Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice made with brown rice, veggies, and eggs fried until crispy and tossed with soy sauce and sesame oil makes the best Chinese takeout at home.

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This easy Veggie Fried Rice couldn't be easier to make and is so much better for you than takeout. Serve it as a side dish or meatless main course that the whole family will love. Chinese takeout lovers will also want to try this Healthy Chow Mein and Kung Pao Chicken.

Asian dishes are among my favorites. I feel like this wouldn't be hard to guess if you searched "Asian dishes" on my website. One of my favorite Asian dishes is fried rice. As you probably already know, Asian dishes at restaurants can be quite high on the fat and calories, which is a major bummer because I do love some Chinese takeout.

What I love even more though than takeout (okay maybe evenly) is remaking that unhealthy dish into a healthier one that tastes just as good. It makes me feel better about what I'm putting into my body and I'm staying on point with my diet and nutritional needs while still enjoying what I'm eating.

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And all that brings us to Vegetable Fried Rice. This "fried" rice version may be one of my favorite meatless meals.

Since I usually have cooked brown rice in the house, at the ready, as well as a bag of shredded cabbage, it comes together in a flash and satisfies my craving for takeout. (Plus, it's more budget-friendly too.) Adjust the spices to suit your preferences and add any veggies you like.

Vegetable Fried Rice with brown rice, eggs, and vegetables in a bowl being held up by a hand.

How can I customize Vegetable Fried Rice?

  • Tofu or tempeh would be delicious in this dish and give you an added protein bonus and some different textures to the rice.
  • Have a bag of chopped broccoli or other veggie waiting for you in the freezer or needing to be eaten in your fridge? Toss it in with the other veggies. I say, the more the merrier.
  • Use white rice or cauliflower rice if you prefer that over brown rice.
  • If you don't have any rice pre-cooked, you can use brown Minute Rice or instant rice to help move dinner along more quickly.
  • I tend to like my dishes heavy on garlic. If you're not a fan, you can cut back to two cloves and still taste the garlic in the dish without it being overpowering.
  • If you do not have fresh ginger, you can use powdered. You'll only need about a teaspoon or two though.
  • If you want to use whole eggs instead of just the whites, that's fine too but remember the fat and calorie content of this dish will go up.
  • If you want to use white or yellow onions or green onions, those would taste just as good in this dish. For a shortcut, purchase pre-cut refrigerated or frozen onions.
  • Buy pre-shredded cabbage — it's a timesaver! Broccoli slaw will also work in this dish if you have that on hand or prefer it.
  • If you want to add meat to this fried rice dish, thinly cut or cubed chicken, steak, or even pork will work. You can also add in shrimp or go with a bean such as a chickpea to give the recipe some added protein as well as added texture and interest.

Is Vegetable Fried Rice bad for you?

In a nutshell, yes, fried rice is generally terrible for you. It's caloric and high in fat and It's made with white rice and lots of oil (specifically hot vegetable oil) that is not good for you. All that oil will make your gut feel like a bomb just went off and it can make your digestive system sluggish and...well...I don't want to go into the other nitty-gritty details of what can become of your digestive system.

Restaurant fried rice is also super high in sodium and is pretty sparse in terms of veggies. Sure, you may be able to pick out some peas and carrots here and there, a sliver of cabbage, or broccoli florets, but it'll come nowhere near the amount of good green stuff you'll most likely make your version with.

Veggie fried rice with cabbage, carrots, peas, green onions, brown rice, and eggs in a bowl with a fork.

Side Dishes to Serve with Vegetable Fried Rice

Honestly, if you play your cards right, you can make this Vegetable Fried Rice dish a meal all on its own. If you enjoy more food variety though or like a good side with your meal, then there are plenty of options to choose from:

  • An Asian side salad will pair nicely with the fried rice.
  • If you're looking for a low-carb side to go with the Vegetable Fried Rice, you're in luck — I have 78 of them!
  • Keep the rice as your main dish and have a side of Asian Zucchini Noodles!
  • Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts are ah-mazing! You'll never make sprouts another way once you try them with their honey-vinegar sauce.
  • Fresh Spring Rolls are a fun side to eat with almost anything — get the kids involved in making them and rolling them up, they'll love it!
  • If you like, you can roll up all the Vegetable Fried Rice in a lettuce wrap — warm or cold, it's delicious.
  • A side of egg drop or miso soup is delicious with fried rice, especially on those cold, winter days.
The Recipe
Vegetable fried rice with brown rice, eggs, carrots, peas, and cabbage in a cilantro.

Vegetable Fried Rice

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  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (more to taste)

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Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Set aside.


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, red pepper, peas and carrots, 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: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 288
Calories from Fat 66
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 369mg
Total Carbohydrate 44g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 12g

* 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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