Quinoa Fried “Rice”
Published Oct 01, 2021
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This quinoa fried rice is a healthy take on traditional fried rice made with protein-packed quinoa. It’s packed with veggies and takes less and 30 minutes to whip up. It’s the perfect weeknight meal.
If you like fried rice, you’re going to fall in love with this quinoa fried “rice” recipe! It’s loaded with veggies, packed with protein and so easy to toss together for a quick weeknight meal.
This recipe came about because 1) fried rice is one of Isaac’s favorite take-out items so I wanted to make a healthy, homemade version and 2) I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes that require grocery store staples we typically have on-hand like quinoa, eggs and frozen veggies.
Want to know the best part of this recipe? It comes together in under 30 minutes! Once the quinoa is cooked and the veggies are sautéed, combine everything in a large skillet, add your sauce ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Then scramble your eggs and serve! Easy enough to whip on a busy weeknight.
Looking for another easy weeknight meals? Check out my other 30 minute recipes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love rice but quinoa packs a punch when it comes to nutrition and is a great substitute for rice in most recipes like this one.
When it comes to overall nutrition, quinoa is a healthier choice than rice, especially white rice which is processed and not considered a whole grain.
Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids including lysine… a rare find when it comes to plant-based foods.
And while the calories are similar, around 200 per cup for quinoa and rice, 1 cup of quinoa has double the amount of protein and fiber than 1 cup of white rice.
Quinoa also has more micronutrients like iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and calcium. You can learn more about the health benefits of quinoa here.
Here’s What You Need:
- quinoa – leftover quinoa is perfect for this recipe otherwise cook your quinoa before you start prepping the rest of this recipe. I tend to use regular white or tri-color quinoa most often, but any variety of quinoa will work. My favorite brand of quinoa is Ancient Harvest, mostly because their quinoa comes pre-rinsed, which is a time saver. I’ve used this brand for years!
- sesame oil – to sauté the vegetables in. Olive oil or avocado oil would also work.
- vegetables – yellow onion, garlic and a bag of frozen veggies. Of course you can use your favorite fresh veggies as well but I went for quick and easy with the frozen vegetables!
- fresh ginger – compliments the flavor perfectly! Peel a piece of fresh ginger and then grate for the best flavor.
- eggs – an important part of fried rice! You’ll scramble the eggs in at the end of cooking for added protein, texture and flavor.
- sauce – a delicious combination of tamari (you can also use soy sauce or coconut aminos), mirin (rice wine vinegar is a good sub) and sambal oelek (you can skip this if you’re not a huge spice fan).
- toppings – sliced green onions and sriracha are both optional but highly recommended!
How to Cook Quinoa
I like to meal prep quinoa at the beginning of the week and use leftovers in this recipe. Making the perfect batch of quinoa is actually pretty simple.
- Rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. You can skip this step if you’re using a brand that is already pre-rinsed.
- Add 1 cup quinoa with 1 3/4 cups water (you can also use veggie broth for added flavor) and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
That’s it! Use the quinoa as directed in the recipe below.
How to Make Quinoa Fried “Rice”
Once your quinoa is cooked, this recipe comes together in minutes:
Saute: Saute your onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the frozen veggies and cook until heated through.
Combine: Stir in the cooked quinoa, tamari, mirin and sambal oelek (if using). Cook until evenly coated, about 2 minutes.
Scramble eggs: Make a well in the center of the quinoa mixture and pour the eggs into the well. Cook and stir until eggs are scrambled and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve: Divide the dish between 4 plates and garnish with green onion and drizzle on a little sriracha for extra kick if you’d like. Enjoy!
Add More Protein
This recipe has a good amount of protein from the quinoa and eggs, but if you’d like to add more protein, I recommend adding shrimp or chicken! Just add 1 cup cooked shrimp and/or cooked shredded chicken when you add the quinoa in step 3! Tofu, tempeh or edamame would also be delicious additions.
How to Prep Quinoa Fried “Rice” Ahead of Time
This meal is actually really great for meal prep! You can either prep and store your quinoa, veggies and eggs separately in the fridge or make the dish in full and store it in the fridge. Let the fried quinoa cool slightly and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I recommend reheating in a skillet on the stovetop.
Popular Quinoa Recipes
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Quinoa Salad
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
- Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Strawberry Quinoa Parfait
More Quick Dinner Recipe Ideas
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Pineapple Fried Quinoa
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Coconut Shrimp Curry
- Asian Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
- Sriracha Cauliflower and Chickpea Sheet Pan Meal
- Tofu Stir-Fry
Quinoa Fried “Rice”
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 1 16 oz bag frozen veggies (a blend of peas, carrots, green beans and corn)
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 Tablespoons mirin, optional
- ½–1 Tablespoon sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce
- sliced green onion, for garnish
- sriracha, for topping (optional)
- Prepare quinoa if you haven’t already: Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes; fluff quinoa with a fork. Refrigerate until cool. This step can be done the day before.
- Add sesame oil into a large skillet. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the frozen veggies and cook until heated through. Add in cooked quinoa then add in tamari, mirin (if using) and sambal oelek. Use however much sambal oelek you’d like depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook and stir until evenly coated, about 2 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of the quinoa mixture. Pour eggs into the well; cook and stir until eggs are scrambled and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the dish between 4 plates and garnish with green onion and drizzle on a little sriracha, if using. Enjoy.
- Mirin: Rice wine vinegar would be a good substitute if you don’t have mirin.
- Frozen veggies: Feel free to use fresh veggies if you prefer!
- Add protein: If you’d like to add more protein, I recommend adding shrimp or chicken! Just add 1 cup cooked shrimp and/or cooked shredded chicken when you add the quinoa in step 3!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.