What’s Inside: If you thought cauliflower rice was boring or bland, think again! Learn how to make this naturally low-carb and gluten-free side dish super flavorful and delicious with simple, healthy ingredients from fresh or frozen.
What Is Cauliflower Rice?
Have you ever tried eating or making cauliflower rice? It’s a super versatile, light side dish made from finely chopped or grated cauliflower that can be eaten raw or cooked. It goes with nearly everything and is a great substitute for standard grains like white or brown rice and potatoes.
But cauliflower rice sometimes get a bad rap for being bland or mushy (when it’s not prepared properly). The trick to making flavorful cauliflower rice lies in what you add to it and how you cook it.
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It’s a no-brainer why I love homemade cauliflower rice. It’s a naturally low-carb, gluten-free, veggie-based side dish that’s a breeze to make for any occasion. Whether you can make it from frozen or fresh, it’s fast and tasty.
To make it fresh, you’ll chop, grate or add florets to a food processor until small, “rice” forms. My preference, though, is to buy frozen cauliflower rice because it’s so handy and makes less of a mess than making it from fresh. You can find frozen cauliflower rice at most grocery stores these days, but make sure to read the label to make sure there are no hidden sugars that are typically included in flavored packaged cauliflower rice.
You only need two ingredients to make delicious cauliflower rice at home from fresh or frozen cauliflower! You’ll need about 4 cups of riced cauliflower and 1 tablespoon of healthy fat or oil to cook it in, like ghee or extra virgin olive oil. But don’t stop there! This side dish needs flavor added to it, so play with various fresh or dried seasonings and aromatics to best fit your palette.
I like making Lemon-Garlic Cauliflower Rice using minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt, as well as Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice with fresh chopped cilantro, lime zest and juice, and sea salt.
This easy cauliflower rice recipe and its possible variations are packed with wholesome ingredients that can keep it dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-carb, as well as compliant with AIP, Paleo, and Whole30 diets!
Along with only requiring two ingredients, there are only two steps to making delicious homemade riced cauliflower (and only one if making from frozen!):
In a skillet, add ghee or oil over medium-low heat. Add the prepared cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen), and season with desired seasonings. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon, and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until rice is soft (but not mushy). Season as desired, and enjoy!
If you’re making your cauliflower rice fresh from a head of cauliflower, do the following before you start cooking:
Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, and add florets to a food processor.
Process until the cauliflower is “riced” using the S-blade, and add to a bowl, and set aside.
Tips for Making the Best Cauliflower Rice
Use a delicious cooking fat or oil: My preference is to use ghee or grass-fed butter for a more creamy and delicious flavor, but extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil also work great. You want to sauté the cauliflower directly from frozen (without thawing) or fresh. Unlike traditional rice, cauliflower won’t absorb much liquid, as it’s not a dry, grain, so there’s no need to add water. However, adding a little broth or bone broth can be a great addition and base layer for flavor.
Add more veggies: Use shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, diced onions, chopped peppers, or broccoli rice to make it even more tasty and nutrient dense. For example, in my Spanish Cauliflower Rice recipe, I added in shredded carrots for color, texture, taste and nutrients. It also pairs well with any other veggie side you’d like and makes a great bowl as a bed to some flavorful meat, too!
Add dried seasonings, aromatics, and fresh herbs: Cauliflower rice is a plain base dish that needs flavor! Play with various flavor variations like some of my favorites listed below, and be sure to always taste as you cook to get it just right for you.
Use your food processor to make easy fresh riced cauliflower: While you can grate or even chop a fresh head of cauliflower or cauliflower floret to make riced cauliflower, it is typically a very messy endeavor, which is why I always use frozen riced cauliflower or make it fresh in the food processor. The best way to make cauliflower rice in the food processor is with the S-blade, or the grating attachment. Just make sure to squeeze out any excess moisture before sautéing.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
Store cooled, leftover riced cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze this easy cauliflower rice in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 6 months.
Reheat in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat or in the microwave until it’s warmed through and any excess water has evaporated.
My Favorite Cauliflower Rice and Veggie-Based Rice Recipes
1tbspghee, grass-fed butter, or extra-virgin olive oil
4cupsfrozen cauliflower rice (Do not defrost!)
1tbspghee, grass-fed butter, or extra-virgin olive oil
Cut the head of cauliflower into florets and add florets to a food processor*. Process until the cauliflower is "riced" and add to a bowl, set aside.
Heat a skillet with ghee or oil over medium heat. Once ready, add the riced cauliflower. Stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes while it softens (approx. 3-5 mins). Season as desired.
In a skillet, add ghee or oil over medium-low heat. Add cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen) and season with seasonings. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon and cook for 5-8 minutes until rice is soft. Season as desired.