Chicken Fried Rice

4.91 from 11 votes
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Forget takeout and make your own chicken fried rice for a fraction of the price. This wonderfully savory fried rice is loaded with tender bites of chicken, pineapple, veggies, and eggs and is just as good as your local Chinese spot’s rendition.

Rice, chicken, and vegetables served in a bowl and garnished with green onions.


 

Sometimes you just get a craving for Chinese takeout. This homemade chicken fried rice takes care of it within 30 minutes and saves you from all of the additives and mystery ingredients often found in takeout. Tender cubes of chicken, pineapple, veggies, and egg are all mixed together with perfectly crisped rice in a simple, umami sauce. It’s a wonderfully accessible weeknight dinner that will have the whole family coming back for seconds.

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

  • One pan wonder. From browning the chicken and the pineapple to frying the rice and everything in between, you only need one pan to make this fave takeout fakeout.
  • Better than take-out. Who doesn’t like fried rice from the local Chinese take-out spot? It’s hard to pass up. But, I’m telling you, this stuff is even better, AND you get to skip out on the additives often found in take-out food.
  • Customizable. As you’ll see in the section below titled “Tips & Variations”, there is so much you can do with this recipe to customize it to your taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Labeled ingredients for chicken fried rice.

What You’ll Need

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – You could use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders instead.
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Cornstarch – The cornstarch helps the chicken get nice and crispy.
  • Canola oil – You could use a different neutral cooking oil with a relatively high smoke point. Avocado oil or refined sesame oil would be great choices.
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Cooked long-grain white rice – The rice must be fully cooked and cooled before frying.
  • Green onions
  • Frozen peas and carrots – You can use different or additional veggies. Sauteed sliced mushrooms, bean sprouts, and chopped broccoli florets would all be great options.
  • Eggs 
  • Low-sodium soy sauce – I like using low-sodium versions because it gives you more control over the final flavor of the dish.

How to Make Chicken Fried Rice

This chicken fried rice will only take you about 30 minutes to make. Here’s a quick look at how it’s done. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Season the chicken. Toss the chicken together with salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes. Transfer it to a plate and set aside.
  • Saute the pineapple. Add the pineapple chunks to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer them to the plate with the chicken.
  • Cook the eggs. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the eggs, and stir until scrambled. Transfer the eggs to the plate with the chicken.
  • Fry the rice. Add the white parts of the green onions to the pan and saute for a few seconds before adding the rice. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
  • Put it all together. Stir in the frozen veggies, chicken, pineapples, eggs, and soy sauce, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve. Remove the skillet from the heat, garnish with green onions, and serve.
Chicken fried rice in a skillet.

Tips And Variations

Follow these tips and tricks and you’ll find yourself in awe at how awesome the results are. Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe to fit your taste preferences!

  • Be prepared. Before even turning on the stove, prep all your ingredients and arrange them close by. Once you start cooking, things will move fast.
  • Use leftover rice. You do not want to use fresh, warm rice here. The rice needs to be fully cooled. It’s best if it’s a few hours (or up to a day) old, because it will be dryer. It will fry up better and be less likely to clump together.
  • Heat matters. When browning the chicken and the pineapples, keep the heat up at medium-high, otherwise you won’t get that caramelization you’re looking for.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. When browning the chicken and the pineapple and then again when frying the rice, be careful not to crowd the pan. If the pan is overcrowded, the ingredients will steam into a soggy mess instead of crisping up. It is helpful to start with a relatively large skillet.
  • Consider a different protein. You could easily use shrimp or tofu instead of chicken.
  • Play with veggies. The simple peas and carrots combo is classic but feel free to add mushrooms, bean sprouts, or even broccoli.
  • Swap out the rice. Consider using brown rice or even cauliflower rice for a slightly different spin, but adjust the cooking time.
  • Add some heat. Stir in some red pepper flakes or sriracha to add a kick of spice. You could even seed and dice a jalapeno and throw it into the pan with the pineapple.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken fried rice loves the company of a Chinese-inspired veggie side, such as these Sesame Snap Peas or my Baby Bok Choy with Warm Garlic Soy Dressing, and/or a flavorful main. Try my Honey Walnut Shrimp or this Mongolian Chicken. I also love serving chicken fried rice with a fun appetizer or two. I am obsessed with this Shrimp Toast and this easy Air Fryer Crab Rangoon Recipe.

A bowl with chicken fried rice, and other bowls set around it with various vegetables.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To store. Seal the fully-cooled leftovers in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat. Allow the fried rice to thaw in the fridge (if applicable) before sauteing it in a bit of canola oil over medium-high heat until heated through. Alternatively, microwave individual portions in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until warm.

More Easy Rice Sides

Looking for new ways to up your rice game? Here are some other fabulous recipes featuring this versatile grain.

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4.91 from 11 votes

Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

This Chicken Fried Rice is so much better than takeout, and you won't believe how easy and quick it is to make! It's filled with chopped chicken, sweet pineapple, veggies, and fluffy rice.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

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Instructions 

  • Place cubed chicken pieces in a bowl and season with salt and pepper; toss with cornstarch and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the heated oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and fully cooked. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and add the pineapple chunks; cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly browned on the sides; remove from pan and transfer them to the plate with the chicken.
  • Return the pan to the heat and lower the heat to medium-low. If needed, add 1 more tablespoon of canola oil.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the skillet and stir to scramble them while they cook.
  • When cooked through, remove the eggs from the pan and transfer them to the plate with the chicken.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the green onions; cook for a few seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the cooked rice to the skillet and mix well; continue to cook for 4 minutes or until the rice begins to sizzle. Cook for 1-minute longer for a crunchier texture.
  • To the skillet, add the carrots, peas, chicken, pineapples, eggs, and soy sauce; stir to combine.
  • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until everything is heated through.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with remaining sliced green onions.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • Get everything prepped before you start cooking, as things move quickly.
  • Opt for leftover rice that’s fully cooled. Ideally, the rice should be a few hours to a day old. 
  • Store any cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 3685IU | Vitamin C: 18.9mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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32 Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    This recipe was easy but seriously lacking any taste. I added more soy sauce and substituted part of the canola oil with sesame oil and it was still very bland. I don’t mean to be disrespectful in any way but wanted to leave an honest review. Thank you for the recipe but I don’t think I’ll be making this one again unfortunately.

    1. Katerina says:

      Thanks for your honest feedback. It’s good you tried to adjust the flavors, but it’s okay if the recipe didn’t work out for you. Your input is appreciated, and it helps everyone improve their cooking. Thanks for trying the recipe!

  2. Cathie says:

    How many servings does 1x serve

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m not sure I follow. If you’re asking how many ounces per serving, then it comes out to about 12 ounces per 1 serving.

  3. Catalina says:

    The Chicken Fried Rice turned out to be a fantastic weeknight dinner for us! It was quick, easy, and packed with flavor.

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s great to hear! Chicken Fried Rice is indeed a quick, easy, and flavorful option for dinner. Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

    2. Diane says:

      We had it for dinner tonight too! Loved every bite! Will make it again for sure.

      1. Katerina says:

        That’s fantastic to hear you enjoyed the dinner so much and are planning to make it again! Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

  4. Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert says:

    It’s incredibly delicious! I made this and my family loves it!

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s wonderful to hear! I am very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

  5. Sandra says:

    Omg! I could eat this every night! It’s delicious and very filling!

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m thrilled that you loved it so much! It’s great when you find a meal that’s both delicious and satisfying. Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

  6. Amanda says:

    This is a lovely recipe. Easy to make and everyone will love it!

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m so glad you found the recipe both easy and enjoyable! It’s wonderful to hear that it was a hit with everyone. Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

  7. Beth says:

    I really love this chunky version of chicken fried rice. It feels so much more substantial in the mouth. The flavors are great, too.

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m glad you liked the chunky chicken fried rice and its flavors! Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  8. Gina says:

    I love that this satisfies the craving without having to leave the house. YUM!

    1. Katerina says:

      It’s fantastic to hear that you found a recipe that hits the spot without needing to go out! I’m all for homemade versions of favorite dishes. Thank YOU! πŸ™‚

  9. April says:

    This was so delicious! Seriously, some of the best fried rice I’ve ever had.

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s great to hear! I’m thrilled you found it to be one of the best fried rice dishes you’ve ever had. Thank YOU! πŸ™‚