Learn how to make cauliflower rice and discover a potentially healthier alternative to other starchy grains. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s also a good source of fiber and it’s pretty low in calories, too.1
The many potential health benefits associated with cauliflower makes this cruciferous veggie a popular ingredient in healthy, mindful eating. Make cauliflower consumption easy and interesting with some new cauliflower rice recipes.
What Is Cauliflower Rice?
Cauliflower rice is simply fresh cauliflower florets or pieces processed into small, grain-size bits. Its color and texture resemble that of regular rice, but with a completely different nutrition profile. You can use riced cauliflower in many of the same ways you would other grains – you can serve it plain as a side dish to help bulk up a meal or use it as an ingredient in other recipes.
You can easily find prepared and frozen cauliflower rice in grocery stores, but it’s very simple to make from scratch. Read on for a how-to and some great recipe ideas.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
You can whip up homemade cauliflower rice in minutes. Here’s a basic cooking method.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- To make seasoned cauliflower rice (optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- Juice of half a lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and dry cauliflower well. Separate florets, and chop both florets and stems into smaller pieces.
- Pulse in a food processor until the texture resembles rice grains. Work on a small batch at a time so you don’t overprocess and make mushy cauliflower rice. Transfer raw cauliflower rice to a bowl, and use it for recipes that call for raw cauliflower grains.
- If planning to serve as a rice substitute or storing for later use, consider lightly seasoning and cooking cauliflower rice.
- To prepare seasoned cauliflower rice, heat olive oil in a pan.
- Saute scallions and cauliflower grains for about 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lime juice.2
Note: If you don’t have a food processor, a box grater works just as well with a little more elbow grease on your end. Use the side with larger holes typically used to grate cheese. Another tip is to transfer the riced raw cauliflower into a bowl lined with a dish or paper towel, and then bundle it up to squeeze out excess moisture that can cause your cooked cauliflower rice to become soggy.3
How To Serve Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a versatile ingredient that helps you sneak more veggies into your meals. Like white rice or other grains, it serves as a great blank canvas that can take on a lot of flavor and color, making lunches and dinners even more interesting. Here are a few recipes that show why you should always have some fresh or frozen cauliflower rice handy.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
This recipe shows how cauliflower suits Asian-inspired dishes. It’s also very customizable – feel free to add your vegetables of choice, or tofu for more protein. This dish will take you about 20 minutes (or less if you use pre-prepared cauliflower rice).
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 10 cups cauliflower rice
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 3 Tbsps soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up sesame oil in a large skillet.
- Saute garlic over medium heat. Add carrots, and cook until softened.
- Add pepper flakes, cauliflower, onions, green peas, corn, and soy sauce.
- Cook until rice and vegetables are tender, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm. Leftovers keep in a refrigerated airtight container for a couple of days, or freeze immediately for a shelf life of up to two months. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.4
Baked Cauliflower Tots
These make a great healthy, hand-held snack for everyone in the family. Dip these baked tots into your condiment of choice for even more flavor.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, riced
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsps panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Form the mixture into tater tot-sized mini logs. Squeeze out excess moisture if needed to help them keep their shape.
- Place in a lined baking tray, and bake in a preheated oven (350 F) until golden brown (about 25 minutes).
- Serve warm with a dipping sauce (like marinara), or cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.5
How To Store Or Freeze Cauliflower Rice
Make cauliflower rice ahead and have this versatile vegetable handy. For long storage, it’s best to cook cauliflower rice first. Raw riced cauliflower develops a pungent smell when refrigerated. Steamed or sauteed cauliflower rice can be kept in the refrigerator for about four days. You can also opt to remove all moisture from your raw cauliflower rice by pressing it with paper towels or a dish cloth. Then, place it in an airtight freezer bag and freeze it for a month.6
Expand Your Culinary Repertoire With Cauliflower Rice
After mastering the basic prep method, you’ll find cauliflower rice is an easy ingredient to work with. Try experimenting with different herbs and spices when seasoning plain cauliflower rice. Consider adding it to soups and stews to boost the veggie (and nutrition) content. With these easy cauliflower rice recipes, you can show your family how tasty it is to enjoy healthier food options.