Put down the Chinese takeout menu, you’re going to fall in love with this homemade Chicken Fried Rice recipe! It’s a quick and easy dish that’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners or when you’re craving some tasty Asian comfort food.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
With its savory umami base, chicken fried rice is a yummy Asian one pan wonder that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance! It’s composed of very simple ingredients and was created as a way to turn leftover rice into something delicious. It’s like a culinary superhero of convenience, affordability, and taste that swoops in when you’re wondering what to make for dinner!
And you don’t need to be a fancy chef to make this recipe. It comes together in just minutes in a skillet with just 10 ingredients! Plus, chicken fried rice is not only delicious but also customizable. You can easily add other ingredients like shrimp, tofu, or your favorite vegetables to make it your own.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Fried Rice
- Quick and Easy! This one pan wonder is the definition of an easy recipe. It comes together with little prep time needed and is the perfect way to turn leftover rice into a yummy meal.
- Tasty Takeout Favorite! You’ll love this homemade version that captures the flavor of your favorite restaurant fried rice with savory umami notes, nutty sesame oil, and tender chicken
- Versatile Recipe! Whether you love meat, prefer vegetarian options, or fall somewhere in between, you can adapt this dish to match your taste, making it a go-to recipe for every kitchen.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cooked Rice: Ideally, use day-old cold rice to achieve the perfect texture. But any type of cooked white rice or brown rice will work as long as it’s cold. You can even make this dish low-carb by using cauliflower rice.
- Chicken Breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables: Frozen peas and carrots are the typical choice. But feel free to use any veggies you like.
- Green Onions: Gives the dish a fresh, oniony kick!
- Garlic: Always use freshly minced garlic cloves for the most intense garlicky goodness.
- Eggs: Lightly beaten to create delicious egg ribbons throughout the dish.
- Soy Sauce: I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce for better control over the saltiness of the final dish. You can use tamari as a gluten-free option.
- Sesame Oil: Adds a nutty aroma and depth of flavor that makes the dish addictively good.
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper season the overall dish.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for stir-frying the chicken and vegetables.
How To Make Chicken Fried Rice
This Chinese favorite is super simple! Just like my vegetarian fried rice, if you follow these easy steps, you’ll craft a takeout favorite that’s sure to impress your family!
Cook The Chicken
Start by heating 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. The oil must be nice and hot before you begin to stir-fry. Now, add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper to season. Then cook it for about 4 to 5 minutes or until it’s no longer pink. Once done, remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside for a later step.
Sauté The Garlic And Veggies
After you remove the chicken, add the other 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet. Next, add the garlic and saute it for 30 seconds until fragrant. Then add the frozen mixed vegetables and cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes until warmed through.
Cook The Eggs
Once the veggies are warm, push them to the side of the skillet and pour the beaten egg into the other side. Then scramble the eggs and break them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook. Now, mix the cooked eggs together with the veggies.
Add The Chicken And Rice
Next, grab the cooked chicken and add it back into the pan. Then add the cold rice and stir it into the mixture while breaking up any big clumps. Now, cook the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes to warm the rice through.
Finish The Dish
Now, let’s add some flavor! First, drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the rice and stir everything together. Next, stir in the green onions. Finally, give the chicken fried rice a taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can add a variety of ingredients to suit your taste. Popular additions include shrimp, BBQ pork, tofu, and different vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, or snap peas. Also, don’t forget you can season with your favorite herbs and spices for extra flavor.
While it’s ideal to use day-old, cold rice for the best texture, you can still prepare fried rice with freshly cooked rice. Just spread your freshly cooked rice on a tray and let it cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to reduce its moisture content before using it in the recipe.
Mushy fried rice can happen for a few different reasons. One is using freshly cooked, hot rice, which can become soggy during stir-frying. Another reason might be overcrowding the pan, preventing proper searing and allowing steam to build up. Lastly, excessive moisture from vegetables or sauces can also lead to mushiness, so be mindful of the amount of liquid you add.
- Use day-old rice. This drier rice texture prevents clumping and creates the perfect fried rice texture.
- Prep ingredients in advance. Have all your ingredients chopped, minced, and ready to go before you start cooking. Stir-frying happens quickly, so having everything at your fingertips is crucial.
- Cold rice and a hot pan. Make sure your rice is cold when it hits the hot pan. Warm or freshly cooked rice can become mushy when stir-fried.
- Scramble the eggs separately. Cook the eggs in a separate pan or push the ingredients to one side of the skillet before adding them. This ensures an even distribution of eggs throughout the dish.
- Serve it immediately. For the most enjoyable experience, savor your chicken fried rice immediately after cooking when it’s still piping hot and fresh.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then warm the leftover chicken fried rice in a skillet on the stove or pop it in the microwave. If frozen, you’ll need to let it thaw out overnight in the fridge.
Discover More Delicious Recipes
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Easy Fried Rice
- Mexican Fried Rice
- Southwest Chicken And Rice Skillet
- Vegetable Biryani
Craving More? Follow Along:
Chicken Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked rice preferably day-old, cold
- 2 chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables like peas and carrots
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook until it's no longer pink in the middle, about 4-5 minutes. Then remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen mixed vegetables to the skillet and cook until they're warmed through, about 3-4 minutes.
- Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet, then pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Scramble the eggs, breaking them up into small pieces with a spatula as they cook. Once the eggs are cooked, mix them with the vegetables.
- Add the cooked chicken and cold rice to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up any clumps of rice, until everything is well combined and heated through, about 3-4 minutes.
- Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the rice mixture, then stir until everything is well coated.
- Stir in the sliced green onions, then season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Tips & Notes:
- Day-Old Rice is Key: Ensure your rice is cold and preferably a day old – it fries up into a perfect, non-sticky delight!
- Vegetable Varieties: Feel free to get creative with your veggies – bell peppers, peas, or even bean sprouts add a refreshing crunch.
- Adjust to Taste: Tailor the soy sauce and seasoning levels to your liking, and if you enjoy a kick, consider a dash of chili flakes.
- Quick Cook: Keep things moving quickly once you start cooking to retain a vibrant, fresh flavor in each bite.
- Protein Swap: Easily switch out the chicken for shrimp, beef, or tofu for a delightful twist on this classic dish.