An easy basic recipe for cauliflower rice that you can play with and adjust to your liking. It truly is a wonderful keto and paleo substitute for the real thing!
I’ve been making this delicious recipe at least once a week over the past six years. It amazes me how well it works as a substitute for white rice! It’s not just delicious, but also very similar in its mouthfeel and texture to the real thing.
Even my kids, who eat a higher-carb diet than I do, are happy to eat this dish – especially when I use it as a bed for saucy main dishes such as butter chicken.
You can now buy pre-riced cauliflower
When I first started making this recipe, back in 2013, we had to process the cauliflower in the food processor. Not exactly difficult to do, but kind of tedious.
Fast forward a few years, and you can now buy it pre-riced at the grocery store. Very cool.
I still provide the original directions in the recipe card below, for those who can’t find it in their store. But as you can see in the video below, I now use the convenient store-bought packages.
The ingredients you’ll need
The list of ingredients needed to make this tasty side dish is delightfully short. The exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below, but here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Fresh cauliflower: You can use a whole head, or buy pre-washed florets.
Oil: Either a neutral-tasting avocado oil or flavorful extra-virgin olive oil. Butter is also an option.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work, although te freshly minced’s flavor is slightly better.
How to make cauliflower rice
It’s the simplest recipe ever. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Process the cauliflower in your food processor into tiny “grains.”
Saute it in some oil until it’s tender, but not mushy.
Add a little salt, pepper, and garlic. That’s it!
How to season it
There are lots of options! The recipe below is a basic recipe that you can use as you would use plain white rice. For example, you can use it as a bed for saucy dishes such as:
So in the basic recipe, I use neutral-tasting avocado oil and add just salt, pepper and garlic.
This basic recipe is actually very tasty, so you can also simply serve it as a side dish, just as it is.
But if you do make it as a side dish, and not as a bed for saucy main courses, it doesn’t have to be neutral-tasting. In this case, by all means, go ahead and make it more interesting!
You can, for example, cook the cauliflower in flavorful olive oil instead of avocado oil.
Or you can cook it in butter, and when it’s done, take it off the heat. Then mix in 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan and perhaps a pinch of dried thyme.
This is actually one of my favorite ways of making this side dish. And yet another great variation is to make cauliflower fried rice.
Is it tasty?
Personally, I think it’s very tasty. Obviously, this is a matter of personal taste, and you’ll need to try and decide for yourself.
It does not taste like real rice, although it does have a surprisingly similar texture and mouthfeel.
If you like cauliflower, I think you will agree with me that this keto substitute is perfect.
What to serve with cauliflower rice?
Anything you want! As explained above, it can make a great canvas for saucy dishes. Or you can make it as a separate side dish and serve it with really any main course. I often serve it with one of the following main dishes:
Sometimes I make it with butter, Parmesan, and herbs and top it with a couple of fried eggs for a tasty and filling meatless meal.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep fairly well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days.
Reheat them covered in the microwave, on 50% power to ensure even heating. You can also successfully freeze leftovers for up to three months.
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Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Trim the cauliflower and coarsely chop. Place the chopped cauliflower in your food processor and process, in a few batches if needed, until it has the texture of rice. You should have about 1 lb. of riced cauliflower.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, 1 more minute.