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Chicken Fried Rice

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Chicken fried rice is the comfort dish of Chinese food. It's been around for a very long time and is also common in East, Southeast, and South Asian cuisines. The dish started as way to use leftover fried rice that has dried out some and may not be great on its own, but is still perfectly edible. The addition of oil and soy sauce and veggies and meat spruce up the rice for a delicious meal. A traditional Chinese fried rice would be made in a wok over high heat, but we've made ours in a cast iron skillet since they are more common in home kitchens. This take on the favorite is easy to make and makes the perfect lunch or dinner. Don't want chicken? Make it with shrimp or go vegetarian and make it with pineapple

If you made this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment and rating down below to let us know how you liked it.

What is the best rice to use?

You'll often see fried rice made with medium or short grain rice. Those types of rice are toothsome and make each bite perfect. Brown rice is also a great nutty alternative if you don’t want to consume white rice.

 Can I meal prep this?

Chicken fried rice is a great recipe for meal prep. Cut your vegetables and cook off your chicken a day ahead.  It’s also important to note that some of the best fried rice is made with day-old rice. Definitely make your rice a day or two ahead of time too.

What else can I add or substitute to the rice?

If you want to make your own version of chicken fried rice you can add a variety of ingredients. Broccoli florets, red onion, spinach, and even a nut like cashews or almonds will give your fried rice variety.

Can I make this vegan?

Making this vegan is very easy.  Instead of chicken, use seitan or tempeh. You will hardly know the difference since it’s going to be wrapped up in all of the sauce and mix-ins.  

How long will this keep in the fridge?

It’s going to be hard to keep this rice around for long at all. But, fried rice has a decent shelf life in the fridge with or without protein added in. Keep the chicken fried rice in the fridge for up to 3 days.

If you made this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment and rating down below to let us know how you liked it.

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on July 19, 2022 to include more information about the dish.

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 40 mins
2 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb.)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp.

sesame oil, divided


medium onion, chopped


carrots, peeled and diced


cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp.

freshly minced ginger

4 c.

cooked white rice (preferably leftover)

3/4 c.

frozen peas


large eggs, beaten

3 tbsp.

low-sodium soy sauce


green onions, thinly sliced

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, then add to skillet, and cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and let rest 5 minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. To the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, 5 minutes, Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in rice and peas and cook until warmed through, 2 minutes.
  3. Push rice to one side of skillet and add remaining tablespoon sesame oil to other side. Add egg and stir until almost fully cooked, then fold eggs into rice. Add chicken back to skillet with soy sauce and green onions and stir to combine.

Parker Feierbach
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