This Vegan Fried Rice is better than take out and ready in 20 minutes! A great way to use up leftover rice and the perfect weeknight dinner when you barely have time to cook. No eggs!
Vegan Fried Rice is hearty enough to serve as the main dish, but can also be served on the side of Orange Tofu, Kung Pao Tofu or General Tso’s Tofu.
Or make it go further by adding more vegetables, some Marinated Tofu or Vegan Chicken!
What I love about fried rice is how versatile and quick it is to make. Make extra rice one night so you are ready to make this easy dish the next!
Ingredients for fried rice
- Olive oil – Or you could use vegan butter, for sautéing. May use water if needed, for oil-free.
- Tofu – You will need one block of firm or extra-firm tofu. This is for making the tofu scrambled “eggs”.
- Nutritional yeast
- Diced onion AND green onions – May omit the chopped onion if you want, but I like the added flavor.
- Diced carrots – Or use a frozen pea and carrot mix.
- Frozen peas
- Cooked and chilled rice – White or brown are both fine to use, but I prefer white for a more traditional taste.
- Low sodium soy sauce – If using regular soy sauce, use a bit less, to taste. For gluten free, use tamari instead.
- Toasted sesame oil – This takes the fried rice to the next level! You only need a teaspoon for big flavor.
Overview of how to make fried rice
- Make your tofu scrambled “eggs”. In a large pan, crumble in the tofu and cook for a few minutes until most of the water is gone. Then add the nutritional yeast, salt and turmeric and stir constantly, cooking for a few minutes. Transfer to a pan and set aside.
- Back to the pan, add the onion, garlic, carrots and peas and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
- Now add the cooked and chilled rice, green onions and soy sauce. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the tofu scramble. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil, and add more soy sauce to taste. That’s it!
Frequently asked questions
- What can I use instead of tofu? Another great option is to use a bottle of Just Egg! All you need to do is cook them in the pan as you would scrambled eggs, then set aside on a plate and continue with the recipe, stirring them back in at the end.
- Should I use white or brown rice? I prefer white, but brown works just as well!
- Does my rice need to be chilled first? The recipe will work better with chilled rice, but if you must use warm rice, it’s okay. Make sure it’s not really soggy, rice on the drier side will be better here.
- How can I make sure it’s gluten free? Use gluten free tamari for a totally gluten free dish.
- Can I add more vegetables? Yes, use what you have! Chopped broccoli, cauliflower, sliced zucchini, bell peppers, chopped kale or spinach are all good choices. Cook them along with the peas and carrots until softened.
How to store leftovers + freezing
Leftover fried rice will keep for 3-4 days. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator, then re-warm either on the stovetop in a pot, or in the microwave.
It can also be frozen in a freezer friendly container. Let it thaw overnight if possible before reheating and serving.
How many people will it serve?
This recipe makes 4 large servings, but if you are having it on the side of another dish it will likely serve around 8-9 people.
Want more super quick weeknight meals?
Vegan Fried Rice
Tofu scrambled eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu (14-16 oz)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (white or brown are both fine)
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Make the tofu scrambled eggs
- Drain the block of tofu (no need to press it). In a large pan, heat the olive oil, then mash the block of tofu right in the pan or crumble it in using your fingers. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes until most of the water is gone.
- Add the nutritional yeast, salt and turmeric and stir constantly for 3-4 more minutes, then transfer the scrambled tofu to a plate and set aside while you make the rice.
Make the fried rice
- To the pan, add an additional 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and peas for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables have softened.
- Now add the cooked and chilled rice, green onions and soy sauce. Fry, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tofu scramble.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil. Add more soy sauce to taste, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- To make the recipe even easier, purchase frozen pea and carrot mix.
- Instead of tofu scramble, use a bottle of Just Egg instead! Scramble as you would eggs, then continue with the recipe.
- Add veggies: Feel free to add more veggies, such as chopped broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, kale or spinach. Cook them along with the peas and carrots, until softened.
- Extra protein: Serve with Marinated Tofu or Vegan Chicken (sliced or chopped).
- Add soy sauce to taste; if you are using regular soy sauce you may want to add less so it doesn't end up too salty. You can also have some at the table, so people can choose to add more if they want.
- Fried rice will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days, and can be frozen.
This is so good and easy to make. I love Nora’s recipes, she never disappoints
Hi Karin. Thank you for you great feedback and review! I appreciate you using my recipes, and am glad you love them!
So easy to follow and taste AHMAZING! Made this for my vegan boyfriend and I’m not even vegan.
Hi Sandi. How thrilling you guys loved the fried rice! Thanks for your awesome feedback and review!
Another lovely recipe from my favorite chef. Makes a huge batch
This is such an easy delicious meal to their together during the week! Even loved by my picky preschooler. Thanks for the recipe Nora!!
You are welcome! I’m glad you are all enjoying the fried rice! Thank you, Larissa, for sharing your great feedback and review!
Very easy and turned out great. It was even better after it sat for a little while. My teen son ate ALL of it.
I’m so glad the fried rice was a hit! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback!
Came out great! I added a bit of maple syrup because we have a sesame allergy.
Thank you for your wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you loved the rice!
This is delicious, easy to make, and reheats well. Thanks for another solid recipe, Nora!
I followed the recipe exactly but subbed quinoa for rice. 10/10 very simple and so delicious! The tofu scramble in this is definitely the best I’ve ever tried!
Thank you so much Kayla! I appreciate you taking time to share your fantastic review and comments! I’m thrilled you love the recipe! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
Can I add more veggies and less rice?
How would it be if I just left out the tofu? Should l add more rice and/or vegetables?
I would add some more vegetables, but it will be just fine without the tofu. Enjoy!
This fried rice recipe is great! Its delicious and by far the fastest/easiest recipe I’ve tried. My family eats this at least once a week and it pleases even our picky toddler!
I use frozen mixed peas and carrots and add a little extra garlic and soy sauce. Top it with Sriracha! Yum!
I’m so glad you guys are loving the fried rice, Meg! I’m thrilled it’s part of your weekly meal rotation! Thank you for sharing your review and comments! I appreciate you!
Great dish. The Just Egg is a nice touch. The best part is that it’s so easy! We had a couple of the Trader Joe Dumplings with it as well, definitely a keeper. Your recipes are always so user-friendly, thank you, Nora!
I’m glad you enjoyed the fried rice! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, and for using my recipes!
Delicious! My son and I both loved this.
This will be a new staple in our home.
Can’t wait to make it again.
(I did use very small pieces of broccoli instead of peas.)
I’m glad you guys loved the fried rice! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!
I made this dish the other night and it was absolutely delicious! I added a side of sauteed spinach (wanted a few more greens). Nora, thank you so much for supplying such great, easy to make recipes. I appreciate you and your efforts to help with meal ideas. Onward we go!
Hi Joann. I’m glad you love the fried rice! Thank you for your comments. They mean a lot to me! Happy cooking!
I made this tonight, really enjoyed it, going to cook it more often thank you for the recipe
Hi Christine. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for using my recipe, and for taking the time to share!
Simple, scrumptious, for keeps! Thanks so much!
What a great recipe! So quick and versatile. An easy way to use up leftover rice with whatever is in your fridge. I added some diced seitan and used onions, carrot, and zucchini as my veg.
Glad you like it Rochelle! Thank you!
Do you think this recipe would still turn out if I leave out the oil and saute in water?
I think it would be okay, yes. Not quite as good and the rice may stick together somewhat without any oil, but it will still taste good.
Thanks for responding. I am going to try it out!
This recipe tastes so much like the real thing! I have tried so many different veganized versions of fried rice over the last few years, but they all tasted more like stir fry than fried rice. My whole family love this recipe!
Hi Jessica. I’m glad your family enjoyed the fried rice! Thank you!
I can’t have nutritional yeast. Can you recommend a substitute or should I simply omit it?
You can leave it out if needed, no problem!
Can I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari? Wheat and soy allergy here. Coconut aminos tends to be on the sweeter side, so should I adjust anything to compensate? Thanks!
I think you could, yes. I’m not super familiar with the taste of coconut aminos, but I would just add it to taste until you are satisfied. I don’t think I’d adjust anything else. Thanks!