Quinoa Fried “Rice”

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.

A serving bowl filled with quinoa fried rice. A black spoon rests below the bowl. Just out of frame is a bottle of sriracha and a bowl of green onions.

This recipe came about for two reasons:

  1. Fried rice is one of Isaac’s favorite take-out items and I wanted to make a healthy, homemade version.
  2. I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes that require grocery store staples we typically have on-hand like quinoa, eggs, frozen shrimp and veggies.
An overhead shot of a bowl of quinoa fried rice. Sriracha has been drizzled on top and a black serving spoon rests inside the bowl.

Why Quinoa?

Don’t get me wrong, I love rice but quinoa packs a punch when it comes to nutrition. It is a complete protein which means it has all nine essential amino acids. It’s gluten-free and packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

Quinoa is a great substitute for rice is most recipes and works perfectly in this fried “rice” recipe.

Here’s What You Need:

  • quinoa – leftover quinoa is perfect for this otherwise cook quinoa before you start prepping the rest of this recipe.
  • coconut oil – to sauté the shrimp and 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!
  • 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, sambal oelek (you can skip this if you’re not a huge spice fan) and sesame oil.
  • toppings – fresh cilantro 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.

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Add 1 cup quinoa with 1 3/4 cups water 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 Prep Ahead of Time

This meal is actually really great for meal prep! You can either prep each component ahead of time or make the dish in full. 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.

Overhead shot of two plates of quinoa fried rice with a serving bowl of additional quinoa fried rice next to them.

More Quick Dinner Recipe Ideas

Quinoa Fried “Rice”

5 from 4 votes
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.
A serving bowl filled with quinoa fried rice. A black spoon rests below the bowl. Just out of frame is a bottle of sriracha and a bowl of green onions.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 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.


Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 495kcal Carbohydrates: 50g Protein: 42g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 365mg Sodium: 1060mg Potassium: 821mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 10g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: quinoa fried rice


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Recipe Rating

    1. Andrea Robinson
      April 30, 2021 AT 6:14 pm

      5 stars
      Just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 1, 2021 AT 9:03 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe, Andrea. Thanks for the review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Alan
      October 9, 2020 AT 5:12 am

      5 stars
      Fried rice with shrimp… hmmm delicious thanks for the recipe

    3. Haley
      August 11, 2020 AT 9:18 pm

      5 stars
      I made this for my family tonight (including a usually very picky teenager) and it was a hit! I added green onion and broccoli and served potstickers on the side. So good and healthy! Highly highly recommend!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 12, 2020 AT 7:58 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Haley. 🙂 I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, I appreciate it!

    4. Lisa
      February 12, 2017 AT 12:15 pm

      Question: Do you scramble the eggs before adding into the well of quinoa? Or does it matter? Thank you! I’m looking forward to making this tonight!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 12, 2017 AT 10:09 pm

        Hi Lisa! You can add the eggs in raw and scramble them into the rice as the start to cook! Enjoy the recipe tonight.

    5. Michelle
      January 4, 2016 AT 7:21 pm

      Just made this (minus the sambal thing and tamarind) SOOOO good! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 5, 2016 AT 10:19 am

        Yay! So glad you liked it, Michelle! There’s no tamarind in the recipe — maybe you are thinking of the tamari? Tamari is just gluten-free soy sauce so you can always add soy sauce next time if you want a bit more flavor. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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