Fast Fried Rice Recipe for Weekday Lunches


My daughter Ilse dislikes sandwiches for lunch. They’re not filling enough for my voracious eater, so she prefers rice or noodle dishes that are heartier. One of her standard lunchbox entrees is fried rice with meat and vegetables. Fried rice is an easy dish to make for a weekday lunch. I make fried rice at least twice a week because we always have leftover rice and frozen vegetables on-hand. The fried rice is completely customizable to your child’s or your family’s tastes and can easily be doubled to accommodate other eaters. If your child doesn’t like meat, do all vegetables (just make sure they are all diced the same size to maintain the short cooking time).  Enjoy!

Fast Fried Rice

Serves 2 for lunch


2 cups leftover cooked rice (white or brown)

⅓- ½  cup diced ham or turkey kielbasa sausage

⅓ cup frozen peas & carrots or frozen green beans

1 clove garlic minced

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salt and white pepper

Hot water (from a kettle)


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add ham or sausage. Stir constantly until golden and fragrant, 2 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables, rice, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle soy sauce over rice and stir. If rice is too dry, sprinkle with hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to moisten.
  5. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and white pepper to taste.


Meat:  diced chorizo sausage, diced rotisserie chicken (remove skin and bones), leftover diced bacon, or soy crumbles (meatless).

Rice: Cauliflower rice (defrost from frozen)

Optional add-ins: frozen snow peas, diced bell peppers, cooked zucchini, sliced green onions, diced firm tofu (drained from water) cooked scrambled eggs (1 egg for every 2 cups of rice)

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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