January in the Kitchen – Italian Fried Rice

Italian Fried Rice started as a way to use up leftovers…odds and ends of stray vegetables, a package of frozen cooked rice from the freezer, and a stray uncooked chicken breast from another meal. However, it turned out to be much greater than the sum of it’s parts. This could easily be a template for a vegetarian meal, leave out the chicken (and sausage) and make it with tofu.

Italian Fried Rice

Italian Fried Rice

Ingredients for Italian Fried Rice


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more might be needed)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 spicy Italian sausages, sliced (optional)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed; or 1 package of extra firm tofu, cubed and drained on paper towels for 20 minutes.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups of cabbage, sliced
  •  4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 cups of ‘baby’ spinach
  • Pesto sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Sauteed chicken

Sauteed chicken

  1. Add the two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet, heat to shimmering and add the chicken or tofu. Saute on medium high for about 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to brown and are mostly cooked, add the sausage to the pan if using. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove to a plate.
  2. To any oil remaining in the skillet (more might be needed) add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to soften, add the garlic and red pepper. If not using spicy sausage, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix.
  3. Add the rice to the skillet and continue to saute until beginning to brown.
  4. Add the chicken back to the skillet, then the cabbage. Continue to stir until everything is hot but the cabbage is still crisp.
  5. Lastly, just before serving, add the baby spinach and stir just long enough to wilt it.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top each serving with a tablespoon of pesto.
Italian Fried Rice

Italian Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Italian Fried Rice

Aren’t leftovers wonderful?! They really get my creative juices flowing.

3 thoughts on “January in the Kitchen – Italian Fried Rice

  1. Pingback: March in the Kitchen – Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Rice | spades, spatulas & spoons

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