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This quinoa fried rice uses protein-packed quinoa as a delicious alternative to rice! It’s full of veggies and an easy way to a healthy meal.

Quinoa fried rice

This post was created in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are our own.

Do you love quinoa? Great. Then let’s make Quinoa Fried Rice! You know the cozy, comforting goodness of fried rice? The garlicky, ginger scented grains and soft bits of scrambled eggs are our ultimate comfort food, over here! So why not try a new spin on the standard? Using quinoa instead of rice makes for a protein-packed version that’s a delicious alternative to rice. It’s easy to make and full of veggies: making it an easy healthy meal idea. Oh: and it’s perfect for using up leftover quinoa. Let’s get started!

Want it to taste like takeout? Try our Best Fried Rice or Shrimp Fried Rice.

Ingredients in quinoa fried rice

This quinoa fried rice recipe is a perfect way to say YES to healthy eating—especially since it’s got the appearance of your favorite takeout! The old version of myself, let’s call her “Past Me,” was all about avoiding foods that were bad. I wouldn’t touch bread or pasta with a 10 food pole, and went through an embarrassing phase of eating spray butter “because it was 0 calories”. Butt soon I learned: there’s a category of healthy food that actually tastes good. That you want to eat. Like this quinoa fried rice, a healthy spin featuring quinoa to pack in the plant-based protein.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this quinoa fried rice:

  • Quinoa (day old is best, but not required)
  • Green onions
  • Yellow onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic & ginger
  • Olive oil & kosher salt
  • Eggs
  • Mixed baby greens
  • Soy sauce
Cooking in a kitchen

Why use leafy greens?

Most fried recipes don’t use baby greens. But since we were loading on the vegetables, we thought: why not? We throw handfuls of greens into just about anything, from soups and curries, to sandwiches and pizzas. So why not throw a few huge handfuls of greens into quinoa fried rice? We used a mix of baby spinach, kale, and chard. It’s a perfect way to infuse more nutrients without even realizing it.

Start with day old quinoa, if possible!

The most basic adage for fried rice is: use day old rice. So for quinoa fried rice, it’s the same. Use day old quinoa! Why is this necessary?

  • Freshly cooked quinoa has a lot of moisture. If you use fresh quinoa to make quinoa fried rice, it clumps together and turns out soggy.
  • Day old quinoa dries out. When you cook it, the grains stay separate and form that signature texture. For the best quinoa fried rice, make it using leftovers (stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator) or boil a pot the night before.
  • What if you don’t have day old quinoa? Keep reading for a shortcut…
Ingredients for quinoa fried rice

No day old quinoa? Here’s a trick!

Don’t have cooked quinoa in your refrigerator? Don’t worry: we’ve got a trick for you! Here’s what to do:

  • Make the quinoa. Follow our master recipe: How to Make Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa.
  • Spread on a tray and freeze 15 minutes: Spread the freshly cooked quinoa onto a rimmed sheet pan or tray: you’ll notice lots of steam since it’s still hot. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes until the grains become cool to the touch.
Greens going into pan on stove

Tips for eating leafy greens!

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are super nutritious and easy to add to recipes. Here are a few of our tips for eating leafy greens:

  1. Use baby greens or chopped standard greens: Boxes of washed baby greens make reaching for greens super simple. You can also use standard size greens on the stem, just make sure to wash them, then chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Greens reduce in size significantly when cooking. When adding fresh greens, it seems impossible that they’ll fit into the pan. But cooking them down for a few seconds shrinks them down to a fraction of their mass when fresh. Baby greens are more tender and thus take less time to cook down than standard-sized greens.
  3. Since the flavor of baby greens is mild when wilted, they typically take on the flavor of the dish instead of adding a flavor of their own. In addition to this quinoa fried rice, we add handfuls of greens to almost everything: soup, sandwiches, and mac and cheese.

We got the ingredients for this quinoa fried rice recipe at ALDI. The mixed baby greens and organic quinoa in the quinoa fried rice are from ALDI’s SimplyNature line. Make sure to check out ALDI as you say YES this year and put in the work towards creating a sustainable habit of healthy eating!

How to make quinoa fried rice

Looking for more fried rice recipes?

If you like this quinoa fried rice, you may enjoy these other fried rice recipes:

This quinoa fried rice recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free. For vegan and plant-based, omit the egg and load up on other filling protein (like edamame as mentioned below).

This recipe is featured in our 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead meal plan!

Best Quinoa Fried Rice
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Veggie Packed Quinoa Fried Rice | A Couple Cooks

*Best* Quinoa Fried Rice

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This quinoa fried rice uses protein-packed quinoa as a delicious alternative to rice! It’s full of veggies and an easy way to a healthy meal. 


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, or 5 cups cooked day old quinoa
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 to 3 carrots (about 1 cup diced)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Eggs*
  • 5 ounces (about 5 cups) SimplyNature Mixed Greens: Baby Green Kale, Baby Spinach and Baby Chard (or chopped kale or chard)
  • 4 tablespoons Fusia Soy Sauce or liquid aminos
  • Fusia Sriracha, for serving
  • Edamame, for serving


  1. Cook the quinoa (or use Instant Pot quinoa OR if you have cooked quinoa, skip to Step 2): Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water, then drain it completely. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir once, then simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 17 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed (check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains). Remove from the heat, cover the pot and allow the quinoa to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Cool the quinoa by spreading it into a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 5 to 10 minutes. If making in advance, refrigerate the quinoa until serving.
  2. Slice the green onions; reserve the dark green portions for a garnish. Dice the onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Mince the garlic. Mince the ginger.
  3. In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and white and light green portions of the green onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa and salt and stir to combine. Make a well in the quinoa, exposing the pan, and crack the eggs into the pan. Scramble the eggs and cook for several minutes until they are soft, then stir them into the quinoa (resist the urge to stir them into the quinoa until they are cooked). Add the baby greens and continue to stir until they are fully wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the soy sauce and green onion tops and mix. Taste and add additional salt as desired (we added an additional ¼ teaspoon as our soy sauce was low sodium).
  5. If desired, drizzle with sriracha and/or additional soy sauce. Serving suggestion: serve with Easy Edamame for a filling meal.


For vegan, omit the egg.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Last updated: June 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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    Love Quinoa! Makes a better fried ‘rice’ than regular rice! AND since I cook for my dogs, quinoa is the best for them over rice or pasta! Glad I found this!!!

  2. Ellen says:

    We made this recipe yesterday. Easy, and came out looking just like the picture. Delicious!
    The only glitch was ALDI. The simply nature mixed greens package with this name in the recipe included a lot of lettuce in the ingredients, not just the kale, spinach, and chard combo. Went to shop-rite and bought organic girl super spinach instead which included the spinach and kale, and also baby book chop and Tatsoi.

    1. Sonja says:

      How interesting! I wonder if they have a new version of the greens. Ours just had kale, spinach and chard! Sorry about that and thanks for letting us know. I’m glad it worked out and was delicious!

  3. Emi says:

    I made this when there were a few fried rice fans in the house, and it was a hit! I forgot to buy edamame so skipped that ingredient and felt I missed the texture. In the future I’ll try to remember the edamame or add crushed peanuts for crunch.

    1. Sonja says:

      Oh fantastic! The edamame was more for a side serving option, but it would be great in the fried rice as well! So glad this worked out.

  4. Raquel Osorio says:

    I can relate so much to you guys! My little (newborn adopted) guy was 3rd time in trying to be a mom. (thruthly, 100th in wishes )He’s now a 17 yr old twice as big as me or my husband( the love of my life whom made it all possible). I’m a passionate vegan, my husband a vegetarian for 40+ yrs. My son is (owmivore) a amazing and a beautiful person who’s 17 yrs old and , therefore , defiant. It all works out at the end ’cause veganism is closing in and most of my son’s friends are curious about becoming vegan. I have a pic of Max, my son on the same kind of walker ” thing” except he’s taking a vinyl from the the shelf and running with it…. Please, don’t waste a second away from him. I didn’t and still doesn’t seem enough…

    1. Sonja says:

      Awww what a sweet story! Thank you so much for sharing about your son with me. I can’t even imagine Larson being 17, ha! But as you said, it all goes so fast. Cheers to your son — he sounds like an amazing guy and you are a lucky mama!

  5. Andy says:

    This was so delicious & a great way to pack in a bunch of veggies – I added peas too! I can’t believe all those greens wilted down! I would have never thought to add that much!

    1. Sonja says:

      Great idea to add peas! Yes, it’s crazy how much greens can wilt down and become nothing, isn’t it?! Thanks for making this!

  6. sabrina says:

    nice and healthier alternative to my fried rice cravings, thank you for putting this recipe together, nice!

    1. Sonja says:

      You are so welcome! We hope that you enjoy trying it out!

  7. Claire says:

    I can totally relate to Past You. In college I went through this weird phase where I thought rice and other grains were bad for me. Not sure what knocked me out of my funk, but I eventually realized that whole grains are where it’s at! (currently have a 5lb bag sitting in my pantry, ha!). Love this recipe! Always good to have a go-to fried rice/quinoa recipe!

    1. Sonja says:

      Haha, I’ve absolutely been through those phases too! I hope you enjoy this concept — I know you’ll have a great unique spin of your own too :)