This easy Vegan Fried Rice is quick and flavorful. A great use for leftover rice and customizable with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Ready in just 20 minutes! Perfect for a weeknight meal.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Rice ~ Leftover rice works best! Fresh cooked rice will be too moist and sticky. If you don’t have leftover rice, store-bought frozen cooked rice works great. I always keep a box of Trader Joe’s frozen rice in my freezer for convenience.
Feel free to use white or brown rice. Medium-grain offers the best texture for this dish. Jasmine rice is always a good choice for Asian-inspired dishes, but use what you have. Learn more about the different varieties of rice.
For a slightly different take, use quinoa instead of rice.
Vegetables ~ I like red bell pepper, carrots, peas, cabbage, and green onions in this vegan fried rice.
If you can find frozen diced carrots and peas together, that would be ideal, but I haven’t had much luck finding that combo these days. Fresh carrots are fine – just dice them small so they cook through.
You can use pre-shredded cabbage to save prep time. A bag of coleslaw mix works, too. I typically chop the shreds even further so they’re not as long. You may certainly shred your own if you prefer.
Aromatics ~ Garlic and ginger bring lots of flavor. Don’t skip them. Fresh is best.
Seasoning ~ Typical fried rice recipes uses soy sauce and oyster sauce. Oyster sauce isn’t vegan, so I like to use hoisin sauce instead. Hoisin sauce is a Chinese version of barbecue sauce. It’s thick, fragrant and flavorful!
Sesame oil ~ Toasted sesame oil is a finishing oil and is best drizzled in right before serving. It brings a ton of flavor! I don’t suggest skipping this ingredient. This is different than the oil you will use to sauté the vegetables.
Extras ~ You can throw in whatever veggies you have available. Snow peas, corn, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, spinach, etc.
Make it spicy by adding a Thai red chile, crushed red pepper flakes, or a few dashes of sriracha.
Garnish with white or black sesame seeds and extra sliced green onions.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Sauté the vegetables over medium until tender.
Increase the heat to high and add the rice, peas, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce.
Mix well and then let it sit for a few minutes to allow the edges to form a caramelized crispy texture.
Stir and let it sit again. Do this a few times until you are satisfied with the texture and the rice is completely heated through.
Take off the heat and drizzle in the toasted sesame oil.
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Cool the vegan fried rice completely before transferring to an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: Let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or plastic zip-top bag. It should keep well for up to 3 months.
Reheat: From frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight. Then reheat either in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or in a skillet on the stove for 5 to 7 minutes until warm. Add a few tablespoons of water if the rice seems dry.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use leftover rice for best texture. Medium-grain works best.
~ Chop any vegetables into a small dice so they cook through quickly.
~ Use a large non-stick skillet to be able to spread out the rice to achieve crispy caramelized edges.
~ Use a neutral-flavored, high-heat oil, like grapeseed, sunflower, or canola oil.
~ For an oil-free option, use vegetable broth or water to sauté the vegetables and make sure it cooks off before adding the rice. Excess liquid in the recipe won’t produce the best texture for the vegan fried rice.
~ Use high heat so everything cooks quickly.
~ Resist the urge to constantly stir the rice. Letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes at a time will result in those perfect crispy edges that taste so good!
~ Drizzle in toasted sesame oil right before serving. Serve extra soy sauce on the table so everyone can adjust the seasoning to their own tastes.
Typical fried rice contains oyster sauce and eggs and, therefore, isn’t vegan. This homemade version, however, is vegan!
The biggest culprit to soggy or mushy fried rice is too much moisture. Be sure to use leftover, cold rice for best results. Store-bought frozen rice works great, too.
Another reason is overcrowding the skillet. Be sure to use a large non-stick skillet or wok so you can spread out the ingredients allowing them to come in contact with the hot pan.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Vegan Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ¼ cup water for an oil-free option
- 2 carrots peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup chopped or shredded cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 green onions sliced
- 4 cups leftover cooked rice
- ½ cup sweet green peas
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari for a gluten free option
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1-2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
- dash sriracha optional
- sprinkle black sesame seeds optional, for garnish
- In a large skillet or wok heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are starting to soften and the cabbage starts to brown on the edges.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and sauté 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Increase the heat to high. Add the rice, peas, soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir well to combine. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, without stirring, to allow the rice to brown on the edges. Stir and cook again for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through and you are satisfied with the texture.
- Take off the heat and drizzle in the sesame oil.
- Serve with a dash or two of sriracha and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.