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Chicken Fried Rice is an easy Asian-inspired chicken dinner recipe that the whole family is sure to love. Why bother with Chinese restaurant takeout when you can make the most delicious version in your own kitchen?

bowl of homemade chicken fried rice.
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We usually enjoy fried rice as a main course but it also makes a great side dish. Scroll down to see detailed step-by-step photos and instructions.

Why I love this recipe

  • Tried and true – I’ve made fried rice countless times. I started with my pork fried rice recipe and have moved on to all kinds of variations including kimchi fried rice. I know this recipe works.
  • Clean-out-the-fridge recipe – If I plan ahead, I will buy all of the needed ingredients to make fried rice. But, if you’re getting ready to head out on a trip or just need to clear space in your refrigerator, this is the best thing you can make for dinner with leftover ingredients. You can easily use up leftover rice, cooked chicken, or different vegetables that need to get cooked up or tossed. See below for substitution ideas.
  • Easy weeknight dinner – This is a pretty quick meal to make and, if you do meal prep, any leftovers are great for lunch the next day.
close up of chicken fried rice on chopsticks.

Ingredients needed to make Chicken Fried Rice

Here’s an idea of what you need to make this recipe. The full list with quantities is in the recipe card below.

  • short grain white rice
  • avocado oil (or other flavorless oil like vegetable oil or canola oil)
  • butter 
  • yellow onion 
  • carrots
  • fresh broccoli florets
  • boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • fresh garlic
  • eggs
  • toasted sesame oil
  • cup soy sauce
  • garnish with green onions and sesame seeds
ingredients needed to make chicken fried rice

How to make Chicken Fried Rice

Start with the prep work

  1. Cook the rice: My preferred method is to add the rice, water, and oil to the Instant Pot and hit the rice button (high pressure 12 minutes, quick release pressure). Perfect results every time. You can also use a rice cooker or stovetop.
  2. Chill rice: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer hot rice to the lined baking sheet, press into a single layer, and chill in the refrigerator 15-60 minutes.
  3. Prepare ingredients: Because this is a quick-cooking recipe, I like to have all of the ingredients chopped, partitioned, and ready to go. Using several bowls, combine diced onion and carrot in one bowl, broccoli that has been cut into small bite-sized pieces in another, and the beaten eggs in another. Cut the boneless skinless chicken thighs into very small pieces. This is easier if the meat is partially frozen and you use a very sharp knife. Place the chicken in a separate bowl.

Stir fry the fried rice

  1. Cook onion and carrot: In a very large frying pan or wok (preferred) over medium-high to high heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Add the diced onion and carrot. Toss to combine in butter and then only stir to prevent burning. You want them to get slightly seared. Once they get slightly soft and have some nice color, transfer them back to their bowl.
  2. Cook broccoli: Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Sauté the broccoli stirring only occasionally. When vibrant green and slightly browned, transfer to the bowl with the onions and carrots.
  3. Cook chicken and garlic: Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the chicken pieces and minced garlic. Toss to coat in butter and then spread into a single layer to maximize contact with the bottom of the pan. To get a nice sear, stir the chicken only occasionally to promote even cooking and prevent burning. The mixture will release liquid as it cooks and won’t begin to sear until all of the liquid has cooked off. When done, transfer browned garlic chicken to the bowl with the sauteed vegetables (do not return to bowl raw chicken was in).
  4. Cook egg: Add beaten egg to the hot pan and swirl to create a thin layer. Cook just until scrambled and transfer to bowl with other cooked ingredients.
  5. Heat rice: Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the cold rice and spread to an even layer. Top with a swirl of toasted sesame oil. Allow the rice to cook for a couple of minutes undisturbed before stirring to get the bottom layer to crisp up a bit. Add the soy sauce, allow it to cook for another minute or so undisturbed, then give it a good stir to heat through.
  6. Combine ingredients: Add all of the meat, scrambled egg, and veggies back to the pan (along with any liquid from the bowl). Stir to combine to heat through. Taste and add additional toasted sesame oil and/or soy sauce, as well as salt and pepper, if desired. Green onions and sesame seeds can be mixed in or sprinkled on top as garnish.

Substitute ideas

Don’t have one of the ingredients and need a great substitute that will still taste great? There are so many options.

  • Rice – For best results, you’ll want to use short-grain, or sushi, rice. Jasmine rice will work but won’t have that same great chewy texture. Brown rice is a healthier alternative. And if you’re watching your carbs, cauliflower rice works as well.
  • Fresh veggies – You can use any of the following instead of or in addition to the vegetables in the recipe. Bell peppers, sweet onion, snap peas, frozen peas, corn, and bok choy all work great.
  • Soy sauce – This can be replaced with low sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos if you need a glute free alternative, or chicken broth mixed with oyster sauce
bowl of homemade chicken fried rice.

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

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Chicken Fried Rice

Prep20 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Total50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chicken Fried Rice is an easy Asian-inspired chicken dinner recipe that the whole family is sure to love. Why bother with Chinese restaurant takeout when you can make the most delicious version in your own kitchen?

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups short grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other flavorless oil
  • 8 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets chopped
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs partially frozen recommended
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil more if preferred
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce more if preferred
  • 1/4 cup green onions sliced thinly (mostly whites but some greens)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds more if preferred
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook rice: My preferred method is to add the rice, water, and oil to the Instant Pot and hit the rice button (high pressure 12 minutes, quick release pressure). Perfect results every time. You can also use a rice cooker or stovetop.
    rice and oil in instant pot.
  • Chill rice: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer hot rice to the lined baking sheet, press into a single layer, and chill in the refrigerator 15-60 minutes.
    short grain rice on parchment lined baking sheet
  • Prepare ingredients: Because this is a quick-cooking recipe, I like to have all of the ingredients chopped, partitioned, and ready to go. Using several bowls, combine diced onion and carrot in one bowl, chopped broccoli in another, and the beaten eggs in another. Cut the boneless skinless chicken thighs into very small pieces. This is easier if the meat is partially frozen and you use a very sharp knife. Place the chicken in a separate bowl.
    chopped chicken thighs and vegetables for chicken fried rice recipe.
  • Cook onion and carrot: In a very large pan or wok (preferred) over medium-high to high heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Add the diced onion and carrot. Toss to combine in butter and then only stir to prevent burning. You want them to get slightly seared. Once they get slightly soft and have some nice color, transfer them back to their bowl.
    diced onion and carrot in wok.
  • Cook broccoli: Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Sauté the broccoli stirring only occasionally. When vibrant green and slightly browned, transfer to the bowl with the onions and carrots.
    broccoli pieces in wok pan.
  • Cook chicken and garlic: Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the chicken pieces and minced garlic. Toss to coat in butter and then spread into a single layer to maximize contact with the bottom of the pan. To get a nice sear, stir the chicken only occasionally to promote even cooking and prevent burning. The mixture will release liquid as it cooks and won't begin to sear until all of the liquid has cooked off. When done, transfer browned garlic chicken to the bowl with the sauteed vegetables (do not return to bowl raw chicken was in).
    small pieces of cooked chicken thighs in wok pan.
  • Cook egg: Add beaten egg to the hot pan and swirl to create a thin layer. Cook just until scrambled and transfer to bowl with other cooked ingredients.
    scrambled egg in wok pan for chicken fried rice recipe.
  • Heat rice: Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the cold rice and spread to an even layer. Top with a swirl of toasted sesame oil. Allow the rice to cook for a couple of minutes undisturbed before stirring to get the bottom layer to crisp up a bit. Add the soy sauce, allow it to cook for another minute or so undisturbed, then give it a good stir to heat through.
    cooked short grain white rice with sesame oil swirl in wok pan.
  • Combine ingredients: Add all of the meat, scrambled egg, and veggies back to the pan (along with any liquid from the bowl). Stir to combine to heat through. Taste and add additional toasted sesame oil and/or soy sauce, as well as salt and pepper, if desired. Green onions and sesame seeds can be mixed in or sprinkled on top as garnish.
    all cooked ingredients in wok for chicken fried rice recipe.
  • Serve: Enjoy hot as is or with some chili paste or crushed peanuts.

Notes

Cooking tips:

  • This recipe can be made in a large fry pan, but for best results, you will need a wok.
  • Dice the vegetables into really small pieces. You want to be able to eat this meal with a spoon or chopsticks, and the smaller the vegetables are, the easier they will stick to the rice. You can chop by hand or pulse in a food processor.
  • You can easily make a vegetarian version of egg fried rice or vegetable fried rice, but I much prefer the addition of meat.
  • You need to cook the egg, meat, and vegetables all separately and then combine them at the end. This will give you soft eggs as well as meat and veggies with a nice, flavorful, golden-brown sear.

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 167mg, Sodium: 1322mg, Potassium: 492mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 4804IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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