Healthy Fried Rice

Healthy Fried Rice made with cooked brown rice, eggs, and cabbage tastes just like the real thing but only has 130 calories per serving. This tastes as good as any restaurant version but is healthy and good for you.


Healthy Fried Rice tastes just as good as your favorite take-out version but so much healthier! Using cooked brown rice, eggs, green onions, cabbage, carrots, and a simple soy sauce mixture you make delicious healthy fried rice at home in less than 10 minutes. Serve it with Healthy Kung Pao Chicken or Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki.

This healthy fried rice will change your mind about making healthy Chinese food. I promise its possible and its delicious. This isn’t my first rodeo with fried rice. We have a bit of a storied past, meaning most times I make it, it turns into a weird, usually soggy, mess. Luckily I have persistence and keep coming back for more and this time I finally figured it out. Here’s the deal with cooking fried rice.

Healthy fried rice made with brown rice, eggs, cabbage, carrots, ginger, and garlic.

First, the rice needs to be cold and ideally one day old. When rice cools it lets out some of the excess moisture which makes it better for frying. The soggy rice of my past was caused by cooking the rice and then immediately using it to make the fried rice. Secondly, don’t be scared to get your pan really hot. Fried rice should be cooked quickly and constantly stirred to avoid burning. Finally, cook your eggs first. Even though you’ve seen people put the eggs in with the veggies and rice and somehow still get delicious fried egg pieces, it likely won’t happen for you. You will probably end up with soggy, eggy rice like I have in the past. And that is the secret to delicious fried rice. Add in whatever veggies you like and if you really want an authentic flavor, consider adding in a few dashes of fish sauce.

Some notes about preparing this Healthy Fried Rice:

  • Make sure your rice is cooked and either cold or room temperature if you seek crispy fried rice. Using warm rice adds more moisture to the dish and makes it much more difficult to get a nice, crispy finish on the rice.
  • Since Iam always trying to use whole grains, I opted for brown rice in the recipe. However, you can use traditional white rice as well if you prefer. Other grains will also work. I have made this dish with quinoa, farro, and barley with great results. It will also work for cauliflower rice if you want a lower carb option.
  • If you don't have time to cook and cool your rice, consider using precooked rice from the freezer section of your grocery store. Cook it for less time than suggested so that it just cooked through and not hot.
  • When it comes to veggies, you can add almost anything. Many fried rice recipes contain peas, so feel free to toss those in as well. To keep things quick and easy, I usually just use a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix.
  • Want to sweeten things up? Adding some fresh pineapple is delicious in this recipe. It adds a really nice layer of sweetness to the recipe.
  • You can add any type of protein to this dish, just make sure it is precooked. Chicken, diced pork, shrimp, and tofu all work great.

Healthy fried rice in a skillet with fresh scallions.

Common Questions about Healthy Fried Rice

Since originally posting this recipe, I have gotten tons of questions. Here are some of the most common.

Is fried rice good for weight loss?

Most restaurant fried rice is full of calories and fat, so it isn't the best choice for weight loss. Luckily this lightened up fried rice is packed with veggies, brown rice, and uses a minimal amount of oil. This makes it a much better option for anyone looking to lose weight or eat healthier.

Is egg fried rice good for you?

Normally egg fried rice is packed with unhealthy calories from tons of cooking oil. However, this healthy version is much better for you and the egg adds protein, vitamins, and nutrients. Eggs can be a great part of a healthy diet and are a good source of protein as well as tons of nutrients. One thing to watch out for with all fried rice is the sodium level. It can be reduced by using low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos.

What kind of rice the healthiest option?

Normally I use brown rice in this recipe since it has a higher fiber content than white rice and is more slowly digested. However any type of rice will work in the recipe.

Can I make this with shrimp? what about pork? chicken?

Consider this your base recipe for a healthy chicken fried rice, pork fried rice, or shrimp fried rice. You will want to cook the chicken (or pork or shrimp) first in a hot pan with some vegetable oil. To add flavor to the chicken, you can add some ginger and garlic to the oil. Once the protein has cooked, remove it from the pan, and cook the rice according to the directions included. Add the protein back before adding the egg and soy sauce. Depending on how much protein you use, you may need to add some extra soy sauce so the whole dish is well seasoned.

Can I make this healthy fried rice with cauliflower?

For a low carb or lighter version, you can make this with cauliflower rice instead of brown rice. Just substitute cooked cauliflower rice for the brown rice in the recipe. For the best result, make sure to squeeze any excess liquid from the cauliflower rice before using. If possible, cook it a day in advance and use the cold, cooked rice in the recipe.

How can I make healthy fried rice without soy sauce?

Absolutely. Since soy sauce is a critical flavor in fried rice, it is important to replace it with a similar flavor instead of just leaving it out. Many people find that coconut aminos are the closest replacement to soy sauce and contain significantly less sodium and are more natural. If you simply need a gluten-free option, you could look for GF soy sauce, which is now pretty readily available.

What to serve with healthy fried rice?

Healthy fried rice served in a small bowl with fresh green onions and chopsticks.

Here are some of the products and tools I used in creating this recipe:

  • Skillet: I am in love with this pan that I use to prepare this dish but you could use any heavy bottomed pan or cast iron. A wok would also work great for this recipe.
  • Low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos: When it comes to soy sauce, I always opt for low sodium soy sauce and many times use coconut aminos instead which have lower sodium and are gluten free.

This recipe was originally posted in March of 2017 but has been updated with a video and new content.

The Recipe
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Healthy Fried Rice

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  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos for GF)

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Heat your pan over medium high heat. Whisk together the egg and egg white and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil to the pan. Add the eggs and cook until just scrambled. Remove from pan and set aside.


Add the remaining vegetable oil and sesame oil to the hot pan. Add the scallions, cabbage, carrot, garlic, ginger, and any other veggies you like. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they just begin to soften.


Add the rice and cook for 2-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to crisp up.


Add the soy sauce and egg. Stir together and cook for 1 more minute.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (188g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 212mg
Total Carbohydrate 20g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g

* 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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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Healthy Fried Rice
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June 5, 2019 - 20:36
Is this ok freeze? I like to do bulk serves at a time to keep for later.
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April 3, 2019 - 14:51
Looks good. Could I be lazy & use a bag of coleslaw or even broccoli slaw mix from the store?
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April 3, 2019 - 18:15
Absolutely!! Great idea to save time :)
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Tess George
February 28, 2019 - 19:51
Add a Rating:
Hey! Thank you for this recipe. I love love fried rice, but I always struggle making it (lol) following this particular recipe for some reason just worked out for me and hit the spot! Husband went for seconds.
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linda traen
January 4, 2019 - 16:24
I am on Weight Watchers where are the point listed for the recipe. Thank you
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April 3, 2019 - 18:16
There are 3 points per serving. Thanks!
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