How to Make Cauliflower Rice
On days I want to eat fewer carbs, balance out a more decadent dish, or just want a healthy vegetable side dish, I swap the rice for cauliflower rice. It’s the perfect quick and light side, and no one misses the carbs! You can serve this veggie rice with any protein you wish – chicken, shrimp, whatever, and call it a meal. You can make it in the skillet or wok or roast it in the oven in a sheet pan. The oven version is delicious and nutty; the skillet version is faster and has a closer texture to rice. Either way, they are both delicious.
Why This Works!
- Cheaper: Making riced cauliflower from scratch will save you money in the grocery store. A head of cauliflower is cheaper than buying fresh or frozen riced cauliflower.
- Tastes Great: Because it’s made fresh, it also tastes better. You can use it in any recipe that calls for rice.
- Healthy: A great way to incorporate more plant based foods in your diet, you can also sneak it into meatballs in place of breadcrumbs, the kids won’t know!
- Low-Carb Side Dish: Substitute grains with cauliflower for less calories and fewer carbs.
- Add bulk to your meals: If you still want to eat rice, try using a mix of half rice, half cauliflower to make your portions larger with added nutrients.
- Gluten-free: A naturally gluten-free side dish.
- A head of cauliflower or 24 ounces cauliflower florets.
- Olive Oil
- Onion and Garlic, for flavor
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
How To Cut Cauliflower For Rice
- First, wash the cauliflower, remove the core, and let it dry completely.
- Next, roughly chop the cauliflower into florets with a knife and put it in a food processor in small batches (so it retains a rice shape). Pulse it until it resembles the texture of rice. You don’t want to overdo it because it will get mushy if you do.
- Then remove it from the processor and repeat with the remaining cauliflower. (Note, if you don’t have a food processor, use the large holes of a box grater and grate in large chunks.)
How to Make Riced Cauliflower
You can cook riced cauliflower using the stove or oven. The results are different, both are great!
- Stove Method (This method is great when you want more of a rice texture): Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the onions for four to 5 minutes, and add the riced cauliflower and garlic. Stir the mixture, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It’s ready when the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper.
- Oven Method (This will give you a nutty, flavorful side dish): Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and spread on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, mixing halfway until golden. The rice will shrink more in the oven than on the stove.
Cooked Cauliflower Rice Variations
- Add fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs at the end.
- Add lime juice and garlic at the end.
- Use your favorite spices in place of salt and pepper.
- Add soy sauce to give it an Asian flair.
Cauliflower Rice Recipes
It’s so easy to make riced cauliflower taste good. It has a neutral flavor, so you can season it with various ingredients to change how it tastes. For the simplest way, sauté it with a little onion and garlic, as I mentioned above. You can also use it in any recipe that calls for cauliflower rice. Here’s a list of some of my favorite recipes that swap out rice for cauliflower:
- Cauli-Rice Chicken Biryani
- Cauliflower Arroz Con Pollo
- Skillet Ground Turkey Taco Cauli-Rice
- Cauliflower Arancini
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Roasted Cauliflower Rice with Garlic and Lemon
- Cilantro Lime Riced Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
You can refrigerate cooked or raw riced cauliflower for up to 4 days to use in other recipes. Or freeze it in a freezer bag for up to three months in an airtight container. Reheat it in the microwave, oven, or stove.
Cauliflower is healthier than rice since it is a vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and K and folate. Cauliflower is also low in calories and carbs and full of fiber.
Yes, it is! Sure, you can buy riced cauliflower already cut or frozen, but nothing tastes better than making it fresh. Plus, it’s so simple and much cheaper than buying it pre-made.
More Cauliflower Recipes You’ll Love
- Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” con Pollo
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
- Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Cauliflower Nuggets
Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- Wash the cauliflower, remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely.
- Coarsely chop into florets, then place 1/4th of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower has the texture of rice, don’t over process or it will get mushy. Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower, in batches.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
- Saute onions and cook about 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the cauliflower “rice” and garlic to the skillet. Mix, cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and spread on a parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer and roast in the oven 25 minutes, mixing halfway until golden. Note this shrinks more in the oven and makes 2 2/3 cups 2/3 cups per serving.