Love 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. This recipe will save you money, and will give you the peace of mind that you know what's exactly in your food. Plus, it's easy to adjust to your own personal tastes.
Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
This super easy recipe comes together quickly with pantry staples that are found in most grocery stores. It's the perfect recipe for day old leftover rice. If you don't have any hanging out in your fridge, then cook some up, allow it to cool on the counter, cover and then store in the fridge until it's cold.
- Fat: Use a high heat neutral oil or butter to start the recipe, and sesame oil to finish it off.
- 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: white long grain or brown. Basmati was used for this recipe.
- Vegetables: green peas and diced carrots: frozen or fresh. Panda Express uses frozen. Fresh green onion (scallion) can be used as a garnish.
- Liquid: liquid aminos, coconut aminos, tamari, or reduced sodium soy sauce
- Spices: salt to taste, optional
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients, 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 this delicious copycat dish with other Panda Express sides.
What is in Panda Express fried rice?
Their website says they use steamed white rice with soy sauce, eggs, peas, carrots, and green onions. When we ordered a side this week, there wasn't any green onions in it, so we didn't include it in the photo shoot for our copycat version.
What's the secret ingredient to fried rice?
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.
Does Panda Express fried rice have meat?
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 your vegan, it's best to make it at home with our copycat version.
Is Panda Express fried rice healthy?
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.
- Want to make this vegan? Use crumbled tofu and color it with tumeric, use a plant based egg replacer, or leave out the eggs.
- Want to make this spicy? Use sriracha sauce, chili garlic sauce, or red chili flakes.
- Want to make this healthier? Switch the white long grain to brown.
- Want to make this grain free? Use quinoa or cauliflower.
- 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.
- 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.
- For best results, use cooked, cold rice that is up to one day old.
- The taste of Panda Express' version is plain and neutral if you want to be authentic.
- For best results, use a large wok to cook this recipe.
- Thinly sliced green onion adds freshness when used as a garnish.
Other Panda Express Copycat Recipes
If you liked this recipe and found it helpful, give it some love by sharing!
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated!
Panda Express Fried Rice Copycat
- Beat the two eggs with a fork.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use cooked, cold rice that is up to one day old.
- Panda Express' version has a very plain and neutral taste.
- For best results, use a wok.
- To add freshness, use thinly sliced green onion as a garnish.