Change up your fried rice game with this easy quinoa fried rice in teriyaki sauce. This vegan recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and perfect for weeknight dinners!
Why this recipe works
Quinoa fried rice is the best kind of weeknight meal. Here's why:
- Ready in under 30 minutes
- Uses just 10 main ingredients
- Tossed in a simple yet flavorful homemade teriyaki sauce
- Endlessly versatile and easy to pack with vegetables
I love a classic fried rice recipe, but sometimes I like to change things up by using quinoa in place of rice. Quinoa has a great chewy texture AND it adds protein to the meal!
What you'll need
- Quinoa: Any color works. I cook quinoa in my Instant Pot but you can also prepare it according to package instructions on the stove top.
- Stir fry veggies like diced red bell pepper, diced carrot and green onions.
- Soy sauce is used in the teriyaki sauce. Choose reduced sodium soy sauce for a lower sodium meal or swap with tamari sauce for a gluten-free option.
- Light brown sugar adds sweetness to the teriyaki sauce. I recommend sticking to brown sugar but white sugar or maple syrup will work in a pinch.
- Rice vinegar (AKA rice wine vinegar) is another important teriyaki sauce ingredient.
Step by step instructions
Pro tip: Cold quinoa works best in quinoa fried rice. Cook quinoa the night before for quicker prep time and a better result.
Start by making the teriyaki sauce by simply whisking all teriyaki sauce ingredients together. This recipe is adapted from my tempeh teriyaki stir fry.
Stir fry by the veggies in a large skillet or wok over medium high to high heat (somewhere between the two). Add a drizzle of oil (peanut oil or canola are my go-to but extra virgin olive oil also works) and cook the veggies until tender but with a little bit of a bite, about 2-3 minutes.
I usually add frozen edamame in with the veggies. If your edamame is thawed, wait to add it until you add the quinoa.
Pro tip: Make sure the pan is hot! This makes the veggies tender but not mushy. Before adding oil, sprinkle the pan with a little bit of water. If it sizzles, it's ready.
Add in the quinoa, white parts of the green onions and teriyaki sauce. Stir to combine with the veggies. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed and the quinoa is beginning to brown.
Enjoy hot topped with the green parts of the green onions, sesame seeds and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Rinse your quinoa before cooking it for the best flavor.
- Use cold quinoa for the best texture. I usually make a batch the night before then refrigerate it until the next day.
- How to quickly chill quinoa: If you don't have chilled quinoa on hand you can cool it in just 15 minutes. Spread cooked quinoa out thinly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze it for 15 minutes (or until its chilled) while you prep the veggies and sauce.
- Veggies: Quinoa fried rice is great for using up extra veggies. Try broccoli, cabbage, different colors of peppers, etc. Frozen veggies work but make sure to thaw them before stir frying.
- Protein: If you don't like edamame, try adding baked tofu or sesame tofu. Chickpeas are also a great vegan protein option!
Yes, to make this recipe soy free use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce and replace edamame with your favorite non-soy protein.
For best quality, keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
If you want a more traditional fried rice, you can definitely add in a couple of eggs. Crack eggs directly into the pan when you add the quinoa and teriyaki sauce. Move around the pan until small pieces form and cook until fluffy.
More easy dinner ideas
If you loved this recipe, I have a few more like it that you'll want to try out!
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Quinoa Fried Rice with Teriyaki Sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 cups chilled cooked quinoa see note #1
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 and ½ cups frozen edamame
- 3 sprigs green onion sliced
- sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper for serving (optional)
- Start by making the teriyaki sauce. Whisk together all ingredients in a small container. The sugar won't fully dissolve but that's okay. Set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet between medium-high to high heat. Once hot, drizzle in 1 tablespoon oil.
- To the hot oil add the diced carrot, diced bell pepper and frozen edamame. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Once the carrot is tender but still has a bite to it and the edamame is cooked, add in the white parts of the green onion, quinoa and teriyaki sauce.
- Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed and the quinoa is golden.
- Turn off the heat and add the remaining green onion. Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
- Quinoa: 1 and ½ cups dry quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked quinoa. Cook quinoa according to package instructions the night before and chill in the fridge before using. Or transfer cooked quinoa to a sheet pan and freeze for 10-15 minutes to chill.
- Leftovers: For best quality, keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat.