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Leftover Chicken Fried Rice

Easy Chicken Fried Rice is made with a little leftover chicken and cooked rice, plus plenty of veggies! This 20 minute weeknight dinner idea is just so simple to throw together.

Easy Chicken Fried Rice is made with a little leftover chicken and cooked rice, plus plenty of veggies! This 20 minute weeknight dinner idea is just so simple to throw together.

Who needs carryout, when Leftover Chicken Fried Rice is just so easy to whip up in your own kitchen? This is a great use for leftover chicken, as well as a great way to use up veggies that are starting to go. Here I used broccoli, carrot, celery, and frozen edamame; you could also try mushrooms, sweet bell pepper, or other veggies of choice.

Leftover Chicken Fried Rice

Bowl of chicken fried rice with veggies

So what prompted fried rice today? Well, yesterday I told you about making leftover chicken soup with some cooked chicken from my freezer + odds and ends of veggies from the fridge. Today, this is what I did with the rest of that chicken, plus a few more veggie odds & ends.

In addition to the last of my older carrots and celery, I had some broccoli that was starting to get a little yellow, plus some leftover cooked rice. This is a job for… Easy leftover chicken fried rice! (Because now, more than ever, it seems like a bad time to be wasting food…)

Oh, and if you have leftover pork today, instead? Here’s an alternative (and yes, very similar) recipe for easy leftover pork fried rice. You can make fried rice with so many leftover odds and ends; it’s a perfect recipe for using up what you have in the fridge.

How to make chicken fried rice

chicken fried rice ingredients

Ingredients

2.5 Tbsp canola or other high smoke point oil, divided
1 tsp sesame oil
6-8 oz broccoli, chopped small
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Tbsp diced onion
4 cloves minced garlic (about 2 tsp)
1 cup frozen green peas or edamame
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3-4 cups cold cooked rice (it’s not an exact science — use what you have!)
1-1.5 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 green onions, chopped

Directions

Chop the vegetables and chicken.

Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the carrot, broccoli, celery, onion, garlic, and sesame oil to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about two minutes until the veggies begin to soften, stirring occasionally.

veggies in the pan for fried rice

Stir in the peas or edamame, crushed red pepper, and ginger and continue cooking for about a minute.

spread out the rice in the pan for fried rice

Stir in the rice and spread it out across the entire pan, breaking up any large clumps. Let the rice cook undisturbed for two minutes, then stir, spread out again, and cook for another two minutes.

Stir in the soy sauce and chicken and continue cooking over medium-high heat for another minute.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a small bowl. Push the rice to the edges of the pan to create an open well in the center, then add 1/2 Tbsp canola oil to the center of the pan.

add eggs to the center of the pan

Pour the beaten eggs into the center of the pan and cook until scrambled, occasionally pushing the egg to the middle and breaking it up.

Stir and chop the cooked scrambled eggs into the rice, then stir in the chopped green onions.

Taste to see if your fried rice needs additional soy sauce, then serve.

Note: Cold cooked leftover rice works much better for fried rice than freshly cooked, and it’s also important for the final texture to let the rice sit spread out in the pan undisturbed for a while, rather than stirring frequently. In a real pinch, you can substitute canned chicken for leftover cooked chicken.

Comfort food comes in many forms

Easy Chicken Fried Rice is made with a little leftover chicken and cooked rice, plus plenty of veggies! This 20 minute weeknight dinner idea is just so simple to throw together.

Comfort food comes in all different forms, and fried rice is actually another one of mine. Luckily, it’s just so easy to make! And, bonus: It’s always a hit with the kids, and a good way to get some veggies into them. 🙂

The next time you have some leftover chicken handy, look at turning it into a whole new dinner with this super easy chicken fried rice recipe.

Leftover Chicken Fried Rice, printable recipe

Leftover Chicken Fried Rice

Easy Chicken Fried Rice is made with a little leftover chicken and cooked rice, plus plenty of veggies! This 20 minute weeknight dinner idea is just so simple to throw together.
Course dinner
Cuisine fried rice
Keyword 20 minute meals, chicken fried rice, easy weeknight dinner, fried rice, leftover chicken, leftover chicken fried rice
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Equipment

veggie peeler
chef’s knife
wooden utensils

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Tbsp canola or other high smoke point oil divided
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 6-8 oz broccoli chopped small
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 Tbsp diced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic about 2 tsp
  • 1 cup frozen green peas or edamame
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 cups cold cooked rice it’s not an exact science — use what you have!
  • 1-1.5 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Chop the vegetables and chicken.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the carrot, broccoli, celery, onion, garlic, and sesame oil to the pan.
  • Cook over medium-high heat for about two minutes until the veggies begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the peas or edamame, crushed red pepper, and ginger and continue cooking for about a minute.
  • Stir in the rice and spread it out across the entire pan, breaking up any large clumps. Let the rice cook undisturbed for two minutes, then stir, spread out again, and cook for another two minutes.
  • Stir in the soy sauce and chicken and continue cooking over medium-high heat for another minute.
  • Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a small bowl. Push the rice to the edges of the pan to create an open well in the center, then add 1/2 Tbsp canola oil to the center of the pan.
  • Pour the beaten eggs into the center of the pan and cook until scrambled, occasionally pushing the egg to the middle and breaking it up.
  • Stir and chop the cooked scrambled eggs into the rice, then stir in the chopped green onions.
  • Taste to see if your fried rice needs additional soy sauce, then serve.

Notes

Cold cooked leftover rice works much better for fried rice than freshly cooked, and it’s also important for the final texture to let the rice sit spread out in the pan undisturbed for a while, rather than stirring frequently. (In a real pinch, you can substitute canned chicken for leftover cooked chicken.)

Recipes in the real world

weekly ALDI meal plans from Mashup Mom -- six complete dinners for four, $60 out the door! MashupMom.com, every Wednesday.

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

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