Chicken and veggie fried rice is a one-pan meal of cauliflower rice, tender chunks of chicken, and an array of vegetables. Make this Whole30 veggie fried rice today and you’ll have a healthy and nutritious meal ready in no time!
Best Veggie Fried Rice
This recipe is the ultimate veggie fried rice. No I’m not eating rice while doing Whole30 but I love substituting rice with riced veggies, like the riced sweet potatoes and cauliflower I used in this dish. And if you’re curious about why I’m doing The Whole30, check out my recent post on The Whole30 and me.
During one of my Whole30 rounds, I started eating more Guyanese dishes and leaned on riced cauliflower as a substitute as many claimed it tasted just like rice. I won’t tell you this tastes just like rice. As someone who grew up in a rice producing country where rice was and is a main staple in my diet, there is no way I can in clear conscience say that this bland vegetable tastes like rice. It does not. However, when prepared the right way, it can be a great substitute!
- Best Veggie Fried Rice
- Why You’ll Love This Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice Recipe
- Ingredients for Veggie Fried Rice
- Fresh Cauliflower vs. Frozen Cauliflower for Veggie Fried Rice
- How to Make Veggie Fried Rice
- Tips for the Best Veggie Fried Rice
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Whole30 Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice
Why You’ll Love This Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice Recipe
- A Nutritious Meal: Most healthy fried rice recipes swap white rice for brown rice but we’re taking it a step further with priced cauliflower and sweet potatoes. This Whole30 meal is packed with nutrients from all the veggies and the lean protein from the chicken tenders.
- Super Flavorful: If you’re craving takeout, this is a healthier, more affordable option that’s still packed with amazing flavor. The chicken is marinated and the riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes are browned in a large skillet with aromatics.
- Versatile: This recipe is so easy because you can use whatever vegetables you prefer. Check out what’s stocked in your fridge and feel free to use what you have.
Ingredients for Veggie Fried Rice
The main ingredients in this recipe are riced veggies, an assortment of other veggies, and chicken for an even more filling and satisfying meal.
- Chicken tenders: These sliced chicken breasts cook quickly for easy protein.
- Seasoning: I use salt, Chinese Five Spice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and ground ginger (substitute with grated fresh ginger).
- Coconut aminos: This Whole30 compliant ingredient has umami flavor that replaces soy sauce.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Crushed, for even more flavor.
- Sesame oil: This adds a toasted, nutty quality.
- Olive oil: Use this to brown the chicken.
- Peppers: I use diced red bell pepper and green bell pepper.
- Carrots: Julienned.
- Cabbage: Finely julienned.
- Green onions: Thinly sliced.
- Vegetables: I use broccoli florets and green beans.
- Frozen riced cauliflower and Sweet Potato: This is a healthy alternative to traditional rice. Using frozen rice best replicates the cold, day-old rice used in traditional veggie fried rice recipes.
See recipe card for quantities.
Fresh Cauliflower vs. Frozen Cauliflower for Veggie Fried Rice
I prefer using frozen riced cauliflower and here’s why. When I first started eating cauliflower rice, I often bought a large cauliflower and rice it up at home in my food processor. No matter how quickly I sautéed it the riced cauliflower was still mushy. Then one day I decided to try frozen cauliflower rice and to my surprise, it maintained its texture even after sautéing for a few minutes. Later, I noticed that the frozen riced cauliflower was made entirely of the stalk and not the florets. Whereas at home I was using the entire cauliflower and it really was the florets that were getting mushy. Therefore in frozen form, it was/is the crunchy stalk that helps maintain the texture.
I decided to stop ricing my own cauliflower because I liked the crunch of the stalk but there was no way I would ever have enough stalks to add up to the amount of cauliflower rice I ate. Now I happily buy frozen cauliflower rice and also riced cauliflower and sweet potato. I love using a combination of the two in my fried rice dishes because it makes the dish a bit more hearty.
How to Make Veggie Fried Rice
Loading up on veggies
In Guyanese fried rice it is typical to see Chinese long bean (I substituted for green beans), carrots and cabbage. Quickly stir frying on high heat helps to retain the brightness and crunch of the veggies. However, I don’t cook my green onions or cabbage. I just add them in at the end. The heat from the other ingredients will cook them.
Cooking in the right order
For this dish, I cook my seasoned chicken first. My meat of choice here is chicken tenders. I know, what am I, a three-year-old? Hear me out! Chicken tenders cook really quickly and unlike chicken breasts which can be really dry sometimes, they stay tender and juicy. Win, win for me. Cook the chicken tenders in whole strips, in your wok, frying pan or kaharee then chop them up and set aside. I cook my veggies in the same oil that I used for the chicken then I scoop those out and set them aside.
Next, I cook the seasoned cauliflower rice in small portions. I stir fry it on high heat adding a bit more oil if necessary. I sauté, stirring constantly to ensure that every bit of rice gets a nice char. Repeat these steps until all the riced veggies have been stir-fried. Then, to pull the dish together, I add all the riced veggies back into the pot, then the sautéed vegetables, then the chicken and top it off the the green onions and the raw cabbage.
Next, I give it a quick stir to mix it all together and remove it from the heat. This method gives the best results and the fried cauliflower rice that tastes closest to the real deal fried rice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave or over medium heat in a skillet on the stove.
Tips for the Best Veggie Fried Rice
- When using frozen riced veggies for fried rice, you will need to steam according to the package instructions, then let drain in a sieve on a plate lined with paper towels. You don’t want any additional liquids making your fried rice soggy. Then I like to add dried seasoning, typically Chinese Five Spice, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and some Cayenne Pepper with the steamed riced veggies into a bowl and mix it together before I start cooking.
- When making this Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice, I like to load up on as many vegetables as I can. Feel free to do the same. Add whatever vegetables you like. I suggest trying red bell peppers and zucchini.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fried rice is a versatile dish that pairs well with a varity of veggies. Try adding vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, peas, onions, scallions, cabbage, mushrooms, corn, bean sprouts, or spinach.
Vegetable fried rice is a relatively healthy dish, depending on how it’s prepared and the ingredients used. This recipe replaces rice with more vegetables. It is also Whole30 friendly so there are no additives. At just 425 calories per serving, this low calorie meal is rich with nutrients for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Whole30 Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice
- Large Bowl
- Large Wok
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger can sub for grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves fresh garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 large carrots julienned
- 1 cup cabbage finely julienned
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup green beans finely diced
- 4 cups frozen riced cauliflower
- 4 cups frozen riced cauliflower and Sweet Potato
- Combine chicken tenders, coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix together well
- Set aside and let marinate for about 20 minutes
- Next, follow the instructions on the packaging to steam your frozen riced veggies, then allow them to drain in a sieve or on some sheets of paper towel
- Once all of the water drains off from the steamed rice veggies, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, 1/2 a teaspoon of ground ginger and 1 tablespoon of onion powder. Mix together well and set aside
- Then heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large wok, kaharee or frying pan on high heat
- Cook seasoned chicken tenders until fully cooked. You may brown on both sides on high heat then, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the tenders are cooked all the way through. This should take about 10 minutes
- Once tenders have all been cooked set aside and let cool, then cut into 1 inch chunks. If making more of a strip chicken fried rice, you may use two forks to shred the tenders
- Next add green beans to the pan and cook on high heat, stir frying until cooked but still crunchy, about 1 minute
- Then add the broccoli and carrots and continue to stir fry on high heat for about another minute
- Next add the diced bell peppers and diced garlic, stir fry for a few seconds then remove all of the veggies from the heat
- Add about 1/4 of the remaining oil to the hot pan and stir fry about 1/4 of the seasoned riced veggies for about 1 minute on high heat.
- Then remove from the heat and set aside
- Continue to do this until all of the riced veggies have been stir fried
- Then remove the pot from the heat and add all of the rice veggies back into the pot, followed by the stir fried vegetables, the chopped or shredded chicken, the cabbage and the green onion
- Toss together well, then drizzle with the sesame oil
- Serve hot. Best enjoyed immediately after cooking
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.