Vegetarian Quinoa Fried “Rice”

In true Candace fashion, I have a new favorite meal. This should be of no shock value because I pretty much have a new favorite meal every week.


Vegetarian Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

Occasionally I make a meal that I can’t stop thinking about. A meal that I want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A meal that I ACTUALLY eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t judge me.

This is definitely one of those meals. And it’s not even anything overly special, just good, simple ingredients that create a party in your mouth.



I thought I had this brilliant one-of-a-kind idea to use quinoa instead of white rice to make fried rice, but after a little perusing through Pinterest, I realized that I wasn’t the first person to come up with this idea. Dangit, I’m not as much of a genius as I thought.

The beauty of using quinoa is that you don’t have to make it in advance and let it get all stale in the fridge, like you would with rice. If you use fresh rice versus stale leftover rice, the final dish ends up being mushy. The texture is just off. But with quinoa, you don’t have to worry about that weird texture problem. And of course it helps that quinoa cooks up in about 10-15 minutes, SO much faster than rice. This is perfect for my impatient personality.

Vegetarian Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

Quinoa also brings a ton of health benefits to the table. It is a complete protein, which is really important if you eat little or no meat in your diet.

You can make this dish with really whatever veggies you have on hand. It would be a great way to clean out the fridge. I went ahead and used a few traditional things that you would normally find in fried rice, and also added some bell pepper and tofu to bump up the protein even more.

Vegetarian Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

Would it be more fun to go to a hibachi, order fried rice, and watch the chef catch eggs in his hat? Sure. But it is JUST as delicious (and healthier) to make it yourself.


Vegetarian Quinoa Fried “Rice”

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2-3 tbsp GF soy sauce
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp high heat cooking oil (such as coconut oil), divided
  • For the tofu marinade
  • 2 tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the tofu cubes and toss together to coat. Let this sit while you are preparing the quinoa.
  2. Combine the quinoa and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. When all of the water is absorbed by the quinoa, fluff it with a fork and take off the heat. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a large skillet over high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil and the tofu to the skillet. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes. When the tofu is browned on all sides, remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. To the skillet, add the other tbsp of the oil, pepper, carrots, onions and garlic. Stir frequently and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Then add the peas and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
  5. Next, add the tofu and quinoa to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine, then pour in the soy sauce.
  6. Stir to coat and then push the mixture to one side of the pan. Add in the eggs to the empty side of the skillet, stirring frequently until almost cooked through. Then stir the eggs into the quinoa mixture to evenly combine.
  7. Remove from skillet, serve and enjoy!


*To remove some of the liquid from the tofu before cooking, remove it from the package, put it between a few paper towels and weigh it down with a skillet. This will help to press some of that water out. This is an optional step, but I find it helps with the texture.

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