Hearty Chicken Fried Rice is a classic Chinese dish that is packed full of goodness from leftover rice, tender pan-seared chicken, root vegetables, fragrant fresh garlic, scrambled egg, and tangy green onions! Ready in just 30 minutes it's ideal on busy weeknights for feeding the whole family - fast!
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When it comes to world cuisines, Chinese food is at the top of Paul's list. He loves going out for Chinese food and I have recreated some of his favorites at home like Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Asian Lettuce Wraps, Honey Walnut Shrimp, and Homemade Egg Rolls.
Chinese Fried Rice is another one of our favorite dishes when we go to a Chinese restaurant or get Chinese take-out for dinner. But with this great recipe, I know I can get a restaurant-quality version in my own kitchen any time I want!
It's actually best made with day-old rice - it's the 'secret ingredient' if you can call it that. Rice that was made the day before will dry out and absorb the flavors of the other ingredients better. A good fried rice recipe will also give you that crumbly texture we're looking for, instead of it being freshly cooked and sticky.
While adding chicken for protein is our favorite version, this recipe is also good with shrimp or pork. Fried rice can even be made with leftover chicken or turkey, so it really is perfect!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easily double or triple this recipe for a large crowd for a potluck.
- Made with basic ingredients, you can use fresh veggies or frozen ones.
- This easy recipe takes just 30 minutes to make!
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Rice - Use day-old cooked rice for the best results here. Jasmine rice or another long grain white rice is ideal, but you can use brown rice if you prefer.
- Chicken - Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs are best for this recipe.
- Oil - I used vegetable oil, but you can use canola oil or peanut oil if you like.
- Peas and Carrots - Use fresh or frozen peas and carrots for this recipe.
- Onion - Use a white onion for a great savory flavor.
- Green Onions - We'll use green onions for an added fresh sharpness to this dish.
- Garlic - Use freshly minced garlic for the most fragrant flavor.
- Eggs - Adds healthy protein to this dish to make it hearty and comforting, perfect for weeknight meals!
- Soy Sauce - Use light or all-purpose soy sauce to add that classic salty, umami, sweet Chinese flavor that isn't too overpowering.
- Sesame Oil - Pure sesame oil is perfect for adding a great nutty flavor. This is one of my favorite ingredients!
- Salt & Pepper - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are all the seasoning needed to enhance the flavors of this dish.
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
- Season chicken. Preheat a large skillet or large wok over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
- Sauté onions. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the chopped onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add garlic. Next, add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add peas and carrots. Then, add the peas and carrots, and cook another 4 minutes until the carrots have softened.
- Add rice and chicken. Add the rice and cooked chicken, as well as the white parts of the green onions, and soy sauce. Mix everything together and cook for 2 minutes until warm. Push to the side of the pan.
- Add eggs and cook. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the empty side of the pan. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Scramble until almost fully cooked, then stir into the rice, chicken, and vegetables. Serve warm.
Soy sauce and pure sesame oil will give this fried rice those great salty, sweet, umami flavors. Chopped green onions are great to add a fresh tang as well, and, of course, the garlic and onion help to meld these savory flavors together.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or in the oven covered in aluminum foil. Add a little water to the dish so it doesn't dry out when reheating.
Tips for Success
- Cook your chicken in a Teriyaki Sauce for even more flavor!
- If you're not using leftover rice from another meal, make the rice the day before and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
What to Serve with Chicken Fried Rice
Serve Chicken Fried Rice as a main course with my Homemade Egg Rolls as an appetizer, and my Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy for a great side dish to make a delicious meal the whole family will love! These Asian Lettuce Wraps would also be great to serve with these dishes for a buffet-style dinner.
Substitutions and Variations
- Jasmine or long grain rice is our preference, but really any leftover rice like brown rice will work.
- You can use leftover chicken for this recipe too, just reheat thoroughly before stirring everything together.
- You can use 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, and ¾ cup frozen peas in place of the frozen peas and carrots.
- Add a little bit of oyster sauce for a richer flavor.
- Change up the veggies to include chopped bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms.
- Add some cooked, chopped bacon to the mix for extra protein and an added smoky bacon flavor.
More Chinese Takeout Inspired Recipes
- Easy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Quick & Healthy Egg Roll in a Bowl
- The BEST Orange Chicken
- Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Beef with Broccoli
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Mongolian Beef (P.F. Changs Copycat)
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
- 3 cups day-old cooked rice (jasmine rice or long-grain white rice)
- 1 pound chicken (boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1½ cups frozen peas and carrots
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 green onions, chopped, then white and green parts separated
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Once hot, add the chopped onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the peas and carrots. Cook another 4 minutes until carrots have softened.
- Add rice, cooked chicken, white parts of the green onions, and soy sauce. Mix everything together and cook for 2 minutes until warm. Push to the side of the pan.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the empty side of the pan. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Scramble until almost fully cooked, then stir into the rice, chicken, and vegetables.
- Serve warm.
- Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Reheat in the microwave, or in the oven covered in aluminum foil. Add a little water to the dish so it doesn't dry out when reheating.