how to make fried rice vegetarian | Family Cuisine

Fried rice is a staple in many Asian dishes and can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetables or tofu for meat.

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How to make fried rice vegetarian

This recipe for easy veggie fried rice is loaded with a variety of healthy vegetables, tons of flavor, and is on the table in about 20 minutes! This is the perfect healthy vegetarian, easy, veggie-loaded side to any dinner!

Originally published February 15, 2016. Last updated February 18, 2021.

Reading: how to make fried rice vegetarian

A bowl of vegetable fried rice in a white bowl with a spoon.

Vegetable Fried Rice might be the most well received veggie-loaded dinner side on the face of Earth.

By kids. By veggie-iffy adults. By people who claim they don’t like healthy food….this is one side you can almost count on them gobbling up.

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Well, for one, it is all kinds of delicious. It’s packed with veggie, yes but oodles of flavor and great texture. Second, this vegetarian fried rice is a healthier version of the classic Chinese takeout…made with extra veggies, brown ride (or traditional white rice, if you prefer), less salt…so it feels like you are eating one of your favorite comfort foods!

And the best part is, this veggie fried rice is so easy to make and can be on the table in about 20 minutes!

Process shots of how to make veggie fried rice.

Why this veggie fried rice is so good…

  • It tastes so much like takeout fried rice! This recipe is husband and 9-year-old approved….so you know its good one!
  • Adaptable. Use the veggies I suggest in the recipe or use what you have. I really don’t think there is any wrong way to veggie-load fried rice.
  • Easy to make. Especially if you have pre-cooked rice and frozen veggies on hand! This dinner side will perfect for those nights when you don’t have a lot of steam for making dinner.
  • Veggie-loaded. Of course! That is what you are here for, after all!

Tips for making vegetarian fried rice

Be sure to cut your veggies small. Especially the carrots! That way, everything cooks up quickly.

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Use a food processor for quick veggie chopping. Just toss the veggies for this vegetarian fried rice recipe into the food processor with the “S” blade and pulse a few times. It’ll chop your veggies in no time and save you time.

Repurpose that leftover rice in this recipe! I love to make a batch of rice at the start of the week for ease, throw-together meals and that rice works great in this fried rice recipe. It also makes this recipe extra quick to make on a busy weeknight.

Veggie fried rice in a bowl with a metal spoon.

Suggested Adaptations

As I said, this recipe is easy to make your own, but here are some variations that you might find helpful

  • Add meat. This vegetable fried rice recipe is written to be vegetarian, but you can easily add some cooked chicken, beef or shrimp if that is your jam!
  • Add extra veggies. Finely chopped red cabbage, red bell pepper, fine chopped broccoli, mushrooms…seriously, pretty much any veggie I can think up would just make this extra colorful and delicious!
  • Replace the rice with cooked quinoa.
  • Use all riced cauliflower instead of rice. If you want to REALLY up the veggies on your dinner table, use only cauliflower “rice” in this fried rice recipe.
  • Make it gluten free by using coconut aminos or tamari.
  • Throw in some cooked tofu. I love this recipe for crispy tofu and it is the perfect addition to this vegetable fried rice!
  • Use olive or avocado oil instead of sesame. The sesame oil adds a great flavor to this fried rice, but if you have a sesame allergy to consider or simply don’t have it on hand, you can sub in whatever your preferred cooking oil.
  • Add some heat. Grate in some fresh ginger root or add a little sriracha sauce.

Other veggie-loaded sides that will rock your world

  • Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
  • Cheesy Cauliflower Nuggets
  • Chickpea Vegetable Nuggets
  • Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
  • Parmesan Kale Chips
  • Easy Greek Quinoa Salad

Loving this vegetarian fried rice and are hungry for more?

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Veggie fried rice in the skillet after cooking. There is a spoon in the skillet.

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