Transform your holiday leftovers into a delightful meal with this easy fried rice with turkey recipe! This family-friendly, tasty recipe is ready in about 20 minutes.
Did you get leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas? This fried rice with turkey is your answer! You can whip up this hearty and satisfying dish in no time; it’s the perfect way to make the most of those Thanksgiving leftovers.
This recipe for fried rice with turkey is a simple way to enjoy leftovers in a new, delicious way. Combine tender turkey, rice, scrambled eggs, veggies, and flavorful seasonings for a quick, satisfying dish. Make this tasty leftover turkey fried rice recipe for a fuss-free meal that's sure to please your whole family.
🥘Why should you try this recipe?
A delicious way to put leftovers to good use: Don't let those holiday leftovers go to waste! This recipe is a great way to transform leftover turkey or leftover rice into a new, scrumptious meal, ensuring that nothing gets wasted.
Simple ingredients: Grab some basics from your pantry and fridge – rice, eggs, sauces, veggies – and voilà! An easy fried rice recipe, starring your Thanksgiving centerpiece.
Family favorite: This dish is loved by everyone; my teenage son ate it for dinner and then breakfast the next day! Its delicious flavors and comforting taste make it a hit with everyone who tries it.
📋Recipe ingredients and substitutions
- Rice: Day-old cooked rice. To serve 4, you will need 3-4 cups (about 700 g).
- White rice like Basmati or Jasmine works great in this recipe. You can also try brown rice or a blend of Basmati and wild rice for a nuttier, chewier texture that slightly alters the dish's character.
- Turkey leftovers: Either dark or white meat; both work well. You can use anything between 1 and 2 cups (150-300 g) of meat shredded or cut into small pieces, depending on how much you have left over.
- Ingredients for the sauce: Light and dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and ground black pepper.
- Shaoxing wine is a traditional Chinese rice wine used in cooking. It has a fragrant aroma and can add a sweet, nutty flavor to dishes. You can replace it with dry sherry, white wine, mirin, or sake. If you don’t have any of those, use chicken stock and maybe an extra dash of soy sauce.
- Vegetables: Carrots, frozen peas, onion, garlic, and green onions (spring onions).
- Eggs: Three large ones because what is fried rice without those delicious eggs?
- Bacon: For extra, hearty flavor. But you can skip it if you don’t have it.
- Vegetable oil: You will need 3 tablespoons, but use 1 tablespoon at a time.
👩🏻🍳How to make turkey fried rice?
- Use a large wok, a large skillet, or a large non-stick pan.
- Prepare all the ingredients before you start frying the rice. Finely chop the bacon, onions and garlic. Set them aside. Dice the carrots and defrost the peas. Set them aside. Chop the turkey. Cut the green onions into thin slices and keep them separated from the rest of the ingredients.
Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set it aside.
Sauté bacon, onions, and garlic in the hot wok on medium-high heat for 1 minute using a wooden spoon.
Add carrots and peas and stir fry for another minute.
Push vegetables to one side of the pan. Pour the eggs into the empty space.
Scramble the eggs shortly.
Mix eggs with the vegetables.
Add rice, oil, chopped meat, and sauce. Mix until everything is combined and hot, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the green onions and adjust the taste.
🥄Variations on the recipe
- Use other proteins such as chicken, shrimp, tofu, or even a mix of different meats according to your preference. You can prepare this dish with leftover cooked ham or other meats from your festive meal.
- Use other quick-cooking veggies like red bell pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. If you have some leftover veggies, you can use those and reheat them with the rice.
- Spice it up: Incorporate spices like cumin, paprika, or red pepper flakes to add a spicy kick to the dish.
- Nuts and seeds: Sprinkle toasted nuts (like cashews or almonds) or sesame seeds on top for a crunchy finish.
- Soy sauce substitute: Try other sauces like teriyaki, hoisin, oyster, or fish sauce.
- Add fresh herbs such as cilantro, green onions, or Thai basil.
- Pineapple twist: Incorporate diced pineapple for a sweet and tangy flavor (my husband loves pineapple in everything, including on pizza).
Use leftover cold rice cooked a day ahead. When rice is freshly cooked, it tends to have more moisture. When this moist rice hits the hot pan for frying, it can turn a bit soggy or mushy.
However, rice that has been chilled for a day in the refrigerator loses some of its moisture, becoming slightly firmer and drier, and this texture is ideal for frying because it prevents the grains from sticking together and helps them maintain a chewy texture when heated in the pan. The slightly dried-out rice grains can better absorb the flavors of the other ingredients while retaining their texture, resulting in that classic, delicious fried rice texture and taste.
Prep work: Make sure to prepare all your veggies before you begin cooking. Once you start cooking, there won't be a pause to chop things, so having everything prepped in advance will make the process smoother.
Don’t overcook: The vegetables have a short cooking time; they should remain slightly crunchy. Overcooking can make them too soft, but a bit of crunch is what you need.
Freshly cooked rice tends to be more moist and can turn soggy when fried. Day-old rice that has been refrigerated is preferable for achieving the desired texture in fried rice.
Ensure the pan or wok is adequately heated before adding the rice. Stir frequently and break up any clumps to prevent sticking.
Allow the leftover fried rice to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or a pan until heated through.
Yes. Put it in a freezer-safe container or sealed bag, which should last about 1-2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.
🍽️What to serve with it?
- Miso soup: A warm bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed as a starter.
- Egg rolls or spring rolls: These crispy appetizers complement the flavors of fried rice and add a delightful crunch.
- Stir-fried vegetables: Serve alongside a medley of stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas.
- Asian-style salad: A light and refreshing salad with an Asian-inspired dressing, such as sesame ginger.
- Sesame cucumber salad: A light cucumber salad with a sesame dressing.
🍜More Asian-style recipes
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Simple Fried Rice with Turkey
- Large wok or skillet
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce + 1 extra to adjust the taste
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine Note 1
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 ½ cups cooked white rice day-old, 700 g, Note 2
- 1 ½ cups cooked turkey 225 g, Note 3
- 2 oz bacon chopped, 60 g
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup carrots finely diced, 60 g
- ½ cup frozen peas defrosted, 75 g
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil used 1 tablespoon at a time
- 3 large eggs
- 1-2 green onions finely chopped
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set it aside.2 tablespoons light soy sauce + 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce + 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine + 2 teaspoons sesame oil + ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Remove the rice from the fridge and the peas from the freezer.3 ½ cups cooked white rice /700 g + ½ cup frozen peas / 75 g
- Chop or shred the turkey, chop the bacon. Finely chop the onion and the garlic. Set them aside.1 ½ cups cooked turkey / 225 g + 2 oz bacon / 60 g + 1 small onion + 1 garlic clove
- Finely chop the carrot and set it aside separately. Finely chop the green onions and keep them separated from the rest.½ cup carrots / 60 g + 1-2 green onions
- Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl.3 large eggs
- Stir fry: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir fry bacon, onions, and garlic for 1 minute. Add carrots and peas and stir for another minute. Push everything to one side of the wok or pan.
- Eggs: Add another tablespoon of oil in the empty space. Add the eggs and scramble them shortly in the pan. Once they are slightly set (but not completely dry), mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add rice, another tablespoon of oil, chopped meat and sauce. Mix until everything is combined and the rice is brown and heated through about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the green onions and adjust the taste with a bit more light soy sauce if necessary.
- Shaoxing wine: You can replace it with dry sherry, white wine, mirin, or sake. If you don’t have any of those, use chicken stock and maybe an extra dash of soy sauce.
- Rice: The rice must be cooked one day in advance.
- Turkey: You can use anything between 1 and 2 cups (150-300 g), depending on how much you have left over.