There are times when you need to make a lunch or dinner super fast. This is when this family friendly chicken fried rice comes in to save the day. Filling but full of veggies and flavours your kids will like, it’s a winner all around.
While this recipe is not, strictly speaking, authentic, I like that the fried rice is not dry and the sauce is mild and doesn’t offend young kids’ palates – there is nothing spicy here. The meal is also full of little bits and pieces your child will want to discover, kind of like finding alphabet pasta in your soup. (That’s what I like about it, anyway!)
It doesn’t hurt that it contains my homemade tomato sauce (ketchup) – yum!
Chicken fried rice is the perfect fast balanced food
I spent last Sunday basically just cleaning and cooking. After breakfast, I made three different kinds of ice cream which is exciting because it means our spring is in full swing and the day temperatures are in the low twenties, which is so lovely. It is still cool at night and in the mornings but I am not letting that spoil my ice cream groove.
I also made some gorgeous pizza scrolls and mini frittatas for the kids’ pre-school lunch on Monday and by 2pm, I was exhausted. So when it came time for dinner, I wanted something easy, fast but also healthy and delicious.
It was definitely fried rice time!
Making your fried rice
If you’ve never made fried rice before, let me assure you – it’s child’s play. Not only is it super easy, you’ll probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge.
And if not, it’s easy to make substitutions. That’s another thing I really like about this recipe – not only it is flexible but you can make it when you have bits and pieces of veggies in your fridge which need to be used up. It’s a perfect meal to make before your shopping day or before going on holidays, when you need to clear out your fridge or use up some sad looking veggies.
Fried rice for lunch boxes
This chicken fried rice is also a great lunch to send your child to school with. It has no nuts so it should be suitable for most schools and pre-schools.
I love that it has a little bit of everything as part of the meal. You can adjust it to include the veggies and meat that your child likes the most.
Variations of your fried rice
Any cooked meat is suitable to be substituted for chicken – beef, lamb, pork, or even Italian sausage would be delicious. You could also try pieces of grilled fish or tofu.
As for veggies, you could also try mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, eggplant, chickpeas, or anything you and your family enjoy.
This recipe was inspired by a fabulous recipe for chicken fried rice in the Women’s Weekly Express cookbook. That book is wonderful and if you, like me, like fast and healthy recipes, I am sure you will find much inspiration there!
Kid-friendly chicken fried rice
- drizzle of olive oil (I use olive oil infused with garlic)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 cup cooked green peas
- 1 bag mixed steamed veggies (about 75 g, chopped) (I used broccoli, carrot and green beans)
- 1/4 small red capsicum, diced
- 1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
- 1 small can of baby corn, drained and rinsed (about 125 g)
- 1.5 bags steamed rice with quinoa (about 400 g)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce (homemade, if you have any)
- 1/2 chicken stock pot (about 14 g)
- 1/2 cup water
- handful of grated cheese (tasty or mozzarella, or a mixture of both)
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the whisked eggs.
- Make a flat thin omelette by cooking the eggs on one side until firm, then flip and cook the other side.
- Once the omelette is done, take it out of the pan, place onto a plate and let it cool down.
- Once cool, slice the omelette into thin strips and set aside.
- Cook the rice with quinoa in the microwave according to the instructions.
- In the same frying pan, place rice with quinoa, green peas, steamed veggies, capsicum, chicken, corn, sesame oil, soy sauce, tomato sauce, stock pot and water.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, until there is no more liquid.
- Turn off the heat, sprinkle cheese onto the mixture as well as the sliced egg omelette. Mix all together and serve.