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Top view of homemade vegetable fried rice on a white plate

How to Make Vegetable Fried Rice (Recipes Kids Should Know Before Leaving Home)

By Jane Maynard

Do you know what a “kitchen sink recipe” is? It’s a recipe that is very flexible and can use whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand at any given time, i.e. everything but the kitchen sink! Kitchen sink recipes are awesome because you can pull together a nice meal even if you haven’t totally planned ahead. One of the most popular (and my favorite) kitchen sink recipes is Fried Rice.

Not only does it put dried out, leftover rice to good use, but you can pretty much add whatever vegetables you happen to have in the fridge or freezer and it always tastes good. Let’s learn how to make Vegetable Fried Rice, a recipe kids should know before leaving home.

Side view of a plate of homemade vegetable fried rice

Vegetable Fried Rice recipe tips:

1. You don’t have to use leftover rice for this recipe, any already-cooked rice will work. Leftover rice works especially well, but if your rice is fresh you can just fry it up a little bit longer and it will taste great. In addition, fresh or frozen vegetables work equally well in this recipe.

2. The biggest trick to making fried rice is to have all of your ingredients lined up and ready to go because the process is pretty fast once you get cooking.

3. Making fried rice does involve repeatedly picking up the hot skillet and scraping ingredients into a bowl, so using a hot pad is a must and, if the pan feels heavy and hard to manage on your own, get help from a grown up!

Homemade vegetable fried rice in the skillet with spatula

4. If you have any leftover meat lying around, like chicken or pork, that is also a great addition to vegetable fried rice. Just add the meat in when you add the vegetables!

Side view of plated homemade vegetable fried rice back lit

Enough talking about fried rice, let’s make the recipe!


Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

  • Author: Jane Maynard



2 cups cooked white or brown rice (leftover dried out rice is perfect for fried rice!)

3 T oil, divided into 3 portions as it will be used three separate times while making this recipe (canola, avocado, safflower, vegetable, peanut are all good oils for this)

1 T soy sauce, divided in half

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/4 of an onion, sliced

1 clove fresh garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press

23 cups small chopped vegetables (good vegetable options include any of the following: frozen corn and peas; frozen stir-fry vegetable mix; small-chopped carrots, broccoli, cauliflower; sliced cabbage; spinach and/or baby kale; green onions)

2 eggs, beaten in a small bowl with a fork or whisk with 4 pinches of salt

Salt & pepper to taste (if needed)


1. Gather all of your ingredients for the entire recipe and have them all prepared and ready to go. Also have an empty large mixing bowl ready. Use a rubber spatula for this recipe when cooking.

2. Place a large, deep 2-inch skillet on the stove over medium heat (5 on a dial of 1-10). Let frying pan (skillet) heat up for a few minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of the oil to it.

3. Add the sliced onions and cook until they look translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, stir well, cook 1 more minute. Using the spatula to scrape the frying pan well, carefully transfer the onions and garlic to the empty bowl.

4. Return the skillet to the hot burner and raise the heat to medium-high (7 on a dial of 1-10). Add 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and the sesame oil to the frying pan.

5. Add the rice, stir well, then spread the rice evenly in the pan to cover the entire surface. Let it all cook about 1 minute, then stir and spread again. Repeat this process 3-5 times, until the rice starts to brown. Using the spatula to scrape the frying pan well, then carefully transfer the rice to the empty bowl with the onions.

6. Return the skillet to the hot burner. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce to the frying pan. Add vegetables to the pan. (If you are using spinach/kale and/or green onion, DO NOT add those to the pan at this point.) Stir and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and hot. If you are using spinach/kale and/or green onions, add them at the end, cooking for about 1 more minute. Carefully transfer vegetables to the bowl with the onions and rice.

7. Return skillet to the hot burner. Add a splash of oil (about 1 teaspoon), tilt the pan around to spread the oil, then pour the beaten eggs into the pan. Let the eggs fill the entire surface of the pan, tilting the pan as needed to get the eggs to evenly spread. As the egg starts to cook through and look a little dried out on top, turn off the stove. Using the spatula, cut up the egg into bite-sized pieces, working quickly.

8. Add everything that’s in the bowl back to the skillet and stir to combine all of the ingredients well.

9. Serve immediately, adding salt and pepper to taste to individual servings. (Also delicious with sriracha hot sauce if you like some heat!)

Did you make this recipe?

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More Dinner Recipes that Kids Should Learn to Make:

1. Teach Kids to Make Tacos
2. Teach Kids to Make Bean Chili
3. Teach Kids to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs

About the Author

Jane Maynard

Jane Maynard is a mom, wife, graphic designer and blogger living in the San Diego area in sunny Southern California. Jane started her food blog This Week for Dinner 9 years ago and has be...

Jane Maynard is a mom, wife, graphic designer and blogger living in the San Diego area in sunny Southern California. Jane started her food blog This Week for Dinner 9 years ago and has been posting weekly meal plans ever since, in addition to recipes, travel, kitchen tips and more. Jane writes for the food sections of several websites and is always busy cooking up something new! Jane is pretty much obsessed with chocolate chip cookies and does not want to fix that about herself.

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