Unless you’ve been living in the wilds of Timbuktu for the past five years you’ve heard of cauliflower rice (cauli-rice, low carb rice, etc). It’s a great substitute for rice or couscous in recipes and, like rice, it’s bland enough that you can easily change the style from Tex-Mex to Asian. This versatile, low carb side dish is definitely one that you want in your recipe repertoire!
While there are literally thousands of recipes for cauli-rice they all start with the same basic techniques that I’m sharing here.
Cauliflower Rice FAQs
Have a question that’s not answered here? Leave it in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Is cauliflower rice keto? Is it good for you?
Definitely keto friendly and low carb! It’s even low calorie!
Can you buy cauliflower rice
Yes, but it’s so easy to make there’s really no reason to. Grating it takes less than 5 minutes and the quality is much better.
Can I use frozen cauliflower?
The biggest problem people run into when making cauliflower rice is too much liquid. Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that doesn’t feel “wet” but my gosh, when it cooks it seems like it pulls the humidity out of the air and releases it into the pan!
This is one reason why you don’t want to use frozen cauliflower. There’s just that much more water to contend with.
Can I freeze raw caulflower rice?
You can. I think it loses a little quality but it’s definitely doable. Just spread the riced cauliflower out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze it. The pour it into a freezer container and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it add a little water, beef, or chicken stock to a pan and steam it for about a minute.
How much is one head of cauliflower riced?
1 pound of cauliflower (about 1 medium sized head) will make about 4 cups of cauliflower rice. 1 cup of cauliflower rice is approximately 4 ounces.
Techniques for Making Cauliflower Rice
Basically there are two ways to make cauliflower rice. You can use the medium holes of a box grater or you can grate it in a food processor. I don’t recommend using the blade part of a food processor unless you want to make cauli-cous.
Box Grater Instructions
- Wash and trim the cauliflower.
- Cut it into chunks that are comfortable to hold.
- Grate the cauliflower carefully on the box grater, creating rice sized pieces.
Food Processor Instructions
- Wash and trim the cauliflower.
- Cut it into chunks that will fit into the chute of the food processor.
- Fit the food processor with a medium grater blade.
- Use the pusher thingie to push the pieces of cauliflower down into the blade.
For a texture more like couscous use the small holes on the grater or fit the food processor with the blade attachment and pulse.
It’s a good idea to dump the riced cauliflower onto a paper towels and press out as much moisture as possible before continuing.
Cauliflower Rice Cooking Techniques
Which technique you use to prepare your cauliflower depends on the recipe and your own personal tastes.
These instructions are based on one cup. You may need more time for a larger amount of cauliflower.
- Place the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe baking dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap.
- Microwave for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Carefully remove the plastic.
- Check for doneness.
- Remove from the microwave
- Fluff with fork.
- Bring water or stock to a boil in a pan.
- Cover a steamer basket with a layer of paper towel (don’t use cheap – it will disintegrate).
- Add the riced cauliflower to the steamer basket.
- Steam for 4 minutes or until tender.
Add finely chopped onion or garlic for more flavor. Bacon is also a great addition.
- Heat a little oil in a heavy pan.
- Add the cauliflower.
- Saute 3 to 5 minutes, or until done.
- Lightly oil a heavy baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil (flavored works great here!) over the cauliflower rice in a bowl and toss to coat.
- Spread in a thin layer over the baking sheet.
- Roast at 400 for 10 minutes stirring it a couple of times.
Recipes with Cauliflower Rice
- Fajita Chicken Bowl – In these low Carb Fajita Chicken Bowls spicy fajita seasoned chicken breast, grilled onions, and cheese are mounded atop a bowl of steamed, grated cauliflower flavored with cilantro and lime for an easy, tasty meal that won’t blow your eating plan.
- Broccoli Chicken Cheese Casserole – Easy, cheesy chicken broccoli casserole is on of my favorite recipes. Here I’ve made some adjustments so it’s low-carb and low calorie but has that great flavor and texture that makes it so addictive.
- Low Carb Dirty Rice – This low-carb Dirty Rice is made with cauliflower, bacon, sausage, and lots of cajun flavor. It works great as a side dish or a light supper with a salad on the side. Quick and delicious!
- Spicy Chicken “Fried Rice” – Induction friendly spicy chicken fried “rice” handles those cravings for Asian food with just 6 net carbs.
- Arroz con Pollo – This arroz con pollo is low carb with just 6.9 net carbs per generous serving. Cauliflower is substituted for the rice in this spicy keto friendly rendition of the classic Mexican recipe.
- Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with Cauli-cous –Low carb, spicy chicken stir fry is full of Asian flavors that really put a stop to all of those cravings for takeout! It’s quick and easy with just 3 grams of net carbs.
- Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup – Easy stuffed Bell pepper soup recipe substitutes cauliflower for rice to keep it low carb and brings the net carbs way down but keeps all of the cozy flavor. It’s a quick and easy dinner for a chilly day with the fresh taste of late summer produce! With just under 4 net carbs per hearty serving it’s a delicious gluten free recipe you can enjoy often.
- Old Fashioned Stuffed Peppers – These low carb, old fashioned stuffed peppers are easy to make, family friendly, and have all of that flavor of the ones your grandma made without the carbs OR the calories. Must be magic, right?
- Cheesy Enchilada Skillet – One pan chicken enchilada skillet dinner recipe is quick, easy, and low carb. It cooks in about 15 minutes, has 7 net carbs per serving and is so good the whole family will love it! This, y’all, is the perfect weeknight meal! It’s cheesy, creamy explosions of Tex-Mex flavor in every single keto-friendly bite.
- Cabbage Rolls (Galumpki) -Tangy, tender cabbage rolls – just like the galumpkis mom used to make only low carb.
You May Need…
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This is an easy dish but here are a few things to make it even easier.
A good food processor makes ALL the difference! Making cauliflower rice yourself is cheaper and tastier!
I love my vacuum sealer – it keeps the prepped food I make on the weekends fresh all week long and allows me to freeze things without worrying about flavors or freezer burn.
Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- 1 large head cauliflower , about 1 pound
Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower, then remove the core
Cut into chunks and grate with the box grater on the side with medium holes.
OR Use the grater attachment of the food processor.
Place on a clean tea towel and press as much moisture out as possible.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet.
Add cauliflower rice and saute until crispy tender - just a few minutes.
Cover and remove from heat.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Add seasoning as desired and serve.