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Barb Szyszkiewicz shares a frugal fried rice recipe that helps you use up leftover vegetables. Download our printable recipe card.

I love fried rice. I routinely make it for lunch to use up leftover rice and whatever vegetables are around, and sometimes we enjoy shrimp fried rice for a fast, filling dinner. It's definitely not authentic fried rice, but it works for us, and even when you factor in the purchase of sesame oil and sesame seeds for that finishing touch, it's so much cheaper than takeout—and faster, too. You'll have those ingredients on hand for a long time to come, since you only need a little each time.

All measurements in this recipe are approximate; use what you have on hand. If you had a party this week, there are probably a few sad celery and carrot sticks still around, so chop those up for your fried rice and stir them on in, along with any other leftover steamed vegetables you have in the fridge. The directions below include an option for raw shrimp. If you have cooked shrimp, add them at the end when the recipe calls for you to return the shrimp to the pan.




All-In-Together Fried Rice

Makes 4 servings


Vegetable or avocado oil for the pan
1 small onion, roughly chopped
(optional) 1/2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, tails removed
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups chopped vegetables, raw or steamed
2 cups cooked rice, chilled
2 eggs, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dash of ground ginger
A few tablespoons of soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you're watching your sodium)
Dash of sesame oil
Sesame seeds to garnish

  • Heat your pan or wok until extremely hot and add a little vegetable or avocado oil.
  • Heat until oil shimmers, then turn down the flame to medium and sauté onion and any raw vegetables until they begin to soften.
  • If adding shrimp, cook it now, then remove to a plate.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add rice and steamed vegetables, stirring to break up large clumps of rice.
  • Push everything to the sides of your pan, making a well in the middle for the eggs.
  • Pour eggs into the well, add pepper and ginger, and stir to scramble (as shown in the video below). It's OK if some rice or vegetables get mixed in with the eggs.
  • When they eggs are mostly cooked, fold everything together.
  • Stir in shrimp, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and a dash of sesame oil.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with sesame seeds before serving.


Recipe note: Fried rice isn't so much about the recipe as it is about technique. And for the longest time, I couldn't get the egg just right. But last summer Katie (@mrsruvi on Instagram and X) shared a reel showing how to cook the egg into the fried rice. It's super simple, once you see it happen! Katie graciously gave permission for me to share that reel here. 


Click to tweet:
Use what you have on hand to make quick, simple, and frugal fried rice for #MeatlessFriday. With video by @MrsRuvi! #CatholicMom


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Copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Images: copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz, all rights reserved.
Video shared with the gracious permission of @mrsruvi on Instagram, copyright 2023, all rights reserved