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Chicken Fried Rice

A complete weeknight meal that uses leftovers? Count us in! Rice, whatever vegetables you have on hand, and succulent chicken make this mouthwatering chicken fried rice a winner.

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a bowl of chicken fried rice made with carrots, onions, peas, green onions, eggs, soy sauce, coconut aminos and sesame oil
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

This better-than-the-takeout version of your favorite chicken fried rice will have your tastebuds dancing. Our chicken fried rice recipe uses leftover (or day-old) white rice, a medley of fresh veggies, and chunks of seasoned, juicy chicken to make this dish a guaranteed hit with the whole family. Not only is it flavorful, quick, and a breeze to whip up, but it’s also a great way to use up whatever leftover vegetables you have lying around in your fridge. We also love that this homemade chicken fried rice is a bit healthier than our average takeout order, which just means we can add it to our weekly rotation of meals!

rice, chicken, carrots, peas, onions, eggs, green onions, corn starch, soy sauce, sesame oil and vegetable oil in prep bowls

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What's in this Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Fried rice has become a staple in many cuisines around the world, although it’s mostly known as Chinese comfort food. The basic ingredients include rice, protein, and veggies seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other flavorful spices. Fried rice is incredibly versatile, and it's easy to add or substitute ingredients based on personal taste preferences. For the best chicken fried rice, we use:

  • Long grain white rice

  • Chicken breasts

  • Sea salt

  • Cornstarch

  • Large eggs

  • Toasted sesame oil

  • Coconut aminos

  • Vegetable oil

  • Carrots

  • Yellow onion

  • Garlic cloves

  • Frozen peas

  • Green onions

  • Soy sauce or tamari

sliced raw chicken, seasoned with salt, tossed in corn starch in a glass bowl
carrots and onions being cooked in a wok in vegetable oil and sesame oil

How to Make Chicken Fried Rice

Follow these easy steps for how to cook chicken fried rice:

  1. Cook the chicken! Start by seasoning the chicken with salt and tossing it with cornstarch, then boil it for about four minutes. Save for later.

  2. Prepare the eggs and vegetables! In a small bowl, beat the eggs with sesame oil and coconut aminos. In a skillet or wok, cook the carrots, followed by onions and garlic, until tender. Remove from the skillet, then cook the eggs in the same skillet.

  3. Crisp up the rice! In a single layer, cook the rice until crispy, about 2-3 minutes, then toss it a few times to ensure it has crisped evenly. Repeat this a few times until desired crispiness is achieved! Pro tip: We like to use day-old cooked rice because it produces a much better texture than using fresh rice, which sometimes can be soggy when fried! If you’re using freshly made cooked rice, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool as much as possible before this step!

  4. Assemble and serve! Add the chicken, vegetables, and egg mixture to the skillet with the rice. Stir in peas, green onions, coconut aminos, and soy sauce. Cook until warmed through and combined. Serve with a side of soy sauce if desired!

eggs mixed with coconut aminos, sesame oil and salt being cooked in a wok with a wooden spoon
white rice being cooked in vegetable oil and sesame oil in a wok

Tips for Making Fried Rice

If you're looking to take your homemade fried rice to the next level and are interested in what makes restaurant fried rice taste good, there are a few tips and tricks you can use!

  1. Leftover rice! One of the key components of what gives Chinese fried rice its flavor is the use of leftover rice that has had time to dry out a bit, giving it that perfect texture. Simply make a double batch of White Rice the night before, and it’ll be perfect to use the next day for Chinese chicken fried rice.

  2. Aromatics! The flavor of fried rice comes from the use of aromatics like garlic, ginger, and green onions, as well as soy sauce and sesame oil. But what’s the secret to fried rice? The secret to making delicious fried rice is to ensure that each grain of rice is coated in the flavorful seasoning and that you're using high heat (which you can get from a large skillet, but a wok is preferred due to heat distribution) to get that signature crispy texture.

  3. Make it your own! Swap out veggies for red bell pepper or whatever you may have on hand. Restaurant fried rice often has a few extra touches, such as the addition of small pieces of meat like pork, shrimp, or Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs and even a sprinkle of MSG to enhance the umami flavor. Fun Fact: MSG, also known as Monosodium glutamate, is a natural savory food enhancer, like salt, that occurs in vegetables and meats, such as mushrooms and beef broth.

rice, chicken, carrots, onions, peas and green onions in a wok to make chicken fried rice
chicken fried rice being stirred in a wok with a wooden spoon with carrots, onions, peas, green onions, eggs & soy sauce

What Goes With Chicken Fried Rice

Whether served as a side dish or a main course, fried rice is a delicious and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed any time of day. This healthy chicken fried rice recipe is an easy weeknight meal on its own, but also pairs nicely with Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry, Pineapple Pork Stir Fry, or Sesame Chicken with Broccoli. For fresh and flavorful sides, we like to whip up an Asian Cucumber Salad, Chinese Dry Fried Green Beans, Hot and Sour Cabbage, Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy, Sticky Shrimp Lettuce Wraps or Fresh Spring Rolls. We also love a heartier main such as an Asian Chopped Salad with Hoisin Marinated Pork or Grilled Five Spice Flank Steak.

How to Store Chicken Fried Rice

Looking to enjoy your leftover chicken fried rice without compromising on flavor or texture (and wondering how long is chicken fried rice good for?) While this flavorful and quick chicken fried rice takes less than an hour to make and much faster to devour, you can always make a double batch for the week – and hope it lasts! To store your chicken fried rice, when cooled, place it in an airtight container and then pop it in the fridge. It will typically last for up to two to three days in the fridge.

How to reheat chicken fried rice:

When it's time to reheat your chicken fried rice, heat it up in a skillet or wok with a little oil, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent it from sticking. Cook until heated through, and enjoy your delicious meal once again! If you’re short on time, the microwave, for 1-2 minutes, will work as well.

a bowl of chicken fried rice made with carrots, onions, peas, green onions, eggs, and soy sauce with chop sticks

Tools You’ll Need to Make Fried Rice with Chicken

The Ultimate Rice Recipes!

Rice is one of our favorite, most versatile ingredients. Not only is it nutritious, but it also is budget-friendly and spans across almost every culture. We could eat it every day, especially with some of our most-loved crowd favorite recipes:

a bowl of chicken fried rice made with carrots, onions, peas, green onions, eggs, and soy sauce with chop sticks

Better than Takeout, Chicken Fried Rice!

You don’t have to pick up the phone to have this fried rice with chicken. Did you end up making it? Snag a photo or video of your chicken fried rice and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Chicken Fried Rice

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 649

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked long grain white rice (see Note)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  2. Add the chicken to a large bowl and season all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add the cornstarch and toss until evenly coated. Add the chicken to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, or until no longer pink. Drain the chicken and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with ½ teaspoon of the sesame oil, ½ teaspoon of the coconut aminos, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about another 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the same skillet. Once the oil is glistening, add the egg mixture and cook, scrambling, breaking them into bite size pieces until just set, about 2 minutes. Transfer the eggs to the plate with the vegetables.

  6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the skillet. Once the oil is glistening, add the rice in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until slightly crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss 3 more times, cooking for 2-3 minutes each time.

  7. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chicken, veggie and egg mixture to the skillet. Stir in the peas, green onions, remaining coconut aminos and soy sauce and cook stirring, until combined and warmed through, about 3 minutes.


Note: We use day-old cooked rice here because it produces a much better texture than using fresh rice, which can be soggy when fried. If you’re using freshly made cooked rice, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool as much as possible before adding to the skillet.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories649
  • Protein37 g
  • Carbohydrates72 g
  • Total Fat20 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol213 mg
  • sodium2449 mg
  • Total Sugars14 g

Chicken Fried Rice

Questions & Reviews

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  • Ashley

    Hi! If making this on the blackstone griddle... do you pre-boil the chicken or put it raw on the griddle? How do you suggest adjusting this recipe when making it outside on the flat top griddle? Thanks!!!!

    The boiling step is called "velveting" we'd still recommend it it keeps the moisture in the thin sliced chicken. You honestly could make it the exact same way or if you have enough space on your flat top to do things at the same time you could cut a little time off by cookings, veggies, eggs and rice etc at the same time on different spots of the blackstone. It depends how much you want to be focusing on at one time. Hope this helps!

  • Terri B

    This was the best chicken fried rice recipe I’ve tried so far. My hubby asked if I’d made this before and I confirmed yes but not THIS recipe. This one is definitely the winner! I order this regularly at our local Thai restaurant but they include broccoli and I actually order extra so there was no way I couldn’t add that to my rendition. I threw in 2-3 cups of chopped broccoli with the carrots and it was perfection!! To be honest, I think the Thai restaurant’s version is pretty dry compared to this one. All of your recipes have been amazing!

    Thanks so much Terri! We are so happy you love this recipe and our other ones!

  • Brittany

    Another perfect go-to recipe! 🤍

    Thank you Britany! We are so happy you love it!

  • Brooks Rodrigue

    Another winner! This was a quick and easy as well as delicious Tuesday dinner! We had enough leftovers for lunch and hopefully dinner tonight!

    YAY! So glad you loved it Brooks!

  • Jenn

    This tasted like the real deal and my family loved it! Love when I can recreate a take out favorite! Thanks for the recipe TMP.

    Thanks Jenn, so glad your family enjoyed it!