A fried rice type dish can actually be a healthy meal if made at home. It’s a quick and easy skillet meal that allows you to use whatever grain, vegetables, and protein you have on hand. If you have leftover quinoa, and like fried rice, you definitely want to try this quinoa “fried rice”. Make it for a quick weeknight dinner or make it during your weekend meal prep to use for work lunches.
Prep the Quinoa Fried Rice
Just like with regular fried rice, quinoa fried rice works best with leftover quinoa that was cooked a day or more before. However, you can use quinoa that you cooked the same day. What you need to do is chill the quinoa before using it. To do that quickly, spread your cooked quinoa on a baking dish and pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until it’s no longer warm.
Step One: Cook the Protein
Start by cooking the protein that you will use. This recipe is vegetarian and only uses eggs, but you can certainly use chicken or shrimp as well. Once your protein is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside. You’ll add it back in at the end.
Step Two: Cook the vegetables + Add Aromatics
Next, you’ll cook the vegetables. For this recipe, that includes onion, carrots, and peas. However, fried rice is versatile so feel free to use other vegetables that you may have. Diced red bell pepper, broccoli florets, or shredded cabbage would be good too.
This is also the step where you will add the aromatics: garlic + ginger. If you don’t have fresh garlic or ginger, you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or ground ginger powder instead.
Step Three: “Fry” the Quinoa
After the vegetables are cooked, add more oil to the skillet to “fry” the quinoa. Once the oil is heated, add the chilled quinoa and soy sauce to the skillet. Once everything is combined add a little toasted sesame oil to the mixture. This will add some extra nutty and umami like flavor. Finally, add back the cooked egg and you’re done!
How to Store Leftover Quinoa Fried Rice
Quinoa fried rice will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days if it’s stored in an airtight container. This dish can be eaten reheated or at room temperature so it makes a good no-heat lunch that you can take to work. Add some red pepper flakes or sriracha if you want to add some spice to it.
More Easy Skillet Meals to Try
Healthy Quinoa "Fried Rice" Skillet Recipe
- 4 cups cooked and chilled quinoa
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil (can also use coconut or olive oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium onion, chopped (yellow or red onion)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (use tamari or coconut aminos if gluten-free)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cook the eggs
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat one teaspoon of avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the eggs. Use a spatula to gently stir the eggs until they are cooked through. Transfer the eggs to a plate, use the spatula to break up the cooked egg into small pieces, and then set aside.
Cook the vegetables
- Heat two teaspoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes until they soften. Add the peas, garlic, and ginger and cook another 2 minutes.
"Fry" the quinoa
- Add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil to the skillet with the vegetables. Once the oil is heated, add the quinoa and soy sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to “fry” the quinoa. Add the sesame oil and cooked egg and stir for another minute to combine everything. Season with salt and pepper.