Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice

This chicken fried rice has moist and tender chicken with flavorful peas and carrots and long rice cooked together. Make this unique and your own with this favorite Chinese rice!

So many varieties of fried rice can be made. These better than takeout fried rice recipes are a collage of all my favorites!

Chicken fried rice in a skillet.

Chicken Fried Rice

I mean really. Who doesn’t like fried rice? Ok maybe my six year old doesn’t because of the veggies inside, but I am pretty sure he is the only one out there. 🙂 For my birthday dinner with my family I chose to go to our favorite little chinese restaurant. And it was the bomb. But their fried rice was excellent. But I kept thinking, I can make this just as good at home and I have been craving it ever since!

Since I learned a few awesome tricks on how to get the perfect fried rice in my recipe here, I wanted to make a big old batch for myself for lunch. The baby was craving it that day. But I thought, why don’t I add in some protein and make a meal out of it. You guys. The chicken gave it such amazing flavor! I really couldn’t believe how good it turned out. I promise that you can stay at home and have this better than take out chicken fried rice. You will really be impressed with yourself.

Get Ready to Make Some Rice:

  • Vegetable Oil: This helps with cooking the chicken and adding flavoring at the same time.
  • Soy Sauce: Chinese favorite sauce that is authentic and brings rich flavoring.
  • Chicken: Cut into small pieces and add into the skillet or wok.
  • Cooked Rice: It is best to have already cooked rice that has been cooled in a refrigerator.
  • Sesame OilBrings in a subtle and rich flavoring.
  • Onion: Small white onion chopped up.
  • Peas and Carrots: Frozen vegetables work best then leave them overnight to be thawed.
  • Soy Sauce: More of this delicious sauce! 
  • Eggs: Lightly beaten and added in the wok.
  • Green Onions: Chopped and sprinkle in for added texture, color and flavoring!

Cooking Fried Rice:

  1. Cook in a skillet: In a large skillet or wok, add vegetable oil and soy sauce. Add in the chicken and cook until lightly brown and cooked throughout. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add oil and vegetables: Pour sesame oil in the bottom. Add white onion and peas and carrots and fry until tender.
  3. Pour egg mixture: Slide the onion, peas and carrots to the side, and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients: Add the rice and chicken to the veggie and egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. Add chopped green onions if desired.

The Recipe Critic Pro Tip:

I cooked my chicken in this teriyaki sauce recipe here. It added amazing flavor to the chicken and it just shredded apart. Other wise, you can boil your chicken, or even cook it in a medium skillet until no longer pink.

The process of making chicken in a wok. First cooking the chicken, then cook peas and carrots next add eggs and rice then mix together.

Tips for Making the Best Fried Rice:

Enjoy making the this fried rice using these tips to help accomplish the authentic Chinese taste. It is simple to make and comes together quickly and easily. Once you make it you will be making it over and over again!

  • Cold Rice: To make the best rice you have to plan a little bit ahead of time. Chilled cooked rice is the best way to use up left over rice as well as fried rice. Rice that is cooked and still warm does not cook well when making fried rice. It tends to turn out mushy and very sticky.
  • Make Cold Rice: If you are on a time crunch and craving fried rice simply place the warm rice on a sheet pan and stick it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or until cold. For an even quicker remedy, place the rice in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes long. Just enough for it to chill but not be frozen.
  • High Heat: It is best to cook on high heat to help fry and brown the rice and veggies throughly. Try not to have the rice steam in the pan or stick together too much. Stir frequently.
  • Soy Sauce: Add in extra soy sauce towards the end as you are trying the fried rice as you are cooking it. A light soy sauce is what I prefer for flavor.

Chicken fried rice in a skillet with a spoon scooping up some to show a zoom in.

Variations:

Try new things and mix it up with all these new and fun variations when making the best fried rice recipe. The best part is using up the leftover rice. Find more left overs that can be added into this chicken fried rice recipe to make it easier. Mix and match ingredients and create more delicious flavors of rice.

  • Protein: Mix up your protein with ham, shrimp, bacon or enjoy it with vegetables.
  • Oil: Instead of adding in all the oils, butter is just as great! Add in butter to create a rich, flavorful taste.
  • Rice: It is best to have cold or chilled rice for this recipe. Quinoa or long grain rice are great ways to enjoy a variety.
  • Vegetables: Create a combination of a few to several of your favorite vegetables to enhance this recipe. Broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas or water chestnuts are great vegetables to add in.

Chicken fried rice in a bowl.

More better than take out recipes!

Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 8 Servings

Amazing chicken fried rice that is better than take out! This chicken fried rice has moist and tender chicken with flavorful peas and carrots and long rice cooked together. Make this unique and your own with this favorite Chinese rice!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword chicken fried rice, fried rice, fried rice recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 pound chicken cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups cooked rice *
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots thawed
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce more or less to taste
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions optional

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or wok, add vegetable oil and soy sauce. Add in the chicken and cook until lightly brown and cooked throughout. Remove and set aside.

  2. Pour sesame oil in the bottom. Add white onion and peas and carrots and fry until tender.

  3. Slide the onion, peas and carrots to the side, and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.

  4. Add the rice and chicken to the veggie and egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. Add chopped green onions if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Updated on April 10, 2020

Originally Posted on March 21, 2014

Nutrition Facts
Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 301mg13%
Potassium 151mg4%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1774IU35%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. How do you keep your rice from being clumpy/sticky? We have made fried rice (using different meats, of course) and even using rice made the day before, it still comes out sticky/clumpy. Is there a secret to make each rice separate from each other? Please help.

    1. Perhaps it’s the type of rice you’re using? See here: “Use long-grain rice…
      This type of rice includes American long-grain white and brown rices, Basmati rice, and Jasmine rice, and produces distinct firm grains that stay fluffy and separate after cooking. The grains have a firm, dry texture, and are best for side dishes, pilafs, and salads.”

    2. I rinse my rice in a strainer (I do half jasmine half white) and then in a deep pan I put some seasame oil and flatten the rice in the bottom of the pan cooking on high and every few minutes flipping and mixing. I used to work in a Korean kitchen and my boss, the owner, always used to tell me that everyone does fried rice wrong (she felt very strongly on this haha) the rice is soft like a side of rice with seasoning. It is called fried rice for a reason it’s supposed to be semi crispy rice. I will say her recipe was the best one I had ever had

      Your rice is done when it’s got a consistent golden/brown look to it. If you take a spoonful bite it should have a satisfying crunch.

      Not all your rice should be crispy but enough so that the rice separates and it should be throughout the dish

      1. Stupid question but I want to be sure. You fry the rice after it’s cooked, or do you mean to say you do this before you add water and cook it?

    3. Rinse the rice before you cook it. That’ll rinse off a lot of the starch and keep it from sticking together as much.

    4. I know that this is an old comment but no one gave you the right answer. The key to fried rice is to use cold rice. Cook it the day before, stick it in the fridge and that’s what you use for fried rice.

    5. Try using Uncle Ben’s Long Grain White Rice, must be the long cooking not instant rice. I use it warm from just cooking. It turns out purfect everytime. Instant rice breaks apart and becomes very mushy and sticky. It only takes 20 minutes to cook the rice and its very good.

  2. I used ground chicken and was very surprised it turned out so good. I added in minced garlic, grated ginger, sriracha and bean sprouts and used 3 eggs. This is a really great base recipe to customize fried rice it your liking.

  3. I just made this delicious dish. Since I was short on time I used your slow cooker teriyaki chicken recipe, but I cooked it in the oven for 40mins. Then followed the rest of the recipe. Absolutely delicious!!!

  4. Delicious fried rice even with no spice or added salt – perfect for kids! I made it for lunch today and they loved it even though I put only a tiny bit of soy sauce.

  5. This is so good! I have made it a few times and it’s my husband’s #1 request. I usually do brown rice to make it a bit healthier and add frozen broccoli florets. I also add sriracha sauce at the end for that extra kick. Love it!

  6. I have made this several times for my friends and my son, and they all love it. I get asked to come over and make it again! Thank you for such an awesome recipe 🙂 I have started adding in some chopped chinese sausage as well.

  7. I made this tonight using leftover roast chicken. While it was really, really good, I’m thinking I might sprinkle a little teriyaki sauce on the cooked chicken. In any event, this was a hit with the hubby, too, so will be making it again now that I have a dish to make with leftover roast or rotisserie chicken.

  8. Fry the rice by itself in a skillet with peanut oil until its a light golden color, add about 2 1/2 cups of water and a couple cubes of chicken bullion, some fresh chopped ginger and mix thoroughly and let it simmer on medium heat until most of the water is absorbed.

    1. I did this method for the rice first, and it was perfect! Thank you, Benjamin, and a winning overall fried rice recipe for my family. Perfect base you can alter to your taste if desired.

  9. This is an amazing recipe!! Sometimes I just cook the chicken breasts in broth in a slow cooker and other times I use a rotisserie chicken from the store. Both ways have turned out great!!

  10. 5 STARS (For some reason I nothing happens when I try to click on 5 stars) Just finished eating this for early dinner and it was delicious, just as if I had bought it from a Chinese restaurant. I’m so excited to continue making this recipe, and next time making my chicken with teriyaki sauce. This one has to be saved under my all-time favorite recipes!

  11. I use this as a base fried rice recipe and add in minced garlic, grated ginger, Sriracha, dry sherry or rice vinegar and use 3 eggs. I have made this using rotisserie chicken and ground pork. Both were delicious.

  12. Hi!! I making this for dinner tomorrow so I hope that someone can reply. I bought a pet little over a pound of chicken breast to make this recipe. I making it in the suggested crackpot teriyaki sauce. But the amounts of chicken are different. Here it is cause for two breasts and with the teriyaki sauce recipe calls for four. So should I go with two because I am following this recipe to begin with? I making this for dinner tomorrow so I hope that someone can reply. I bought a pet little over a pound of chicken breast to make this recipe, 2 breasts. I am making it in the suggested crockpot teriyaki sauce. But the amounts of chicken are different. Here it calls for two breasts and with the teriyaki sauce recipe calls for four. So should I go with two because I am following this recipe to begin with ? Thank you

  13. I swear you are getting so popular!! This is the 5th recipe or so I have saved of yours I’m really excited to try one of them soon!

  14. I made the chicken fried rice (for the first time) last night for my family and they loved it. I even doubled the recipe thinking that I would have some leftovers for today at lunch and I thought wrong. This recipe is very easy to make, favorful, and extremely delicious. I would recommend it to everyone that loves chicken fried rice takeout. I will be making it again very soon.

  15. Made this tonite to compliment my homemade shrimp egg rolls and the rice was delicious!
    I added shredded ginger and chopped snow peas to the mix. I used Basmati rice and it came out great! Thanks for the recipe! Had enough for lunch tomorrow.

  16. A great base for fried rice…… although my family likes a lot of flavor so we kicked it up a couple notches

    Chicken marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce, grilled then shredded
    Shrimp cooked in same homemade sauce
    Lots of fresh garlic cooked in with veggies, 4 eggs, diced cooked and fried alone before adding to dish
    It was perfect!

  17. I just tried it this evening and it was amazing! Will definitely cook this again! What are the nutritional facts on this one though? I have to keep a good track of my calories, etc. Thanks!

    1. I am in the process of adding nutritional facts to each of my recipes at this time. In the meantime you are welcome to use myfitnesspal.com for any questions you may have.

  18. I wanted to mention I didn’t use the teriyaki recipe you had for the chicken so I looked at the recipe and I just added the seasonings that were in the teriyaki sauce to the fried rice afterward and it tastes much better. The ginger, sugar, pepper etc. My teriyaki sauce didn’t have those seasonings in it so it tasted a little bland. I also added more sesame oil. Not a lot cause I know it could get bitter with too much. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  19. Thank you for this excellent recipe. My family loves this dish very much, especially my six-year-old grandson who cannot get enough of it. I double the recipe each time I make it so that I will have plenty for the second’s everyone wants. Your comment of a six-year-old not enjoying this dish is not accurate. 🙂

  20. I love using rotisserie chicken in fried rice! A sprinkle of cashews and tiny pineapple bits makes it a bit sweet. Yum! My mom makes it with diced SPAM and it’s so good that way, too.

  21. This recipe is perfect when you crave Chinese fried rice! I replaced the chicken by a vegan alternative, Gardein chicken breast and added a little of chili flakes and some black pepper and boum, best fried rice we ever had! Thank you!

  22. Another great recipe! I took the liberty of using Maine (tiny) shrimp as the protein… great combo with the sesame oil and scallions… finished with a little lime zest

  23. Just made your chicken fried rice recipe but substituted shrimp for chicken. One word…..YUMMY! Followed the recipe exactly! Did sauté shrimp in separate pan then added to mix. Hubby pleased. Thank you!

  24. I’ve never made fried rice before. Was kind of skeptical. It came out SO GOOD seriously tasted like restaurant style fried rice! Very quick and easy to make. I did the chicken in crockpot with Korean sauce. Also, stir fried the shredded chicken on the pan before putting it in with rice. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. We loved this recipe!!! (we, as in all 5 of us! Kids are 3, 8, and 11) I missed the cooking chicken in crockpot part 🙁 But, it was still so delicious!

  26. Hi! This has become a favorite dinner in my house! Thank you much for sharing it! I’m trying to be a little more conscious of my calories and was wondering what a serving size of this dish is? I saw above this serves 8 and a serving is 200 calories…just couldn’t find how much the 200 calories would get me…because I love this stuff!! 🙂 Thank you again!!!

  27. 5 stars
    We use pre-cooked rice and it works well – will now put in fridge overnight next time we make it. I also use a tea-spoon of very lazy Garlic / Chili and Ginger – adds a good kick to it. Boil my chicken put it aside and coat with some groundnut oil and madras curry powder. Some other things we add are bacon lardons, chopped peppers, chopped carrots. It always makes enough for dinner and lunch next day. We sometimes have it with Chinese curry sauce and prawn crackers.

  28. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this post with all of us. This chicken fried recipe is very easy to make and really delicious.I tried this recipe my home and found it very tasty. Also sharing here a chicken fried recipe recipe.

  29. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy to make and is delicious!
    I used brown rice and since I couldn’t find just peas and carrots I bought a frozen package of peas, carrots, green beans and corn.
    When I was cooking the chicken I tossed some frozen mushrooms in at the end.
    I used only one cup of rice but it was enough for two meals.

  30. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECISE INSTRUCTIONS AND YOUR INSIGHT!
    I’m of Latin descent and I have never been able to cook rice perfectly to save my life. It was a bit of a downer, given my heritage – but your easy step by step guide helped me make my first perfect rice in 20 years!
    Thank you again!

  31. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. I’m pretty sure I will have to start buying bigger bottles of sesame oil just so I can make this recipe often (weekly sounds good). We used rotisserie chicken dark meat and left over extra long basmati rice. Delicious!! Can’t wait to make it again.

  32. This meal is absolutely delicious. I have to stop myself from making it too often. The sesame oil does make a difference but I purchased mine after the first time that I made it.

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