Easy Veggie Fried Rice

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

We cook large quantities of rice on a regular basis and that means there are often leftovers in our refrigerator. This super simple Veggie Fried Rice recipe is a great way to use up that leftover rice!

two bowls of vegetable stir-fried rice with a wooden spoon.

We make a lot of rice during the week to use in veggie stir-fries and other dinner recipes. I cook at least one pot of it weekly in my rice steamer to serve with Tofu Teriyaki, Sweet and Sour Stir Fry Veggies, and other vegan Asian-inspired meals.

That means that on any given day, there is either a pot steaming on my counter or there’s leftover rice in the refrigerator which makes pulling together a fresh batch of vegan fried rice a breeze.

Asian style bowl full of vegetable stir fried rice and sauce in background

Is vegetable fried rice healthy?

Yes! Fried rice is such a simple recipe to make, and it really is a whole meal in one pan. Loaded with rice and all the veggies makes it super healthy too.

This is not the greasy, overly salty Chinese take-out fried rice, but a fresh, light version that’s not so heavy the veggies get lost. And, it’s packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients from all of the fresh wholesome ingredients.

Ingredients needed

This fried veggie rice recipe is a great one-pan meal that combines grains and a wide variety of colorful veggies for a balanced meal that is very easy to make. This is such a versatile dish because any vegetables you happen to have on hand can be included.

  • Rice- Long-grain rice is best because it holds its shape. I love brown rice and jasmine.
  • Veggies- Always include onions and garlic for flavor. Whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • Sesame Seeds- Add white or black sesame seeds for a nutty flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth- Helps with sauteing and seasoning.
  • Lemon Juice- Gives that slight tang.
  • Spices- Garlic powder, ginger, and turmeric make this dish absolutely delicious.
  • Hoisin Sauce- This is optional but highly recommended. May not be gluten-free, so check the labels.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

Vegetables to include

diced vegetables on brown cutting board

You really can add any vegetables you prefer. Some of my favorites include these.

  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Green peas
  • Snap peas

Some additional Asian vegetable options might be water chestnuts, baby corn, bamboo shoots, and more!

brown rice cooked in instant pot with wooden spoon

Cooking options for rice

The key to this recipe is having leftover rice on hand in your refrigerator. It’s important that the rice is cold, so you’ll need to either plan ahead or be like me and nearly always have rice leftover from other meals waiting to be used up.

Freshly cooked warm rice just doesn’t do well and becomes quite mushy when added to the pan with the rest of the ingredients.

There are many different types of rice to choose from, but the healthiest is always going to be some form of brown rice. I love jasmine or Thai brown rice and usually purchase it online or at an Asian market.

Whichever rice you choose to use in this recipe, there are a few different cooking options.

  • Option #1 Rice Steamer: My rice steamer is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. We eat a lot of brown rice, and it’s just so easy to fill the steamer with rice and water, push the button, and walk away. It takes about 30 minutes and the rice never needs to be stirred and never overcooks.
  • Option #2 Instant Pot: Normally, brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook on the stovetop, but with an Instant Pot, the cooking time is cut in half and there is no need to even stir it. Simply set it and forget it. This is how I do it.
  • Option #3 Stovetop: The most traditional way to make rice without any extra appliances is on the stovetop. White rice has a much shorter cooking time, but brown rice is a healthier option and takes about 45 minutes. You will need to stay close to the stove for stirring at appropriate times according to the package directions.

Whichever cooking method you choose, remember that it needs to be done hours or days ahead of time so it can be cold from the refrigerator.

How to make vegan fried rice

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

Begin preparation by chopping and dicing the vegetables for this recipe. There are SO many to choose from. For this recipe, I’ve added mushrooms, carrots, green peas, corn, onions, garlic, broccoli, and cabbage.

I am often asked which knives I use personally, and I have to say that it is Victorinox. They are the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives and the quality is excellent.

sesame seeds browning in frying pan

If using sesame seeds, place them in a dry pan or wok and toast until lightly brown and popping. Pour into a bowl and set to the side.

Add a few tablespoons of veggie broth, onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms to the pan. This can be a wok or large skillet with lots of room. Saute over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.

Add cabbage and broccoli to veggies in the pan and saute another 3-4 minutes. If needed, use a few more tablespoons of veggie broth to keep it from sticking.

silver wok with stir fried vegetables

Add corn and peas (after they have been thawed by running warm water over them in a colander).

Add the cooked rice and all other seasonings– soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, turmeric, garlic powder, ground ginger, toasted sesame seeds, pepper, and salt. If needed, use additional veggie broth.

stainless wok full of veggies, rice, and brown sauce

Continue to stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes as the flavors of the seasonings begin to combine with the vegetables and rice.

stainless wok full of vegan fried rice with wooden spoon stirring

When serving, I drizzle Asian Vegetable and Fruit Tonkatsu Sauce over the top of mine. It has no oil but does have sugar.

healthy stir fried rice drizzled with brown sauce in white bowls on wooden board

Pro tips and substitutions

  • Long Grain- Always use long grain rice because it holds its shape best.
  • Cold Rice- Make sure your rice is cold because warm rice will become mushy when stirring.
  • Gluten-Free Version- To make this GF, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Storing- This will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

*Originally published May 8, 2015.

What to serve with fried rice

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Article

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from EatPlant-Based

overhead shot of bowls filled with vegan fried rice with wooden spoon and brown sauce
4.70 from 13 votes

Veggie Fried Rice

We cook large quantities of rice on a regular basis and that means there are often leftovers in our refrigerator. This super simple Veggie Fried Rice recipe is a great way to use up that leftover rice!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablepsoon sesame seeds optional
  • 3 tablespoons veggie broth
  • 1 cup onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup cabbage sliced, (Napa or regular cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn nibblets thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas thawed
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets (optional)
  • 4 cups rice cooked and cold, (I used Asian rice & brown rice)
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce gluten-free if needed and optional for recipe
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • The key to this recipe is having leftover rice on-hand in your refrigerator. It’s important that the rice is cold, so you’ll need to either plan ahead or be like me and nearly always have rice leftover from other meals waiting to be used up. See different rice cooking methods in the article above.
  • Begin preparation by chopping and dicing the vegetables for this recipe. There are SO many to choose from. For this recipe, I've added mushrooms, carrots, green peas, corn, onions, garlic, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • If using sesame seeds, place them in a dry wok and toast until lightly brown and popping. Pour into a bowl and set to the side.
  • Add a few tablespoons of veggie broth, onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms to the pan. This can be a wok or large skillet with lots of room. Saute over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add cabbage and broccoli to veggies in the pan and saute another 3-4 minutes. If needed, use a few more tablespoons of veggie broth to keep from sticking.
  • Add corn and peas (after they have been thawed by running warm water over them in a colander).
  • Add rice and all other seasonings-- soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, turmeric, garlic powder, ground ginger, toasted sesame seeds, white pepper, and salt. If needed, use additional veggie broth. Continue to stir-fry another 3-4 minutes as the flavors of the seasonings begin to combine with the vegetables and rice.
  • When serving, I drizzle Asian Vegetable and Fruit Tonkatsu Sauce over the top of mine. It has no oil but does have sugar.

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Pro tips and substitutions
  • Long Grain- Always use long grain rice because it holds its shape best.
  • Cold Rice- Make sure your rice is cold because warm rice will become mushy when stirring.
  • Gluten Free Version- To make this GF, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Storing- This will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Fiber: 7g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Please rate & share if you like this!Leave a comment or share on Pinterest or Instagram

About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

Similar Posts

5 Comments

  1. This is just the kind of dish I’m looking for – thanks so much for sharing your expertise! I’m only really good at the eating part. ;[

  2. I love sweet and sour sauce over fired rice. Do you have a nice recipe for that too?
    Thanks,
    Janice

4.70 from 13 votes (11 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating