This delicious mango fried rice features frozen vegetables, fresh fruit, chewy rice and a simple Chinese-style stir-fry sauce. It comes together within 20-30 minutes, especially if you are using leftover already-cooked rice. Perfect versatile weeknight dinner your whole family will love! Vegan and easy to make gluten-free.
If you love Chinese-style fried rice and easy recipes for dinner, then I'm sure this sweet & savory mango fried rice will be right up your alley.
Picture this: crispy brown bits of chewy fried rice with juicy sweet mango and tons of hearty vegetables, all tossed in a simple savory Chinese sauce.
I have a turmeric fried rice recipe on the blog that I make whenever I have some extra cooked rice to use. This time, I made this sweeter fruit and veggie fried rice and everyone loved it so much I had to share.
What is amazing about fried rice recipes is how versatile and quick they are to make. Once you cook the rice, which I recommend you make ahead, then this meal comes together in as fast as 20-30 minutes. Plus, you can tweak the veggies and add more to your rice, depending on your taste.
The highlight of this recipe definitely is the fresh vibrant mango that is super sweet and juicy, which pairs and balances so well with the deeper and earthier flavor from the sesame oil and savory soy sauce.
Letting the rice caramelize and crisp a little bit in the pan is the secret to making the BEST mango fried rice. Then, just a little squeeze of fresh lime juice to brighten up the whole dish and some crunchy cashews for texture. SO delicious!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- Quick and easy weeknight dinner
- Great for the whole family, even kids!
- Amazing combination of sweet & savory flavors
- Loaded with veggies
- High fiber wholesome meal
- Perfect to use up your leftover rice!
- Ultra versatile and easy to customize
- Naturally vegan, plant-based and easy to make gluten-free
What kind of rice to use for this recipe
Brown vs white
I prefer brown rice as it is so much more nutritious & filling than white rice, but also more chewy and pleasant in texture. I think brown rice gives a better texture to fried rice recipes too, but this can be up to taste, of course.
That being said, you can use both brown rice or white rice to make this recipe and I will show you how you can use both below.
Shape of rice
As for the shape, try going for a long grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati. Short grain is ok too if that's all you have, but I find it can turn mushier easier when frying.
The best kind of rice to make fried rice is 1-2 day-old rice. Using chilled rice helps brown or toast the rice and slightly crisp it without turning it to a mushy texture.
What you will need
- Rice: I used jasmine rice (brown rice) that was cooked the day before and chilled overnight. You will need 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Fresh mango: use a ripe and juicy mango that's also not super soft for the best texture. I used a large red mango, but if you can find a Thai mango, then use this. If your mango is super small, then you might want to use 2 fresh mangoes.
- Mixed vegetables: I love using frozen vegetables for making fried rice as it is convenient and super quick, great for weeknight dinners. I used a 16 oz bag of mixed vegetables that included green beans, peas, corn and carrots. That being said, there is a lot of room for variation in which veggies you can use. See below for more ideas!
- Onion: I used a medium-sized yellow onion, but sweet works too.
- Garlic: fried rice tastes better when there is lots of garlic! I used 3 large cloves of garlic, but you can even use more if you want.
- Ginger: you will need fresh ginger root for this fried rice recipe for the best flavor. Do not swap for powdered ginger!
- Green onions: you can omit them if you don't have them, but I like to add green onions towards the end of cooking the rice for a fresh and crisp oniony flavor.
- Soy sauce: main ingredient to flavor the rice. You can use a low-sodium brand if you prefer.
- Rice vinegar: adds a mild tangy flavor to balance the soy sauce flavor.
- Cashews: for a nice crunch and make this rice more filling too. Use toasted cashews if you can.
- Lime juice: brings all the flavors together and brightens up the dish with its tart and zesty taste. Add to taste, but I usually juice ½ of a lime over the rice when done cooking.
- Sesame oil: I like cooking Asian recipes with sesame oil for its deep and nutty flavor, but you can swap it for a little olive oil or peanut oil too.
How to make mango fried rice
If you already have some rice that's cooked, then this recipe will be super quick and easy to make.
Prepare the rice
Cook the rice ahead of time if possible. You will need 3 cups of cooked rice for this recipe, which means about 1 cup of uncooked rice.
If you do not have any leftover cooked rice already, then start by cooking it first:
- Stovetop: rinse 1 cup of your rice of choice, then transfer to a medium-sized saucepan. Add water (usually 2 cups for both brown rice and white rice, although double-check on the packaging if necessary). Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low and keep cooking until tender, which can be up to 40-50 minutes for brown rice. Here is a complete guide on how you can cook brown rice on the stove or cook white rice on the stove.
- Instant pot (or pressure cooker): my favorite method to cook rice as it is quick, easy and perfectly cooked every time. To make it using the Instant pot, then add 1 cup of uncooked rice with 1 + ¼ cup of water, then close the lid on "seal". Cook for 21-22 minutes on high pressure. Once done, let the steam evaporate naturally for about 15 minutes, then finish up by doing a quick release before opening the lid. Here is a guide on how to cook brown rice using the Instant pot or how to cook white rice using the Instant pot.
Once the rice is cooked, spread it out on a baking sheet, place it in the fridge and let it cool down before using.
Cook the aromatics with the vegetables
Warm up a large wok or pan with a little sesame oil and then, add the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes stirring often on medium-high heat.
Then, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.
Add the bag of frozen veggies and stir to combine. Cook the veggies until completely thawed, all the moisture has evaporated and the veggies are starting to brown.
Fry the rice with sauce
Add the cooked rice, green onion, rice vinegar and soy sauce to the wok and stir to combine. You can turn up the heat to high if needed for a short period of time to help crip and brown the rice. Stir only once in a while and leave the wok untouched for 1 minute at a time so it can fry and roast, which helps the rice become golden brown. Cook the rice for about 5-8 minutes or until done to your liking.
Add the diced mango, roasted cashews and the lime juice. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes or until warmed up. Taste to see if it needs more soy sauce or salt, then serve the mango rice warm. Enjoy!
- Using 1 or 2 day-old chilled rice can make a big difference when making this recipe. Try to plan ahead and cook the rice the day before you need it.
- The way you cook the rice also plays a big role in flavor and texture: do not constantly stir, but instead, leave the rice untouched for a short period of time, then stir or flip the rice using a spatula.
- Do not cook the mango so much, add it to the rice and simply warm up for 1-2 minutes so the fruit does not turn mushy and soft.
- A larger pan or wok helps spread out the fried rice on a larger cooking surface, meaning more yummy brown bits!
- Be sure to first let all the frozen veggies thaw and evaporate their extra moisture so the rice isn’t steaming when you add it to the pan.
- If you have 5 extra minutes, then I recommend to toast the cashews in a non-stick pan (no oil) until golden brown. Just watch carefully so they don't burn and keep your heat on medium-high.
Serve this fried rice with extra lime wedges to add a nice fresh tartness to your dish. I also like to roast extra cashews and slice extra green onions to have more for garnishing when serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if you want.
You can also serve it with some kimchi, chili sauce or sambal oelek for a little heat and a boost in flavor. If you have some toasted coconut, then add some!
You can serve this fried rice as a side dish for:
- Vegan tofu egg rolls
- Sticky tofu
- Spicy orange cauliflower
- Teriyaki cauliflower
- Miso eggplant
- Baked miso tempeh
Variations to the recipe
Fried rice recipes are great to customize depending on what you already have on hand.
Feel free to swap the bag of frozen veggies for any fresh veggies that you have, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
Canned baby corn, chestnut or bamboo shoots are a fun addition to fried rice recipes too.
Here are more customization ideas:
- Spicy fried rice: add a spoonful of sambal oelek or sriracha or add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a nice heat. You can also include a finely sliced red hot chili!
- Fruit swap: pineapple fried rice also is amazing! You can swap the mango for about 1 cup of cubed fresh pineapple in this recipe.
- Herbal fried rice: add some more freshness to your dish by including fresh cilantro, basil or even mint.
- Sweet fried rice: if you love sweeter rice recipes, then you can also drizzle a little maple syrup or add a spoonful of brown sugar over the rice when you add the soy sauce.
- Protein-packed fried rice: to make your meal higher in protein, add some edamame, peanuts, tofu, chickpeas or tempeh. You can check out my turmeric fried rice recipe where I also include some silken soft tofu to mimic the fried egg consistency from a classic fried rice.
- Grain-free: you can swap the regular rice for cauliflower rice for a fun twist and a meal ultra-loaded with veggies.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can reheat on the stove the same way you made the fried rice for the best texture. That way, you can make the rice crispy again.
But, feel free to use the microwave for convenience too.
If the rice looks too dry out, then add a splash of water.
Yes, you can, but it will be more difficult to get those browned bits if cooking the rice without oil.
Just be sure to use GF-certified rice and swap the soy sauce for GF tamari or coconut aminos.
The trick to creating the best texture in fried rice is to use older rice that had enough time to chill in the fridge. Also, using a large pan or wok allows more space for spreading out the rice and veggies so they can roast without steaming. In this case, since using frozen veggies, be sure to let all the moisture evaporate once the veggies are thawed before adding the rice.
This recipe is inspired by Chinese fried rice as it uses soy sauce and no fish sauce at all. Thai fried rice typically does not include soy sauce and it is sometimes spicier in flavor featuring fish sauce, lime and Thai red chilis.
- Pineapple coconut rice
- Mexican tomato rice
- Brown rice quinoa salad
- Vegan sushi bake
- Teriyaki tofu rice bowl
I hope you like this mango fried rice recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Mango Fried Rice
- 3 cups cooked rice - best if 1-2 day old, I used jasmine brown rice
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 3 garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 inch fresh ginger - grated
- 16 oz frozen mixed vegetables - see notes for variations
- 2 green onions - sliced
- ⅓ cup cashew - toasted
- 1 fresh mango - diced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- ½ lime - juiced, plus more for serving
- sesame oil - optional, for cooking
- If not already done, start by cooking the rice. You will need 1 cup of dry rice to make the 3 cups of cooked rice you need for this recipe. I like cooking rice using my Instant Pot, but you can also use the stove. Once cooked, spread it out on a baking sheet, transfer to the fridge and let it cool down before using for this recipe. This can be done 1-2 days ahead. You can check the packaging for cooking directions or check out the blog post, I share more information on how to cook your rice.
- Warm up a large wok (or pan) with some sesame oil. Then, add the onion and cook on medium-high heat until slightly browned and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Then, add the garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute while strirring often.
- Add the bag of frozen veggies and let them cook until thawed, about 4-5 minutes. Once the veggies lose all of their moisture, then add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Stir to combine and cook on medium-high heat for another 5 minutes or so. Try to leave the rice untouched for a little bit so it can roast and brown a little, then flip/stir. You can also turn up the heat to high for short periods of time to help caramelize the rice.
- Once the rice is mostly done, then add the cashews, mango and lime juice. Stir to combine and let it cook for one more minute just to warm up. Adjust salt or soy sauce to taste and serve warm with more green onions and cashews.
- Storage tips: keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat using the stove or the microwave.
- You can add more ingredients to this fried rice recipe, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, pineapples, shredded coconut, maple syrup, etc. Check out the blog post for more ideas!
- For a rice that's higher in protein, then include edamame, tofu, tempeh or chickpeas.