This cashew fried rice is easy to make with simple ingredients and ready in about 20 minutes if you have rice cooked and ready to go.

Cashew fried rice with tofu and veggies in a bowl with a fork.

Have leftover rice you need to use up? This recipe is perfect for it! With cooked brown rice ready to go, this dish takes about 20 minutes to come together for a quick, easy and healthy weeknight meal.

This recipe is vegan, can be made gluten-free and oil-free and is high in plant-based protein.


Ingredient Notes

A carton of vegetable broth, cashews, bell pepper and a jalapeno sitting on a kitchen counter.
  • tofu – use firm or extra-firm tofu
  • oil – sesame oil adds that classic “fried rice” flavour but you can certainly omit and saute the veggies and tofu in water or broth
  • cashews – look for cashews with no other ingredient, no oil or salt added
  • rice – brown or white rice both work well in this recipe, for best results cook the rice the day before and chill in the fridge overnight
  • soy sauce – sub with gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free recipe

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1. Cook up the tofu, bell peppers and jalapeno, then add the curry powder and cook for a few more minutes.

Tofu, bell peppers and jalapeno in a white skillet on the stovetop.
Curry powder being sprinkled into a skillet of tofu and veggies.

Step 2. Add the cashews and green onion, cook for a few more minutes.

A skillet of cashews, tofu and veggies cooking on a stovetop.
Vegetable broth being poured into a skillet of tofu, cashews and veggies on the stovetop.

Step 3. Stir in the cooked brown rice, cook until heated through and enjoy!

Quick Tip: When you add the rice, spread the mixture evenly over the pan and let sit for a couple of minutes to allow it to brown on the bottom. Scrape any browned bits back in and repeat 1-2 times.

Cooked brown rice in a skillet of veggies and tofu on the stovetop.

Substitutions and FAQs

  • veggies – use any veggies such as snap peas, corn, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and onion
  • protein – swap the tofu for tempeh or chickpeas, or try this fried brown rice with tofu scramble
  • grains – swap the brown rice for cooked farro or quinoa
  • greens – mix in a handful of spinach at the end to sneak some extra dark, leafy greens into your diet

Quick Tip: Fried rice is best made with cooked and completely chilled farro, ideally refrigerated overnight. Warm rice doesn’t fry as well and tends to clump in the pan.

Do I have to use cornstarch?

The cornstarch helps the sauce thicken and gives the dish that fried rice-feel. You can definitely leave it out if you prefer or it can be substituted with arrowroot powder.

Should I press the tofu first?

I’m a lazy cook so I don’t typically press tofu for a recipe like this, however, you certainly can if you want for improved results.

To press tofu, wrap it in a dishtowel and place it on a plate. Place a heavy object on top of it and let sit for 20-30 minutes to press out excess water. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Full instructions on pressing tofu here.

How long does this keep?

This can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold or reheat in the microwave or stovetop.

Cashew fried rice with tofu and veggies in a bowl with a fork.

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Cashew fried rice with tofu and veggies in a bowl with a fork.

Vegan Tofu and Cashew Fried Rice

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan

Typically restaurant-style fried rice is made with eggs and a lot of oil. This vegan version only uses 2 tsp of oil, is egg-free and high in protein thanks to organic tofu and cashews. If you make the rice ahead of time, it comes together in no time for a quick and easy, healthy weeknight dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Sauce

For the Fried Rice

  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (use water or broth for oil-free)
  • 1 350 g package firm or extra-firm tofu (option to press for 2030 minutes, see notes)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 6 scallions (green onions), green parts only, chopped
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (preferably cooked and chilled overnight)
  • cilantro for serving

Instructions

  1. Mix the vegetable stock, cornstarch and soy sauce in a small dish and set aside.
  2. In a large wok or frying pan, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat then add the tofu, garlic, red pepper and jalapeño. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes until the tofu starts to brown.
  3. Add the curry powder, stir to combine.
  4. Add the cashews and green onion and cook for a few more minutes until the onions are wilted.
  5. Add the vegetable stock mixture then stir in the cooked brown rice. Spread the mixture evenly across the pan then let it sit for a few minutes without stirring. This helps it get nice and brown on the bottom! Mix the brown bits back in, repeating once or twice.
  6. Serve right topped with fresh cilantro, if desired. Leftovers may be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

The cornstarch helps the sauce thicken and gives the dish that fried rice-feel. You can definitely leave it out if you prefer or it can be substituted with arrowroot powder.

To press tofu, wrap it in a dish towel and place on a plate. Place a heavy object on top of it and let sit for 20-30 minutes to press out excess water. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Full instructions on pressing tofu here.

Farro or quinoa can be used instead of rice. Peanuts can be used instead of cashews. Tempeh or chickpeas can be used instead of tofu. Additional veggies may include peas, corn, zucchini, broccoli or carrots.

Fried rice is best made with cooked and completely chilled farro, ideally refrigerated overnight. Warm rice doesn’t fry as well and tends to clump in the pan.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 348
  • Fat: 16
  • Carbohydrates: 39
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 18

Keywords: cashew fried rice, tofu fried rice, vegan fried rice

UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on December 13, 2015. It was updated in January 2020 with new photos and text.