Quinoa Fried “Rice”


I’ve wanted to share this recipe for a while, but thought I might be overloading you with too many healthy recipes – and if you’re anything like me, you can’t eat super healthy everyday. So after a slightly indulgent intermission of vegetarian but not-super-healthy-for-you baked rigatoni, I thought it would be a good idea to balance life out with something you can feel really good about eating. It is all about balance after all, right?

I thought I had this brilliant one-of-a-kind idea to use quinoa instead of white rice to make fried rice, but after a little perusing through Foodgawker.com, I realized that I wasn’t the first person to come up with this idea. Hate when that happens. But I pushed on, and decided to share anyways. With all the awesome food blogs out there in the realm of the internet, there are bound to be a couple of repeat ideas – and you know what? I’m ok with that.

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.

done 1

4.9 from 14 reviews
Quinoa Fried Rice
Serves: 4 or 6-8 side portions
  • 1 cup quinoa (or 2½ to 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa)
  • 1 ½ cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped and divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled (still raw)
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Sauce:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil
  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 let set for five minutes or so. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Cool and store in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  5. Mix teriyaki, 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.


  1. Love this idea! You’re the first person I’ve heard use a substitute of quinoa for rice for this dish, so I’ll pretend it was your idea to begin with!

  2. I added more vegetables and prawns and a bit of brown sugar to the sauce but oh my god this was absolutely amazing, thanks so much for the recipe! Will be a staple in my house now.

  3. What a great and inspiring idea! I’ve got to try this.

  4. Literally making this right now! I’m subbing hoisin for teriyaki sauce though since I have it on hand! Yummm

  5. Whitney says:

    Totally going to try this. if the Quinoa isn’t cooked do you cook it first?

    • Yes, you definitely want to use cooked quinoa. The recipe explains how to cook it for this particular dish, but if you have leftover quinoa, you can also use that.

  6. What other sauce could you use for this dish? My daughter isn’t suppose to have soy but she loves Asian dishes!

    • You could omit the soy sauce and use worcestershire sauce and a tiny bit of water instead, the taste will be slightly different but will be close enough!

    • You might also try Coconut Aminos, they’re a great soy substitute. Some people can tell a difference in the flavor, but I’m not one of them. :-) It can be hard to find in grocery stores, but if your store has a Gluten Free section they may have it, if not, try Amazon.

    • Use liquid Aminos. Supposed to taste just like soy sauce but waaaay healthier for you. Bragg’s has some you can find pretty easily.

    • You could use coconut aminos which is even healthier than Bragg’s aminos.

  7. Hi, I just googles quinoa and found that in comparison to rice, it is higher in calorie, carbs, fat and fiber. High fiber levels are good, and i’m guessing that the fats are of the good kind so that is also good, but the calories and the carbs, isn’t that bad? I’m currently trying to loose weight and i’m trying to monitor my intake very closely. I have cut out rice and potatoes from my diet, trying to keep a maximum limit of 400 calories for dinner. Would you say one serving of this dish qualifies? I’m accustomed to a rice/potato + meat dinner, so cutting it out from my diet can be frustrating when trying to find recipes involving vegetables I do enjoy. So finding this recipe gave me a tiny little hope that I might not have to torture myself everyday (or at least till I get accustomed to it).

  8. I have made this three times, and my husband loves this recipe! I don’t use carrots and peas, but I replace it with zucchini and french green beans from the farmer’s market. I also omit teriyaki sauce since I don’t carry it, and I do not adjust the soy sauce (Maggi or Bragg’s Amino Acid) or the sesame oil.
    Will keep making this again and again!
    *I do not measure the amount of vegetables/garlic/ginger…I just eyeball everything according to quinoa.

    • Love that you love this! I think I’m going to have to try the untraditional route with the green beans and zucchini — sounds amazing!!

      • Eric Rodgers says:

        Summer squash — whether it’s the yellow crookneck variety or zucchini — is one of my favorite add-ins to homemade fried rice. I also like adding sunflower kernels.

  9. Just made this dish! Sooooo yummy!
    Great idea…thanks for this recipe!

  10. Yum! Made this for the first time tonight and I’m glad I doubled the recipe!

  11. This looks like a killer dish – I’m really looking forward to making this over the weekend. The perfect healthy spin on comfort food! <3

  12. Has anyone tried freezing this recipe? I love it and want to make a big batch so I don’t have to cook when baby arrives in a few weeks!

  13. Does any have the nutrition info calculated for this??

  14. This came out just like the fried rice at Japanese steak houses that I love so much! Thanks for the recipe! Yummmm

  15. This is delish, a keeper for sure!

  16. Crystal says:

    This has become a favorite in our house! So good! We don’t use the teryiaki sauce, but just add extra soy sauce and a little sugar. Yum!

  17. For those looking for a way to make a quinoa fried rice without soy (or gluten), I blogged one a couple years ago using coconut aminos. I do believe that these days there is a gluten-free teriyaki sauce available, but of course it would contain soy. Quinoa is a great tasty sub for rice, and way healthier than the typical white rice version.

    -Sea at Book of Yum (I linked the recipe to my name)

  18. Lindsay Polite says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It was great! (And husband approved! :-) I added to small Thai peppers to the scallion, ginger, garlic mix cause we like it spicy, and it worked out wonderfully! Thanks again!

  19. Loved this recipe! We actually used couscous in place of the quinoa, and we also added some baby bella mushrooms with the onion and carrots. Instead of Soy Sauce, we used Braggs Amino Acids, and we didn’t have any sesame oil for the sauce, so we toasted 2-3 Tbsp of sesame seeds and tossed them in at the end with the peas. This gave a very good sesame taste, and reduced fats (oils), so it was a win-win! The kids ate it, and the hubby said we need to add this to our meals regularly! Fantastic!

  20. Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight. I added zucchini (from our garden) and mushrooms for more veggies. It was great! So healthy and tasty. My 8-yr-old was a bit hesitant but he ate it with a bit more soy sauce on it. I also recommend a little Sriracha for a kick. Glad I doubled the recipe … Leftovers! Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made way too much quinoa the other day and I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to use it up. This will be perfect!

  22. Eating this right now and loving it! Always looking for ways to ‘healthy’ up some favorites and if its a hit with the girls I nanny then it’s a huge keeper!

  23. Made this tonight for my family. We LOVED it!! I substituted coconut oil for the sesame oil ( for some reason sesame oil makes me really sick) and it was fantastic!!

  24. I loved this recipe! I replaced the teriyaki with hoisin, as that is what we had in our fridge. I also added some rice vinegar and fish sauce to give the sauce a little more complexity. It was delicious. My son ate a ton and my husband –who is an excellent cook– was amazed by the taste and texture. In addition, it didn’t take me long ( ideal after work fare). Thanks putting this recipe on the inter webs.

  25. We loved this recipe. I did not have brown sugar so I added a little bit of honey. We also added crushed walnuts for additional protein. It was amazing. thanks so much:)

  26. Hi, I want to make this dish for tonight’s dinner but all I have is Teriyaki Marinade and the label says “thick”, can I use it instead of the Teriyaki Sauce? Are they the same? And also, what can I use instead of the sesame oil?
    Thank you,

  27. Katherine says:

    I’m a college student just starting to cook for myself so I was a little apprehensive about making this as it was my first time cooking quinoa! But whoa, it couldn’t be easier. SO good and filling. Thanks for a great recipe!


  29. This sounds great. I never thought of using quinoa instead of rice but that is a great idea.

  30. Ok so I am totally on the late train when it came to quinoa. I didn’t discover it until this past summer. So last night I was thinking of what can I make after church to keep my boys full til dinner and thought of this. Thought I was the first one as well :-) glad someone discovered it first. It was super easy and so yummy!!

  31. Just wanted to say how much I love this recipe! It’s a new go-to in my house :)

  32. I’ve made this recipe several times now – love it. I left out the ginger and scallion just because I didn’t have them on hand. Also, I never plan ahead enough to refrigerate the quinoa. I do wonder what that does for it so maybe I’ll try it sometime. Thanks for recipe!

  33. Quinoa has more protein, calcium, fiber, and iron. It has less carbs than white rice and fewer calories. And probably the best thing quinoa has over rice is the glycemic index of 53 vs. 112!! for white rice. (If you don’t pay attention to the glycemic index of foods, you should! (Google “understanding the glycemic index).
    Make sure when you compare these two that it’s based on weight, not volume.

  34. Your fried rice looks fantastic! I never thought about trying it with Quinoa thanks for sharing :)

  35. Made this tonight…my family really enjoyed it Thanks for sharing

  36. Made this tonight my family really enjoyed it Thanks for sharing

  37. Sandra lugo says:

    Thanks for sharing.. I loooove fried rice.. Due to my bad candida can’t allow rice into my diet… Will surely try this one… Thnx!!!

  38. Thanks so much for the recipe. One of my running buddies told me about it during our long run Saturday. I had to come find it. She said it really makes a difference in her energy level on long (over 10 miles) runs. Need that extra protein and good carbs for sure. It is just yummy! My entire family loved it. Not a morsel left :) Have a few more long runs before the big marathon weekend …so making up another batch. So excited to have fried rice back in my diet…a much healthier version for sure. Thank you!

  39. I made this today! It’s excellent!

  40. Trying this recipe tonight, this is my first quinoa experience! ;) I actually am all out if fresh carrots, do you think I could just use the bag of frozen peas and carrots that I have here and add it when I am supposed to add the peas?

  41. I have been on a health kick starting today. I am definately going to make this dish today with some curry chicken on the side. It’s nice to eat something other than rice. Thanks for the recipe!

  42. I have been on a health kick starting today. I am definitely going to make this dish today with some curry chicken on the side. It’s nice to eat something other than rice. Thanks for the recipe!

  43. What a great recipe! I’ve tried it out today – altered it slightly to suit me but totally inspired by this and cooked quinoa for the first today! Thank you for posting this! #quinoa #low_carb #protein


  44. I love cooking with quinoa, and I had this idea that anything you could do with rice, you could do with quinoa. I was excited to find your recipe. I am going to make it tonight for supper.
    Because hubby and I have both been told we need to “watch the carbs” I am on the lookout for more and more substitutes. Thanks for sharing this.

  45. The flavor in this dish is amazing! The texture of the quinoa is great and I actually like it more than rice!
    The only changes I made were omitting the carrots (I’m not a fan of them) and adding another egg because I wasn’t adding a protein and wanted it as a main dish.
    For me, this produced 3 hearty servings. It reheats well so this is a good dish to make and eat throughout the week. As a busy college student, it’s the perfect kind of recipe for me!
    A couple tips: Don’t omit the sesame oil. I know it seems like such a tiny amount but it adds a really important nuttiness. Also, make sure your ginger is very finely minced or even grated so you don’t encounter a random attack of ginger flavor (unless you like that! haha)

  46. Delicious! Your recipe was easy to follow and produced great results. Thanks for sharing!

  47. What a great recipe. I fed this to my teenagers and they loved it!! Said it tasted like Yamato’s (huge compliment) I had to sub 1 small shallot for the onion/scallions because it was all I had. I used Tamari which is a high quality, Gluten free, low sodium soy sauce and added a couple dashes of Srirachi hot sauce. I’m packing it for their school lunches to keep them going for the after school sports!

  48. I just have started a diet to help reduce my blood pressure and came across this recip. Never really heard of quinoa before. Tried this recipe last night and it was great. Thank you for sharing.

  49. Very good, thanks for the idea! I used leftover multi-colored quinoa already cold from the fridge, olive oil, 1 small onion, 2 carrots, 2 green onions, 3 garlic cloves, NO eggs, spoonful of bottled ginger (it’s like pureed), frozen peas (not thawed – put in with carrots and onion), then added soy sauce + sesame oil + a tablespoon of coconut sugar (not terriyaki). Served with homemade orange chicken – really good! Even the kiddos liked it.


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