Quinoa Fried “Rice”

One of my favorite things about making fried rice is that it can be made with stuff you probably already have in your fridge and cabinet!  It’s also insanely delicious.Quinoa Fried "Rice" | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

My favorite go-to fried rice mix-ins are:

  • scrambled eggs
  • celery
  • onion
  • carrots
  • frozen peas
  • frozen corn
  • mushrooms
  • shrimp / steak / chicken / tofu
  • scallions
  • zucchini
  • broccoli
  • water chestnuts

And then of course white or brown rice, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce.  (We usually top it off with some chili sauce, too, because we love the heat!)

I’ve definitely used ingredients that aren’t on that list, but I typically have at least a handful of those ingredients on hand at all times!  So I make fried rice when I want to use up leftover chicken, or if I want to clean out the veggies in the fridge, or if I’m hungry and we want an easy dinner without having to go to the market!

It’s also way healthier to make your fried rice at home, because you can control all of the fresh ingredients you add…

Quinoa Fried "Rice" | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

I have made fried rice SO many different ways and so many times.  (Once, we woke up at 3am very hungry, and I whipped up a batch of fried rice!  It doesn’t take long to put together at all and satisfies cravings any hour of day or night!)  If you have a little extra time, you can sauté the rice in a little sesame oil to give it a nice toasted flavor and texture.  Then proceed with adding water and cooking based on the package instructions.

Recently I tried subbing quinoa for rice to make this dish a bit healthier.  Oh boy!  YUM CITY.  As my mom says, I am the “quinoa queen” and love to find ways to incorporate quinoa into every meal.  It is so versatile, good for you and tasty.  I will most definitely be making my fried rice with quinoa again.

Quinoa Fried "Rice" | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Quinoa Fried "Rice" | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

My quinoa fried “rice” takes about 30 minutes to throw together, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner (or 3am snack!)  You don’t have to use all of the ingredients that I used – You could use chicken, steak or tofu instead of the shrimp.  Or omit it altogether.  You could use whatever veggies you have on hand, or just put in your favorites.  It would also be a great dish to bring to a potluck.  Makes a ton of food and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

This dish is so satisfying and wonderful.  I dare you to not go back for seconds!  It’s incredibly hot out of the skillet, but it’s also marvelous leftover cold.  Or reheated in the microwave.

Make this dish!  Trust me.  And if you’re not a huge quinoa fan, give it a shot with cooked white or brown rice instead.

Happy noshing!

Hugs, kisses + yummy dishes… xoxo

Quinoa Fried "Rice" with Shrimp

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • YIELDS 4-6 hearty servings


  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 Tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lb. cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined) or other cooked protein of choice (tofu, chicken, steak)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup (plus more to taste) soy sauce (I used gluten-free!)
  • (to taste) salt and pepper
  • 3 scallions, diced for garnish (optional)
  • Optional toppings: water chestnuts, Sriracha, chili sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce


  1. In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions.  (I combine 2 cups of quinoa with 4 cups of water and a sprinkle of salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until all water has dissolved.  Fluff with a fork.)
  2. Meanwhile, in small skillet, heat 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil and cook eggs until just scrambled.  Let cool then dice.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil over medium high heat. 
  4. Sauté the onion, celery, carrots and garlic until onions are translucent.
  5. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables are soft.
  6. Add peas and shrimp (or other cooked protein of choice)
  7. Add cooked quinoa to skillet and stir until combined.
  8. Add grated ginger and soy sauce and stir until combined.
  9. Add cooked eggs and stir until eggs are heated through.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add more salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil to taste.
  11. Top with scallions, water chestnuts, chili sauce or other toppings of your choice.
  12. Serve hot!  (Also great cold as leftovers or reheated in the microwave.)

Original recipe by Lauren from Hugs ‘n Kitchen.

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