This Vegan Fried Rice is great for when you need a quick and easy meal that satisfies a craving for takeout. We make this all the time when we have leftover rice, and we’re always shocked at how delicious and truly restaurant-quality it tastes.
Not only is it savory and delicious, but you get carbs, protein, and plenty of veggies in one dish. Scrambled tofu replaces the scrambled egg and it works perfectly. All it takes is a few minutes of prep time and a single pan, and you’ll be digging into your fried rice in no time!
Ingredients for Vegan Fried Rice
For the fried rice:
- Rice. Cold, leftover rice works best for fried rice because the grains get firm and don’t stick together in the pan. We usually end up making this recipe when we’ve made a big batch of rice previously and we have leftovers.
- If you don’t have leftover rice, you can make a fresh batch, spread it out on a baking sheet, and pop in the freezer to rapidly cool it off. It should work fine, but rice that’s been in the fridge overnight is definitely ideal.
- Garlic and green onions. These are going to be the base of the flavor for your fried rice.
- Frozen peas and carrots. Using frozen veggies makes for the easiest possible version of this recipe, but really you can use whatever vegetables you like or that you have on hand.
- Soy sauce and chili sauce. Soy sauce will add the salt and umami to your fried rice, while a little dash of chili sauce or sriracha will add a bit of heat.
- Oil or vegan butter. This is to actually fry the rice and make it taste like what you’re used to having at a restaurant.
For the scrambled tofu:
- Tofu. This is going to replace the classic scrambled egg you find in non-vegan fried rice. It’s honestly such a good replacement and it works perfectly in this recipe.
- Oil. Just a little bit goes a long way to keep the tofu from sticking to the pan.
- Turmeric. This is going to turn your tofu scramble yellow so it resembles scrambled egg. It’s only for color, so feel free to leave it out.
- Salt and Pepper. Because you gotta have salt and pepper!
How to Make Vegan Fried Rice
- If you have leftover rice in the fridge, you’re totally good to go. If you don’t, you’ll need to cook a fresh batch of rice and rapidly cool it off. The best way to do this is to spread your cooked rice on a baking tray as soon as it’s done cooking and pop it in the freezer until it’s cold (but not frozen).
- Press tofu using your preferred method. You technically don’t have to press it, you’ll just have to cook it longer to get the excess moisture out of it.
- Chop your garlic and slice your green onions. When you slice your scallions, separate the green tops from the white bottoms (you’ll see why in a second).
Make the Scrambled Tofu
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Crumble in pressed tofu, season with salt, pepper, and turmeric, and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes. You’re just looking for a little bit of browning and some of the water still left in the tofu to steam off.
- Set aside cooked scrambled tofu on a plate.
Make the Vegan Fried Rice
- Using the same pan, heat vegan butter or oil over medium-high heat. (Don’t turn your heat down. We’re going to keep it at this heat the entire time to ensure everything gets nice and crispy!)
- Add in your minced garlic and the white part of your green onions. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Toss in your cold, leftover rice. You can either crumble it into the pan to break it up, or dump the whole thing in and break it up in the pan with your spatula.
- Stir-fry the rice for 3-5, until it starts taking on some light golden-brown color.
- Add in the frozen veggies along with the green parts of the scallion and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes, until the frozen veggies are warmed through.
- Add in your soy sauce and chili sauce (if using) and stir to distribute.
- Toss in your scrambled tofu and stir to incorporate. Cook until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use leftover rice?
Leftover rice works best in this recipe because the grains firm up and are easy to separate from one another. This makes perfect fried rice because when you add it to the pan, you can easily break it up. Then, the grains of rice stay separate and you don’t get sticky, clumpy, or gummy fried rice.
If you don’t have leftover rice, you can make a fresh batch, spread it out on a baking tray, and pop it in the freezer until it’s nice and cold. (This usually only takes 15-30 minutes.) But refrigerated rice is preferred.
Can I reduce the oil in this recipe?
You technically can reduce the oil, but your fried rice may stick to the pan more. If you have a really nonstick skillet, you can reduce the oil or use a cooking spray and you shouldn’t have a problem. However, it won’t taste quite as restaurant-quality because oil is delicious, and it’s part of what makes fried rice “fried”!
Can I add other veggies to my fried rice?
You can add any veggies you want to this dish! Broccoli, zucchini, peppers, baby carrots, mushrooms…whatever you want. If you’re using fresh vegetables, you’re just going to want to cook them a little bit before incorporating them into the rice.
The best way to do this is to cook your tofu, set it aside, stir-fry all of your veggies in the same pan and set them aside. Then, just add them in when you’d normally add the frozen veggies.
More Quick & Easy Vegan Recipes
Vegan Fried Rice
- 1/2 (14 oz) block firm or extra-firm tofu pressed
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to preference
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or vegan butter
- 4 scallions thinly sliced white and green parts separated
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cups cold leftover rice
- 1 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- sriracha or chili paste (optional, to preference)
- black pepper to preference
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with oil. Crumble in the half block of pressed tofu and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, heat vegetable oil or vegan butter over medium-high heat.
- Add in the sliced white parts of the scallions, along with the minced garlic. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the cold leftover rice. (It is helpful to use your hands to separate the grains of rice before adding it, so it isn't sticking together.) Stir-fry the rice for 3-5 minutes, until it starts to take on some golden-brown color.
- Add in the frozen veggies and the sliced green parts of the scallions and stir-fry for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the veggies are warmed through.
- Add in the soy sauce and sriracha and stir to distribute.
- Fold in the scrambled tofu and stir-fry for an additional 1-2 minutes to heat through. Taste and season with additional black pepper, salt, or sriracha to preference. Enjoy!