish” kick with my Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Sesame Coleslaw Salad, and of course this filling Easy Quinoa Fried Rice. They are guilt-free indulgences perfect for pairing with any meal!
I love Chinese food!
Seriously though, I’m kind of obsessed. If you’re a frequent reader or if you’ve taken a peek through my recipe index, you’ve probably noticed a few Asian-inspired recipes. I can’t stop and I won’t stop!
Now that I know good Chinese food can be made at home, I’ve made it a mission to add a bunch of easy and delicious recipes! This Easy Quinoa Fried Rice is definitely not authentic, I thought I’d bring you guys a slightly healthier version of a takeout classic.
When I was browsing through the ingredients of my standard fried rice recipe, I contemplated whether or not I should use brown rice or quinoa for this particular recipe. While brown rice probably would have been more of a traditional substitute, I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan…
Especially in a dish where it’s so very prominent, I thought the flavor and texture of quinoa would be slightly less noticeable. I was right! It was light, fluffy and absorbed all of the flavors of the sauce- it tasted great!
Our whole family loved this dish! It’s easy to make and even easier to customize. If you want to add even more protein to this recipe, try some cooked chicken, ham or pork. If you’re looking to spice it up, add some Sriracha or red chili sauce!
How to make quinoa fried rice
QUINOA. Cook the night before so it would have plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator. Chilling the quinoa helps dry it out, firms it up and prevents the end product from getting mushy. (Do the same if you were using white rice.)
Spread it out on a large sheet, let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour or two before covering it. You don’t want to seal in moisture and you certainly don’t want condensation to build up on the plastic wrap!
PREP. Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat (I’ve used both a nonstick and a regular skillet, I kind of prefer a nonstick for this rice). Pour 1½ tbsp. of the oil into the pan.
EGGS. Once the oil is hot, add the lightly beaten eggs. Let them cook for about 30-40 seconds or until set, then scramble. Once the eggs are fully cooked, remove them.
VEGGIES. Add the remaining oil to the pan- when the oil is hot, add the garlic and peas and cook until the garlic is fragrant and translucent. Turn the heat up slightly and add the cold quinoa. Cook the the mixture for about 2 minutes, then add the eggs, broccoli, carrot and green onion.
SAUCE. Pour the soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce and stir until combined.
COMBINE + SERVE. Cook until the mixture is hot, serve immediately.
Tips, Variations + Storing Info
This easy quinoa “fried rice” is healthy, light, and packed with flavor and protein! What a great combo! Here are a few tips when making it:
- Make sure quinoa has chilled completely in the fridge and is no longer warm (we recommend chilling it for at least an hour). This will prevent your dish from becoming too mushy.
- For perfectly cooked quinoa, first rinse it before cooking to avoid bitterness. Then bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook just until it is tender, then drain in a fine mesh strainer. Let quinoa cool completely before chilling in the fridge.
- Make this into a main dish by adding in cooked chicken, pork, ham, or shrimp.
- For variety add in some snow peas, mushrooms, steamed edamame, chopped water chestnuts, or baby corn.
- Make sure your skillet is nice and hot before adding your cold quinoa. Drizzle a little water into the skillet and if it sizzles then you are good to go!
STORE cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or FREEZE in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave with a dampened paper towel placed over the rice, or warm in a pot on the stovetop until hot.
More healthy side dishes:
- Healthy Broccoli Casserole
- Apple Harvest Salad
- Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Sesame Coleslaw Salad
Easy Quinoa “Fried Rice” Recipe
- 3 Tbsp oil - vegetable or coconut but not olive oil
- 3 eggs - lightly beaten
- 5 cups cooked quinoa - cold
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 cup frozen peas - thawed
- 1 small head of broccoli - lightly steamed and chopped
- 1 carrot - cut into cubes and lightly steamed
- 5 green onions - sliced
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat (I've used both a nonstick and a regular skillet, I kind of prefer a nonstick for this rice). Pour 1½ tbsp. of the oil into the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add the lightly beaten eggs. Let them cook for about 30-40 seconds or until set, then scramble. Once the eggs are fully cooked, remove them.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and peas and cook until the garlic is fragrant and translucent.
- Turn the heat up slightly and add the cold quinoa. Cook the the mixture for about 2 minutes, then add the eggs, broccoli, carrot and green onion.
- Pour the soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce and stir until combined. Cook until the mixture is hot, serve immediately.