This tasty vegetable stir fry uses quinoa instead of rice for a healthy twist on your favorite fried rice! With a simple homemade sauce, this recipe comes together quickly and easily for a yummy, plant-based meal!

stir fried quinoa
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Vegetable stir fry is a great dinner idea because it’s an easy way to use up whatever vegetables you might have in your fridge. This recipe also works great with frozen vegetables, so I usually try to keep a bag of mixed vegetables in my freezer at all times. Rather than using rice, I used quinoa, which is a great way to add a little more nutrition to this dish!

What is Quinoa?

If you’re new to cooking with quinoa, it’s technically a seed but it cooks like a grain. Read my post about quinoa to learn more about what it is, where to buy it, and how to use it. I love it because it’s a great source of protein and nutrients. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it lasts a long time in the pantry. You can typically find it near the rice and dried beans at the grocery store. You can even get quinoa on Amazon. You can use white, red, or tri-color quinoa in this recipe.

How to Cook Quinoa

This recipe uses cooked quinoa. If you haven’t cooked your quinoa yet, don’t worry. It’s easy! Most quinoa should be rinsed before cooking. Some bagged varieties will come pre-rinsed but if you’re not sure, give it a rinse just to be safe. I place it in a fine mesh strainer and then run it under cool water. Be sure it’s a very fine mesh strainer so the quinoa doesn’t fall through. This strainer on Amazon is a great one for quinoa!

To prepare the quinoa, there are a few different ways you can make it:

  • How to Make Quinoa In a Rice Cooker– I love making quinoa in the rice cooker because I can set it and forget it! It cooks perfect quinoa every time.
  • How to Cook Quinoa on the Stovetop– Like rice, you can prepare quinoa on the stovetop. Use a two-to-one ratio of water to quinoa. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed, then fluff it with a fork.
  • How to Make Quinoa in an Instant Pot– Yep, you can make quinoa in an Instant Pot! This is a quick, fool-proof method for perfect quinoa.

It’s best to allow the quinoa to cool before using it in this stir fry, so it’s a great recipe for leftover quinoa that you have in your fridge! You’ll need about 1/3 cup of dry quinoa to make 1 cup of cooked quinoa for this recipe.

quinoa in a strainer

The Best Vegetables for Fried Rice Recipe

The best vegetables for a stir fry are the vegetables you already have! You can use fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. For this recipe, I used a 12oz bag of frozen vegetables, which is about four cups of vegetables. But feel free to use whatever you have on hand! Here are some ideas:

  • Broccoli, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • Cauliflower, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • Carrots, diced or shredded
  • Onion, diced
  • Water chestnuts
  • Green beans
  • Red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
  • Green onions, also called scallions, chopped
  • Green or purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • Snow peas
  • Peas, frozen or canned work great
  • Corn, frozen or canned

Stir Fry Protein Options

If you want to add additional protein to this recipe, you could use tofu, tempeh, TVP, or your favorite meat substitute. My tempeh bacon recipe works great with this recipe!

The Best Oil for Stir Fry

I typically use avocado oil for stir-frying, as it works well in high heat and has a neutral flavor. This recipe also works with coconut oil or vegetable oil. You may have heard that olive oil shouldn’t be used for frying, but according to America’s Test Kitchen, olive oil is fine for stir-fries. So it’s up to you!

Tips & Tricks

I recommend using a large, non-stick skillet. A non-stick skillet is essential for cooking the eggs, so you don’t have to worry about them sticking to the pan. But you also need a large surface area to cook the vegetables evenly.

Substitution Ideas

  • If you don’t have sriracha, you can substitute it with hot sauce or chili paste. Anything to bring a little heat will work just fine.
  • If you want to make this recipe gluten-free or soy-free, use gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce.
  • To make this recipe vegan, skip the eggs or use Just Egg as an egg replacement.
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or any of these options.
  • I highly recommend fresh ginger, but in a pinch, you can substitute ground ginger.
  • If you enjoy this recipe, try my sesame soba noodles!

How to Make Quinoa “Fried Rice”