If you are craving the food from Panda Express, but don't live near one, try our copycat Panda Express fried rice recipe. It's budget-friendly, gluten free, vegan friendly, and super quick to make.
Our Panda Express fried rice is a super easy recipe that comes together quickly. It's the perfect recipe for day old leftover rice. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Fat: Use butter or a high heat safe, neutral oil to start the recipe, and sesame oil to finish it off. Panda Express uses 100% pure soybean oil.
- Eggs: Two large eggs is traditionally what is used. If you are vegan or allergic to eggs, use a plant based egg substitute, or scrambled tofu cooked with turmeric for color and the spices of your choice.
- Rice: You can use steamed long grain white or brown rice.
- Vegetables: We used green peas and diced carrots: frozen or fresh. Panda Express uses frozen. Fresh green onion (scallion) can be used as a garnish.
- Liquid: We used reduced sodium soy sauce, but you can substitute that with coconut aminos or liquid aminos.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Want to make this spicy? Use sriracha sauce, chili garlic sauce, or red chili flakes.
- Want to make this grain free? Use quinoa or cauliflower rice.
- Want to make this a main course? Add cubed chicken, shrimp, sliced beef, or crumbled marinaded tofu.
- Want to make this less neutral tasting? Use fresh garlic, ginger, and onion at the beginning, then add fish sauce and mirin during the last few minutes of cooking.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our Panda Express copycat fried rice, and measure them out into prep bowls as this recipe is cooked quickly.
- In a small bowl, beat two large eggs together with a fork.
- In a wok over medium high heat, melt the butter. You can also substitute with a high smoke point neutral oil.
3. Pour in the eggs and cook until done, roughly 2 minutes. Break up the pieces so they are small.
4. Add the cooked, chilled rice and the liquid aminos or reduced sodium soy sauce. Stir together and cook for a minute.
5. Add the frozen peas and carrots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so nothing burns.
6. Remove from heat, add the sesame oil and stir it in. Taste and add ¼ teaspoon salt, if necessary.
7. Serve hot and garnish (optional) with sliced green onions for some freshness and extra crunch.
8. Enjoy our delicious fried rice copycat dish with other Panda Express sides and main courses.
Their website says they use steamed white rice with soy sauce, eggs, peas, carrots, and green onions. When we ordered this dish, there wasn't any green onions in it, so we didn't include it in the photo shoot for our copycat version.
Use cold, day old white long grain rice like basmati or jasmine. If you want to add a nutty flavor, finish it off with sesame oil. If you want to change the Panda Express recipe to make it less neutral tasting, add in some fish sauce and mirin along with the sesame oil.
No, this popular Chinese restaurant's side dish has no meat, so if your vegetarian it is safe to eat. It does include eggs, so if you're vegan, it's best to make it at home with our copycat version.
According to their website, for a serving size of 9.3 ounces or 1 ¾ cups, there are 520 calories, 85 g of carbs, and 11g of protein. Our copycat version has 609 calories, 74.2g of carbs, and 18.2g of protein for a serving size of 1 ¾ cups or 250 g. For more nutritional information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Panda Express fried rice can be served with our other Panda Express copycat side dishes like super greens and chow mein. It tastes amazing when served along side one of our main course Panda Express copycat recipes, like teriyaki chicken or string bean chicken.
- Make Ahead: For best results, use day old rice. This recipe can be made up to one day in advance.
- Leftovers: Any leftovers should be cooled on the counter then stored in an airtight container and can last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Allow to cool completely then store in a freezer friendly container for up to 2 months. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat: Leftovers can be warmed up in a wok or in a microwave.
- For best results, use cooked, cold rice that is up to one day old.
- Don't have leftover rice? Cook some up according to package directions, allow to cool on the counter, cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Want to make this vegan? Use crumbled tofu and color it with turmeric, use a plant based egg replacement, or leave out the eggs.
- Thinly sliced green onion adds freshness when used as a garnish.
Other Panda Express Copycat Recipes
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Panda Express Fried Rice Copycat
- Beat the two eggs with a fork.
- Melt the butter in a wok over medium high heat, then pour in the eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon to help break up the eggs until they are cooked.
- Add in the cooked white rice and liquids aminos or soy sauce and cook one minute.
- Dump in the frozen peas and carrots and cook for three minutes while stirring so nothing burns.
- Remove from the heat and add in the optional sesame oil and salt. Mix well.
- Serve hot and garnish with sliced green onion.
- Use cooked, cold rice that is up to one day old.
- If you don't have leftover rice, cook the long grain white according to package directions, allow to cool on the counter, cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Panda Express' version has a very plain and neutral taste.
- Want to make this vegan? Use crumbled tofu and color it with tumeric, use a plant based egg replacer, or leave out the eggs.
- To add freshness, use thinly sliced green onion as a garnish.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.