This Easy Chicken Fried Rice is one of our favorites: It’s ready in just 30 minutes, full of healthy vegetables and kid-friendly, too.
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. A total win!
This is one recipe I make pretty much weekly, with whatever we have on hand. Right now I especially love making it with frozen vegetable blends, I’ve added a few ideas for mixes that work well in the tips below.
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
Vegetables and Chicken
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!
Frozen vegetables: 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!
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 can you use 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.
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.
How to make Chicken Fried Rice
1) Brown chicken, then
2) add vegetables and sauté.
3) Stir in cooked rice, then
4) season with soy sauce and brown sugar (or maple syrup).
5) Push rice to side, then
6) pour beaten egg in middle.
7) Once just set, cut into pieces and
8) stir into rice with peas. Heat through.
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.
Fried rice FAQs
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:
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.
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 spring rolls or fresh fruit (pineapple!) or a fruit salad with a light citrus dressing.
More quick dinners
For more easy chicken recipes, check out my collection here: Easy Chicken Recipes
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
- 3 cups cooked and chilled rice long grain is best; yield from 1 cup uncooked
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ½ 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!