Healthier Chicken Fried Rice
Healthier Chicken Fried Rice

Do you know anybody who doesn't like fried rice? And if you do, do you really want to know them?!! No, but seriously this American Chinese dish is arguably the most popular of all takeout favorites and for a very good reason--it hits the bliss point in taste, texture and comfort. But unfortunately, when prepared traditionally, it's not all that healthy, packing a whopping 820 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving--no wonder it tastes so good, right?! Well never fear, I'm here today with a much healthier, lower fat and calorie version of your favorite dish that will completely blow your tastebuds away! I promise you're going to love this as much if not more than the original version because it's good for you so you can it more of it, more often! A big win-win all around!

The secret here to keeping this lighter and healthier is that the entire dish is made with only 2 tablespoons of oil and instead of low nutrient white, you sub in high fiber brown rice. A generous serving comes in at 580 calories with only 3 grams of saturated fat and far less sodium and cholesterol as well. And you'd never know it--this is "no leftovers" good!!

Part of that yumminess comes from the chicken, peanuts and colorful veggies like red peppers, scallions and water chestnuts. Plus, it's so versatile --you could definitely veggie it up even more with personal favorites or toss in a scrambled egg or two. Me, I love it this way! Would that my crew didn't also love it so much and left me a little for lunch the next day!! 

And of course, like all stir-fry recipes, it comes together very quickly--in under 10 minutes--all you have to do is have everything chopped and ready to go. 

The crunch of the water chestnuts and peanuts, the snap of the red pepper, tender chicken and sticky rice, YUM! A bowl of this, some Olympic trials TV time and a spoonful or two (or three) of the most delicious homemade strawberry frozen yogurt for dessert (I promise to share it with you very soon!) and I'm a happy girl. Summer really is perfect! So instead of waiting for the delivery guy, make it take-in tonight and enjoy a healthy, delicious, guilt-free dinner instead! 

Healthier Chicken Fried Rice

Makes 4 servings

You must use cold rice to make this so cook up a batch in the am and let it chill so it's ready for you at night!

Prep Time: 10-12 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1-2 shakes red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 small onion, cut up finely

  • 3-4 scallions, cut thinly

  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, deseeded and chopped finely

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • One 5 ounce can of water chestnuts, drained and cut up finely

  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped (you can use leftover chicken or poach a couple of boneless chicken breasts or even use a rotisserie chicken)

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, very cold

  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

The Recipe

1.  Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.

2.  Pour the oil into a very large skillet or wok and turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the onion, scallion and peppers and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or so. Add in the water chestnuts, chicken and rice and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and stir to coat everything. Transfer to a plate, top with the peanuts and serve immediately.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger. I omitted the tablespoon of finely grated ginger. Add it with the garlic if ginger is your thing.

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