Fried Rice Recipe From Leftovers

Fried rice with chopped vegetables in a bowl
The Spruce
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions (4 servings)

This fried rice recipe is made from leftovers—you know, that surplus of rice that seems to always remain from the batch you made for dinner or the extra carton that came with your Chinese takeout. It's a great recipe to have in your arsenal for just this purpose.

Cooking equipment needed: large nonstick skillet,​ measuring spoons, measuring cups, wooden spoon, cutting board, and a chef's knife.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or more as needed)
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen Asian stir-fry vegetables
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (or to taste)
  • Optional garnishes: fresh chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, chopped peanuts, or sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fried rice
  2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, tilting the pan to coat completely.

    Heating oil in a pan.
     The Spruce
  3. When the oil is hot, add the frozen vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until they're crisp-tender.

    Veggies for fried rice.
     The Spruce
  4. Add the rice and stir to combine, cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes. 

    Leftover rice for frying.
     The Spruce
  5. Push all of the vegetables and rice to the outside of the pan, leaving a clear space in the middle of the pan. If the pan seems dry, add a tiny drizzle of canola oil to prevent the eggs from sticking to the cooking surface.

    Making a spot in the middle of the rice.
     The Spruce
  6. Break the two eggs into the center and immediately begin stirring the eggs with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until they start solidifying.

    Eggs in leftover fried rice.
     The Spruce
  7. Gradually stir the vegetables back into the middle of the pan, distributing the eggs throughout the vegetables and rice. The eggs should be in small shreds, evenly dispersed throughout the vegetables and rice.

    Mix rice and eggs.
     The Spruce
  8. When the eggs are cooked and no runny bits remain, drizzle the mixture with soy sauce to taste.

    Soy sauce on leftover fried rice.
     The Spruce
  9. Serve hot, sprinkled with garnishes of cilantro, scallions, peanuts or sesame seeds, if desired.

    Leftovers Fried Rice
     The Spruce
  10. Enjoy.


  • Keep a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables in your freezer, and you'll be able to turn that leftover rice into a nourishing dinner in less than 15 minutes.
  • This recipe also works well with leftover, already cooked vegetables, such as those that came with your Chinese takeout.

Recipe Variations

  • Plain, white, or brown rice works well, as does a mildly flavored pilaf or an Asian-style recipe like soy edamame rice.
  • You can get creative with the fresh or frozen vegetables you add, or include cubed tofu, leftover cooked chicken or steak, or sauté a handful of frozen shrimp to add.

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