A vegan spin on a classic Thai entree – vegan pineapple fried rice – that is entirely meatless and eggless. This recipe is a flavorful one-pot dinner that you need to have in your back pocket for those busy weeknights!
Rice is a great vegan staple. It’s simple to cook (even easier with a rice cooker) and super customizable. One delicious way to customize rice and take it to the next level is by making fried rice! And not just any fried rice, but vegan pineapple fried rice inspired by Thai cuisine!
This is an awesome recipe that’s filling, nutritious, and totally free of meat and eggs but still bursting with flavor! So, read on to learn how to make this delicious vegan pineapple fried rice yourself!
Many of these ingredients are vegan staples so you’ll probably already have a lot of these on hand!
- Jasmine rice – While you can pick your favorite rice or the rice you have on hand, this is definitely a great rice for a more authentic Thai flavor! Fun fact, jasmine rice gets its name from its unique scent and flavor profile, which recalls the jasmine flower!
- Cashews – These nuts are really good for you! You get heart-healthy fats, a nice amount of plant-based protein, fiber, and more! The best part is they work as an incredible base for vegan recipes, especially when it comes to creating dips and sauces. In this recipe, they provide a delicious crunch that helps complement the rice!
- Olive oil – A little oil goes a long way, and olive oil is relatively neutral. This is one of the healthier oils out there and can be part of a heart-healthy diet!
- Garlic – Garlic is part of the allium family. If you’re averse to garlic you can leave it out but it really helps boost this recipe’s flavor!
- Red bell pepper, peas, and raisins – These are delicious additions to fried rice and complement the pineapple well. You can use whatever bell peppers you have on hand, but red ones are my personal favorite. The peas add some nice plant-based protein, and the raisins add a bit of sweetness. Feel free to swap in or add in whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand!
- Pineapple – Pineapple is a must for this recipe or it wouldn’t be “vegan pineapple fried rice” after all! Not only is this tropical fruit incredibly sweet and delicious, but it also packs plenty of nutrition thanks to high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Green onions (aka scallions) – Green onions are a tasty and pungent type of onion. A little goes a long way for most people, but feel free to vary the amount to your preference! Also known as scallions, green onions are great for their fiber and antioxidants!
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce is an ancient food that is well known all around the world now for its salty and savory qualities. If you have an issue with gluten, simply substitute tamari for the soy sauce in this recipe instead!
- Sesame oil – Sesame oil is a great oil for sauces and for sautéing on high heat as it has a high smoke point. Sesame seeds and sesame oil have nice nutritional properties and the flavor really complements this dish!
- White sugar – You can substitute other types of sugar, but white sugar works well. You should know, however, that many white (and brown) sugars are not vegan-friendly (at least in the U.S.). This unfortunate issue is due to bone char. Luckily, you can find vegan-friendly white and brown sugar online if not in your preferred grocery stores.
- Curry powder and ginger – You’re going to want curry powder and ginger to really nail a more authentic Thai flavor with this recipe! If you don’t have curry powder, you can get away with using some turmeric and cumin, but the dish will be a bit lacking in terms of its overall flavor profile. Another great benefit of using these flavorful spices is their immense health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- White pepper – Unsure what white pepper is? It’s similar to black pepper in that they are both technically “berries” of the pepper plant (piper nigrum). Compared to black pepper, however, white pepper may be “hotter” on the tongue—people have varying opinions about this, though. You can substitute black pepper if you prefer but both types of pepper are definitely good for you and great to have on hand!
How to Make Pineapple Fried Rice
- In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the cashews. Cook the cashews until they are lightly toasted. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onions. Saute the onions for about five minutes until translucent and fragrant. Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Next, add the bell pepper and peas and continue to cook for another five minutes.
- Finally, add the rice, pineapple, green onions, raisins, and cashews. Pour the sauce over top and stir until everything is combined and heated through. I personally like to turn up the heat and cook the rice for about 5 more minutes so the bottom gets a little crispy.
- Divide into bowls, top with green onions or sesame seeds, and enjoy!
What’s the best rice for pineapple fried rice?
Just about any rice should work fine for this recipe. That said, jasmine rice helps give you a more authentic Thai flavor, though!
Why is it better to use day-old rice?
This allows the rice to dry out a bit so that it will soak up all of the yummy sauce really nicely and not get mushy during the cooking process!
Can this recipe be made gluten-free?
You bet! Simply sub in tamari for the soy sauce and you’re good to go!
Can this recipe be made nut-free?
Yep! Just leave out the cashews, and feel free to substitute them for something other than nuts if you’d like to have something crunchy.
Can I add any other vegetables to this recipe?
Sure thing! In my household, the more vegetables the merrier! So feel free to add your favorites. Some of mine for this recipe include mushrooms, bok choy, snow peas—really anything that you need to clear out of the fridge! Tofu would also be a nice addition.
What makes pineapple fried rice yellow?
Curry powder is typically used in most Thai pineapple fried rice recipes. These curry powders will typically contain turmeric, which is well known for its vibrant yellow color and also turns the rice yellow!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This is a perfect recipe for an easy weeknight dinner. It works great as a meal in itself (especially if you add tofu or another plant protein element). It’s a one-pot meal, which makes cleanup a breeze. Plus, it’s sweet, savory, and spicy all in one! Need a few more reasons to love this recipe? It is…
- Warm – As the temperatures drop, fried rice is a comforting and cozy meal or side!
- Simple – Rice is pretty straightforward, and this fried recipe keeps things pretty simple. Plus, with only one pot to use it’s kitchen-friendly and only takes thirty minutes!
- Filling (thanks to plant protein) – Thanks to the rice, cashews, peas vegetables, and whatever else you add, this fried rice packs some solid protein and is nice and filling! To make it even more filling, simply add more plant proteins (like tofu or seitan) and more veggies to up the protein and fiber.
Let me know if you try this vegan pineapple fried rice, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! Make sure you are also following along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
Try more vegan entrees below:
- Creamy pink pasta
- Tofu Poke Bowl
- Pumpkin Pasta
- Grilled Tofu Burger
- Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
- Spicy Noodle Stir Fry
- Pumpkin Soup without Stock
- Beyond Sausage Paella
- Greek Lemon Soup
- Broccoli Leek Soup
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Shepherd’s Pie with Beyond Beef
- Quinoa Lentil Meatloaf