While fried rice is Asian in its history, at its core it's an easy technique that turns a handful of leftover ingredients into something comforting and fresh-tasting. There are no hard-and-fast rules — all you need is some cooked rice and some imagination. That's where this breakfast-inspired fried rice comes in. Some of our favorite breakfast ingredients — breakfast sausage, eggs, and, yes, cheese — make their way into this rich and hearty fried rice that you can have any time of day.
Cold cooked rice makes for the best fried rice, so order some extra with your next takeout order or make an extra batch at home and stash it in the freezer in preparation for this dish. This quick-cooking dish features softly scrambled eggs and sautéed breakfast sausage and onion. Everything is tossed together with some soy sauce for flavor and frozen peas for color and sweetness, and finished with melty cheddar cheese (yes, cheese!) and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. It's not your typical fried rice, but it's just as tasty and satisfying.
Breakfast Fried Rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces uncooked breakfast sausage, casings removed
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
5 cups cooked rice, preferably cold
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a flat-bottomed wok or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the eggs and gently scramble with a rubber spatula until just softly set, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sausage, and onion to the pan and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until the sausage is cooked through and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 3 minutes. Use your spatula to flatten out and break up any clumps.
Add the tamari or soy sauce and salt, season with pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the scrambled eggs, cheese, and peas to the pan and gently fold to combine until the cheese is melted. Taste and season with salt or soy sauce as needed. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.