Easy Vegetable Fried Rice

This vegetable fried rice recipe is a fast and easy dinner recipe to use up any vegetables you have on hand in your refrigerator and freezer!

Market Vegetable Fried Rice | A Couple Cooks

One of the most difficult but most rewarding skills to learn in the kitchen is the art of adapting. Alex and I get lots of questions similar to this one: “How do I take a recipe and adapt it to fit the produce I have in my refrigerator, or what is seasonal in my area?” Good question. It took Alex and me a long time to start to learn this skill. The hard part is, there is no simple answer. We could give you a list of “rules” (pair this with that, this could be a stand in for that), but they don’t mean a lot out of context. We’ve found the best way to learn is just do it! And this Vegetable Fried Rice recipe is a study in adaptability: it’s perfect for using any veggies you have on hand! Keep reading for the vegetable fried rice recipe.

Related: Our Instant Pot Rice Method!

How to make vegetable fried rice

A comforting thing is that with fried rice, almost anything goes. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe concept, and you can use lots of different types of vegetables. Heck, you can even make vegetable fried rice without rice! Here’s our Quinoa Fried Rice recipe is an example of adding a different grain, or our Cauliflower Fried Rice uses cauliflower rice to go grain free.

We created this recipe specifically to fit vegetables we found at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market: bok choy, carrots, and turnips. But again, you can adapt this to whatever is seasonal in your area or happens to be in your refrigerator.

Whatever the case, the concept for vegetable fried rice is the same: stir fry some veggies, scramble in eggs, and add day old rice. The savory flavor of umami is key here, so we typically add lots of soy sauce. If you have it on hand, fresh ginger (peeled and minced) adds a nice backend flavor. And we almost always use garlic to bring in more of that umami. After that, use any vegetables you happen to have on hand. Onions are a nice touch if you have them, as are carrots and frozen peas. It’s a true clean out the refrigerator meal that we eat time and time again!

Looking for more fast and easy dinner recipes?

In addition to this vegetable fried rice, here a few more of our favorite fast and easy dinner recipes:

This recipe is…

This vegetable fried rice is vegetarian and gluten free.


Easy Vegetable Fried Rice

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x


This vegetable fried rice recipe is a fast and easy dinner recipe to use up any vegetables you have on hand in your refrigerator and freezer!



  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 turnips
  • ¼ small cabbage
  • 4 small bok choy heads
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, at least one day old (use our Instant Pot method to cook it!)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Dice the onion, and mince the garlic. Peel the carrots and turnips, then dice them. Shred the cabbage. Chop off the bottoms of the bok choy, then thinly slice (chiffonade) the leaves.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Saute the carrots, onion, and turnips 2 minutes. Add the bok choy and cabbage and saute for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and scramble them in for 1 minute or two until cooked through. Add the garlic, peas, rice, soy sauce, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Heat for a minute or two, stirring, until all rice is coated. Serve hot.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian Inspired

Keywords: Fried Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice, Farmer’s Market, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Healthy, Dinner Recipe, Easy, Quick

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Rice is perfect for adapting, but I love all the ingredients you added to this. Yum!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Fried rice (or sometimes quinoa) is a staple in our kitchen. It’s so true that it’s one of the best ways I’ve found for using up lots of vegetables just throwing a few things together at the last minute. I’ll be sad to miss the hangout this weekend (time difference being what it is), but sounds like a lot of fun!

    • Reply
      March 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks, Jess! We missed you but will have to chat some other time! :)

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    March 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Funny! On the weekend I had a craving for fried rice. This looks great! Thank you for the great recipe. I have some veggies to use up in the fridge :)

  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I have a real hard time adapting recipes to fit what I have. I try it all the time but most of the time it doesn’t work out. I suppose I just need to give it more attention/practice and some day I will be able to whip anything up and have it taste great.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Yes, we have found that adapting recipes takes practice, practice, practice! And several failures no matter how experienced you are. But it gets easier the more you do it! Good luck giving it a try — and fried rice is a good place to start!

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ Pas de Deux
    March 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I have a meeting on Sunday afternoon, but otherwise I would TOTALLY join you for the eHang out. I was given a terrific book, Culinary Artistry, as a wedding gift by a family friend who had just completed culinary school. It has a whole section on good ingredient/flavor pairings–it’s a great reference tool!

    • Reply
      March 10, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Maybe next time on the hangout! Culinary Artistry sounds like a great resource! We’ll have to check that out.

  • Reply
    angela @ another bite please
    March 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    this looks so fresh…love all the vegetables.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Great recipe

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