In need of a cheap healthy meal to feed a crowd? This Loaded Fried Rice is a budget-friendly dinner that uses leftovers from your refrigerator. Turn everyone’s favorite side dish into a satisfying, 30-minute meal!
Skip takeout and opt for a cheap healthy meal at home!
My favorite part about making fried rice is the absolute versatility you have with the ingredients. Many of the basic fried rice recipes we’ve tried typically have garlic, ginger, egg, peas, and carrots. When we order takeout, my husband always skips plain rice and gets its more flavorful cousin instead!
A meal so versatile, there’s nothing not to love!
When I make fried rice at home, it goes way beyond the basics though. To be honest, this Loaded Fried Rice recipe is my favorite go-to recipe when it’s time to clean out the crisper drawer. I start with the above-mentioned basics, using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables that only costs $1 at my local supermarket, instead of chopping peas and carrots by hand. Plus I like the addition of corn and green beans.
After that, the sky is literally the limit! This particular batch of Loaded Fried Rice also has kale, broccoli, sweet peppers, red cabbage, chicken, snap peas, and mushrooms. Oh, and jalapeño peppers for a little heat. Sometimes I skip the meat and go all vegetable like my Mushroom Kale Fried Rice.
Leftover meals are the best meals!
Other times it depends on what leftovers are in the refrigerator. Proteins like pork chops, sausages, kielbasa, and even pulled pork are great additions to your own version of this Loaded Fried Rice recipe. Just be sure to chop all your ingredients into pretty small, uniform pieces. Usually I cook in batches, then toss everything together at the end. Group hearty items like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and fresh beans together. Softer vegetables like peppers and onions need less time to cook so stirfry them with each other.
- 3 tbsp canola oil, plus more if needed
- 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 3 tsp grated ginger or ginger paste
- 8 oz frozen mixed vegetables
- 4 cups cooked, day-old or chilled rice
- 2-3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (substitute amino acids to make recipe gluten free)
- 3 large eggs, lightly scrambled
- 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped cooked protein of choice (i.e. chicken, pork, shrimp, kielbasa, etc.)
- 2-3 cups additional vegetables as desired, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or extra large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add white onion, garlic, and ginger to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes until slightly soft and fragrant.
- Mix in frozen vegetables, cook 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in 1 tbsp oil, rice, and soy sauce. Sauté 3 minutes or until rice is slightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Heat remaining oil skillet. Add eggs and scramble, stirring frequently until cooked. Approximately 1-2 minutes. Transfer eggs to bowl, toss with rice and scallions.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan, add desired cooked protein for 1 minute to heat through. Transfer to bowl of rice.
- Working in batches stir fry remaining desired vegetables 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft. Add to bowl of rice, toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: Recipe is best made with leftover or chilled rice. If you only have fresh cooked rice, spread it out on a baking tray and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes until completely cooled.
We hope you enjoy this Loaded Fried Rice recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Loriann from Thyme for Cocktails, as much as we do. If you love this simple leftover meal, you can find more like it by visiting our 30-Minute Meal Section. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!