Quinoa Fried “Rice”

Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

A year ago I shared my hands-down, all-time, better-than-the-restaurant, finally-perfected, FAVORITE fried rice recipe.  Readers have made it hundreds of time since and love it.  I have made it countless times ever since and love it.  Let’s be real — the world loves some good fried rice.

But last week when a cold and stressful day hit and all I was craving a bowl of rice, a tiny problem popped up: no rice in the casa.

Argh.  So I scavenged my pantry and decided to try subbing in the next closest thing: quinoa.

Game changer.

Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by this one.  I regularly sub in rice and farro for quinoa in recipes that call for rice, and know that it is usually a great swap.  But this was fried rice that we’re talkin’ about here.  The holy grail of rice dishes, in my book.  Very, very rice-ish.

Still, it was rainy out and I didn’t want to traipse across the neighborhood to my Chinese restaurant.  So quinoa it was.

Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

I whipped up a batch of quinoa, made using veggie stock (my favorite).  Then in order to speed up the chilling process (essential for making fried rice), I spread it out on a baking sheet and popped it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, I chopped and sauteed my veggies and garlic, and got things rolling.  Then finally added in the chilled quinoa and the remainder of the ingredients, sauteed in lots of butter over high heat (my secret to fried rice).

The result?!

Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

Well, honestly, the result was the best compliment I could pay to this dish:

It tasted just like fried rice!!!
Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

Again, this probably should not have come as any sort of surprise.  But after finally landing on my perfected recipe for fried rice, I was a little shocked that quinoa could swoop in so stealthily and carry the dish.  But it did!  And it was just as delicious and comforting and satisfying as the original, but made a bit healthier (and still gluten-free) with the addition of protein-packed quinoa.

Win = win.

Look out rice, I’m totally making this again.

Quinoa Fried "Rice"

All of the goodness of traditional fried rice, but made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and chilled quinoa (*see instructions here for how to cook quinoa)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Directions:

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the cooked quinoa, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Serve warm.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!


Quinoa Fried "Rice" -- all of the great flavors of fried rice, made with protein-packed quinoa instead of rice! | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Alexa [fooduzzi.com] — May 20, 2015 @ 10:49 am (#)

    I’m not a huge quinoa fan, but I DO love me some quinoa fried rice! There’s a restaurant by me that serves the BEST quinoa fried rice, and I’m seeing a few similarities between their recipe and yours…I can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

      Thanks, Alexa, I hope you enjoy this! : )

  2. The Kentucky Gent — May 20, 2015 @ 11:04 am (#)

    YUM, this looks/sounds delicious. Fried rice is perfect for those cold, rainy days. Especially if you aren’t feeling soup. 

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent
    http://thekentuckygent.com

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

      Thanks, Josh!

  3. Millie l Add A Little — May 20, 2015 @ 12:11 pm (#)

    This looks amazing and I’m sure leftovers would be FAB!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:02 pm

      Thanks, Millie! : )

  4. Ana | Espresso My Kitchen — May 20, 2015 @ 12:24 pm (#)

    I’m loving the colors in this quinoa fried rice. This sounds amazing! I need some quinoa in my life, it’s been a long time since i’ve had it. Pinned!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:01 pm

      Thanks, Ana!

  5. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) — May 20, 2015 @ 2:52 pm (#)

    The flavors in this look unbelievable.  A must try!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Jocelyn!

  6. Jessie — May 20, 2015 @ 3:51 pm (#)

    What a great idea! Fried rice is a family favorite. I’ll have to give this recipe a try, looks amazing!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 4:01 pm

      Thanks, Jessie! Hope you and your family enjoy this!

  7. Cortney — May 20, 2015 @ 5:46 pm (#)

    Any suggestions for vegan options? I know I can substitute the butter for oil but what about the egg!? I feel like fried rice isn’t the same without it.

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

      Hey Cortney! I would try tofu. You can cut it up in little pieces (like scrambled egg), and cook it the same way. I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would be yummy, and would be the closest substitute! : )

  8. arnella kajtezovic — May 20, 2015 @ 6:10 pm (#)

    Um Hello! This sounds so scrumptious!

    • Ali — May 20th, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

      Thanks, Arnella! : )

  9. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — May 21, 2015 @ 9:56 am (#)

    I totally know what you mean about being surprised. When I first started making fried rice with cauliflower I literally couldn’t believe how good it was and how much it tasted just like…well…rice. LOOK OUT RICE!! hahah xoxox

    • Ali — May 21st, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

      Haha, what a revelation, right?!

  10. Christina — May 21, 2015 @ 10:39 am (#)

    What a clever substitution!

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 8:44 am

      Thanks, Christina!

  11. Coley @ Coley Cooks — May 21, 2015 @ 5:00 pm (#)

    Great idea! Substitutes are always a must-know! Your pictures are amazing and my mouth is watering! I HAVE to give this a try! 

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 8:34 am

      Thank you, Coley! I hope you like it! : )

  12. Savita @ ChefDeHome — May 21, 2015 @ 6:33 pm (#)

    This looks delicious, Ali! I’m a huge fan of quinoa  and fried rice too (amazingly!) This is a killer combo, would love to try soon! thanks for sharing!

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 8:34 am

      Thanks, Savita!

  13. Elizabeth — May 22, 2015 @ 11:56 am (#)

    can’t wait to make this

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth — hope you enjoy it!

  14. Jessica — May 22, 2015 @ 1:15 pm (#)

    When are we getting a Gimme Some Oven cookbook? I need it in my life. 

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 3:06 pm

      Jessica, you’re so sweet!

  15. kim — May 22, 2015 @ 3:54 pm (#)

    This looks great and cannot wait to try it.  Fyi…soy sauce is not gluten free….but I will try this using tamari!
    Thanks…love your recipes.  They are always so colorful.

    • Ali — May 22nd, 2015 @ 10:24 pm

      Thanks, Kim, I hope you enjoy it! : )

  16. Theresa — May 23, 2015 @ 1:18 pm (#)

    i always make my “fried rice” with quinoa – its the best! can’t wait to try out your recipe.

    • Ali — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:27 am

      Thanks, Theresa, I hope you like it!

  17. Meghan — May 24, 2015 @ 10:03 pm (#)

    Made this tonight and added some fresh pineapple–delicious recipe!

    • Ali — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:05 am

      Oooh, the fresh pineapple sounds amazing!

  18. Mollie — June 18, 2015 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    Hi Ali! Just wanted to leave you a comment about how much I love your blog! I have never really cooked at all, but I have been trying to slowly pick it up over the last few months thanks in large part to your blog & recipes! Everything I have tried has been delicious and fairly doable for a newbie…only a few small mishaps on my part :)  I made this quinoa fried rice tonight and it was so good! Definitely adding it to my list of favorites! 

    • Ali — November 4th, 2015 @ 5:33 pm

      Awesome!!!! I’m so glad to hear it! :) Keep cooking!

  19. Kat — June 20, 2015 @ 6:45 pm (#)

    Hi! The idiot that I am measured out 4 cups of UNCOOKED quinoa, so I ended up having way too much and proportions were way off. Still tasted awesome (with a few size modifications of course) and was guilt free!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 25th, 2015 @ 9:58 pm

      Oh no! Don’t worry, that’s totally something we would do. Easy mistake to make. We’re glad you enjoyed it nonetheless!

  20. Weezeebakes — July 6, 2015 @ 9:35 pm (#)

    i use corn instead of peas at times  and chicken broth instead of veggy

    • Ali — July 6th, 2015 @ 10:30 pm

      Both sound great! Hope you enjoyed it!

  21. Parveen — July 16, 2015 @ 3:36 pm (#)

    I made this last night and it was amazing!  Will def be making it again very soon!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 17th, 2015 @ 9:26 am

      Thanks Parveen, we’re so happy you enjoyed it!

  22. Dawn — July 19, 2015 @ 6:08 pm (#)

    We made this for dinner Friday after work. It was awesome and answered the Chinese food craving we had. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19th, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

      That’s awesome Dawn, we’re so happy you guys liked it! :)

  23. Natasha — August 3, 2015 @ 5:48 pm (#)

    I would have never thought to replace rice with quinoa. I made this tonight (this was also my first time trying quinoa) for dinner and it was absolutely delicious!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 4th, 2015 @ 11:02 pm

      Thanks Natasha, we’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  24. charlotte — August 12, 2015 @ 11:56 am (#)

    How many does this recepie serve?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 20th, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

      Hi Charlotte, it serves 4. We hope you enjoy!

  25. Brooke — August 26, 2015 @ 6:09 pm (#)

    This is amazing! Made it and love it! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 26th, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

      Thank you Brooke, we’re glad you enjoyed it!

  26. Lindsey — September 9, 2015 @ 9:42 am (#)

    Hi!  I’m excited to try this recipe!  But I’m a little confused about the dry vs. cooked.  How much dry quinoa do I need to make 4 cups of cooked quinoa?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 9th, 2015 @ 10:35 pm

      Hey Lindsey, we’re sorry for the confusion — 1 cup of dried quinoa should yield about 4 cups of cooked quinoa. Enjoy!

  27. Lindsey — September 14, 2015 @ 3:24 pm (#)

    It’s me, Lindsey, again!  I made this yesterday, and while it had great flavor, the quinoa seemed mushy and sticky.  I’ve never made quinoa before, did I maybe overcook it?  Or chill it in the fridge when it was still too warm from the stove?  Thanks for your help!

  28. Natasha — September 28, 2015 @ 8:12 pm (#)

    My mom directed me to your website and told me to try this recipe.  I don’t usually care for quinoa, but this was really good!  Thanks for the recipe!  I’m excited to try some of your other ones.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 28th, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

      That’s great Natasha, we’re happy you enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  29. Joanna G — October 18, 2015 @ 9:28 pm (#)

    Oh my goodness. I never feel the need to comment on recipes I get from the internet, but this one is spot on. :)

    At first, my husband was disappointed that there was no meat. Then he took it back. His exact words were “I like this more than fried rice” I’m so glad! :)

    (I will say, that I used a bouillon cube for the quinoa) Also, Instead of fresh carrot, for ease, I just bought the bag of mixed peas and carrots in the frozen section.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 19th, 2015 @ 8:04 am

      Thanks for taking the time to let us know Joanna, we’re so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed this! :)

  30. Anna B — October 31, 2015 @ 5:40 pm (#)

    Soooo DELICIOUS!!!! I LOVE IT! Made it for dinner the other night with spring rolls and it was too good! My daughter especially! Thank you for the recipe, it will be a favorite in our house :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 1st, 2015 @ 2:46 pm

      We’re so happy you and your daughter liked it Anna, thanks for sharing! :D

  31. Rebecca — November 12, 2015 @ 9:05 am (#)

    How many calories per serving? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 13th, 2015 @ 8:01 am

      Hi Rebecca! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  32. Phelan Fam — December 5, 2015 @ 9:14 am (#)

    Strange question but do you think I could make up a couple big batches and freeze?  I’m a homeschooling mom
    With three little kids and I seem to make this often and then post bedtime the kitchen mess I’ve made leaves me wishing I double it tripled my batch. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 7th, 2015 @ 8:46 am

      Hi Sara – not a strange question at all! You can definitely freeze this. Just let the cooked quinoa cool down completely, then transfer it to a an airtight, freezer-safe container, or a resealable plastic bag. If using the bag, press all the air out before sealing, then pat the quinoa into an even layer before freezing. We hope this helps!

  33. Nancy — December 21, 2015 @ 9:27 pm (#)

    my DD is allergic to sesame ( in addition to many other foods). Any idea on sub for the sesame oil or just leave it out?
    Looks awesome-can’t wait to try!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 22nd, 2015 @ 8:10 am

      Hi Nancy! We would just leave the sesame oil out, since it’s such a small amount anyway. We hope you enjoy! :)

  34. Melissa — December 31, 2015 @ 2:04 am (#)

    I’m learning to cook with quiona lately. Is there much difference between the colors? I typically just buy whichever is least expensive at the co-op (typically red). Does it matter?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 31st, 2015 @ 8:50 am

      Hi Melissa! There is a slight difference in cooking times (for example, black quinoa tends to need longer to cook than white quinoa, as it is more on the crunchy side). Red is somewhere in between. But that’s really the only difference (other than the colors), so we say keep buying whatever is most affordable! :)

  35. Michelle — January 12, 2016 @ 8:39 am (#)

    do you have the nutritional info for this?  calories per serving etc.?  looks yummy!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 12th, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

      Hi Michelle! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  36. Larry — January 13, 2016 @ 5:55 pm (#)

    Just made this and it is delicious! Will be on my dinner rotation! I added some sriracha sauce near the end with the sesame oil to give it an extra kick, and it turned out amazing!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 13th, 2016 @ 8:24 pm

      Thanks Larry, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! :D

  37. kaitlin — January 14, 2016 @ 11:23 am (#)

    Hi Ali, this looks delicious! Do you have an idea on the nutrition facts per serving size? Thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 14th, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

      Thanks Kaitlin, we hope you enjoy! Unfortunately though we aren’t sure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  38. Shanna — January 14, 2016 @ 6:36 pm (#)

    Fried and tried! Delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 16th, 2016 @ 9:47 am

      You’re very welcome Shanna, we’re happy you liked it! :)

  39. Sarah — January 24, 2016 @ 4:55 pm (#)

    I love your original fried rice for a quick dinner, but was hesitant to try the quinoa. So glad I did- I like it even more than rice!  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 25th, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

      Thanks Sarah, we’re so glad to hear that! :D

  40. Kerstin — January 25, 2016 @ 12:38 am (#)

    We tried this last night, and it was pretty good! We may make a few changes next time, but all in all its a great recipe!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 26th, 2016 @ 8:41 am

      Thanks Kerstin, we’re glad you enjoyed it! :)

  41. Ellie — February 3, 2016 @ 9:45 am (#)

    Loving yet another recipe from Ali! I did make some slight changes to some parts of the recipe but it turned out delicious either way! I used frozen mixed veggies as I found this was easiest for a person who is new at cooking such as myself. I then used chicken broth with no sodium to cook to the quinoa. I did not seperate the eggs when cooking and just combined that into the mixed vegetables as they were all being tossed together. Lastly, I did not mince my garlic. I intended to just crush the garlic clove and drop it in the fried rice for flavor and remove it once I was done cooking but I forgot! I don’t think it made much of a difference though.

    Other than those changes, I did all the measurements as mentioned! I HIGHLY recommend adding the oyster sauce. It really changed up the flavor. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to cook it for all my friends and family to try!

  42. Lizzie — February 15, 2016 @ 10:54 pm (#)

    Hey this sounds amazing!

    I’m currently in the middle of making this right now! I was going to have it for lunch tomorrow….cold? Hope this will taste ok haha?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 16th, 2016 @ 8:53 am

      Hi Lizzie! We can totally dig some cold fried rice! You can always reheat it too though. We hope you enjoy!

  43. Rosetta — February 20, 2016 @ 10:44 pm (#)

    Hey looks yummy but is it low calorie ? Could this be a part of a weight loss diet? I’m trying to lose weight but I can’t give up the fast food maybe this is something I can replace it with. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 21st, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

      Hi Rosetta! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  44. Kaitlin — February 23, 2016 @ 12:42 pm (#)

    Can you make without the sesame oil? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 23rd, 2016 @ 8:27 pm

      You sure can! It’s just for flavor. :)

  45. Caroline — February 24, 2016 @ 7:18 pm (#)

    Tried this tonight…. Just happened to have some quinoa to use up and went online for ideas. So glad I found this.   What a great recipe! My kids loved it, as did I!  Will def make again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 24th, 2016 @ 8:21 pm

      Thanks Caroline! We’re so glad this was a hit with you and your kiddos! :)

  46. Rosa — March 1, 2016 @ 12:36 pm (#)

    Way delicious. Best thing I have had since I gave up meat :)!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 1st, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! :)

  47. Melissa — March 3, 2016 @ 6:42 pm (#)

    This was so good! I was a bit timid to try this recipe at first, but the pregnant lady is craving Chinese food. This does the trick and it’s healthy!!! Thanks so much- I love cooking many of your recipes, and very glad I gave this one a try! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 3rd, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

      You’re so welcome Melissa! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed this! :)

  48. Michelle — March 15, 2016 @ 4:50 pm (#)

    Fixed this last week for my family, and it was a hit. Even my teenage son who thinks he doesn’t like quinoa liked this a lot. Making it again tomorrow. We’re not green onion fans, so I switched those out for some sliced mushrooms instead. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 16th, 2016 @ 11:05 am

      We’re so glad to hear that Michelle! And we think the mushrooms sound yummy—good idea!

  49. Jamie — March 22, 2016 @ 8:24 pm (#)

    Love this!!! Made it with Trader Joe’s rice cauliflower and it was amazing!!!!! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 23rd, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

      We’re so glad you liked it Jamie! :)

  50. Linda King — March 26, 2016 @ 4:06 pm (#)

    Just finished making this…It is absolutely delicious and healthy! Thank you for posting it!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 28th, 2016 @ 1:19 pm

      Thanks Linda — we’re happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)