Home > Quinoa > Quinoa Fried Rice Quinoa Fried Rice January 3, 2020 | 8 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Quinoa Fried Rice can be ready in about 30 minutes. It’s easy to make, packed with protein, loaded with veggies and perfectly cooked eggs, and then tossed in a simple, delicious sauce. Pair Quinoa Fried Rice with my Asian Cucumber Salad for a filling and veggie-packed meal. Quinoa Fried “rice” is the perfect clean-out-the fridge meal. It’s great for using up leftovers and it’s so easy to customize! It’s such a nutritious meal that’s filling even without meat, thanks to all the fiber and protein in quinoa and the extra protein from the eggs. I hope you love this fun variation on typical Fried Rice. Can you use quinoa in place of rice? Typical fried rice uses leftover cooked rice, but in this recipe, we use leftover quinoa instead. Most times you can substitute quinoa for rice 1:1. Quinoa has more of an earthy, sweet, and nutty flavor than rice and it also has a more delicate texture. QUICK TIP Quinoa contains a natural coating called saponin. The saponins are used by the plant to protect itself from birds and insects, making the seeds very unappealing to eat. Many pre-packaged brands of quinoa are already rinsed by the manufacturer to remove this bitterness, and this will be stated somewhere on the packaging. If the quinoa is not of the pre-rinsed type, then it is necessary to give it a good wash-off in order to remove the bitter-tasting saponins that coat the seeds. Simply place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and run water over the grains to rinse off the saponin. How to use fresh quinoa Quinoa Fried Rice is best with cold, refrigerated, leftover quinoa. It helps the grains dry out a bit, so they don’t get soggy when recooked. But if you’re in a pinch and want to make this recipe with fresh quinoa, here’s how you do it: Spread freshly cooked quinoa out on a sheet pan (parchment paper-lined for quick cleanup) while it’s still hot, and let it stand for a few minutes. Place the pan in the fridge (or freezer) until fully chilled to use in this recipe. If you’re not familiar with parchment paper, it’s a great way to prevent sticking and it really makes clean-up easy. This is my favorite type of parchment paper. Variation ideas For more crunch: Chop some cashews to sprinkle on top. Add meat: Stir in some cooked, diced meat like leftover ham, chicken (or rotisserie chicken), or pork. You can also fry up some bacon alongside the veggies. Try cooked seafood (I recommend shrimp) too. Change up the veggies: Really, any stir-fry-friendly veggie goes well in this vegetable fried rice recipe. I recommend using smallish frozen pieces. Simply cook the veggies until they’re thawed and the water from them has evaporated. Some other ideas: broccoli florets, edamame, sugar peas, snap peas, celery, and cabbage. Vegan fried quinoa: Leave out the eggs and chicken bouillon powder, and replace the oyster sauce with a vegetarian version. You could also add in some cooked tofu. Cauliflower and quinoa fried rice: Add in a cup of riced cauliflower with the veggies; you might also want to make a little more sauce. How to make Quinoa Fried Rice Scramble the eggs (see photo collage above this one). Once scrambled, transfer them to a plate. Add oil and the onion to the skillet or wok. Sauté the onion with garlic and ginger until tender and fragrant. Next, add in the veggies. We use frozen (straight from the freezer — no need to thaw) and cook them until they’re no longer frozen and the moisture has evaporated. Add in the cooked leftover quinoa and stir fry it with the… Sauce! This sauce needs just a few quick ingredients whisked together that go in with the quinoa. Mix to coat everything. Add the eggs back in, toss in fresh green onions, and your Quinoa Fried Rice is ready! What can I add to quinoa for flavor? We season Quinoa Fried Rice with a simple sauce. We use: Oyster sauce: This adds a great depth of flavor to the quinoa fried rice. Soy sauce: Every soy sauce is different, and everyone has different tolerances for sodium levels, so add this ingredient to your personal taste. I’ve listed how much we like in the recipe, but you may want slightly less or, alternatively… Sesame oil: This ingredient is a great flavor enhancer; it adds a nice nutty flavor to the meal. Chicken bouillon powder: While you don’t have to add this, I feel like it adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish. Rice vinegar: Every meal improves with acid, and rice vinegar is the perfect hit of acid for Quinoa Fried Rice. Quinoa Fried Rice FAQs1Is Quinoa Fried Rice good for you?I consider Quinoa Fried Rice a healthy recipe — it’s loaded with protein (eggs and quinoa), lots of veggies, fresh herbs/aromatics, and healthy grains (quinoa). The sauce is not loaded with sugar and there really isn’t a lot of oil in this recipe compared to many other versions. 2Is quinoa a carb?Yes, but quinoa is a complex carbohydrate. The so-called good carbs, like quinoa and whole grains, are very healthy for you. The ones to watch out for are simple carbohydrates with refined ingredients like white sugar and white flour. (Quinoa is also loaded with protein and fiber.) 3Is quinoa better than rice?Quinoa is very nutritious* —it’s full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. From purely a calorie perspective, one cup of cooked quinoa has approximately 40 fewer calories than an equal amount of white rice. From a nutritional profile, white rice has almost 15 times more grams of carbohydrates while quinoa provides 5 more grams of fiber and double the protein. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids that the body can’t make (and needs to obtain from food). You can read more about the health benefits here. *While I have my background in Exercise and Wellness (B.S.), all the content in this post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a doctor or dietitian for any specific dietary needs/questions. More quinoa recipes: Quinoa Chili with sweet potatoes Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with a lemon vinaigrette Quinoa Enchilada Bake vegetarian recipe Quinoa Salad reader favorite recipe! Kale and Quinoa Salad with a balsamic vinaigrette FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Quinoa Fried Rice 5 from 6 votes - Review this recipe Quinoa Fried Rice can be ready in about 30 minutes or less! It's easy to make, packed with protein, loaded with veggies and perfectly cooked eggs, and then tossed in a simple, delicious sauce. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Fried Rice 5 from 6 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Fried Rice can be ready in about 30 minutes or less! It's easy to make, packed with protein, loaded with veggies and perfectly cooked eggs, and then tossed in a simple, delicious sauce. Course Dinner, Vegetarian Cuisine Chinese Keyword quinoa fried rice Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 2 -4 servings Calories 650kcal Ingredients1 tablespoon unsalted butter3 large eggs2 tablespoons olive oil1/2 cup diced yellow onion1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (~2 cloves)1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (~1/2 inch piece)1 cup frozen diced carrots and peas1/2 cup frozen corn1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets, (give a quick coarse chop to the large pieces)2 cups cooked quinoa day-old is best Note 13/4 cup green onions, slicedSauce1 tablespoon oyster sauce1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)1 teaspoon rice vinegar1 teaspoon sesame oil (or toasted sesame oil) InstructionsSAUCE: Start by whisking together all of the sauce ingredients except the sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside until needed. You might also want to prep all the veggies, too, because the cooking goes fast (dice onion, mince garlic, mince ginger).EGGS: Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. While the butter is melting, add all three eggs to a small bowl and whisk together. As soon as the butter is melted, pour the whisked egg mixture into the skillet. Swirl the skillet to get the eggs in one layer covering the bottom of the pan. Let stand for 30 seconds. Use a silicone spatula to fold the egg layer in half. Tilt the skillet to get any uncooked eggs to fill the empty section of the pan. Continue to press the eggs gently to the other side of the pan and tilt the pan to move any uncooked eggs to the cooking surface. Break up large clumps of egg with the spatula and then transfer to a plate and tent with foil. FRIED QUINOA: Add the oil to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Add diced onion and stir for about 3-4 minutes or until beginning to turn translucent. Add garlic and ginger and stir for about 20 seconds. Add in the frozen peas, carrots, corn, and frozen broccoli. Stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until veggies are defrosted and the excess water has evaporated. Add in the cold, cooked quinoa and sauce. Cook for 1 and 1/2 - 2 minutes or until the sauce coats all the ingredients.SERVE: Add in the reserved cooked egg and the green onions. Drizzle in sesame oil. Stir together, taste and season with salt if needed. Remove from heat, and serve hot. Recipe NotesNote 1: Quinoa: If you want to make this recipe with fresh quinoa, spread freshly cooked quinoa out on a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper for quick cleanup). While it's still hot, let it stand for a few minutes, and then place the pan in the fridge (or freezer) until chilled thoroughly. Nutrition FactsServing: 4servings | Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 294mg | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 951mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7755IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 6mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.