This vegetable fried rice recipe is made with short grain brown rice, tons of veggies, and a protein-boost of eggs for a delicious 30 minute meal!
Fried Rice CAN Be Healthy
So this egg fried rice recipe. I have always looked at fried rice as something that isn’t a healthy Chinese food option and sort of a filler food. Not to mention, I’ve always wanted to figure out how to make fried rice taste delicious but still be healthy.
I’m here to change the way we (I) think about vegetable fried rice. In this recipe, I made a few healthy swaps to turn this side dish into a complete meal packed with veggies and WHOLE grains. It’s lower in sodium, gluten-free, and vegetarian. What did I do?
- Short-Grain Brown Rice > White Rice
- Olive Oil > Canola Oil
- VEGGIES GALORE
- Egg egg = protein
- Rice Vinegar – give fried rice that ‘takeout’ flavor!
What Type of Rice to Use
I’m bringing back one of my favorite grains – short grain brown rice. Really, once you go short grain you will never go back to long grain rice. It has the most amazing texture and is really good for digestion!
The only down fall is that it takes a little bit longer to cook on the stove top. Believe me when I say this – patience is key.
You want to make sure sure you let it simmer on LOW for about 40 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is a little spongey. If you try and speed things up and up it to anything hotter than low, you’re going to end up with some crunchy rice and no one ever liked crunchy rice. Amiright?
If you don’t have the time for short grain brown rice or just don’t have it, feel free to use any of the rice or grain substitutes (yes, you can use something other than rice) below! Just be sure to cook them separately and THEN add them into the fried rice.
- White Rice
- Minute Brown Rice
- Minute White Rice
- Frozen rice
How to Make Fried Rice
Step 1: Make the rice.
If you are making rice over the stove, start that process FIRST. It is the most time consuming part of this recipe. Whether you are using short grain brown rice or minute rice, have it ready before starting the other parts of this recipe.
Step 2: Create a flavor base.
Fried rice is such an easy flavorful meal! One of the ways to get as much bang for your buck when it comes to flavor is to make sure you sauté your onion and garlic in olive oil before adding the rest of your ingredients.
It is a small step you can take to really add savory flavor to the fried rice!
Step 3: Add the frozen veggies.
After sautéing the onion, garlic, and red pepper it’s time to add the frozen veggies to the pan. You can use ANY frozen vegetable mix that you would like. Just be sure the veggies are small (bite sized). We used a carrot, green bean, and corn, mix!
You want to sauté the frozen vegetables long enough that they are cooked, but not mushy!
Step 4: Scramble that egg.
The great egg debate! There is a debate in the fried rice world on whether you should scramble the eggs on their own before folding them into the vegetables or if you do it all at once! The biggest difference is when you scramble the eggs separately, you get bigger egg chunks.
Guess what? Either one will work! Do what’s best for you!
We love to make a hole or a next in the middle of the pan once all the vegetables are cooked, then we scramble the eggs right there in the middle of all of the vegetables.
After the eggs are scrambling the eggs, gently fold the eggs into the vegetables.
Step 5: Add the rice + sauce.
The last step is to add the rice and sauce to the pan (just a gentle reminder to make sure and use a big enough pan!). You want to add the rice and sauce and then make sure the rice has enough time to fry (or sauté). It give the rice that amazing cooked flavor!
Fried Rice 101
Will fresh vegetables work in this recipe?
Yes, fresh vegetables will also work in this recipe! Just be sure to cut them into bite size pieces. Here are some great fresh vegetable options!
- Pea Pods
Can I add meat to this fried rice?
Yes, you can add meat to this meal! Feel free to add some sautéed chicken breast, ground chicken/beef, or even shrimpies. All of the above would be tasty and a great added protein option for this recipe.
How to I store fried rice?
Fried rice will last in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!
Can I freeze fried rice?
Yes, you can freeze fried rice! We love to make a double batch and freeze half of it! To freeze fried rice, let the fried rice cool completely. Then, put the fried rice in an air tight container, date the container, and then place it in the freezer for up to 3 months!
To thaw the fried rice, remove it from the freezer and let it sit overnight. Then, place the fried rice in a pan with olive oil and cook it over medium/high heat until it is ready!
Recipes to Serve with Fried Rice
- 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 whole red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots (10 oz. frozen vegetables)
- 2 eggs, large
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- In a medium-size pot, bring 1 cup of short-grain brown rice and 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for around 40 minutes or until all water has absorbed.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium/high heat. Add red onion to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add garlic and the red pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Then, add the frozen vegetables and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Create a pocket in the middle of your pan. (as seen in the photo in the post). Crack two eggs and scramble with a fork. Cook egg for about a minute and then mix with the rest of the veggies.
- Finally. add in cooked brown rice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Mix all of the ingredients together and cook everything for 4-5 minutes and serve!