Panda Express Fried Rice is as classic as it gets — and with my copycat Panda Express rice recipe, you’ll have enough to feed the whole family in less than 30 minutes! Tasty Chinese fried rice restaurant style is made with fluffy, buttery eggs and vegetables in a quick yet delicious single skillet dish!!
Panda Express Fried Rice
The absolute best Chinese rice recipe you can find will be simple, quick, and authentic — and this copycat Panda Express rice checks all the boxes!
Sesame oil flavors and fluffs up a mountain of steamed rice with a handful of vegetables plus a serving of eggs for a meal that’s certifiably satisfying!
This copycat version of fried rice from Panda Express™ is so great for saving time and money in the kitchen.
Pair it with my broccoli beef, mushroom chicken, and Kung Pao chicken recipes — they’re also budget-friendly, super quick, and beyond tasty!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Long Grain Rice – If you’re going for fluffy, not sticky, then long grain is the way to go for fried rice like Panda Express!
Medium grain or jasmine are okay substitutes to use, but short grain should be avoided.
- Salted Butter – If you have a good nonstick pan, some cooking spray, or a dash of vegetable oil, you can skip the butter when frying your eggs.
But if you just love that rich buttery flavor, you won’t want to leave it out!
- Sesame Oil – A little bit of this oil brings a LOT of flavor, so go easy with it!
And if you’re not a fan, you have plenty of alternatives — vegetable, olive, avocado, and peanut oils would all do the trick.
However, it’s what gives any Chinese fried rice restaurant style recipe its iconic flavor, so I really recommend trying it at least once!
- Frozen Peas & Carrots – These are the veggies included in the original Panda Express fried rice recipe, but use any ol’ bag of vegetables you have in your freezer! Corn, broccoli, green beans — any of them will do!
- Green Onions – These tasty greens make a crunchy, flavorful garnish.
But you can also toss them in when you add the scrambled eggs back to the pan, if you want a good dose of oniony flavor throughout the dish.
Tips for Making Chinese Fried Rice Restaurant Style
- Use Cold Rice – The rice needs to be completely cooled off, not fresh from the cooker.
Better yet, use rice from the night before or the morning of! I’ve found that a good 8 hours or longer in the fridge makes the rice just perfect for frying.
- Add Extra Flavor – To enhance the flavor of the rice, cook it in stock instead of water! Chicken, beef, or vegetable would all work.
- Cook the Eggs Slowly – Avoid burnt, thin scrambled eggs by cooking them low and slow over a medium-low temperature until cooked through.
A quick fry on high will make tough, rubbery eggs.
- Preparing For Frying – Wipe away any and all leftovers from the scramble before frying the rice.
After adding the oil, wait until it heats enough to shimmer on the surface and then add the rice. Give it a stir and a toss, coating with the oil, and fry away!
Storing and Reheating Leftover Panda Express Rice
Any Chinese fried rice restaurant style recipe is fantastic for meal prep! It’s good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and this recipe makes 5 servings.
Make a single batch for lunch throughout the week, or double the recipe for multiple dinners!
Use an airtight container or Ziploc bag for storage. To reheat, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave in short bursts until warmed and softened.
Fried Rice Panda Express FAQ
Yes! It’s a great alternative when you prefer a neutral base to soak up the sauces from your entrees.
To make Panda Express white rice, simply cook your choice of long grain rice according to the package directions — no extra flavors or steps!
And if you do want some extra flavor, my Asian sesame rice would pair wonderfully with any of your favorite Chinese entrees.
It does not! This Panda Express fried rice recipe is perfect for a meatless Monday, or for anyone that does not eat meat.
Or, on the other end of the spectrum, feel free to add any meat for extra protein! Chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp are all popular stir fry proteins.
Absolutely — a wok is not at all necessary, though your average pan needs a bit more oil to do what a wok does with less.
If you can get your hands on one, a wok also helps with cooking time and fits a whole lot more rice than a pan or skillet.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Copycat Recipes
Copycat Panda Express Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups cooked long-grain rice, cooled
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas and carrots
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 green onions, sliced, for garnish
- Melt butter in a large skillet or wok over low heat.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the beaten eggs to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, breaking them up with a spatula, until cooked through. Transfer scrambled eggs to a plate and set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add rice and vegetables, sauteeing for 1-2 minutes to combine ingredients.
- Combine the soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl; pour over the rice mixture in the pan. Continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes. Stir the scrambled eggs back into the skillet and allow them to warm through.
- Serve fried rice hot, garnished with green onions. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2022, updated and republished November 2023
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