This vegetarian cabbage fried rice is ready to enjoy in 25 minutes minutes and is a delicious way to use leftover rice.

Overhead view into a bowl of cabbage fried rice with green onion and green peas.

About Cabbage Fried Rice

Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable and adding it to this quick cabbage fried rice recipe is a great way to include more of in your diet.

The recipe features leftover rice, green cabbage, green onion, green peas, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce for a flavourful dish that works well as a side dish or main.

You can pair cabbage fried rice with crispy tofu, tempeh, stir fries or curry for a complete meal! This is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for quick weeknight dinners, especially if you use coleslaw mix – it’s so easy!

For more ways to use cabbage, check out my ramen noodle stir fry, red curry noodles, drunken noodles and ramen noodle salad.

Looking for low-carb fried rice? You’ll love this healthy cauliflower fried rice.

Close up of cabbage fried rice with peas and green onion.

What You Need

Please note the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions if located at the end of the post.

The following sections provide notes on ingredients and substitutions and step-by-step instructions with photos for a quick visual reference. When you’re ready to make the recipe, use the recipe card.

All of the ingredients gathered for making a cabbage fried rice recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text overlay and the list can be found on the corresponding blog page.
  • Oil: You can use any oil for cooking such as olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Onion: Use white onion. Shallot would also work.
  • Cabbage: You can use green cabbage, Napa cabbage or prepared coleslaw mix/shredded cabbage.
  • Green Onion: Also known as scallion. Feel free to use more than listed in the recipe.
  • Garlic: Lots of fresh/raw garlic is key for fried rice! I wouldn’t recommend using garlic powder.
  • Rice: You’ll need pre-cooked rice, preferably a day old or at least cooked a few hours before. Basmati or jasmine rice work well.
  • Frozen Green Peas: Any frozen peans work. You could also use canned and drained green peas. Edamame works well as a substitution (or addition).
  • Soy Sauce: You can substitute gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free recipe.
  • Sesame Oil: For flavour. Use toasted sesame oil if you have it!
  • Rice Vinegar: For flavour. You can use unseasoned or seasoned rice vinegar.

How to Make (with Photos)

Step 1: Cook the veggies.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, cabbage and white parts of the green onions. Season the veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another minute while stirring.

Cabbage, onion and garlic cooking in a large skillet.

Step 2: Fry the rice.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the rice, peas, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar.

Rice, peas and cabbage cooking in a large skillet.

Spread the rice in an even layer and let cook for 1-2 minutes without disturbing.

Stir well, scraping any bits off the bottom and spread it in an even layer again, cook another 2-3 minutes until heated through and browned and crisped to your liking, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rest of the green onions, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

A large skillet of cabbage fried rice with green peas and onion.

Why Use Leftover Rice

Freshly cooked rice is too soft, moist and fluffy for fried rice. If you use fresh cooked rice, the fried rice will come out mushy.

Leftover cooked and cooled rice dries out and firms up, so the grains keep their texture when fried.

You can use day-old rice or rice that’s been cooked 3-4 hours before hand and chilled on a pan in the fridge. Sometimes, I’ll also dry it out in the oven on a baking sheet at a low temperature until dry and slightly crisp.

A bowl of cabbage fried rice beside a large skillet of fried rice with a wooden spatula in it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is fried rice good for you?

Restaurant fried rice tends to be a high-calorie dish laden with oil and lacking in protein, not exactly good for you, but everything in moderation.

When making homemade fried rice, you can control the amount of oil and what else goes into the dish, making it a healthier alternative than ordering from a restaurant.

This version of fried rice is fairly low in oil and contains nutritious ingredients like cabbage, green peas and onions. I would suggest pairing it with a source of protein for a more balanced meal.

If you’d like to use a whole grain in this recipe, you can use brown rice instead of white rice.

Is fried rice with cabbage gluten-free?

The recipe is not gluten-free as written. Please use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of sauce for a gluten-free recipe.

Recipe Notes

  • For convenience, I often make this recipe with a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage). It’s perfect for a super quick and easy side dish or base for a main dish.
Close up of a bowl of cabbage fried rice with peas and green onion.

Variations and Additions

This recipe is super easy to customize with different veggies or grains. Here are some ideas:

  • For vegetable additions, try diced carrot, corn, bok choy, snap peas, bean sprouts, bell peppers or mushroom.
  • You can use cooked and cooled quinoa or farro instead of rice.
  • Fresh Thai basil and cilantro work well for herbs. Stir in 1 cup freshly chopped herbs at the end.
  • For spicy fried rice, add 2 tsp sambal oelek or sriracha when you add the soy sauce. You could also use up to 1 tsp red chili flakes or just serve the rice with a drizzle of Sriracha or other hot sauce you enjoy. You could could also add minced jalapeno with the other veggies.
  • Add a few handfuls of baby spinach at the end and mix until wilted.
A bowl of cabbage fried rice with green peas and green onion beside a large skillet of fried rice with a wooden spatula in it.

Serving Ideas

How to Store

  • Leftover fried rice will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in a sealed container.
  • Reheat leftovers in a pan or in the microwave until heated through.
  • You can freeze cooled fried rice in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
A bowl of cabbage fried rice with peas and onions with a spoon in it.

Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.

clockclock iconcutlerycutlery iconflagflag iconfolderfolder iconinstagraminstagram iconpinterestpinterest iconfacebookfacebook iconprintprint iconsquaressquares iconheartheart iconheart solidheart solid icon
A large skillet of cabbage fried rice with green peas and onion.

Cabbage Fried Rice

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan
Save Recipe


Quick and easy cabbage fried rice that makes the tastiest use for leftover rice! Pair fried cabbage rice with your choice of protein or serve with a curry or stir fry.


  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (190 g/1 ½ cups) 
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix (280 g) 
  • 6 green onion, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated (30 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated (20 g)
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled white rice, like Jasmine or Basmati (about 600 g)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (170 g)
  • 3 tbsp soy or tamari (45 mL)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil (10 g)
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar (10 mL)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook Veggies: In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onions, cabbage and white parts of green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 min, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender. Add the garlic. Cook for another 1 min, stirring, until fragrant. 
  2. Fry Rice: Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan. Then add cooked rice, peas, soy, sesame oil and rice vinegar.  Spread the rice in an even layer and cook for 1-2 minutes without disturbing. Stir, scraping any bits off the bottom and spread evenly again. Cook another 3-4 min, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to brown and slightly crisp up. 
  3. Serve: Stir in the remaining green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Use day old rice or rice cooked at least 3-4 hours beforehand and chilled in the fridge on a baking pan. Freshly cooked rice is too moist and will result in mushy fried rice.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 268
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 253 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Keywords: cabbage fried rice, fried rice with cabbage