Frugal Fried Rice Recipe from Scratch Using Leftovers

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You are going to love this frugal fried rice recipe! One of the best ways to keep your grocery budget in check is to eliminate food waste. If you’re like me, you probably put leftover meat and vegetables in the refrigerator with every intention of using them. But, if you aren’t careful, you don’t use up the leftovers before their gone.

Frugal Fried Rice Recipe from Scratch Using Leftovers

Frugal Fried Rice Recipe

We love Chinese fried rice from our local takeout restaurant but eating out isn’t in our budget very often. Thankfully, it’s very easy to make your own fried rice at home with this recipe. The base recipe is the same. You can turn it into a chicken fried rice recipe by using chicken or go all out and make it a shrimp fried rice recipe.

If you’re looking for a cheap fried rice recipe, stick to using leftovers even if they aren’t typically Chinese. You can add in leftover broccoli and ham just as easily as you can add in water chestnuts and pork.

dishes of Chinese food

My frugal fried rice recipe has been evolving for years so I do a lot of substitutions depending on what I have in the cupboard or garden at the time I make it. I usually use plain white rice. But, it’s more authentic to use jasmine rice in your recipe. You may want to add some of my gluten-free Asian sauce.

I like cooking mine in a wok. It’s not a requirement you understand. It just gives the recipe a more authentic feel for me. I also like eating it with chopsticks. The kids and I have been using them for years. My husband refuses and eats his with a fork.

food in a wok

Most fried rice recipes having soy sauce in them which helps give it an authentic taste. When choosing your soy sauce, be careful. Most traditional soy sauces contain gluten. I use this gluten free soy sauce.

We like making our own bean sprouts and often add some to the top when we have them. You can also purchase bean sprouts from the store. But learning how to make your own bean sprouts is much more fun. If you want a whole meal, try my Chinese banquet buffet menu.

When you cook in a wok, it’s very important that you take care of it properly. If you’re using a non-stick wok, it’s just a matter of washing it and being careful not to scratch it. But, if you’re cooking in a traditional wok, check out the video below for some tips.

So, you might want to check out this easy shrimp fried rice recipe if you enjoyed this one.

Frugal Fried Rice Recipe
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  • 2 cups leftover finely chopped cooked meat
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 stalks green onion chopped 
  • 4 cups leftover cooked rice 
  • 3/4 cup whatever veggie you have 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok. 
  2. Scramble three eggs and cook until almost done.
  3. Remove the eggs from the pan. 
  4. Scrape it as clean as you can. 
  5. Add one tablespoon of oil and heat. 
  6. Then add the chopped onion.
  7. Once the onions are cooked till translucent, add the cooked rice and stir well.
  8. Add in the soy sauce and mix well. 
  9. Add the meat, vegetables, and scrambled egg and mix well. 
  10. Heat over low heat until it's all hot.



1493 cal


84 g


141 g


36 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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2 thoughts on “Frugal Fried Rice Recipe from Scratch Using Leftovers”

  1. I love my wok! It is so much easier than trying to stir everything in a large pan and ending up with rice all over your stove! I've never heard of Steamy Kitchen. I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for stopping by!
  2. That looks yummy!

    So do you like your wok? I got the book Steamy Kitchen (which I love by the way) and she talks about the types of woks out there. But I haven't had a chance to price them.

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