An easy basic recipe for cauliflower rice that you can play with and adjust to your liking. It truly is a wonderful substitute for white rice!
Cauliflower rice is the perfect paleo and low carb rice substitute. It amazes me how well it works in recipes that call for rice. Cauliflower rice is not just delicious, but also very similar in its mouthfeel and texture to white rice.
Can you buy cauliflower rice?
Yes you can! When I first started making this recipe, back in 2013, we had to rice our own cauliflower in the food processor. Fast forward a few years, and you can now buy bags of riced cauliflower at the grocery store. Very cool.
I still provide the original directions here, for those who can’t find riced cauliflower in their store, but as you can see in the video, I now use packaged riced cauliflower.
How do you make cauliflower rice?
It’s the simplest recipe ever. You basically saute the riced cauliflower in some oil until it’s tender, but not mushy. Add a little salt and pepper, and that’s it!
What can I add to cauliflower rice?
There are lots of options! The recipe below is a basic recipe, for cauliflower rice that you can use as you would use plain white rice. For example, to serve as a bed for saucy dishes such as meatballs with tomato sauce, chicken curry, sloppy joes or goulash. So in the basic recipe I use neutral tasting avocado oil, and add just salt, pepper and garlic.
This basic cauliflower rice is actually very tasty, so you can 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. In this case, by all means go ahead and make it more interesting!
You can, for example, cook it in olive oil instead of avocado oil. Or you can cook it in butter, and when it’s done, take it off the heat and 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.
Another great variation is to make cauliflower fried rice.
Is cauliflower rice good for you?
Of course it is! It is certainly a much better choice than high carb white rice, or even brown rice. It’s low carb, keto and paleo, and basically you get a serving of vegetables instead of eating a starch. Plus, cauliflower is very healthy, as you probably already know.
But is is tasty??
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 rice, although it does have a surprisingly similar texture and mouthfeel. If you like cauliflower, I think you will love cauliflower rice.
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 sweet and sour meatballs, with broiled salmon, and with teriyaki chicken drumsticks. Sometimes I make it with butter, Parmesan and herbs and top it with a couple of fried eggs for a tasty, filling meatless meal.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep fairly well in the fridge for about 3 days, although they don’t taste as good as when eaten fresh. Reheat them covered in the microwave, on 50% power to ensure even heating. You can also successfully freeze leftover cauliflower rice for up to 3 months.
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.