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Easy 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!

overhead shot of bowls filled with vegan fried rice with wooden spoon and brown sauce

We make a lot of rice during the week to use in 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 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 as 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

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 tumeric make this dish absolutely delicious.
  • Hoisin Sauce- This is optional but highly recommended. May not be gluten-free, so check labels.
diced vegetables on brown cutting board

Vegetables to include

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 adding it 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

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.

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 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 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

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

overhead shot of bowls filled with vegan fried rice with wooden spoon and brown sauce

Veggie Fried Rice

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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!

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add corn and peas (after they have been thawed by running warm water over them in a colander).
  7. 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.
  8. When serving, I drizzle Asian Vegetable and Fruit Tonkatsu Sauce over the top of mine. It has no oil but does have sugar.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 7gProtein: 7g

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Veggie Fried Rice photo collage for pinterest

Jerry Clark

Monday 9th of July 2018

There needs to be more stars for this dish

Judy

Saturday 23rd of July 2016

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. ;[

Janice Welfare

Sunday 26th of July 2015

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

Terri

Sunday 26th of July 2015

Janice, I don't have a sweet and sour sauce, but I asked some of my plant based blogger friends, and Micheal with Klunker's Kitchen said he had been thinking about coming up with one. He just got back with me and this is what he has created http://www.klunkerskitchen.com/2015/07/sweet-and-sour-mushrooms.html?m=1 How awesome is that? Having one of the best create a recipe just for you?! Yay!

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