Fried Rice Recipe From Leftovers

Fried rice from leftovers in a plate with utensils nearby

​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 17 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
355 Calories
11g Fat
52g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 670mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 395mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fried rice recipe is made from leftovers—you know, that surplus of rice that always seems to 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, and it reheats really well, too.

You could make fried rice from freshly cooked rice, but it's not likely going to have the right texture because it will be too moist. Leftover rice is ideal because it's drier and therefore, cooks great right in your skillet along with the other ingredients. Any moisture you need at all comes from the bit of oil and the veggies.


Click Play to See This Tasty Fried Recipe From Leftovers Come Together

"Looking for a fun way to use up that leftover rice? This is a quick and easy way to add pizazz. It's fast, easy, tastes great, and uses minimal dishes." —Carrie Parente

Fried rice recipe made from leftovers in a bowl with chopsticks
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, garnish

  • Chopped scallions, garnish

  • Chopped peanuts, garnish

  • Sesame seeds, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fried rice from leftovers recipe gathered

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

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

    Canola oil heating in a nonstick skillet

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

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

    Frozen vegetables cooking in oil in a skillet

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

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

    Rice and frozen vegetables cooking in a skillet

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  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.

    A ring of rice and vegetables cooking in a pan with space in the middle for egg

    ​The Spruce Eggs / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Break the two eggs into the center and immediately begin stirring them with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until they start to solidify.

    Two eggs cooking in the center of a skillet surrounded by rice and vegetables

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  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.

    Eggs, vegetables, and rice cooked together in a skillet

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

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

    Soy sauce added to cooked vegetable fried rice, to taste

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  9. Serve hot, sprinkled with garnishes of cilantro, scallions, peanuts or sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy!

    Leftover fried rice on a white plate with a spoon

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

Is It Safe to Eat Leftover Rice—Fried or Otherwise?

Yes, provided it has been stored and reheated properly. Any leftover rice that you use for this recipe should be refrigerated within a couple of hours of cooking it. Additionally, as long as the fried rice is cooked at high heat on the skillet, there should be little concern.

The rice should be good for up to 5 days. If it looks moldy, smells off, or otherwise doesn't seem fresh, pitch it.


  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Plain, white, or brown rice works well, as does a mildly flavored pilaf or an Asian-style recipe such as edamame rice.
  • Get creative with the fresh or frozen vegetables you use, or include cubed tofu, leftover cooked chicken or steak, or sauté a handful of frozen shrimp.
  • This recipe also works well with leftover, already cooked vegetables, such as those that come with Chinese takeout.

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