Quinoa Fried “Rice”

This Quinoa Fried “Rice” is a healthy take on everyone’s favorite Chinese takeout! It’s easy to prepare, and every bit as delicious as the original!

The key is to make sure you use leftover, cool quinoa. I like to use leftover quinoa that’s been stored in the fridge overnight, because if you freshly cooked quinoa, it has a tendency to get sort of mushy, and the individual particles of quinoa don’t separate like they do in the traditional version of fried rice. Starting with cooled quinoa allows each grain to “fry” and soak up all the sauce to mimic rice a little bit more.

If I don’t have time, I cheat and cook the quinoa, then pop it in the freezer until it’s chilled while I cut up all the vegetables and start to cook them.

The great thing about this, is it’s also totally customizable. If you want to add chicken, go for it. Shrimp? Go ahead. I tend to stick with a classic combination of onion, garlic, peas, carrots and scrambled egg, but occasionally I’ll throw in some crispy water chestnuts, baby corn or snow peas in the mix.

Pair this scrumptious fried rice with some spicy general tso’s chicken, this healthy slow-cooker orange chicken, or throw in some sautéed shrimp or chicken for a nice little lunch or dinner on its own.

Quinoa Fried Rice

prep time: 10 mins
cook time: 35 mins
total time: 45 mins

Serves: approximately 4 cups


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 scallions, chopped and divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled (still raw)
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed


  1. Rinse quinoa a few times in cold water.
  2. Bring quinoa and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt.
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  4. Transfer to a large plate and pop in the fridge or freezer to chill completely.
  5. Mix soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes. Add 2 scallions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the quinoa. Stir-fry about two minutes. Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the quinoa pour eggs in, scramble. Throw in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through, add remaining scallion and serve.

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