Spaghetti and Meatballs are a classic dinner, but it is always fun to mix up meatball night. We love making Greek Meatballs, Chicken Meatballs, and these easy Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs. If you love our traditional Teriyaki Chicken, you will love these…
A spicy peanut sauce drenches pan-fried tofu and stir fry vegetables in these simple and delicious peanut tofu bowls.
Um, YUM! I just have to say that this Peanut Tofu is going to become a new staple in my house. It’s pretty easy to throw together, it’s a beautiful mix of colors and textures, and it’s absolutely deeeelicious! It’s definitely one of those meals that will give you that, “I can’t believe I made this myself” moment.
Freeze or Press Your Tofu
Lately, I’ve become a huge fan of freezing and then thawing my tofu before using it in a recipe. The freeze-thaw process changes the texture of the tofu, making it less jelly-like and more structured. The best part is that the texture change allows you to simply squeeze the tofu like a sponge to expel the extra liquid in seconds. To freeze the tofu, I just place the whole package (unopened) in the freezer, then the day before cooking I transfer it back to the fridge to thaw.
If you don’t pre-freeze your tofu, you’ll want to press it well before using it in this recipe. Either use a special tofu press or create one in your kitchen using items you already have on hand. I like to place the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and something heavy like a cast iron pan or a pot full of water. Let the tofu press for at least a half hour to get rid of the excess liquid.
Is This Peanut Tofu Spicy?
Yes, I used a lot of sriracha in the peanut sauce, so this dish has a decently spicy kick! While you can experiment with reducing the sriracha by half, I wouldn’t eliminate it entirely because the sriracha also provides extra acidity and garlic to the flavor profile, and the other ingredients would need to be adjusted to compensate.
How to Serve Peanut Tofu
I served my peanut tofu and vegetables over a bed of rice, but you could also serve them over rice noodles or even some cooked ramen.
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter $0.58
- 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
- 1 lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
- 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
- 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth $0.07
Tofu Stir Fry
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu* $1.79
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.06
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
- 16 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables $2.25
For Serving (optional)
- 3 cups cooked rice $0.62
- 1 handful cilantro $0.20
- Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have time to blend. Whisk together the peanut butter, sriracha, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, and vegetable broth.
- Press the tofu for 30 minutes to expel the excess water or use previously frozen tofu and squeeze the water out with your hands. Cut the tofu block into 24 triangles (12 squares, then cut diagonally into triangles).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add the tofu pieces and gently toss until they are coated in the mixture.
- Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on all sides (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.
- Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet then add the frozen stir fry vegetables. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
- Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir to combine and heat through.
- Slice any remaining lime into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with the lime wedges and fresh cilantro (if desired) before serving over cooked rice or noodles.
How to Make Peanut Tofu – Step by Step Photos
Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend. Whisk together ½ cup natural peanut butter, 2 Tbsp sriracha, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, and ½ cup vegetable broth. Set the sauce aside.
Press one 14oz. block of extra firm tofu for about 30 minutes to expel the excess water (or freeze then thaw the tofu in the days prior and squeeze out the water by hand). Cut the thickness of the tofu block in half, then cut it into 12 triangles (when stacked) to make 24 pieces.
Next, whisk together 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. This will coat the tofu with flavor and help it crisp up a bit more in the skillet.
Add the tofu pieces to the cornstarch and oil mixture then gently fold until the tofu is coated in the mixture.
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on each side (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.
Add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then once hot add one 16oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat just until the vegetables are heated through.
Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir everything to combine and heat through.
Cut any remaining limes into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with cilantro (if desired) and the lime wedges before serving.
Love Tofu? Try these other Tofu Recipes
It’s grilling season and if you are looking for a simple and delicious grilled chicken recipe, you have to try this Soy Ginger Chicken. I guarantee it will be a summer staple and a favorite at every BBQ. The chicken marinade is made with basic in…
Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.
You know how sometimes food that is super simple is the most satisfying? Like buttered pasta, rice with soy sauce, or boiled cabbage with butter? There’s nothing to them, but somehow they’re just so comforting and good. I decided to combine a few of these simple comfort foods to create this Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice. It’s super cheap, cozy, and satisfying without a lot of effort. And that’s exactly what I need to combat these inflation blues!
I used steak seasoning, one of my favorite go-to seasoning blends, to season this dish, but you could go so many different ways! Steak seasoning is basically a coarse mixture of salt, pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper, and paprika (and sometimes a couple of other things, depending on the brand or recipe). I think this dish would also be really great with other seasonings blends as well, like curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even just some salsa stirred into the skillet! I encourage you to add your favorite seasoning blends to see how you can make this recipe your own.
I used a half-pound of ground beef for this recipe to keep it budget-friendly, but you could use more meat if it fits your budget. You can also swap out the ground beef for any other ground meat, like pork, turkey, or even ground sausage (even more flavor).
For Best Results, Use Day Old Rice
As with fried rice recipes, day old rice, or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled works best for this recipe. Fully cooked and cooled rice will be less sticky and you’ll be able to incorporate it into the skillet without it becoming mushy. Bonus, when you cool cooked rice the starches transform into resistant starches, which are great for your gut bacteria!
What Else Can I Add?
This recipe is just asking for customization, so make sure to browse your pantry and refrigerator for other ingredients that you might want to toss in there. Shredded carrot would be awesome, as would some diced bell pepper. You can add garlic (when can you *not* add garlic?), bacon, diced tomatoes, or even a sprinkle of cheese on top.
How to Serve Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice
This recipe is meant to be a super simple all-in-one bowl meal. It’s got meat, grains, and vegetables all in one serving. If I did decide to serve something on the side, I’d probably go for something in the red/orange color spectrum for some balance. Maybe some roasted carrots, roasted squash, or maybe even a cup of tomato soup on the side.
Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice
- 1 yellow onion $0.32
- 1/2 head green cabbage (5 cups chopped) $1.08
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
- 1/2 lb. ground beef $3.50
- 1 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.30
- 1/4 cup water $0.00
- 2 cups cooked rice* $0.41
- 2 Tbsp butter $0.41
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.03
- Dice the onion and chop the cabbage into ½-inch pieces.
- Add the onion and cooking oil to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
- Add the ground beef and steak seasoning to the skillet and continue to sauté until the beef is fully cooked. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
- Add the chopped cabbage and water to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the cabbage has softened to your desired level of tenderness.
- Add the cooked rice and butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice is heated through.
- Finally, season the skillet with soy sauce to taste. Start with 1 tsp and add more to your liking (I added ½ Tbsp, or 1.5 tsp). Serve hot and enjoy!
How to Make Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice – Step by Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion.
Chop ½ head of green cabbage into ½-inch pieces. You should have about five cups once chopped, but it’s flexible so it’s okay if you have more or less.
Sauté the diced onion in 1 Tbsp cooking oil over medium heat until soft (about five minutes).
Add ½ lb. ground beef and 1 Tbsp steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend) to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content beef, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet after the beef has cooked through.
Add the chopped cabbage and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cabbage has softened.
You can continue to cook this until the cabbage reaches your desired level of tenderness. I like mine to still have some texture and a vibrant green color.
Add 2 cups cooked rice and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice has heated through.
Finally, add about ½ Tbsp soy sauce. It’s best to add this to your own taste buds, so start with 1 tsp and add more until it tastes good.
Serve and enjoy!
Last week I saw an amazing photo of an incredible slow cooker French dip sandwich recipe and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I wanted those sandwiches and I wanted them bad. But then I thought, “What if I tried to make vegetarian French dip sandwiches?” and then I was on a mission. This portobello mushroom-based […]
Last week I saw an amazing photo of an incredible slow cooker French dip sandwich recipe and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I wanted those sandwiches and I wanted them bad. But then I thought, “What if I tried to make vegetarian French dip sandwiches?” and then I was on a mission. This portobello mushroom-based French dip recipe turned out really amazing on the first try. So amazing, in fact, that this is the most enthusiastic that I’ve seen my boyfriend about any recipe that I’ve made for him so far. And I feed him a lot. ;)
Originally posted 12-15-2016, updated 5-0-2022.
What is a French Dip Sandwich?
French dip sandwiches are made with tender shaved beef piled onto a French roll, topped with melted cheese (sometimes) and served with a rich broth, or au jus, for dipping. It’s absolutely delightful. BUT, because beef is so expensive these days, these vegetarian French dip sandwiches made with portobello mushrooms are a really tasty alternative. You won’t belive how delicious this broth is!
And what recipe had me drooling at my computer screen and ultimately inspired the vegetarian version? These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches from Carlsbad Cravings.
How to Make a French Dip Sandwich Vegetarian
I replaced the tender beef in classic French Dip sandwiches with meaty strips of portobello mushrooms and sautéed onions to bulk them up while keeping the price low.
I’d normally add a little Worcestershire to the broth of a beef French dip, but that has anchovies in it. So, to mimic the salty-sweetness of Worcestershire, I added a little soy sauce and just a smidge of brown sugar. That hint of sweetness from the brown sugar really helped balance the flavors and made the broth complex, so don’t be tempted to skip it.
Also, I highly suggest using Better Than Bouillon to make your broth. It has a deep flavor and just the right amount of salt.
How to Store Leftovers
If you’re not eating these sandwiches all at once, store the mushroom and onions in the broth and reheat them together before piling the filling into the sandwiches and dipping them into the remaining broth. You can heat these sandwiches in a matter of minutes under the broiler, so it’s a nice quick meal for leftovers!
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
One last note. Due to pricing and product availability, I did not use a French loaf for my sandwiches (I know, I know). Instead, I bought a pack of hoagie rolls that worked quite well. The key to choosing your bread for these sandwiches is to make sure you have something very sturdy and crusty so that it holds up to dipping in the delicious broth.
Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches
- 1 yellow onion $0.32
- 3 portobello mushroom caps (about ½ lb.) $3.99
- 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
- 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
- 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.02
- 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
- 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.01
- 4 6-inch French or Hoagie rolls $1.66
- 4 slices provolone $1.00
- Slice the onion into thin strips. Rinse the portobello caps to remove any dirt or debris. Slice each cap in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
- Add the butter to a deep skillet along with the sliced onions. Sauté the onions over medium heat for a few minutes, or just until they begin to soften.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet along with the salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano. Sauté the mushrooms until they release all their moisture and the liquid in the bottom of the skillet has evaporated (about 10 minutes). You should see some browned bits coating the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder and stir to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, then turn down to low and simmer for about 5 minutes while you toast the bread.
- Open the rolls and place them on a baking sheet, open sides up. Turn the oven on to broil and place the rolls in the oven on the middle rack. Watch the rolls closely and broil just until you see a slightly browning on the edges (about 5 minutes).
- Use a slotted spoon or tongs to take the mushrooms and onions out of the au jus. Divide the mushrooms and onions among the four rolls. Top each sandwich with a slice of provolone.
- Return the sandwiches to the oven and broil for a few minutes more, or just until the cheese is melted. Close the sandwiches up and serve with the au jus from the skillet for dipping.
How to Make Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos
Slice one yellow onion into thin strips. Wash and slice three portobello caps. I used three caps, which weighed ½ lb. total. I like to slice them in half, then crosswise into strips so that the strips aren’t super long.
Add the onions and 2 Tbsp butter to a deep skillet. Sauté the onions over medium heat just until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
Then add the sliced mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme. Sauté the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms release all their moisture and the liquid in the bottom of the skillet evaporates. There should be some caramelized browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
Add 2 cups of vegetable broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom. Then add 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp garlic powder.
Let the au jus come up to a simmer, then turn it down to low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes while you toast the bread.
Place four opened French or hoagie rolls on a baking sheet, open side up. Turn the oven on to broil and toast the bread under the broiler just until you start to see a little browning on the edges. I kept my oven rack in the middle so that the bread was far enough away from the broiler that it wouldn’t toast super fast. That gives you a little more room for error.
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to pick the mushrooms and onions up out of the au jus, then pile them onto the toasted rolls.
Add a slice of provolone to each…
Then return the sandwiches to the broiler to melt the cheese. The open bread will continue to brown here, so if your bread was a little more on the brown side after the first broil, flip the pieces over so they’ll brown on top instead.
Finally, close up the sandwiches and serve while hot! But don’t forget to ladle that yummy au jus into little bowls for dipping.
These Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches are seriously good stuff. nomnomnom
This Easy Teriyaki Chicken is perfect for quick weeknight dinners, and has the most delicious salty, sweet, and savory flavor!
I’m all about quick weeknight dinner recipes and this Easy Teriyaki Chicken is one that I think you’ll come back to over and over again. It’s almost too easy, and who doesn’t love teriyaki chicken?? The simple marinade turns into a gorgeous light glaze that adds just the right amount of salty, sweet, and savory flavor to juicy chicken thighs for a simple yet satisfying dinner. The leftovers are pretty good for lunch the next day, too. ;)
What’s in Teriyaki Sauce?
Traditional teriyaki from Japan is grilled meat with a simple glaze made of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. My teriyaki sauce, while still fairly simple, is a bit close to what you’ll find in bottled teriyaki sauce in the U.S. It has the basic salty-sweet flavor of soy and sugar, but you’ll also find a little garlic and ginger for extra complexity. If you prefer the flavor of an authentic teriyaki sauce, make sure to check out this recipe from Just One Cookbook.
Which is Best, Chicken Thighs or Breasts?
You can make this teriyaki chicken with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, or even chicken tenders. I find chicken thighs to be the best for this recipe because they cook quickly and stay super tender and juicy. If using chicken breasts, make sure to fillet them into two thinner pieces or pound the chicken to a ½-inch thickness before marinating. This will help them cook quickly and evenly in the skillet before the glaze burns.
How Long Should I Marinade the Teriyaki Chicken?
You can marinate your chicken for as little as 30 minutes, or up to a full day for maximum flavor. This gives you the flexibility to start marinating the chicken just before you begin preparing dinner, in the morning before you leave for work, or even the night before. The longer it marinates, the more delicious it will be!
What to Serve with Teriyaki Chicken
When I’m in a hurry I just keep things simple with some long-grain white rice and steamed broccoli, but you could always make your meal a little more interesting by pairing your teriyaki chicken with something like a Crunchy Cabbage Salad, Sesame Roasted Green Beans, or a Sesame Cucumber Salad.
Easy Teriyaki Chicken
- 1/4 cup soy sauce $0.24
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar $0.12
- 1 Tbsp water $0.00
- 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
- 1.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $5.72
- Prepare the marinade first. Stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, ginger, and 1 Tbsp of the cooking oil in a bowl.
- Place the chicken in a shallow bowl or dish, then pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken a couple of times to make sure it's well coated. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes to one day (refrigerated), turning the chicken occasionally as it marinates.
- When ready to cook the chicken, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken, discarding the remaining used marinade.
- Cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through and the liquid in the skillet has reduced to a light coating of glaze on the chicken.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken – Step by Step Photos
Make the marinade first. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup soy sauce, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp water, and 1 Tbsp cooking oil.
Place about 1.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a wide bowl or dish (or a zip top bag), then pour the marinade over top. Flip the chicken thighs a few times to make sure they’re fully coated in the marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to a full day (refrigerated). Turn the chicken occasionally as they marinate.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat one tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken. Discard the remaining used marinade.
Cook the chicken thighs in the skillet for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and the excess liquid in the skillet has reduced into a light coating of glaze on the chicken.
Transfer the cooked teriyaki chicken to a cutting board to rest for about five minutes before slicing and serving.
This teriyaki chicken is so extremely juicy and delicious. You’re going to love it!
Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.
I’ve been having a lot of fun lately looking at old recipes from The Great Depression and I’m always surprised at how simple they are. They’re always just a few ingredients, barely seasoned, but always filling. The simplicity of those recipes inspired this Vegetables and Gravy recipe, although I did make sure it was well seasoned to fit today’s pallet. 😅
This recipe is great for those times when you just need to throw together something simple, warm, and filling using inexpensive ingredients that you might already have on hand. It’s kind of like a cross between potato soup and the filling of a chicken pot pie (minus the chicken). Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No. But when money is tight, this dish hits just right.
What is Vegetables and Gravy?
This dish starts with cubed potatoes that are boiled in vegetable broth until tender. The liquid is then seasoned with herbs and spices and thickened to a gravy with a milk and flour slurry. Next, we add a bag of mixed frozen vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor. And we finish the dish off with some butter for added creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, filling, and satisfying!
What Else Can I Add?
If you happen to have some extra ingredients on hand and want to take this dish up a notch, here are some ideas:
- Top with shredded cheese
- Brown some bacon in the pot first and top the finished dish with the crumbled bacon
- Add your favorite seasoning blend(you could do anything from a Cajun seasoning to something simple like Lawry’s)
- Add chopped cooked chicken to make it more like a chicken pot pie (a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)
- Add dumplings
How to Serve Vegetables and Gravy
I would consider this a simple all-in-one bowl meal and would not plan to make anything on the side. I might serve with some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy, but otherwise, everything I need is in that bowl. If you definitely need something on the side, I’d do a simple roasted vegetable. Maybe broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
About Those Leftovers…
Because this gravy is thickened with flour, it does gel up and get quite thick when refrigerated. But don’t worry, it will loosen a bit upon reheating and you can always add a splash of water or milk to thin it out even more, if needed.
Vegetables and Gravy
- 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.96
- 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
- 1 cup milk $0.20
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
- 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
- 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.00
- 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
- Peel and cube the potatoes into ¾-inch pieces.
- Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat on to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the milk and flour.
- Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the flour and milk slurry. Also add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Allow the liquid in the pot to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
- Add the frozen vegetables to the pot, stir to combine, then allow them to heat through.
- Stir the butter into the gravy until melted and combined. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, butter or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!
How to Make Vegetables and Gravy
Start by peeling and cubing about 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes. Cut them into ¾-inch cubes.
Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 7 minutes).
While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the milk and flour slurry. Whisk ¼ cup all-purpose flour into 1 cup milk.
Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the milk and flour slurry to the pot along with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.
Allow the liquid to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
Add one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to heat through in the gravy.
Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the gravy and stir until it has melted in. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, or more butter to your liking.
Serve it up hot with a little bread for sopping up that delicious gravy! (I garnished with some fresh parsley because I had it on hand, but it’s not necessary to flavor this dish.)
Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!
Fried rice is a take-out classic because it’s fast, easy, filling, delicious, and inexpensive, which is everything I want from a meal made at home, too! I love making vegetable fried rice at home because it’s an easy way to use up odds and ends in my fridge, it’s always satisfying, and it’s FAST. Plus, I can always add some meat or seafood if I’m feeling it!
Originally posted 6/2/2010, updated 3/30/2022.
What is Fried Rice?
Fried rice is a Chinese dish made with cooked rice that is then stir-fried in a wok with other ingredients, like meat, seafood, vegetables, and eggs, and then seasoned with a savory sauce. It’s extremely flexible and budget-friendly, which is why we love this dish! The recipe below is an American adaptation, using a skillet instead of a wok and ingredients that are easily sourced in most American grocery stores. If you’d like to try an authentic Chinese Fried Rice recipe, be sure to check out Chinese Fried Rice from Rasa Malaysia, Egg Fried Rice from Red House Spice, or Classic Chicken Fried Rice from The Woks of Life.
Use Leftover Rice for Best Results
To avoid clumpy or gummy fried rice, use rice that has been previously cooked and completely cooled, preferably overnight. The slightly drier, less starchy rice is perfect for stir-frying because it can absorb moisture from the sauce and vegetables without becoming overly sticky. If you don’t have leftover rice from the day before, simply cook some rice, spread it out thin on a baking sheet or wide baking dish for faster cooling, then refrigerate until completely cool before using in the stir fry.
Do I Need a Wok?
Woks are wonderful for stir fry because the large surface area makes it possible to add a lot of ingredients without overcrowding. While using a frying pan doesn’t work quite as well, we can make up for the crowding issue by cooking the ingredients separately, then combining them at the very end.
What Else Can I Add to Vegetable Stir Fry?
Here’s my favorite part. A simple Vegetable Stiry is a blank slate for all sorts of add ins, whether it’s more vegetables, a meat or seafood, a different sauce, or even a crunchy topping! Here are some other fun add-ins for your stir fry:
- Other vegetables like beansprouts, mushrooms, green beans, corn, broccoli, red chiles, or kimchi
- Meat or seafood like chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, or sausage
- Other sauces like oyster sauce, sriracha, or chili crisp
- Crunchy toppers like cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, crushed ramen noodles
Vegetable Fried Rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
- 1 carrot, diced $0.16
- 1 red bell pepper, diced $1.50
- 4 green onions, sliced $0.40
- 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
- 3 cups cooked and cooled rice $0.62
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.30
- Prepare the vegetables before hand so they're ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.
- Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
- There should be a good amount of oil left in the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots and stir and cook for about two minutes. Next add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic, ginger, and cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through.
- Pour the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.
- Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.
How to Make Fried Rice – Step By Step Photos
Prep the vegetables before you begin cooking because once you start, it will go fast! Mince two cloves of garlic and mince or grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Peel and dice one large carrot and one red bell pepper. Slice four green onions, separating the tender green top half from the firm lower half, and measure out one cup of frozen peas.
Lightly whisk two large eggs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs to the skillet and gently scramble until cooked through. Remove the scrambled eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
There should be quite a bit of oil left in the skillet after removing the eggs. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrot to the skillet and stir fry for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the firm white ends of the sliced green onion. Stir fry for about a minute more. Lastly, add the frozen peas and stir fry just until heated through. Remove the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface again. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and three cups of cooked and cooled rice to the hot skillet. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry if the rice sticks a bit to the bottom. It will loosen after the sauce is added.
Add 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil to the rice. Fold the rice and sauce together until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.
Add the vegetables and eggs back to the skillet. Turn the heat off and stir to combine, allowing the residual heat to reheat everything through.
Top with the sliced green ends of the green onions and you’re done! Give it a taste and add extra soy sauce or sesame oil to fit your taste buds.
What do you like to put in your fried rice?
You Might Also Like:
- One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
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- Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
- One Pot Veggie Rice Bowl
Vegetable stir fry is a quick and easy option for dinner, plus it’s super flexible and a great way to use up leftovers from your fridge!
We love a good “catch-all” recipe here at Budget Bytes, and a simple vegetable stir fry is the perfect example of that. Whether you’re using up leftover vegetables from your freezer or using a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, a quick and easy vegetable stir fry is an easy solution for dinner. In addition to the very simple version below, I’ve got plenty of ideas for add-ins and flavor modifications in case you want to switch it up!
What Vegetables are Good for Stir Fry?
It’s important to get a variety of colors and textures when you make a vegetable stir fry. I chose to use onions, mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots to provide that variety, but here are some other vegetables that are great in stir fry:
- Green beans
- Baby corn
- Water Chestnuts
- Bean sprouts
- Green onion
- Sweet peas
Other Stir Fry Add-ins
In addition to vegetables, you can add all sorts of other ingredients, like:
- Chicken, beef, or pork
- Scrambled egg
- Peanuts or cashews
Customize the Sauce
I’ve included a very basic brown stir fry sauce below, but there are so many options for customizing the sauce to fit your taste buds. Here are some options:
- Make it spicy: add a tablespoon or so of sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or gochujang
- Make it extra rich: stir in a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce
- Make it sweet and tangy: stir in a couple tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- Give it a tropical twist: use pineapple juice instead of water (add a little less brown sugar)
The Trick to Good Stir Fry at Home
There are two important tips for making stir fry at home:
1) Use a big wok or skillet and high heat. If your pan is too small there won’t be enough surface area for the steam to evaporate and the vegetables will get soupy. Likewise, if the heat isn’t high enough the steam will not evaporate fast enough and the vegetables will also get soupy.
2) Don’t overcook the vegetables. You want the vegetables to just be tender-crisp and vibrantly colored. You can always cook them a little longer once the sauce is added at the end, but if you cook them too long in the first steps you’ll end up with limp vegetables that are drab color.
Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce $0.24
- 1/4 cup water $0.00
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
- 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
- 3/4 lb. broccoli $1.34
- 2 carrots $0.33
- 8 oz. mushrooms $1.69
- 8 oz. sugar snap peas $2.99
- 1 small onion $0.28
- 1 red bell pepper $1.50
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.16
- 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.06
- Make the stir fry sauce first. Combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.
- Chop the vegetables into similar-sized pieces. It's up to you whether you slice, dice, or cut into any other shape you prefer.
- Add the cooking oil to a very large skillet or wok. Heat over medium-high. When the pan and oil are very hot (but not smoking), add the hardest vegetables first: carrots and broccoli. Cook and stir for about a minute, or just until the broccoli begins to turn bright green.
- Next, add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Continue to cook and stir for a minute or two more, or just until the mushrooms begin to soften.
- Finally, add the softest vegetables, bell pepper and onion. Continue to cook and stir just until the onion begins to soften.
- Give the stir fry sauce another brief stir, then pour it over the vegetables. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken and turn glossy. Remove the vegetables from the heat, or continue to cook until they are to your desired doneness.
- Top the stir fry with sesame seeds and serve!
How to Make Vegetable Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos
Make the stir fry sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend and the sauce is ready to go when you need it. Vegetable stir fry is a fast process, so you’ve got to be ready! Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then set aside.
For my stir fry mix, I used 1 small yellow onion, ½ lb. broccoli, 2 carrots, 8oz. mushrooms, and 8oz. sugar snap peas. You can use any mix of vegetables you’d like, just try to get a good variety of colors and textures. You’ll want about 8 cups once chopped.
Chop the vegetables into similar sized pieces. Since carrots take so long to soften, it was okay to cut them much smaller than the rest.
Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a very large skillet or wok. Heat over medium-high until the pan is very hot. Once hot, add the hardest vegetables first (or the vegetables that take the longest to soften), in this case, it was carrots and broccoli. Stir briskly for about one minute, or just until you start to see the color of the broccoli turn bright green. They will continue to cook as you add more vegetables.
Next, add the vegetables that soften semi-quickly, in this case, the mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Again, stir briskly and cook only for about 1-2 minutes, or just until you see the mushrooms begin to soften. They will continue to cook further as you add more vegetables.
Lastly, add your softest vegetables, in this case, the onion and bell pepper. Stir and cook just for one minute more, or just until the onions begin to soften. They will continue to cook and soften after you add the sauce.
Give the stir fry sauce a quick stir to recombine, then pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir and cook until the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken and turn glossy. Remove the skillet from the heat, or continue to cook until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.
Top the stir fry with sesame seeds and enjoy!
Try These Other Stir Fry Recipes:
- Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry
- Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
- Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry
- Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles
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