Quinoa Fried “Rice”

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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.

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.

30-Minute Meal

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.

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 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.

Ingredients measured out to make quinoa fried rice: sriracha, water, chili garlic sauce, quinoa, sesame oil, garlic, eggs, green onion, frozen veggies, merin, tamari, onion and ginger.

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!
A saucepan with cooked quinoa.

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. You can skip this step if you’re using a brand that is already pre-rinsed.
  2. 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.

Collage of four photos showing the process on how to make quinoa fried rice: sautéing onions, adding frozen veggies, adding quinoa and then adding whisked eggs.

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!

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

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

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Quinoa Fried “Rice”

4 from 19 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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    A saucepan with cooked quinoa.
  • Add sesame oil into a large skillet. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
    A skillet with sautéed onions and garlic. A spatula rests inside of the skillet.
  • 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.
    A skillet with vegetables, onion, and garlic. A spatula rests in the skillet.
  • 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.
    Eggs being added to quinoa and vegetables in a skillet.
  • Divide the dish between 4 plates and garnish with green onion and drizzle on a little sriracha, if using. Enjoy.

Notes

  • 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

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 312kcal Carbohydrates: 42g Protein: 13g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 140mg Sodium: 485mg Potassium: 334mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 7g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: quinoa fried rice

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    34 comments
    1. Sue
      January 13, 2022 AT 6:53 pm

      5 stars
      We love this recipe! It’s so quick, easy and tasty and makes a HUGE amount. We toss in broccoli or whatever leftover veggies we have on hand. This is much better than takeout and so much healthier!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 14, 2022 AT 3:42 pm

        Ah yay! So happy to hear this, Sue. Thanks so much for trying out this recipe and coming back to leave a review. It means so much to me!

    2. Katie Orth
      October 27, 2021 AT 7:03 pm

      5 stars
      I’ll be sharing your Quinoa Fried “Rice” recipe on my social media pages, but I have to stop for a minute and tell you how MARVELOUS this dish is!! I’m going to have to stop myself from overeating. WOW WOW WOW!! Well done and thank you for sharing this gift with the world!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 28, 2021 AT 11:36 am

        Aw yay!! So pumped to hear how much you enjoyed this recipe, Katie! Thanks so much for trying it out and coming back to leave a review and star rating. It means the world to me!!

    3. Samantha
      October 9, 2021 AT 4:55 pm

      5 stars
      We enjoyed this tasty and healthy version. I used a bit more coconut aminos and sambal oelek. I would like to try it with mirin or rice wine vinegar next time though (I was out). Thanks for the delicious dish!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2021 AT 10:35 am

        So glad you enjoyed this fried rice even with the substitutions, Samantha! Thanks for the review. I really appreciate it!

    4. 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!

    5. 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!

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