Rice. Vegetables. Eggs. Oil. These ingredients are all healthy in moderation. But the amounts you’ll find in takeout or restaurant fried rice dishes (particularly the oil!), means they can do a number on your waistline.
“You control the ingredients of anything you cook at home. And I find this especially important in terms of how much fat you add,” says Felicia Stoler, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and exercise physiologist in Red Bank, New Jersey.
The key to making any fried rice dish fit into your healthy eating plan: Portion size, says Stoler. Just like it’s easy to go overboard on those pint-sized, jam-packed takeout containers, you’ll want to separate your homemade meal into smaller servings to help control how much you eat.
The next time you want to reach for some rice, ditch the delivery and try these slimmed-down homemade fried rice recipes. Packed with veggies, you’ll feel good about eating a comforting, nutrient-rich dish for dinner tonight.
7 Healthy Fried Rice Recipes You’ll Love
Transform leftover rice into a muscle-building master by adding three sources of protein. Two you can probably guess — you’ll get 18 grams per three ounces of shrimp and 7 grams in one egg. The surprise: Snow peas, which offer three grams of protein per chopped cup. So feel free to go heavy on the low-calorie, quick-cooking veggies. Photo and recipe: Amanda Batcher / The Chunky Chef
Counting calories, carbs or following a gluten-free diet? Swap regular rice for chopped cauliflower florets. Placing this white, vitamin C-rich veggie in a food processor will mimic the consistency of classic rice, while garlic masks any of its slightly pungent flavor. Photo and recipe: Kristin Porter / Iowa Girl Eats
Another dish with mega protein! You’ll trade regular rice for quinoa, and crank up the Asian flavoring with rice wine. The recipe also calls for liquid aminos, which contain essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and have a flavor similar to tamari or soy sauce. Photo and recipe: Jessica Hylton-Leckie / Jessica in the Kitchen
Beat the clock with this quicker-than-delivery cauliflower rice recipe, which will keep you full thanks to the poultry. A little bit of sesame oil and a drizzle of spicy sriracha go a long way to make this fried rice taste similar to the restaurant order you know and love. Opt for tamari to go without gluten. (Always check the label to be sure the tamari is 100 percent gluten-free.) Photo and recipe: Krista Rollins / Joyful Healthy Eats
This recipe is for you if you prefer to stick to real rice. Just use brown instead of white to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This recipe calls for powdered peanut butter to provide a complex nutty quality, while upping the protein and satisfaction factor. Photo and recipe: Lauren Kenson / Free Your Fork
Related: 7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple
Fried rice without the eggs or the rice? Yes, it’s possible! Follow this recipe to opt for cauliflower rather than rice and tofu instead of meat. Then top things off with cashews for a satisfying, tasty crunch. One ounce of the kidney-shaped nuts provides five grams of protein and 84 percent of your daily recommended copper — a mineral that has been linked to higher levels of HDL or good-for-you cholesterol and lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, according to a French review. Photo and recipe: Alexandra Caspero / Delish Knowledge
Broccoli slaw and baby bok choy add more substance and flavor to the quinoa, so this recipe can feed a crowd of six to eight. Besides providing healthy doses of protein and fiber, edamame (the vegetarian “meat” of this recipe) supplies a dose of vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Plus, the peanut sauce gives the dish that yummy Thai taste. Photo and recipe: Alexis Joseph / Hummusapien