Easy Chicken Fried Rice is a quick and simple dinner you can make any night of the week. This stir fry is ready in just 30 minutes, full of healthy vegetables and kid-friendly, too!
Some nights (… a lot of nights…) I really don’t feel like cooking. Long days working and looking after my sweet monkeys are really not the ideal prelude to finding energy to spend time in the kitchen.
Stir fry dinners are some of my absolute favorites when I need dinner on the table STAT: Quick, full of colorful vegetables and my kids love them. This Easy Chicken Fried Rice is one of our favorites!
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice:
Read on for the detailed step-by-step instructions, or scroll down for tips and the printable recipe card.
Watch the Video Tutorial for my Homemade Chicken Fried Rice:
Key Steps to Make the Best Chicken Fried Rice:
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A chicken stir fry with rice is quick and easy to whip up, especially if you have cooked rice on hand. But don’t worry, here’s my tips to make this with freshly cooked rice, too!
How to make fried rice without leftover rice:
Cook the rice before you do anything else, then drain it and rinse it under cold water until cooled. Drain again well, then stick the rice in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
And note if you’re short on time: You can make this recipe with many frozen vegetable blends instead of chopping your own – stir fry mixes, onions and peppers or even basic mixed vegetables!
Then, make the recipe as follows:
- Brown chicken: Heat oil in a large skillet (nonstick makes it easier, but regular works OK, too), then add your diced chicken and cook until browned. It helps to pat the chicken dry before adding it to the pan, so it browns better.
- Sauté the vegetables: First, add the onions and carrots to the chicken and stir-fry until they’re starting to soften. Then add the diced pepper and stir-fry for another couple of minutes.
- Add the rice: Add the cooked/chilled rice to the skillet and stir fry until starting to look browned in places, then stir in the soy sauce and maple syrup (or honey).
- Add the eggs: Finally, push the rice mix to the side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the middle. Cook until just set, then cut into pieces with a spatula and mix with the chicken and rice.
- Finish the dish: Finally, stir the frozen peas into the fried rice and stir fry for another minute or two, until heated through.
- Serve: Take the rice off the heat, check for seasoning and serve immediately!
My tips to make the best fried rice:
- Dice everything fairly small: That counts for both the chicken and the vegetables. Not only will they cook faster, but I also prefer having everything bite-sized in fried rice.
- Make sure to brown the chicken enough: The more nicely you brown it, the better the flavor of the finished dish will be!
- Use cold rice: Either use day-old rice, or cook it fresh, rinse under cold water and then freeze while you’re cooking the rest of the dish.
How to Cook Fried Rice – the FAQs:
Can you switch up the veggies/protein?
If you learn how to make fried rice once, you can really make it any way you like:
With different vegetables, a different protein – or even with noodles instead of rice!
What goes with stir fry instead of rice?
You can use cooked Ramen noodles, cooked rice noodles, even cooked spaghetti! in place of the rice. I hear Cauliflower rice works, too, but ahem… Not my cup of tea.
What type of rice is used for fried rice?
I generally find long grain rice works best to make fried rice.
I’ll usually only have regular long grain rice on hand, but Basmati or Jasmin rice work even better and I use those when my husband overdid the grocery shopping again 😉
What you should avoid are starchy short grain rice varieties (like risotto rice or sushi rice) – they are too sticky for fried rice.
What oil is best for fried rice?
If you’re going for best, you’ll probably want to use toasted sesame oil. Now I’m not one to stock up on kitchen products I only use for a single dish, so peanut oil or any neutral vegetable oil works perfectly fine, too.
What to Serve with Fried Rice:
A stir fry with chicken and vegetables really is a full meal – if you don’t have the time, it’s perfectly acceptable to serve it by itself, at least it is in my house.
If you do want to round out the meal, try an Asian-inspired chopped salad, spring rolls or fresh fruit (pineapple!) or a fruit salad with a light citrus dressing.
Grab the easy chicken fried rice recipe here to print:
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 large chicken breasts diced into bite-sized pieces; pat dry for best results
- 2 large onions peeled and diced
- 3 medium carrots peeled, trimmed and diced
- 1 red pepper cored and diced
- 2 cups cooked and chilled rice
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Sesame seeds and sliced green onion to serve (optional)
- Brown the chicken: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken on all sides, until browned.
- Sauté the vegetables: Add the onions and carrots and cook until the onions turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the pepper and cook until softened.
- Cook the rice: Stir in the rice and cook until it’s starting to brown. Stir in the soy sauce and maple syrup.
- Cook the egg: Push the fried rice to the side of the pan to make room in the middle. Add the beaten eggs and cook over medium-low heat until just set. Cut into pieces with a spatula and stir into the rice.
- Finish the dish: Add the peas, stir everything well and cook until they’re hot.
- Serve: Serve immediately sprinkled with sesame seeds and sliced green onion, if you like.
Nutrition (this is an estimate)
Try these Asian takeout at home recipes next:
P.S: For more easy chicken dinners, check out our collection here: Easy Chicken Recipes