Home Copycat Recipes Panda Express Fried Rice (Copycat Recipe)

Panda Express Fried Rice (Copycat Recipe)

Craving Chinese but don’t want to go out? Make Panda Express fried rice at home! 

This copycat recipe is better than takeout! With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this family favorite right at home.

Platter of Panda Express Fried Rice with egg, carrots and sliced green onions
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Panda Express Fried Rice

Who doesn’t love a delicious serving of Panda Express fried rice? Luckily, you don’t need to step outside your house to enjoy this sizzling favorite! 

With a few simple ingredients and steps, you can whip it up right at home.

It’s easy to get this party started. If you have rice, eggs, and veggies, you’re halfway there. And the magic these basic items create when mixed together is to die for!

Just a quick tip here: leftover rice works wonders. This is a wonderful way to repurpose last night’s dinner.

The star of the dish is the combo of soy sauce and sesame oil. They bring the “Panda Express” feel right into your kitchen. The fragrance alone will have your mouth watering!

After a few quick stirs, you have a mouthwatering bowl of fried rice! It’s as if you’ve just walked into a Panda Express restaurant.

Top view of Panda Express fried rice served on a plate with eggs, carrots slices and green onions


You only need a few ingredients to make Panda Express fried rice:

  • Long-Grain Rice Any long-grain rice you have on hand will work well. And as mentioned, leftover rice gives that perfect day-old rice feel Panda Express masters.
  • Water – For cooking the rice. 
  • Eggs – Scrambled up and chopped into small bits, they bring protein and a delightful texture contrast.
  • Butter – It adds richness to the dish.
  • Vegetables – Peas, carrots, and white onion are a colorful trio, adding crunch and sweetness. Feel free to throw in any leftover veggies. The more, the merrier!
  • Seasonings – Soy sauce and sesame oil bring the quintessential Asian flavor.
  • Salt and White Pepper – Add it to taste. 
  • Green onion – The finishing touch that adds a fresh pop of color and flavor. 

How to Make Panda Express Fried Rice

Ready to whip up some fried rice? Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Cook the rice. If you have leftover rice available, skip this step. If not, boil the water, add the rice, and stir to prevent clumping. Once done, reduce the heat, cover the saucepan, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Let the rice cool. Move the cooked rice to a large bowl and set it aside for later use. It needs to cool down a bit.
  3. Scramble the eggs. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and scramble the eggs. After cooking, chop the eggs into small, pea-sized bits. 
  4. Stir the eggs in with the vegetables and rice. Ensure the chopped eggs, thawed vegetables, and cooked rice are all mixed together.
  5. Fry the rice. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Once it’s ready, add the rice mixture to the skillet and stir.
  6. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Evenly drizzle this mixture over the rice while continuing to sauté.
  7. Cook the rice mixture for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Be sure to consistently stir and turn the rice until it attains a light brown color.
  8. Season the rice. Season the fried rice with white pepper and table salt. Adjust to your taste preference, and then remove it from the heat.
  9. Garnish and serve. Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish and garnish it with diced green onions. Enjoy!
Panda Express Fried Rice With Veggies and Eggs

Recipe Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking to make the best fried rice possible, follow these tips:

  • Save yourself a step. Get all your ingredients chopped and measured before you start stir-frying. This will save you from any last-minute scrambling. (Except for the eggs, of course!)
  • Don’t beat the heat. Turn the heat up for that stir-fry! It gives your rice a smoky flavor and saves it from getting soggy.
  • Show veggies some love! Just a quick stir-fry to heat them through will do the trick. No one likes mushy peas and carrots.
  • Season to your heart’s content. A little more soy sauce, sesame oil, or salt and pepper? You decide!


Want to try something different? Give these variations a go: 

  • Make it vegan. It’s totally doable! Swap out eggs for crumbled tofu jazzed up with turmeric, or use a plant-based egg alternative.
  • Turn up the heat. Add a kick with sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or red chili flakes. Your tastebuds will thank you!
  • Make it the main event. Add cubed chicken, shrimp, sliced beef, or crumbled marinated tofu. There you have it, a main course with a personality!
  • Give it a flavor boost. Start with fresh garlic, ginger, and onion. Finish with fish sauce and mirin. 
  • Try a healthy twist. Opt for brown rice instead of white. It’s a nutrient-packed alternative that packs a fiber punch.
  • Dial down the sodium. Swap regular soy sauce for a low-sodium variety.

What to Serve with Fried Rice

This copycat fried rice is just the beginning. Pair it with our other Panda Express-inspired dishes. Try out these delicious recipes:

A plate of Orange Chicken served with fried rice

How to Store & Reheat

Full disclosure: I never have leftovers when I make this fried rice recipe. It’s just too good. I end up having it for dinner and a late-night snack.

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But if you do have leftovers, here’s how to store them

To store in the fridge

  1. Let the fried rice cool completely.
  2. Transfer it to an air-tight container.
  3. Store it in the fridge for 5-7 days. 

To store in the freezer:

  1. Let the fried rice cool completely.
  2. Cover the dish and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  3. Transfer the rice to a freezer-safe bag or box.
  4. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready for round two, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat. Voila, another delicious meal is ready to roll!

Panda Express Fried Rice (Copycat Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





Make Panda Express fried rice right in your own kitchen! This copycat recipe is quick, easy, and tastes just like the real deal.


  • 1 cup long grain rice (uncooked) or 2 cups of leftover cooked rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided for separate use

  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas and carrots

  • 1/4 cup diced white onion

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, additional as per taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt, or to taste

  • 1 diced green onion (including the green tops)


  • If you’re using leftover cooked rice, skip this step. If not, start by boiling 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Once it’s boiling, add the rice and stir it to ensure none of it clumps at the bottom. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pan, and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and set aside for later use.
  • In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and scramble the eggs. Once cooked, use a spatula to chop the scrambled eggs into small, pea-sized pieces.
  • Combine the chopped eggs, thawed peas and carrots, and diced white onion with the cooked rice, ensuring a uniform mix.
  • In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  • As the butter sizzles, add the rice mixture to the skillet. Stir and sauté the rice for a minute or two.
  • In a separate cup, blend the soy sauce and sesame oil. Drizzle this mix evenly over the rice in the skillet, continuing to sauté.
  • Cook the rice mixture for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring and turning frequently until the mixture attains a light brown color.
  • Finish off by seasoning the fried rice with ground white pepper and table salt to your preference. Take it off the heat when it’s done.
  • Transfer the fried rice to a serving bowl and garnish it with the diced green onions. Enjoy your Panda Express-style fried rice!


  • Use leftover rice for best results.
Panda Express Fried Rice

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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