Quinoa fried 'rice'

Quinoa fried 'rice'

One of the great things about quinoa (and there are many!) is that it serves as a great substitute for white rice.

This recipe for quinoa fried “rice” allows for a lot of flexibility; like a typical fried rice, it provides a good way to use up leftover ingredients taking up extra space in the fridge. Also, you can use virtually any protein and any veggie. Leftover cubed chicken? Throw it in! Snow peas beginning to lose their crunch? Throw them in! You get the idea. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust the amount of soy sauce based on the protein you choose. For example, you may be able to scale back on the soy sauce if you use ham, which is already salty, versus if you use unseasoned tofu. One more tip: like a typical fried rice recipe, use day-old quinoa for best results.

If you use freshly-cooked quinoa, you risk ending up with some mushiness in the process of stir-frying. If you don’t have day-old quinoa on hand, you can refrigerate or freeze freshly-cooked quinoa for a few minutes, until slightly firm, so it holds up better to the stir-frying.

Recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen.

Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cooked, chilled quinoa (about 1/2 cup raw)
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Cook quinoa. See How to cook fluffy quinoa. (See note above about using day-old or chilled quinoa for best results.) 
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, add half of the oil. 
  3. Cook the chicken all the way through and slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean plate. Return pan to the stove. 
  4. Add in the eggs and gently scramble for about 30 seconds, until mostly set. Transfer eggs to the same plate. 
  5. Using the residual oil, cook green onion, ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  6. Add in chicken, eggs, Napa cabbage, frozen peas, and quinoa. 
  7. Toss and stir fry for 2 minutes, mixing everything well. 
  8. Pour in the soy sauce and grind in some black pepper. 
  9. Finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 135 mg
  • Sodium: 190 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 25 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 20 g