Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls

A delicious quinoa fried “rice” recipe that’s perfect for meal prep! Fried quinoa in place of rice with veggies and chunky chicken breast – you won’t even know what’s missing in these Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls!
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meal prep chicken quinoa fried rice bowls in rectangular pyrex glass containers.

My latest obsession in the quinoa department! Not joking about the obsession part. Basically if there’s leftover quinoa and I have carrots and peas available, this is what happens.

Quinoa is not something I’ve always been into, despite having several quinoa recipes on the site. I started making it as an alternative to brown rice when I figured out how easy it was to cook in the rice cooker.

More recently, after receiving the best kitchen appliance EVER (my Instant Pot), I perfected How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot. But this left me with lots of extra quinoa. I wasn’t too happy about this because, well. Ugh… Confession:

I don’t like quinoa by itself 😱 but after this recipe, gimme all your leftover quinoa so I can turn it into fried “rice”!!

Originally published on February 21st, 2018!

Hello, it’s Danielle. It’s September 2021, and I’m here to give this recipe a make-over. It’s also headed for my upcoming eBook! 

Today, I updated this post to be easier to follow, as well answer some common questions you might have about the recipe. I’ve also updated the photos! Text above is from 2018, but everything else has been rewritten.

I’m still just as into this recipe as I was when it was first published. It’s ADDICTING, super easy to make, less frantic than real home-cooked fried rice, and possibly a little bit healthier too 😉

What are the ingredients in these Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls?

  • white quinoa + chicken broth – For cooking quinoa, I like to use my Instant Pot, but you can use any leftover cooked quinoa as well. The important part is making sure your quinoa has fully cooled before proceeding with the recipe.
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts – This recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken, but if you have a little more, that’s fine too. Make sure to cut into uniform bite size pieces for easy cooking.
  • cooking oil – I prefer to use avocado oil for cooking, but you can also use olive oil. 
  • onion + carrots – Use lots of finely diced carrots and onion for added bulk and flavor! 
  • garlic + ginger – These are some of my very favorite flavors and they certainly belong in fried rice style dishes.
  • soy sauce – Required for fried rice! 
  • sesame oil – I love the flavor that sesame oil brings to the recipe! 
  • Sambal Oelek – This is just a brand name for chili garlic paste that comes in the red and gold container with the green lid. I always have this stuff on hand!
  • eggs – Whenever I’ve had fried rice growing up, it always included some pieces of scrambled egg. Also means extra protein!
  • peas – Need something green, right? Peas were also a classic in my fried rice I had!

ingredients in the meal prep chicken quinoa fried rice bowls before cooking.

chopped and diced veggie ingredients on a cutting board.

How do you make the Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls?

While the recipe looks a little longer than my normal, I’m gonna break it down and show you how easy it really is.

The first step in this recipe is to cook the quinoa. This is something you can do a day ahead of time as well. You want to make sure it’s cooled to at least room temperature before moving on.

Before we get started cooking, it’s a good idea to prep the sauce so you can pour it all in at once later. In a small bowl or jar with lid, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sambal Oelek. Shake or stir!

Next step – cook the chicken. You want to use a large non-stick still (or a wok works great if you have one!). Cook your bite sized chicken breast pieces for about 3-4 more minutes on each side. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Left: Cooked chicken in a non stick pan. Right: Cooked quinoa cooling on a baking sheet.

Simple and easy to make with lots of flavor. I left out the peas because we didn’t have any and I’m still impressed.

– Iris, from Pinterest

Left: Cooking carrots and onions in a non stick pan. Right: Adding eggs into the a well in the center of the quinoa and vegetables.

After the chicken, it’s on to the veggies. In the same pan, heat your oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, carrot and a pinch of salt, and cook until onions are beginning to turn translucent.

Add garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant. Push the cooked veggies to the side of the pan to make room for the quinoa!

Find your cooled quinoa and add it to the pan in large spoonfuls, followed by the sauce you made earlier. Stir and continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat and create a well in the center of the pan (see the pics!). Pour whisked eggs into the well. Let the eggs cook in the well for about 1 minute, then mix the eggs into the rest of the quinoa and veggies. Continue to stir and cook until the eggs are done.

Add the frozen peas and cooked chicken back to the pan. Cook for just a little longer over low-medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until the peas are heated through. And there you go! A few steps, but none of it is complicated 🙂

How can I meal prep this recipe?

This is a wonderful recipe for meal prep because it tastes just as delicious as leftovers! In my opinion, there are two great ways to meal prep this meal or parts of this meal. 

  • Prep the whole meal: You can prepare the entire recipe as the instructions say, then portion the fried “rice” into airtight meal prep friendly containers (in these photos, I’ve used my 3-Cup Pyrex Rectangle Glass Containers (affiliate link!)). This recipe will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  • Cook the quinoa & prep the veggies: Another option to prepare part of this meal ahead of time (meal prep!) is to cook your quinoa and prep your veggies 1-2 days ahead of time. This will save you 10-20 minutes on the day of cooking. 

Ways you can cook quinoa for this recipe:

  • On the stove: Usually, the directions for this method are on the quinoa packaging. I suck at this method because I’m impatient and open lids too early. But it totally works if you can actually follow the directions. I’ve also used this method for a couple recipes where you toast the quinoa first (not required in this recipe).
  • In the rice cooker: I successfully relied on this method for multiple years, and wrote a very detailed post called How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker. It was my go-to before we got an Instant Pot. If you have a rice cooker, you should definitely be using this hands-off method, perfect for impatient people because you can leave and do something else instead of watching the stove!
  • In the Instant Pot: My new and current favorite method! Quicker than the rice cooker, no stove hovering, and perfect 100% of the time. Like I talked about above, I also wrote a detailed post on this method – How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot. My go-to method!

Basically ANY leftover quinoa will work. You need about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. 

spoonful of chicken quinoa fried rice just cooked.

four glass meal prep containers of chicken quinoa fried rice.

Alternative customization ideas for this recipe:

I highly encourage you to customize this recipe for your own taste buds! Here are a couple ways:

  • You can use shrimp instead of chicken. Can be cooked the same way but shrimp will cook faster than the chicken.
  • Change up the veggies going into the recipe! Try peppers or broccoli!
  • Make it spicy!

Did not add the peas and carrots due to preference but added red bell peppers instead. Absolutely delicious tastes just like chicken fried rice!!!

– Lexxa, from Pinterest

More traditional recipes for fried rice:

If you’re looking for a more traditional or classic fried rice, I recommend checking out these recipes:

Where do you get those containers?

For this recipe, I’ve use my 3-Cup Pyrex Rectangle Glass Containers (affiliate link!). You can get these containers on Amazon, or you might be able to find them at your local Target or grocery store cookware section.

Is this Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice recipe freezer-friendly?

Yes, this recipe is freezer friendly for up to 3 months when store in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat as normal the next day, or defrost slowly in the microwave before eating.

glass meal prep container with cooked chicken quinoa fried rice.

How to store, freeze & reheat:

Store in the fridge: Store meal prep meals in airtight containers in the fridge and enjoy within 4 days.

Store in the freezer: Store meal prep meals in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheat: Reheat cold meal prep in the microwave loosely covered for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Thaw frozen meal prep overnight before eating and then reheat normally, or defrost slowly in the microwave.

How to make the Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls (2 min):

 

More meal prep recipes from Project Meal Plan:

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meal prep chicken quinoa fried rice bowls in rectangular pyrex glass containers.

Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls


  • Author:
    Danielle

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    40 minutes

  • Total Time:
    50 minutes

  • Yield:
    4 servings 1x


Description

A delicious quinoa fried “rice” recipe that’s perfect for meal prep! Fried quinoa in place of rice with veggies and chunky chicken breast – you won’t even know what’s missing in these Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls!


Ingredients


Scale

  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/42 cups chicken broth (amount depends on quinoa cooking method)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 23 tablespoons avocado or olive oil (separated)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger (about 1/2 inch cube)
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (chili garlic paste)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt/pepper to taste


Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa: Cook quinoa on the stove top according to package directions using chicken broth. You can also cook your quinoa in a rice cooker, or in an Instant Pot. You need about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. When your quinoa is done cooking, spread it out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to cool quickly. You can also used leftover chilled quinoa from the fridge. Do not continue with the rest of the recipe until your quinoa has just finished cooking, so that it has time to cool.
  2. Prep the sauce: In a small bowl or jar with lid, add soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sambal Oelek and mix well.
  3. Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken breast pieces to the pan in a single layer with a pinch of salt. Let the chicken cook until browning (about 3-4 minutes), then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Ensure the chicken is fully cooked through, and then remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Cook the veggies: Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive or avocado oil over medium-high heat in the same pan the chicken was cooked in. Add onion, carrot and a pinch of salt, and cook until onions are beginning to turn translucent (about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant. Push the cooked veggies to the side of the pan.
  5. Put it together: Add remaining oil to the same pan and then add the cooked quinoa in large spoonfuls. Mix with cooked vegetables in the pan, and then pour sauce mixture into the pan. Stir and continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low-medium. Create a well in the center of the pan and pour whisked eggs into the well. Let the eggs cook for about 1 minute, or until the edges start to bubble, and then mix the eggs into the rest of the quinoa and veggies. Continue to stir until the eggs are fully cooked. Add peas and return the cooked chicken to the pan. Stir and continue to cook over low-medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until the peas are heated through.
  6. Serve and store: Serve immediately or portion into 4 airtight meal prep containers. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 4 days.




Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 1 1/4 cups
  • Calories: 433
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Protein: 36g
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Thanks for checking out Meal Prep Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice” Bowls! If you’re digging this meal prep, tag me or use #projectmealplan on social media to share your own version!

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