Healthy Chicken Fried Rice
Healthy Chicken Fried Rice that's packed with veggies and better than take out. Make this quick and easy healthy meal to satisfy your Chinese food cravings.
Forget takeout with this homemade Chicken Fried Rice, you can enjoy fried rice at home without the guilt.
This recipe is easy to make, filled with protein and veggies but still tastes just as good as takeout. It's a great twist on this classic Healthy Fried Rice.
Confession time. I love Panda Express. The orange chicken and fried rice is delicious. Lucky for me, I don't live anywhere near one and it is an occasional indulgence on road trips since as we all know it's not the healthiest option.
However, it is actually pretty easy to make some amazing fried rice at home that is actually good for you.
The key to making a really good chicken fried rice at home that actually crisps up and browns is using cold, previously cooked rice.
To make this easy, I usually try to plan a meal with rice a few days before and just save the leftovers. Then you just need to grab some previously cooked chicken, which I always have on hand, and veggies and you are ready to make dinner in about 15 minutes.
A few more notes to consider before making this recipe. Although traditional fried rice uses peas, I prefer to use edamame instead. Not only does it pack in some extra protein, it also retains great color and texture when cooked. Sometimes peas can get mushy and brown.
Also if you prefer a more traditional rice, use white rice instead of brown.
Is chicken fried rice good for you?
Traditional restaurant fried rice with chicken isn't usually a very healthy option. It's made with white rice, which is less nutrient dense than brown rice, and is usually laden with lots of oil.
It also is normally really high in sodium and can contain lots of unwanted additives like MSG and other preservatives.
Making fried rice at home gives you the opportunity to make a much healthier version. This recipe uses lean chicken breast, nutrient dense brown rice, tons of veggies, reduced-sodium soy sauce, and a minimal amount of oil to create healthier fried rice at home.
Side Dish Ideas
If you are serving this as a main dish and want something extra to serve on the side, there are plenty of great options for side dishes. Consider
- Edamame: Edamame is a great option for serving alongside fried rice and is a great way to add some extra protein. This Sesame Soy Edamame is a fun twist on traditionally steamed edamame and is full of great flavor.
- Soup: Another option is to reach for a bowl of Asian soup. You could use miso soup, egg drop soup, or Chinese hot and sour soup.
- Lettuce or cabbage wraps: Kids love eating with their hands, so why not serve your fried rice in some lettuce or cabbage leaves? Not only will you squeeze in some extra veggies, but it also makes dinner more fun.
Can I make chicken fried with cauliflower rice?
Absolutely! Just swap out the brown rice for cooked cauliflower rice. One important note, just like with regular rice, this rice will come out the best if you have precooked the cauliflower rice and let it hang out in the fridge for a night.
If you need to cook the cauliflower rice the same night, make sure to cook out the extra moisture (especially if you are cooking it from frozen) so that it will get brown and crispy.
Can I add eggs to this recipe?
If you love egg fried rice, then you will definitely want to add a few eggs to this recipe. The easiest way to do this is to start by whisking a few eggs together with salt and pepper.
Add them to a hot pan and scramble until just cooked. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Cook the rice as directed. Fold them in when you add the chicken.
How long will this keep in the fridge?
Fried rice will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. That makes this a great recipe for meal prep.
Consider making up a big batch and then packing it into individual containers to take for lunches. This is also a popular choice in kids' lunches for school since it tastes good hot or cold.
Can I freeze chicken fried rice?
Yes! This is actually one of my favorite tricks. Start by cooking the rice and letting it cool completely. Once it is cooled, pack it into freezer safe bags, making sure to push out all of the air.
Use a large bag for a family size portion or smaller bags for individual portions.
Then simply defrost overnight in the fridge (or simply grab from the freezer) and heat in a hot skillet with a touch of oil. It can also be reheated in the microwave.
Healthy Chicken Fried Rice
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- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 lb cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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