This healthy vegan basil fried rice features loads of fresh basil fried up with brown rice, peas, corn, bell peppers and onion. Enjoy this gluten-free and oil-free dish as a homemade alternative to takeout fried rice.

A white bowl filled with vegan basil fried rice with peas and corn.

Recipe Ingredients

To make this simple, healthy fried rice, you’ll need:

  1. Brown rice. I like brown rice best for this recipe but you can use basmati or jasmine rice if you prefer. I like how brown rice is a bit firmer than white rice. The rice will need to be cooked beforehand, so make sure you give yourself 45 minutes if you’re cooking brown rice from scratch.
  2. Veggies. You’ll need fresh or frozen green peans and corn, bell peppers and onion for this recipe, however, you can substituted pretty much any veggie you have on hand. Broccoli, celery, green onion, zucchini and carrot also work well.
  3. Flavourings. To add flavour the the fried rice, I used soy sauce, coconut sugar and garlic. You can use brown sugar or maple syrup in place of the coconut sugar if you prefer.
  4. Basil. Of course, basil fried rice needs basil! I used 2 cups of fresh chopped basil. You can leave the basil out and do regular fried rice but I love the basil with the other veggies and chewy fried rice. You can use Thai basil or regular basil in this recipe.
A black skillet with vegan fried rice and fresh Thai basil.
Vegan basil fried rice in a black skillet.
A white bowl of healthy fried rice against a white background.

Adding Tofu Scramble

I was going to add tofu scramble to this recipe to account for the egg in fried rice and add some protein to the dish but I ended sticking to a basic vegan fried rice. If you want to try adding scrambled tofu to this, here’s how:

  1. Before you start the fried rice portion of the dish, add 1 package of crumbled firm tofu to a skillet with 1 tsp each of turmeric, salt, pepper and garlic.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of water and cook for about 5 minutes until everything is mixed up and it resembles scramble eggs. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Proceed with the basil fried rice. At the end, mix in the tofu scramble, heat through and serve right away.

Other Added Protein Options

  • Mix in 1 cup of cooked, shelled edamame.
  • Mix in 1 package of crumbled or cubed tempeh.
  • Mix in baked tofu or serve topped with baked tofu.
  • Mix in your choice of diced vegan sausage or homemade seitan.
Two bowls of healthy vegan basil fried rice with peas, corn, onions and bell pepper.

Basil Fried Rice Recipe

This easy fried rice dish takes just 15 minutes to make if you already have cooked rice on hand. It’s a great way to use up leftover brown rice and and is easily customizable to whatever veggies you have available. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free.

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A white bowl filled with vegan basil fried rice with peas and corn.

Vegan Basil Fried Rice

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai, Vegan

This fried brown rice dish makes a quick and easy, healthy plant-based dinner the whole family will love. Serve on its own or with your choice of protein such as tofu, tempeh or edamame. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp water or vegetable broth or 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, to spice preference (omit if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 cup packed, chopped fresh basil 
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to a skillet with a splash of water or broth or 1 tsp of sesame oil. Cook for 5-8 minutes until fragrant, softened and starting to brown. 
  2. Add everything except the basil, salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. 
  3. Stir in the basil. Spread the mixture around the pan so it’s sitting evenly then allow to sit for 1-2 minutes before scraping and stirring. Repeat 2-3 times. This allows the rice to brown and crisp on the bottom. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve hot or store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Keywords: healthy fried rice, easy fried rice, quick, vegetarian, plant-based