Veggie fried rice is delicious but make that a bacon fried rice with veggies and it’s hard to say no!
Even with it’s delicious salty flavor (which is hard to resist) bacon isn’t a regular ingredient used in my kitchen because we all know it’s not the healthiest thing to feed our bodies.
So, I typically reserve bacon for those moments I’m rewarding myself for eating healthy most of the time, and when I have leftover rice I can’t help but crave bacon fried rice with sautéed veggies!
You can use just about any vegetable to make bacon fried rice so while I use Brussels sprouts for this recipe feel free to get creative and replace it with onions, peas, carrots, and anything else that floats your boat.
I’ve made bacon fried rice with all sorts of veggies over the years, with white rice and brown rice, and I’ve never made one I didn’t like!
For this recipe, use either white or brown rice. Brown rice will give it a bit more texture and nutty flavor but I think both are delicious and which you use will really depend on what floats your boat.
Benefits of Using Leftover Rice
When making fried rice I always use leftover rice from the night before and there’s a good reason for it.
Freshly made rice is fluffy and full of moisture so if you use it right away to make fried rice it tends to be stickier and can make your dish a bit ‘gooey’. Leftover rice has had time to dry up a bit so it’s not super sticky which makes the texture perfect for fried rice.
There’s also a hidden reason why leftover rice is the better choice.
Rice is a starchy food and full of carbohydrates. When we eat rice, the carbs which are a good source of energy) are broken down into simple sugars and what we don’t use is converted into glucose and stored by our body for later.
While having a store of energy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, overdoing it is. High consumption of carbs, like freshly cooked rice, can spike your blood sugar level so your body makes more insulin. This starts a chain reaction that causes your cells to save the excess sugar (glucose) as fat.
Excess fat makes extra pounds and if this cycle continues enough times it can lead to health issues like diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
The good news is, you can pair rice (and other starchy foods) with protein and fiber rich foods to slow down the digestion of carbs and thus slowing down any spikes in blood sugar. Brussels sprouts is high in fiber!
You can also use leftover rice! When rice is allowed to cool down for at least 12 hours it changes its structure and forms starch resistance which helps prevent sugar spikes since we can’t digest it, even when it’s been reheated.
We may not be able to digest it but the good bacteria in our guts can, and they’ll appreciate being given this energy source to munch on!
There’s one more plus that comes with leftover rice. Starch resistant rice is also lower in calories but it’s hard to say exactly by how much as it can vary depending on the rice you use and whether you use a little coconut oil which has also been shown to help with starch resistance.
Making Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Fried Rice
You’ve probably guessed by now that the first step is to make your rice the night before. Fluff it up and cool in the refrigerator overnight.
When you’re ready to make your dish mince garlic and set it aside. Slice Brussels sprouts like you’re cutting onions and set them aside.
Scramble up your eggs with a dash of salt and cook them up in a bit of butter on medium heat. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Be sure to use a good nonstick pan.
The next step is to fry up your bacon until they’re nice and crispy. I’ve found that medium heat works the best on a pan so grease doesn’t go flying at your face!
How much bacon you want is really up to you. I love veggies so I don’t want the bacon flavor to overpower the veggies and I typically use between 4 and 6 slices, depending on the thickness.
Set crispy bacon on a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Once cool enough to handle break them up into small pieces and set them aside.
To cook up the rest of the ingredients I use olive oil in my pan which is healthier than bacon grease, but you can use bacon grease instead for sure. Just remove some of it from the pan as you won’t need to use as much as what gets left behind after frying up your bacon.
On medium heat, sauté garlic and carrots for one minute, then add Brussels sprouts and spices. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the sprouts are nice and soft (but not too mushy). Don’t overcook them or you’ll bring out the bitterness in them.
Now, add your rice, eggs, and soy sauce.
The best rice to keep things from getting too sticky is long grain rice. I love Jasmine rice for it’s aromatic scent and delicious flavor but I also love to use brown rice as well.
Add crushed chili peppers (optional), sesame seeds, and sesame oil and mix everything together.
Once everything is combined nicely do a taste test and if you need to add in more tamari or soy sauce this is the time to do it.
Then serve in bowls and if you want, top it with a little more sesame seeds and a slice of bacon, then eat up!
If you love rice dishes then be sure to try my Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans recipe!
Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Fried Rice Recipe
Veggie fried rice is delicious but make that a bacon fried rice with veggies and it's hard to say no!
Make rice the night before, fluff, allow it to cool, and refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
Beat 2 eggs with a dash of salt, then scramble on a buttered non-stick pan using medium heat.
Remove eggs from pan and set aside.
Fry bacon on medium heat until crispy then set on paper towels to remove excess grease.
Allow bacon to cool, then break into small pieces and set aside.
Remove bacon grease from pan.
Heat olive oil in the same pan (or use bacon grease if you prefer) and sauté garlic and carrots for one to two minute on medium to medium-high heat. Do not let it burn.
Mix in Brussels sprouts and add sea salt and pepper, and cook for approximately 5 minutes on medium hight heat or until Brussels sprouts are tender to your liking. Stir from time to time.
Add rice, eggs, and soy sauce and mix everything together.
Mix in crushed chili peppers, sesame seeds, and bacon.
Do a taste test and add more soy sauce if needed.
Serve in a bowl and top with sesame seeds. It's also great with extra bacon!
Serving Size 1 small bowl
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 427.67
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 24.46g38%
- Saturated Fat 7.61g39%
- Trans Fat 0.13g
- Cholesterol 108.99mg37%
- Sodium 535.25mg23%
- Total Carbohydrate 39.18g14%
- Dietary Fiber 2.24g9%
- Sugars 1.91g
- Protein 12.22g25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Nutrition information is an estimate. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Use leftover long grain rice to prevent a sticky dish. Jasmine is a great choice.
- Don't overcook Brussels sprouts. They can be cooked until soft, but not too soft or they become mushy and bitter.
- Liquid aminos or tamari can be used in place of lite soy sauce. Always add less, then add more after each taste test if needed.
- Veggies can be cooked using some bacon grease. Olive oil or sesame oil are healthier options.
- Use as much bacon as you want. 4 - 6 is plenty but you may want to make more as a topping.
- Experiment and use different veggies like peas, carrots, and onions.