Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice is such a simple, but versatile dish. I love making it at home because I get to control the amount of fat and other ingredients, plus I can load it up with all kinds of vegetables. Most of all, fried rice is a perfect way to turn last night’s leftovers into a brand new, delicious dinner.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Why Use Leftovers?

The best thing about leftover rice is fried rice. Don’t discard that leftover rice! Leftover rice makes the best fried rice. Because, as the cooked rice sits in the fridge, it dries out a little. Then the grains become nicely separated. Which sets the perfect stage for making a delicious, fried rice dish.

I like to make extra rice when I cook these yummy Cajun Red Beans & Rice, so there is some left for fried rice. Even If you don’t have leftover rice, it’s worthwhile to cook some rice ahead of time, let it cool, and then sit in the fridge for a least a few hours, if not overnight. And, to be honest, if you try making this with freshly cooked rice, you will end up with a sticky, mushy mess. I don’t recommend it.

Any cooked rice, brown or white, will work for making this dish. My favourite is basmati, but jasmine or just plain long grain works just as well.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Use Whatever’s In the Fridge For Fried Rice

Vegetable fried rice is a pretty simple dish. But you have to plan ahead just a little here. The flavours of ginger and garlic, plus soy and sesame, really make this dish shine. And adding tofu makes it a complete meal. If you aren’t vegetarian, you can sub the tofu for chicken, or any leftover meat that you have. The best fried rice is when you have to make do with what you have in the fridge.

You can use all kinds of veggies, fresh or frozen, and in fact, frozen peas are what I’m using here. Mixed frozen peas and carrots work really well, too. If you have leftover cooked veggies, all the better for a true leftover masterpiece. Just about any vegetable will work, except maybe potatoes. But, try sweet potato cubes, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, or mushrooms.

You can also crack an egg and scramble it up into your rice, as I often do, for extra protein, texture, and flavour. Sometimes I even like to add some chopped peanuts or cashews if I have them.

Cookware & Prep

A wok is ideal for making fried rice, but any large skillet will work, too. I have found that non-stick skillets still need some oil to give the rice the right “fried” texture. Peanut oil is ideal here for its low smoking point. Have all of your ingredients ready and close at hand when you begin.

Fried Rice – Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

Leftover rice works best in this easy and quick to make, delicious vegetarian fried rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 390 kcal


  • 2 tbsp peanut or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup firm tofu cubed
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok over high heat.
  • Add onion and bell pepper, cooking and stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add tofu to wok and cook, stirring, until browned on all sides. Transfer to the plate with the vegetables.
  • Add remaining oil to the wok.
  • Add ginger and garlic, then rice, breaking up any clumps with a fork
  • Cook, stirring, until rice is separated and lightly browned.  Add stock, wine, or water, and cook, stirring for about one minute.
  • Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and fish sauce, stirring until everything is coated and very hot.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, parsley, or green onion.


Serving: 1gCalories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 12gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 707mgPotassium: 386mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1310IUVitamin C: 54.8mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1.9mg
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

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12 thoughts on “Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

  1. Thanks a lot for the recipe.
    The left over rice can be a delicious food.
    Will try the recipe very soon.
    Keep on posting this kind of recipe.
    Let’s hope for the best.

  2. I appreciate this dish, I continuously have left-over rice, never ever before think making deep-fried rice. I am not a follower of tofu, so would potentially simply leave it out or include some prwans and also I generally just utilize soy sauce … It looks really tasty! So I’ll need to try this dish. Another thing to claim! I appreciate your electronic photography Colleen!!!!

    1. Thanks Alma. Prawns, chicken or any protein would work in place of the tofu, for sure. Or like you say, you can just leave out the protein and the fried rice can be a side dish. Cheers.

  3. So delicious! I love your photography. What kind of background are you using in these? I like the distressed wood look and am looking for photography props. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Dylan! I found that little distressed painted table at a garage sale on Vancouver Island for $20.00. I love it for the backdrop, and also because it is exactly the height of my “studio” window. Garage sales and thrift stores are always worth checking out for those kinds of things. Happy prop hunting! 🙂

  4. Mmmmm! I haven’t made fried rice in forever. I usually just chuck everything in and just use soy sauce…this recipe sounds delish.

  5. I love this recipe, Colleen! I ALWAYS have left-over rice, never think to make fried rice and am really sick of rice pudding! I am not a fan of tofu, so would probably just leave it out or add some turkey sausage. It looks really delicious!

  6. I love the tofu in this, it looks kinda crumbled and makes it look like it has egg in it. I haven’t had proper fried rice in YEARS, so I’ll have to try this recipe. It looks amazing!

    1. Thanks Brittany, I kind of rough chopped, crumbled the firm tofu, which in the recipe, you could never tell the difference from egg. So happy that you like it!

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