A popular low-carb alternative to regular white or brown rice, cauliflower rice is a great basic recipe to have on hand for changing up your dinner time routine. Simple to prepare and easily frozen, making it perfect for batch cooking, this is one meal prepping side dish you should learn how to make and store properly so that you always have some on hand.
How To Rice Cauliflower
- How To Rice Cauliflower
- Cutting The Cauliflower Florets
- How To Make Cauliflower Rice Without A Food Processor
- How To Store Cauliflower Rice
- How To Freeze Cauliflower Rice
- How To Cook Cauliflower Rice: Raw And Frozen Cauliflower Rice
- How To Season Cauliflower Rice
- What Other Vegetables Can Be Used In Place of Rice?
- Cauliflower Rice Recipes and How To Use Cauliflower Rice
We haven't always been the biggest fan of cauliflower rice.
In fact, I distinctly my husband looking at me like I was the biggest weirdo on the planet when I first brought a bag home from Trader Joe's to try.
Face forward a couple of years and we eat it so much I always have a huge batch prepped and ready to go in the freezer.
As well as being a great low-carb alternative to rice and grains, cauliflower rice is also:
- a great meal-prepping hack that defrosts quickly and can be cooked from frozen
- a great option for someone following a keto, paleo or low-carb diet
- a great gluten-free option
- perfect for someone who just wants to eat lighter or eat a bit more veggies!
To make it you are going to need ONE ingredient: Cauliflower
A food processor would be handy as well as it will really help speed up the process of making the cauliflower rice at home, but don't worry if you don't have one as you can easily use a sharp knife or a box grater instead.
Cutting The Cauliflower Florets
Give your head of a cauliflower a really good wash before starting to cut it up to ensure any excess dirt or debris has been removed.
- removing the stem,
- cutting off any gnarly bits,
- and then cut the cauliflower into even-sized florets.
Keeping the florets similar in size is important as it ensures the florets are processed in the food processor at a similar rate and we don't end up with unevenly sized grains that will then cook unevenly.
You will have to work in batches.
Working in batches, add enough cauliflower florets to the bottom of a food processor to cover it, and then simply pulse until the cauliflower resembles a grain of rice or some couscous in size.
Remove the riced cauliflower to a clean bowl and continue the process until all of the cauliflower is similar in size.
Occasionally a floret will not be processed completely, this is especially so if the food processor has been overloaded. If this is the case, simply remove the unprocessed floret and process it with the next batch.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice Without A Food Processor
If you do not have a food processor, don't worry, you can still make your own cauliflower rice at home (it might just take a little bit more time).
Instead of using a food processor you can:
- use a blender, you will just have to work in smaller batches to ensure the florets are broken up into evenly-sized pieces;
- grate the cauliflower florets using a box grater (if you are doing this, you should keep the cauliflower whole so that you have something to hold on to); or
- use a sharp knife to finely chop the cauliflower until it resembles rice (this is obviously going to be a lengthier process, but one that works if you are in a bind).
Use what you have on hand and make it work for you.
How To Store Cauliflower Rice
Uncooked cauliflower rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a day.
Any longer than that and it can become a bit stinky.
Cooked cauliflower will last a bit longer in the fridge than when it is uncooked. Store cooked cauliflower rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
How To Freeze Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice can be easily frozen, making it a great meal prepping option and the perfect candidate for making a big batch at one time.
To freeze, simply:
- arrange the riced cauliflower in a single layer on a tray or dish small enough to fit flat into the freezer;
- pop into the freezer for a couple of hours until partially frozen;
- transfer the partially frozen cauliflower rice into a storage bag or container of choice.
Taking this extra step of freezing in a single layer makes all the difference when it comes time to remove the required amount from the freezer, and all of the cauliflower granules will not be stuck together.
This can be stored in the freezer for about 1 month if stored correctly.
How To Cook Cauliflower Rice: Raw And Frozen Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice can be eaten raw if that is your preference.
If you like it cooked simply add some cooking oil of choice to a large skillet, heat over medium heat, once the oil is hot you can add in the cauliflower rice and sauté for about 5 minutes for a more toothsome texture, or up to 8 minutes for softer cauliflower rice.
How To Season Cauliflower Rice
There are lots of ways to season cauliflower rice, and how you do it will depend on how you plan on serving it.
Some of my favourite seasonings include:
- simple salt and pepper
- some fresh garlic chopped and sautéed at the same time as the cauliflower rice
- garlic or onion powder
- a drizzle of tamari or soy sauce
- some finely chopped herbs of choice - cilantro/coriander and garlic is a favourite around here
Of course, if you are serving it with a nice saucy dish like this Thai-Inspired Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, then simply seasoned with some salt and pepper will be the perfect way to serve it.
What Other Vegetables Can Be Used In Place of Rice?
Lots of vegetables can be used to make a rice substitute.
I have tried and enjoy using the following:
- Sweet Potato
- Beets (although this one can be responsible for staining everything)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Parsnip or turnip could also be used but can have an acquired taste so only use these if you know that you like them.
Cauliflower Rice Recipes and How To Use Cauliflower Rice
Use cauliflower rice anywhere you would use regular white or brown rice or any grain.
I like to use mine in the following meals:
- As a replacement for bulgur in Tabbouleh like in this Chicken Shawarma with Garlic Yogurt Sauce and Tabbouleh
- As a replacement for white rice in this One Skillet Honey Pomegranate Balsamic Glazed Chicken Thighs
- As a low carb rice alternative served with Thai Inspired Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- For adding bulk to smoothies (this is the perfect use for frozen cauliflower rice, just throw it straight in)
- For adding bulk to salads and soups
- As an alternative to rice in fried rice recipes.
The options are endless, but as a rule of thumb, cauliflower rice can be used anywhere that you would traditionally use white or brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, couscous, or even certain smaller pasta.
Use your imagination and you can't go wrong.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil of choice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and set them aside (see the notes for tips on what to do with them.)
- Using a sharp knife, remove the stem from the cauliflower, cut off any gnarly bits and chop into thick matchsticks.
- Cut the rest of cauliflower head into evenly sized florets.
Blender or Food Processor
- In batches (the size of your machine will determine how much you can get in there, but don't fill it more than 1 layer deep) pulse in one-second bursts until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice.
- Use a tamper to push down or a spatula to scrape the sides as needed. I use this food processor.
Chopping with a Chef's Knife
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the cauliflower florets into small 1-inch pieces. Then chop into smaller grain-sized pieces until you have worked your way through the whole batch.
- If you don't have a food processor or a good knife, then use the largest holes on a box grater to grate the cauliflower until it resembles grains of rice.
To Saute/Stir Fry
- Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add in 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice or butter and sauté the cauliflower rice until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season to your liking.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.