This super easy quinoa fried rice with vegetables takes less than 10 minutes to make and uses only 7 ingredients. It's one of those meals you can easily jazz up with different protein options – like tofu, chicken, or shrimp – and is great for meal prep.
What would better than a big bowl of healthy fried rice? A bowl of healthy fried rice that's made with quinoa (hello, protein!) AND is ready in under 10 minutes. That would definitely be better.
What I love about using quinoa in fried rice is you're automatically adding a ton more protein, fiber, and nutrients, without affecting the flavor or texture much.
If you have someone in your house who is iffy on quinoa, this would be the perfect dish to try out on them.
How to Make Quinoa Fried Rice with Vegetables
This dish is ready in under 10 minutes. But what else does this dish have going for it? How about the fact that it only uses 7 ingredients!?
All you’ll need to make these bowls of deliciousness are…
- quinoa: I love having cooked quinoa on hand so that I can make this quinoa fried rice in less than 10 minutes. You can also cook it beforehand, but you need to let it cool completely before adding in your veggies.
- frozen veggies: I usually just get the mixed veggie blend, but you can use whatever veggies you want. Frozen helps speed up the process because they're pre-cut and pre-cooked!
- eggs: these are traditionally in fried rice and are so yummy! If you're 100% vegan, feel free to leave them out.
- garlic: doesn't garlic just make everything taste better? It really does! And we're cooking it in toasted sesame oil which makes it pop even more.
- toasted sesame oil (or coconut oil if you prefer): I prefer to use toasted sesame oil, but coconut also tastes super yum!
- gluten-free soy sauce: I opt for tamari usually because it's a bit more fermented, but you can also use coconut aminos if you're soy-free.
- ginger: and lastly, a little bit of ground (or fresh!) ginger brighten it all up and makes the whole dish sing.
I know it sounds overly simplified, and perhaps you’re even a bit skeptical that we’ll actually be able to recreate that takeout staple with such ease, but really, it tastes better than that stuff that comes in the white carton…I pinky promise.
Can Quinoa Be Substituted for Rice?
The short answer is YES! Quinoa is actually the perfect substitute for rice in almost any dish, especially when it involves cooked rice. Something like fried rice for example that uses cooked rice is a perfect place to use quinoa as a substitute.
Other ways you can substitute quinoa for rice include:
And obviously, it's perfect with quinoa fried rice too!
What I love about this recipe is how customizable it is. You really can swap most of the add-ins for whatever you have on hand or whatever your family prefers.
- Vegetables: feel free to use fresh or frozen veggies and whichever type you want. This would also be a great meal to sneak some greens into!
- Protein: if you want to bulk this dish up even more, add some extra protein. Tofu, chicken, shrimp even edamame, would all be fabulous additions.
- Spices: if you're not into ginger, you can totally leave it out or swap it with another ingredient. Chinese five-spice might be a nice little zing!
And if you have any more ingredient questions, feel free to drop those in the comments!
Is Quinoa Fried Rice Gluten-Free?
Naturally, yes because quinoa and vegetables are gluten-free, but you will want to watch out for the sauce. If soy sauce is being used in your quinoa fried rice, you'll need to make sure it's certified gluten-free as soy sauce usually contains wheat.
But if you make it at home – like by following this recipe – yes, 100% gluten-free!
Tips & Tricks for Easy Quinoa Fried Rice
Just a few simple tricks to keep the cooking time under 10 minutes:
- pre-cooked quinoa
- frozen veggies
You probably already know this about me, but I make a big batch of quinoa on Sundays to keep for the week. Even though I recipe test all week, I still like to have some quinoa on hand to toss it into my salads at lunch, have for a quick breakfast, or even a dinner when I don’t feel like having leftovers. I usually cook 1 – 2 cups of quinoa, which will yield about 3 – 6 cups of cooked quinoa. It might seem like a lot, but for someone who eats quinoa every single day (at almost every meal!), it never goes to waste.
And while I don’t eat frozen veggies often, they do come in handy for the times when I need something fast and don’t feel like spending time chopping and cooking. When I do purchase frozen veggies, I ALWAYS make sure that they are organic. They’re not too much more expensive than conventional and so much better for you. This bag is from Whole Foods and it’s just their Mixed Vegetable option, but really you can use whatever combination of veggies you like. Use what you have on hand or just pick up whatever’s on sale when you go to the store next. As long as there’s some sort of veggie in here, the recipe will be perfect.
Other Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
- Easy Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
- 5-Ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese
- 30 Minute Red Curry Noodle Bowls
- Instant Pot Lentil Chili
- Lemon & Garlic Wild Rice Soup
- Heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, stirring until fragrant about 30 seconds.
- Add quinoa and veggies and cook until starting to soften and coated in flavoring, about 2 minutes. Push this mixture to the side of the pan and crack both eggs directly into the hot skillet. Scramble with a fork until cooked through. Stir into quinoa-veggie mixture.
- Pour soy sauce over pan, sprinkle with ginger and toss to combine, cooking for another minute or two until nice and hot. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!