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 with the addition of protein-packed quinoa.

Win = win.

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

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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.

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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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128 comments on “Quinoa Fried “Rice””

  1. This is such a good recipe! I was in the middle of cooking when I realized I was out of soy sauce so I used Bragg’s amino acids and it was amazing!

    • Thanks Kimberly — we’re so glad you enjoyed it, and that’s good to know it worked well with Bragg’s amino acids!

  2. Made this for dinner tonight at it was AMAZING! Exceeded all my expectations. I added chicken for a little bit extra, but would definitely make again :)

  3. This looks so yummy! What could I make to go with this dish?

    • Thanks Heidi — we hope you enjoy it! And we love it as a side to Asian salmon, steak, chicken, etc. or as a main (we’ll just add chicken to it and have it with some wok-sautéed veggies. We hope that helps!

  4. Any substitutions for the butter? Can you use EVOO instead?

    • Hi Pam! We think butter works better in this recipe, and olive oil may clash with the sesame oil, so we would actually recommend a more neutral oil (such as vegetable/canola, grapeseed or safflower oil). We hope this helps!

  5. Could you email me the nutritional information. Please.

    • Hi Donnakay! Unfortunately 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!

  6. This is not gluten free soy sauce has gluten 

    • You’re absolutely right, Olivia — thank you for catching that! These should not have been tagged “gluten-free.” Fixing now.

  7. What are the directions to use rice instead? Thanks!

  8. Thanks so much for this very scrumptious recipe. I added some capsicum (peppers), corn and mushrooms as well as chilli flakes and fish sauce. It was the best fried rice I ever made. I prefer this to regular fried rice and can’t wait to make it again.

  9. I made this tonight and it was a HUGE hit. 

    I was curious if anyone knew the caloric value? 

    Definitely might be our new fav recipe! 

    Thank youuuuuu!! 

    • We’re so happy you guys loved it, Ashley — we appreciate you giving it a try! :) As for the calories though, we’re sorry but we are aren’t sure. 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!

  10. Very nice to sub out the rice to quinoa!  We’ll be doing this often — thanks for the yummy recipe!

  11. Hi There! Just wondering if leftovers can never frozen? Thanks!

    • Hi there! You can definitely freeze this, but we’d leave the egg out if you plan on doing this (it won’t hold up well in the freezer, though you can always add fresh scrambled eggs to your reheated leftovers). 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!

  12. Can you give me any idea what oyster sauce taste like? 

    • Hi Samantha! Oyster sauce doesn’t taste fishy. It taste like a thick, savory brown sauce (similar to soy sauce). We hope this helps!

  13. I’m just getting into cooking. What kind of pan do you suggest for this? Like how big, deep, and coating? I think my frying pan would be too small for this and the eggs would stick to the bottom. Thanks!

    • Hi Jill! It doesn’t need to be too deep, but it should be pretty big (we used a 12-inch skillet). It ccan be a nonstick but doesn’t have to be. We hope this helps!

  14. I love this recipe. I added grilled chicken and cook my Quinoa in Chicken stock and add a bullion cube. I also add small dice celery. Preferred is all.
    For a salad room temp dish it holds up and I add avocado.
    There is so much you can work with. I have never worked with Quinoa before and wow did this dish completely change that. The entire family loves it. And as a Asian woman I know fried rice. I’m super impressed that this is better. Thanks so much for helping me kick up my cooking skills.

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you for sharing with us, Sophia, we’re so glad you enjoy it, and we love that you added some celery! :)

  15. This is a staple in my house! I come back to this recipe time and time again. When I am in a pinch, I use frozen veggies. I also add shrimp! Such a flavorful and healthy dish!

    Rating: 5