Better thank take-out heathy chicken fried rice! Made with brown rice and loaded with veggies. A simple and fresh meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Skip the take-out and give this healthy twist on fried rice a try instead. You can plan ahead and get all the ingredients ready, but it's also perfect for leftover rice or leftover veggies you have sitting in your fridge. Either way, this homemade healthy chicken fried rice is an easy and delicious weeknight meal!
- BETTER-FOR-YOU INGREDIENTS - I use brown rice (you'd never know) and skipped the soy sauce for coconut aminos (although you can use soy sauce or liquid aminos if you prefer). I also use extra-virgin olive oil as opposed to refined vegetable oils that you'd find in most fried rice recipes.
- VEGGIE PACKED - Typical fried rice has a few peas and carrots thrown in, but not this dish! This healthy chicken fried rice is veggie packed!
- EASY - One skillet and less than 30 minutes to make this easy fried rice!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below. Here are some specific call-outs, and when needed, some tips on keeping the ingredients clean.
CHICKEN - I use chicken breasts, but you can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs too. You'll want the chicken diced into ½" to ¾" cubes.
Clean food tip: Opt for organic chicken if you can. Chicken that’s been certified organic has not been given antibiotics and has been fed organic feed. In addition, I like to look for certifications like “Certified Humane Raised and Handled”, “Global Animal Partnership” or “Animal Welfare Approved.” This ensures quality treatment of the animals.
COOKED BROWN RICE - The key to the perfect fried rice is using pre-cooked COLD rice! If you use warm, freshly cooked rice you'll end up with soggy fried rice. Using cold (day old) rice helps to dry out the grains and give your fried rice the perfect texture.
And I love brown rice as it's a whole grain and hasn't been processed like white rice has. With that said, you can definitely use white rice in this recipe.
Clean food tip: Because conventionally grown rice is high in pesticides, I choose organic.
COCONUT AMINOS - Coconut aminos is a common substitute for soy sauce. It has a nice, deep, sweet flavor; a little savory, but not as salty as soy sauce. And don’t worry, it tastes nothing like coconut. In addition, it is typically organic/non-GMO, low-sodium, and gluten-free.
We love Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos - it can be found at Target, Whole Foods (and most other grocery stores) by the soy sauce.
You can sub regular soy sauce or liquid aminos with the same end result.
TOASTED SESAME OIL - Don't skip the toasted sesame oil. Has a distinct flavor and adds so much depth to this healthy fried rice. Toasted sesame oil is NOT the same as sesame oil, so make sure you are using one that says "toasted" on the label.
VEGGIES - You can use whatever veggies you have on hand. For this specific recipe I used onions, broccoli, red pepper, and frozen peas and carrots.
EGGS - I love some scrambled eggs thrown in with my fried rice, but you an omit if that's not your thing.
EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - Not pictured above, but you will need some extra-virgin olive oil for cooking the chicken and veggies. You can also use avocado oil.
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
This healthy chicken fried rice requires only one skillet and only a few easy steps!
STEP 1: Heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a large sautee pan, or skillet, over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until all pieces of chicken are cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
STEP 2: Add an additional tablespoon of oil to pan. Add onion, broccoli, and red pepper. Sautee for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Next, add in frozen peas/carrots and garlic. Continue cooking until frozen veggies are warm.
STEP 3: Turn to medium heat and push veggies off to the side of the skillet and add the eggs. You can whisk the eggs first or crack them directly into the pan. You may want to add some more oil to this side of the pan to avoid sticking. Scramble eggs and once fully cooked, mix them in with the veggies.
STEP 4: Turn heat back to med-high and add rice, cooked chicken, coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil, and green onions. Mix everything together and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow rice to cook around the edges and for the chicken to heat back up.
Serve and enjoy this healthy chicken fried rice! This makes enough for 4 fairly large servings (assuming 2 cups = 1 serving).
Notes on the Best Rice for Fried Rice
First off, you want to use COLD rice! Preferably day old rice. Day old rice has had a chance to dry, which means it will fry up better and won't be soggy.
When cooking rice for fried rice, use slightly less water than the recipe actually calls for. You can also use pre-cooked rice from the bag or the pre-cooked rice you find in the freezer. If using frozen rice, no need to thaw. Just fry a few extra minutes until hot.
If you don't have day old rice, you can cook the rice and then lay it out on a baking sheet and throw in the freezer to cool off and dry out a bit.
But which kind of rice should I use? Well, to keep this recipe healthy, I use brown rice because it's a whole grain (not a refined white grain) and contains more nutrients. And brown rice is a complex carb, which is consider a good carb. But any long grain rice (brown or white) are known to be good for fried rice since they are fluffy and not very sticky.
Yes, you can make this healthy chicken fried rice with cauliflower rice. Follow the same steps and use cauliflower rice in place of the brown rice. Same as with the rice, it's best to use cold cauliflower rice.
This veggie packed fried rice is really good with any variation of veggies. Others I think would be good with this chicken fried rice are mushrooms, green beans, and/or zucchini.
Yes, soy sauce, or even liquid aminos can be used in place of the coconut aminos.
Is can be... and just remember "healthy" is a very subjective term. I consider this recipe healthy because I use brown rice (whole grains), add a ton of veggies, and use coconut aminos (an alternative to soy sauce). Plus, I use extra-virgin olive oil to stir-fry the veggies, as opposed to other refined vegetable oils. You'll only find simple, clean ingredients in this chicken fried rice!
Tips for the Best Fried Rice
Before adding the cold rice to the skillet, fluff/break up the rice with a fork. Cold rice straight from the fridge may settle and take on the shape of the container. Just break up with a fork before adding to the skillet.
Switch up the chicken and use steak or shrimp instead. Same with the chicken, just cook first, set aside, and then add back to the skillet when you add the rice, toasted sesame oil, and coconut aminos.
For some extra flavor, add some fish sauce or oyster sauce if you have some on hand.
Use a large skillet (or wok if you have one). If you don't have a large skillet, I recommend you stir-fry the rice in batches.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will keep for 3-4 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
More Dinner Recipes You Might Like
Eat Clean.Be Healthy!
Healthy Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 large skillet
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into ½" cubes
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (see notes)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (see notes)
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- Heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until all pieces of chicken are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan and add onion, pepper, and broccoli. Sautee for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Next, add in the garlic and frozen peas/carrots. Continue cooking until frozen veggies are warm.
- Turn to medium heat and push veggies off to one side of the skillet and add the eggs (you can whisk the eggs first or crack them directly into the pan- you may want to add some more oil to this side of the pan to avoid sticking). Scramble eggs. Once eggs are fully cooked, mix them in with the veggies.
- Turn heat back to med-high and add cooked rice, cooked chicken, green onions, coconut aminos, and toasted sesame oil. Mix everything together and continue cooking, stirring frequently, to allow rice to cook around the edges and for chicken to heat back up (about 3-5 minutes).
- Taste and add more coconut aminos and/or salt if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- The larger the skillet you have the better. If you don't have a large skillet, I recommend frying the rice in batches (starting on step #4).
- Day old cooked rice is best for making fried rice. See blog post for tips on the best rice. I use brown rice for this, but you can use any variation of rice. Long grain rice is best for fried rice.
- Coconut aminos is a common substitute for soy sauce. It is typically organic/non-GMO, low-sodium, and gluten-free. You can sub regular soy sauce or liquid aminos in it's place. Just note if needing this to be gluten free, make sure your soy sauce does not contain wheat.
- This makes 4 large servings. You can get 6 servings if on the smaller side.