Vegan fried rice with Brussels sprouts is packed with carrots, pine nuts, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Thanks to the herbaceous goodness of cilantro and basil, plus the vibrancy of tamari and lime juice, there’s no shortage of fresh flavor.
A wonderful vegan & gluten-free meal that’s great on its own or alongside tofu.
Fried rice is one of my favorite weeknight meals.
It’s quick, convenient, inexpensive, and a great use of whatever vegetables are in the produce drawer.
With a few splashes of tamari and something acidic like lime juice, the whole meal pulls together. It’s great on its own, with tofu for added protein, or as a side dish with other components.
There are seemingly endless ways to make fried rice – depending on the vegetables you prefer and spices you use.
One refrigerator staple that often makes its way into mine is Brussels sprouts.
Vegan with a Vengeance
I started incorporating sprouts into my stir-fries and fried rice, thanks to the classic cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This vegan fried rice recipe comes from the tenth anniversary edition.
The original VWAV was one of my first vegan cookbooks when I stopped eating animals. It was essential in helping me navigate a new meatless world (what is nutritional yeast?), as well as learn some timeless cooking skills like how to deglaze a pan or use spices to create the flavors of sausage.
In addition to being a renowned cookbook author, Isa also owns two restaurants – Modern Love in Omaha and another location in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been to the Nebraska location on countless occasions. It’s one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.
Back in 2015, Vegan with a Vengeance got a refresh with a new cover, lots of beautiful color photos, as well as simplified instructions & ingredients.
There were also some new recipes added to the book, like the beautifully creamy and hearty chickpea and rice soup with a little kale. It’s so warming and homey. I eat it all winter long with crusty bread for dunking.
Vegan fried rice recipe
This Brussels sprouts vegan fried rice recipe is packed with flavor. It includes fresh cilantro, basil, scallions, garlic, and ginger.
Unlike most vegan fried rice recipes, it is dotted with pine nuts, which is a fun change of pace, and of course, lightly charred Brussels sprouts.
Save time by using frozen rice
For best results, cold rice is best. Warm, freshly cooked rice has a tendency to clump together and/or become gummy.
In fact, you can save even more time by using frozen rice!
Trader Joe’s sells boxes of frozen rice with three packages to a container. They’re super convenient, because you can just dump it right from the package straight into the skillet.
Or you can freeze your own rice in batches of one or two cup portions in freezer-safe containers. Great to have on hand in a pinch!
In a hurry & no cold rice around?
You can cool freshly cooked rice quickly by spreading it out onto a baking sheet, covering it with plastic wrap, and then putting it into the refrigerator or freezer.
It will take about a half an hour to cool in the refrigerator, or 15 minutes in the freezer.
How to make it
Bring a large skillet to a medium high heat. Sauté Brussels sprouts and carrots in oil, until lightly charred.
Add pine nuts & cook a couple minutes more. Transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
Sauté basil, cilantro, scallions, garlic, and ginger with oil. Add rice and red pepper flakes.
Put the Brussels sprouts mixture back into the pan. Drizzle with soy sauce or tamari, lime juice, and agave syrup. Cook until rice is lightly browned.
Make it your own
You can make this fried rice your own by swapping ingredients to suit your preferences & what’s already in the refrigerator.
- No Jasmine rice on hand? Use white, pink, or brown rice instead.
- Don’t feel like Brussels sprouts? Replace them with broccoli or cauliflower florets.
- Instead of pine nuts, use cashews, peanuts, or pistachios for crunch.
- If you don’t have scallions, you can use diced white or yellow onions instead.
- Need it to be gluten free? Be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- If you don’t have agave syrup on hand, maple syrup will work instead as a liquid sweetener.
What to serve with it
Vegan fried rice can easily be a full meal on its own with nothing else added. But for an extra hit of protein, I like to add browned cubes of tofu.
You can find packages of baked tofu at the store that are super convenient for this. Here I just diced some teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe’s. Then I browned the cubes in a cast iron skillet before adding it at the end.
This recipe is also good with bulgogi tofu or easy baked tofu. (If you’re using baked tofu for this recipe, I recommend replacing the lemon juice with lime juice & leaving out the rosemary since there are already two other kinds of herbs in the fried rice.)
Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Da Capo Press for giving me permission to share this Brussels Sprouts vegan fried rice recipe.
Brussels sprouts vegan fried rice
- 2 Tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 12 ounces Brussels sprouts trimmed and quartered
- 1 large carrot peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped scallion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice see note below
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (Use gluten-free tamari for GF option)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup
- Sriracha to serve
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Sauté the Brussels sprouts and carrots in 1 tablespoon of the oil for about 5 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are lightly charred.
- Toss in the pine nuts and cook for 2 minutes, tossing often, until toasted. Transfer everything to a large plate and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and add another teaspoon of oil. Sauté the basil, cilantro, scallions, garlic, and ginger for about a minute, until the herbs wilt slightly and everything smells aromatic and wonderful.
- Then, add the rice, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often.
- Add the Brussels mixture back to the pan, and drizzle in the soy sauce, lime juice, and agave. Cook for 3 more minutes or so, until the rice is lightly browned.
- Taste for salt and adjust, if necessary. Serve with plenty of sriracha!
Disclosure: This cookbook was sent to me for review. The thoughts and opinions are totally my own.
Content, recipe, and photos updated August 2020. Originally posted July 2015.