This Cauliflower Rice Recipe is a delicious low calorie, low carb alternative to couscous or regular white rice for stir fries, burritos, rice and beans, soups, and more. It’s light and fluffy, and so easy to make in minutes.
More healthy and delicious ways to enjoy cauliflower include our mashed cauliflower and creamy cauliflower soup.
A Healthy Low-Carb Alternative to White Rice
We are a rice-loving family and anyone who tells you that cauliflower rice is as good as a bowl of hot steamy cooked white rice is a liar. Lol. BUT we also love cauliflower. Cauliflower rice is a great healthy alternative to all types of regular rice if you’re looking to cut back on calories and carbs, and can be super tasty when prepared well. Pinky promise.
Does cauliflower rice taste like rice? Nope. So, what does cauliflower rice taste like? Well, it tastes like…cauliflower. But on a more subdued level. When the raw florets are grated, it doesn’t have quite the strong flavor you get if you simply steamed it. We like to sauté it until toasty and add seasonings. Honestly, when it’s saturated with a stir fry sauce or mixed with salsa verde, it’s pretty well camouflaged!
As far as lower calorie alternative side dishes go, this is a solid one. Our recipe is keto-friendly and weighs in at only 85 calories and 7 carbs per 1 cup. Served with a delicious sauce, you might even forget you’re eating cauliflower – unless you like cauliflower, like we do, and then it’s a win win.
With more people eating riced cauliflower, grocery stores carry it already grated. For ease, feel free to buy a packet and follow our recipe for how to cook it. If not, you can easily make it from scratch.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
Making riced cauliflower is super simple.
- Wash and dry the cauliflower. First, you’ll want to wash and thoroughly dry the head of cauliflower.
- Cut into small florets. Break/cut the head of cauliflower into small florets.
- Grate the florets. You have 3 different options for grating the cauliflower into rice bits. (See below.)
- Remove excess moisture. Transfer the cauliflower bits to a clean towel or paper towel, wrap it up, and squeeze out any liquid.
- Use it in recipes. Once you’ve got your riced cauliflower, use it in recipes that call for it. (Scroll below to the printable recipe card for our recipe and details.)
How to Grate the Cauliflower
There are a few different options to grate cauliflower rice.
- Food processor “S” blade – fill the bowl of a food processor halfway with florets. Fasten the lid and pulse 4 to 5 times until bits are the size of cooked rice. Repeat as needed. We find this way to have the most inconsistent sized-bits (some will be bigger than others), but it’s also the easiest way.
- Food processor grating disc and feeding tube – attach the grating disc to the food processor. Fasten the lid and funnel the florets into the feeding tube with the motor on. The cauliflower will blitz into rice-like bits.
- Use a hand grater – It takes a lot longer, but if you don’t have a food processor, get out your trusty hand grater. Be warned though, this is messy!
How to Cook Cauliflower Rice
It’s critical to remove any and all excess moisture from cauliflower rice before cooking it. This step might not seem necessary, but don’t eliminate it. It allows the bits to toast and caramelize, instead of steam, which can make it mushy. The levels of moisture from one head of cauliflower to the next, and also how you grate it, can vary big time.
Simply transfer the processed cauliflower to a clean towel or paper towel, wrap it up, and squeeze out any liquid. Then proceed with your recipe. Note: We prefer the results from cooking in a skillet on the stovetop over roasting in the oven. Stovetop-cooked cauliflower rice is quicker, fluffier, and tastes better. (Scroll below to the printable recipe card for our recipe and details.)
From Scratch or Store-Bought?
How to Store Cauliflower Rice
How long does cauliflower rice last?
- Raw cauliflower – Once you grate the cauliflower, it will keep for a couple days stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. After a couple days, it starts to smell a little funky, so ideally you’ll want to cook it or freeze it right away.
- Cooked cauliflower – Once cooked, it will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Gently reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
- Can you freeze cauliflower rice? Yep! Grate it and press out as much moisture as possible. Freeze it raw, don’t cook. Stored in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container, it will keep frozen for up to 1 month. You can microwave or steam it in the oven from frozen. If cooking on the stovetop, thaw and drain any excess liquid before proceeding with the recipe.
Is Cauliflower Rice Interchangeable with Regular White Rice? If you’re preparing it as a side, it can pretty much be served with any recipe you’d enjoy with regular white rice like stir fry recipes. But cauliflower rice cannot be used as a substitute in recipes that call for rice that’s cooked in liquid, since cauliflower doesn’t absorb liquid like grains do.
We really enjoy it served alongside salsa verde chicken, chili relleno casserole, and baked chicken breast for a complete low carb meal.
More Low Carb Side Dishes:
- Roasted Cabbage
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
- Mashed Cauliflower Casserole
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- 1 head cauliflower (or 16 ounce bag store-bought cauliflower rice)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- couple turns of freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 scallion, finely diced
- squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Remove and discard all the greens from the head of cauliflower, then wash and dry thoroughly. Cut/break the cauliflower into florets and discard the core.
- Using a food processor with the grating disc attachment or the S-blade, working in batches if necessary, pulse several florets at a time until they're processed into tiny bits, like the size of rice. Don’t over process or it will get mushy. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining florets. (If you don't have a food processor, use the medium-sized holes of a regular 'ol box grater – but be warned, it's messy!)*If using store-bought cauliflower rice, just skip all of that ^^^
- Transfer the processed cauliflower to a clean towel or paper towel, wrap it up, and squeeze out any excess moisture. This is important! Excess moisture will prevent your cauliflower rice from cooking properly and make it mushy.From here, you can use the cauliflower rice in recipes that call for it, using that recipe's directions. If you're using it as a substitute for regular cooked white rice, I highly recommend sautéing and seasoning it. We love our recipe.
- In a large nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add in the cauliflower rice and season with the salt and pepper; stir to combine. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the cauliflower is tender and slightly golden.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the chopped fresh herbs (or scallions) and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Reader Questions and Reviews
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