Chicken Fried Rice is one of our go-to EASY 30-minute meals. Fried Rice is perfect for meal prep and a genius way to use leftovers if you have a Roast Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken. It’s even better with leftover cooked rice. Watch the video tutorial below and you’ll see how easy this is.

chicken fried rice recipe in skillet with spoon

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Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Fried rice is perfect for meal prep. It comes together fast and it reheats well. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers. If you cook rice earlier in the week, make more than you will need and put it into fried rice. Leftovers never tasted so good!

Fried rice recipes are well-loved in our house, from our Shrimp Fried Rice to Bacon Mango Fried Rice and even Cabbage Fried Rice! Homemade fried rice is simple to make and healthier than takeout.

What is Fried Rice?

Fried rice is a Chinese stir fry made with rice. Scrambled eggs and veggies are usually added along with some type of protein like shrimp, chicken, or ham. It is traditionally cooked in a large wok, but a large non-stick skillet works just as well. Fried rice can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course.

How to Make Chicken Fried Rice Video

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make restaurant-quality chicken fried rice.

Pro Tips for Making Fried Rice

  • For best results, start with cold-cooked rice. Do not use freshly cooked warm rice or it will become gooey and sticky in the pan.
  • Fried rice should be cooked quickly over high heat. Give your skillet a chance to preheat before adding ingredients and avoid the urge to stir constantly, especially when the rice is added. Allow things to crisp and brown slightly.
  • This recipe moves fast so prep all of your ingredients before firing up the stove.
  • Add ingredients in the right order. If you add everything at once, the pan will cool too quickly and steam-cook your ingredients.
Close up of chicken fried rice with chicken, rice, egg, peas and carrots

Ingredients for Fried Rice

  • Chicken – we love using trimmed chicken thighs for juicy bites of chicken. See substitution options below.
  • Extra light olive oil – to help the rice crisp up without smoking
  • Eggs – Add protein, great flavor and fluffy texture to the fried rice.
  • Cooked Rice – be sure it’s cooked and chilled (see instructions and tips below)
  • Soy Sauce – we use regular soy sauce but you can also use Tamari for gluten free. If using reduced sodium, add it to taste.
  • Sesame Oil – we use pure unrefined sesame oil. It adds authentic Asian flavor to the fried rice and I don’t recommend substituting it.
  • Frozen Peas and Carrots – an easy way to add veggies without any special prep required besides thawing.
  • Green onion – adds vibrant color and flavor and aroma to the fried rice
Ingredients for fried rice

The Best Chicken for Stir Fry

Adding chicken to fried rice is a great way to incorporate more lean protein. We prefer chicken thighs for chicken fried rice. The dark meat has more flavor and is more forgiving; it remains tender even when it is overcooked. It also works great with chicken tenders or Baked Chicken Breasts. Just use what you have on hand.

Substitutions

  • Ham – you can use diced ham which is also a great way to use up leftover Baked Ham.
  • Turkey – if you have leftover Roast Turkey, you can use light or dark-meat turkey.
  • No Meat – you can leave out the protein altogether and make it a basic Egg Fried Rice which still has plenty of protein.
  • Seafood – you can use shrimp as we did in our Shrimp Fried Rice or other shellfish such as crab or lobster.

How to Cook Rice for Fried Rice

Leftover chilled white rice is best and is less likely to turn gummy on the skillet. If you want to cook rice for fried rice, you will need 1 1/2 cups of raw rice to make 5 cups of cooked rice. We use Jasmine rice but any long-grain rice will work.

  • Rinse the rice in a colander until the water runs clear – this removes extra starch to ensure your rice isn’t sticky.
  • Cook rice according to package instructions or follow our tutorial on how to cook white rice.
  • Cool Rice – Spread rice into a casserole dish or baking sheet and cool to room temperature then refrigerate until chilled.
How to cook chicken fried rice in a skillet

Make-Ahead

  • To Refrigerate: Allow the fried rice to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days, which is the USDA recommendation for storing cooked chicken.
  • Freezing: Transfer the cooled fried rice to freezer-safe zip containers, remove as much as possible and seal. If you freeze the bags flat and in a thin layer, they will thaw faster. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: If frozen, defrost the fried rice in the refrigerator then sautee on a skillet until hot and steamy.
meal prep container filled with chicken fried rice

More 30-Minute Meals

If you love quick and easy dinner ideas, you’re sure to find some new favorites in this list. It’s no wonder these are some of the most popular recipes on our blog.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Chicken Fried Rice

4.95 from 126 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Chicken Fried Rice is one of our go-to EASY 30-minute meals. Fried Rice is perfect for meal prep and a genius way to use leftovers. It’s actually even better with leftover rice.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 people as a side
  • 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless, skinless and trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra light olive oil, or high heat cooking oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 cups cooked white rice, chilled*
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce, (or GF Tamari) or added to taste*
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil, or to taste
  • 12 oz frozen peas and carrots, fully thawed
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Instructions

  • Prep all ingredients before starting the stove. Trim off excess fat and cut chicken thighs into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together 4 eggs.
  • Bring a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp oil. Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until fully cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 Tbsp oil then scrambled eggs and stir and scramble for a minute, breaking up the egg with your spatula. Cook just until no longer wet and immediately transfer to the plate with chicken.
  • Use tongs to wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Swirl in another 1 Tbsp oil then spread 5 cups rice evenly over the pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes without disturbing then stir and sauté another 1 to 2 minutes. Rice should sizzle.
  • Drizzle 2 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil over the rice and stir well. Add fully thawed vegetables and mix well.
  • Add cooked chicken and scrambled eggs back to the pan. Add 1/4 cup green onion and mix well. Continue to cook until veggies and rice are hot and rice sizzles, stirring frequently. Add more soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

Notes

*1 1/2 cups of raw rice will make about 5 cups of cooked white rice. If you are making rice for this recipe, be sure to rinse the rice before cooking to remove extra starch so your fried rice doesn’t end up sticky.
**For Gluten Free, make sure to use Tamari soy sauce or a soy sauce specifically labeled “gluten-free”. 

Nutrition Per Serving

486kcal Calories45g Carbs22g Protein24g Fat6g Saturated Fat183mg Cholesterol676mg Sodium376mg Potassium3g Fiber1g Sugar5644IU Vitamin A7mg Vitamin C54mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Fried Rice
Amount per Serving
Calories
486
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
24
g
37
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Cholesterol
 
183
mg
61
%
Sodium
 
676
mg
29
%
Potassium
 
376
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
45
g
15
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
22
g
44
%
Vitamin A
 
5644
IU
113
%
Vitamin C
 
7
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
54
mg
5
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chicken fried rice
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 486

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Lisa
    March 30, 2024

    I make this on my flat top griddle as a group dish when camping. Everyone always LOVES it, and I get requests to make it when we’re planning meals. I make it per the recipe, but also sometimes add in teriyaki sauce – delicious either way! I have not found a recipe on Natasha’s website that wasn’t delicious. (It’s easy to prep – I make the rice, cut up the chicken, and freeze both.)

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2024

      Thank you so much, Lisa!

      Reply

  • Julie Wooley
    March 25, 2024

    Hello,
    This was my first attempt at “real” chicken fried rice! Delicious and easy. My only issue was my rice was sticky.

    Reply

  • Caroline
    March 13, 2024

    It was very tasty and I’ll make it again when I have more time. It is a lot more time-consuming than 30 minutes, even if you use leftover cooked rice, unless you can chop chicken and green onions at record speed.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 14, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Caroline. I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor. Thank you for your feedback about it being time-consuming, I understand that will very and depending on the individual chopping skills/ factors and speed. I appreciate your input and will consider this in future posts.

      Reply

  • Aurora
    February 8, 2024

    I’ve been wanting a simple chicken fried rice recipe and this went beautifully quick. I added a bag of thawed frozen mushrooms and they were great. I got six big servings out of it (I think my chicken thighs were closer to 1 1/2 lb) and dinner for the week is done! This weekend I’m going to try making it without the chicken and with the green onions I forgot to add last time. Love your recipes!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 8, 2024

      Hi Aurora! I’m glad you’re loving the recipes. Thank you.

      Reply

  • John
    January 5, 2024

    My favorite. You’re da best- thanks for showing me how to make it

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 5, 2024

      You’re welcome, John!

      Reply

  • Leslie
    January 4, 2024

    Love your straightforward and easy recipes Natasha! Is there a way to watch and read without the ads? Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 4, 2024

      Hi Leslie! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes. Unfortunately not. We are always wanting to improve our user experience but ads are necessary in order to keep our content free. You can click on the “print“ icon in the recipe card and it will bring up the entire recipe and instructions without ads in a print screen. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Kim
    January 3, 2024

    This is good! Better than takeout! I’ll be trying it with shrimp next.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 3, 2024

      So glad you enjoyed it. We love the shrimp version too!

      Reply

      • Dee
        January 12, 2024

        Made this exactly by directions. So easy and delicious. My husband helped make it, and he never cooks. We’ll be making this again. It’s alot for 2 people but we’re having it for lunch tomorrow.

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          January 12, 2024

          Hi Dee! That’s great to hear. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

          Reply

  • Kristen
    January 3, 2024

    This chicken fried rice was delicious and you made it so easy to make.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 3, 2024

      So glad you loved the recipe!

      Reply

  • jess
    January 3, 2024

    Chicken fried rice is one of my most favorite dishes and this one is one of the best that ive made! thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 3, 2024

      Than you so much for sharing, Jess! I’m so glad it was a hit!

      Reply

  • James
    January 3, 2024

    can you use just egg whites or egg beaters or some kind of egg subistute it looks really yummy I love fried rice very very much

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 3, 2024

      Hi James! You can if you’d like. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Rosaria
    November 19, 2023

    Another delicious recipe from Natasha. I made 4 of your Asian dishes this weekend and they were all a hit. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 19, 2023

      Yay lovely to hear that you have all enjoyed them!

      Reply

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