Greek Rice Recipe: Mediterranean Fried Rice
This Greek rice recipe is a quick and easy take on chicken fried rice, but includes healthful Mediterranean ingredients like chickpeas, feta cheese and olives.
While I don’t officially follow the Mediterranean diet, those flavors always appeal to me, and I could enjoy them for pretty much every meal, without issue.
Today, I’m taking some of my favorite Mediterranean flavors and turning them into a fried rice-inspired Greek rice recipe that is a complete dinner in one bowl.
What is Mediterranean fried rice?
The technique is simply using a wok or very large skillet, over high heat, to cook a protein, then vegetables. Add cooked rice and cook until it gets a little bit golden brown.
Make a well in the center of the mixture, add raw egg, and cook until you have scrambled egg bits that you can stir to incorporate into the rice. Add any remaining ingredients, season, and eat!
The technique itself doesn’t have to be reserved for Asian flavors. You can get creative and use whatever flavors you want.
Right down to the scrambled egg, this Greek fried rice recipe follows the classic technique, while also incorporating things like chicken, chickpeas, olives and feta cheese.
Seasoned with just a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper, this fun, affordable Mediterranean rice recipe can be on the table in no time.
The ingredients for this Greek rice recipe are simple:
- oil – I recommend vegetable or canola oil for making fried rice.
- chicken – I use a large chicken breast, finely chopped. Chicken thigh is delicious in this Mediterranean rice recipe, too.
- onion – I like to use a red onion for color, but white onion is a good substitute in this Greek fried rice recipe.
- rice – you will need 3 cups prepared rice. More on that below.
- eggs – 2 large eggs will do the trick.
- chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – make sure you drain and rinse them. I also love chickpeas in my Greek yogurt pasta!
- parsley – I like to add a bit of green freshness by incorporating fresh parsley into this Mediterranean fried rice.
- feta cheese – buy a block and crumble it yourself for the best flavor. I also love feta on top of Greek yogurt mashed potatoes.
- tomatoes – I like to use quartered grape tomatoes, but chopping up a larger tomato is fine, too.
- olives – pitted kalamata olives, cut in half, are my favorite for this Greek rice recipe.
- lemon juice – this seasons the rice with brightness and acidity.
- salt and pepper – because unseasoned rice will be bland.
What type of rice is used in Greek food?
There are several types of rice used in Greek cooking, but the one you might be most familiar with is long-grain white rice (known as kitrino in Greece). This is mostly used in rice pilafs and side dishes.
Brown rice (known as kastano) is also commonly used in Greek cooking.
Either of these types are perfect for this Mediterranean rice recipe. You could also use basmati (which I love for chicken apple curry) or jasmine.
No matter what, the best Mediterranean fried rice is made with day-old rice (it absorbs flavors better and doesn’t stick together as much as freshly cooked rice).
So honestly, the easiest way to make fried rice is to get Chinese carryout and order extra white rice (which is generally jasmine rice). Use it the next day to make this Greek rice recipe.
If you want to know more about the different types of rice used in Greece, the spruce Eats has a nice article on rice in Greek cooking.
Can I use a different protein for this Mediterranean rice recipe?
Totally! While I used chicken breast this time around, chicken thighs actually have even more flavor (which is why I use them for almond crusted chicken), so I love them in this Greek rice recipe, too.
Not into chicken? How about using shrimp? Buy a little extra shrimp to make shrimp wonton soup another time.
Even ground or finely chopped pork would work in this Mediterranean rice recipe. I’ve even been known to make this Greek fried rice recipe with leftover, chopped up air fryer turkey meatballs or leftovers from a lamb sandwich platter.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3 cups prepared white rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until almost cooked through, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Add onion; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add rice; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Push rice to sides of wok, creating a well in center of wok. Crack eggs into well, scramble vigorously with wooden spoon. Cook 2 minutes (keeping eggs in well) or until eggs are full cooked.
- Add chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, parsley, olives, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss until everything is well combined. Cook 2 minutes or until warmed through; stirring frequently.
Home Chef Tip: Fried rice works best with day-old rice! Use leftovers from Chinese carryout, or make a batch of rice the night before. Spread the cooked rice on a small rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper. Transfer to refrigerator and let sit, uncovered, overnight.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 597Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 206mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 49g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.