Bacon + Kale Quinoa Fried Rice

by Amy on 26 March 2014

Bacon + Kale Quinoa Fried RiceI’m a huge fan of farmers’ markets . Not only is much of the produce local + organic, but in many cases, it’s also much more reasonably-priced than supermarket fruits/veggies. Once a week, we take a trip to the local farmers’ market, basing our week’s meals around whatever tasty, in-season produce we picked up. Last weekend, I came home with a huge amount of kale and cauliflower. Wanting to try some new-to-me recipes, I took to my Facebook page to ask for ideas. And y’all did not disappoint! I’ll be sharing the results of your wonderful suggestions in the upcoming weeks!

First up, I tried this *amazing* Bacon + Kale Quinoa “Fried Rice,” suggested by awesome reader Chrissy. And y’all, this is truly one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in a while. It is the perfect combination of flavors + textures, from the salty, chewy bacon + rich, fluffy egg to the earthy kale + hearty quinoa. It’s fantastic on its own as a light meal, or you could can make it a heartier dinner by serving it alongside some grilled fish/chicken or sauteed tofu. Or, it would be scrumptious as breakfast/brunch with a fried egg on top. However you decide to serve it, you’ve gotta do me a favor and try it soon, because I promise that you’ll love it! Consider yourself warned, though, that it’s very very addictive. I had a hard time stopping myself, even after my second bowl. =)

Bacon + Kale Quinoa Fried Rice

Bacon + Kale Quinoa “Fried Rice”

serves 4-6, adapted from eat life whole


4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups kale, thinly chopped
4 cups cooked quinoa (from ~1 cup uncooked quinoa)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce/tamari)
kosher salt + black pepper
1 egg, raw
1 egg, already scrambled and crumbled
1 green onion, sliced thin (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

In that same skillet, add the onions and garlic, and saute for 5-7 minutes, until translucent and softened. Add in the kale, and cook until the leaves turn bright green, about 1 minute. Add the cooked bacon back in, and saute for another minute. Then, add the cooked quinoa, soy sauce, and salt and pepper (to taste) to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the raw egg to the skillet, stir, and cook for another 3 minutes. Allow the “fried quinoa” to sit in the pan for about 45 seconds between stirrings (you don’t want to constantly mix it).

Add the crumbled scrambled egg, cilantro, and green onion, toss to combine, and serve immediately with an extra garnish of green onion, if desired.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn March 26, 2014 at 8:08 am

This sounds really tasty + I love how quickly and easily it comes together. This would be such a perfect weeknight meal for us.

2 alexandra March 26, 2014 at 8:10 am

Love all the ingredients in this one. And how beautiful + colorful the end product is!

3 Leah | So, How's It Taste? March 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

That looks amazing! Of course I’m all in since it has bacon. 😉

4 Taylor @ greens & chocolate March 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I’m so jealous you live in a place where there are farmers markets right now! Can’t wait to get me some local and fresh produce pretty soon here in Minnesota. This fried rice looks awesome…love the kale and bacon together!

5 amy March 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Taylor, we actually have a brick-and-mortar Farmers’ Market that is open all year ’round! While the produce pickins are slimmer in the winter, we do have access to fresh produce all year long, which is great. And then, lots of different neighborhood markets pop up from March/April – October, which is fantastic!

6 Choc Chip Uru March 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Delicious looking quinoa and kale combo in this fried rice, I could use a large bowl 😀

Choc Chip Uru

7 kelly March 27, 2014 at 5:20 am

Love going to our farmers’ market weekly too – can’t wait for all the spring and summer produce and fruits :) I love how you used the fresh kale you got from the market in this quinoa fried rice – it sounds so flavorful with the bacon and cilantro! Looks amazing girl and I’ll bet it tastes fantastic :)

8 EA-The Spicy RD March 27, 2014 at 8:17 am

This looks SO good Amy!! Going on my meal plan ASAP!!! I haven’t been to the Farmers Market in while-definitely need to go soon! I think my kids will like this too, especially if the kale is chopped in to little tiny pieces :-)

9 amy March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

Hope you and your family love it, EA! And I do think it will be kiddo-approved, although do report back on that. My little one is still eating mostly yogurt, oatmeal, and mushed up fruits/veggies, so she didn’t get to try any of this + give me her feedback. =)

10 Anna (Hidden Ponies) March 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

This is so interesting, I love getting tried and true recipes from other cooks! I love farmer markets, can’t wait for the season to be here where I live.

11 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) March 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

Bacon, kale, and quinoa??? Oh ya this glutton is making this. Yum!

12 Meghan Ireland Sargent March 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Absolutely divine!! Great texture, light AND filling. Superb Friday night dinner!!

13 amy March 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I’m so thrilled you loved it, Meghan!

14 Adri March 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Wow, but this sounds good. I bet all the different textures, plus the nice bite of the quinoa make for one satisfying meal. Thanks!

15 sarah k @ the pajama chef April 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm

this sounds so good, amy! i can’t wait to try it! and i am ashamed to admit we haven’t been to the big farmer’s market here in town yet…i hope to remedy that this weekend :)

16 amy April 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Ooh, you must check it out Sarah! Not only are there great produce stalls, but some really amazing lunch restaurants, too. Enjoy!

17 Lucy June 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I accidentally used millet instead of quinoa, but it turned out great. My husband who doesn’t really like the texture of millet even said it went well in this dish. Next time I’ll be sure to try it with quinoa.

18 Meghan July 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

This looks SO good, Amy! Can’t wait to give it a try!

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