How To Make Cauliflower Rice – The Complete Guide
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Are you wondering how to make cauliflower rice (a.k.a. riced cauliflower)? The best methods for cooking it? And what the best cauliflower rice recipes are? This guide covers everything you need to know! You’ll turn to this keto cauliflower rice recipe again and again.
Let’s start with the basics, then move on to how to make homemade cauliflower rice (with a food processor and by hand), the best methods for cooking cauliflower rice, and then finally, plenty of keto cauliflower rice recipes that will surely get you into the kitchen and on your way to my favorite low carb, paleo and keto rice alternative!
What Is Cauliflower Rice?
Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that is cut into rice-like shape.
What is cauliflower rice made of?
CAULIFLOWER – that’s it! It’s just one ingredient, but of course, there are many things you can add when cooking cauliflower rice recipes.
Can you buy riced cauliflower?
You can make your own cauliflower rice, but if you’re short on time or looking for a shortcut, you can also buy it from the stores. Most grocery stores in the United States carry riced cauliflower, either fresh or frozen, and both options work well.
TIP: If you’re are buying already riced cauliflower, make sure that it is very fresh and doesn’t have any brown spotting on it. It goes bad fairly quickly.
Is cauliflower rice better than rice?
I certainly think that cauliflower rice is better than rice! It’s perfect for a low carb or keto diet, but even if you’re not following that lifestyle, cauliflower is healthier and much more nutrient dense than rice.
Does cauliflower rice taste like rice?
Yes, riced cauliflower does taste a little like rice! Because rice is a pretty bland and mild food on its own, and cauliflower is as well, this plain cauliflower rice recipe makes a good blank canvas rice substitute. Of course there is a tiny hint of cauliflower flavor in there, but it still makes a fabulous rice replacement, especially if you get the salt and seasonings right.
Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- Neutral flavor makes a great side or addition to anything
- Al dente texture
- Super easy to make
- Ready in less than 15 minutes
- Low carb, gluten-free, and keto friendly
- Healthy way to eat veggies
How To Cut Cauliflower For Cauliflower Rice
Whether you are making cauliflower rice in a food processor or using a box grater, you’ll want to cut it into large florets first.
- Wash and trim your head of cauliflower of any brown spots.
- Cut the cauliflower head into quarters. Just cut it in half, then in half again to make quarters.
- Hold a quarter of the cauliflower head vertically and use a knife to slice of the woody center. The florets will fall right off! Here’s a visual:
- If the florets are still too big, you can cut them a bit smaller as needed. (You can also use the same cutting method when making roasted broccoli and cauliflower!)
TIP: You don’t have to make tiny florets, but cut the cauliflower into pieces that will fit into the feed tube your food processor. If you’ll be using a box grater, you can get away with even larger florets.
How To Rice Cauliflower With A Food Processor
I think the best way to make riced cauliflower is with a food processor, because it’s so fast! You can easily rice an entire head of cauliflower in minutes.
- Prep your food processor with the grater attachment. Attach the grater disc and feed tube and you’re ready to grate.
- Start the food processor and feed cauliflower through the feed tube. If it’s an extra large head of cauliflower, you may need to empty out the food processor a couple of times.
TIP: I highly recommend the grater blade, not the knife S blade. The S blade can make some pieces too fine while others stay too large, plus the grater blade makes longer grains. However, if all you have is an S blade, or you prefer finer pieces, you can place the cauliflower into the food processor and pulse with the S blade instead. You may need to do this in batches.
How To Rice Cauliflower Without A Food Processor
While the food processor may be easiest way to make riced cauliflower, I do want to show you how to rice cauliflower by hand, too.
- Knife method: Yes, it is possible to make cauliflower rice with a knife. You simply chop, chop, chop that cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. A bit of work, but it does get the job done.
- Box grater method: If you’ll be using a box grater (sometimes called a cheese grater), cut the cauliflower into medium pieces and grate against the medium or large sized grater to get pieces about the size of rice.
How To Cook Cauliflower Rice On The Stove
- Heat a generous amount of oil over medium-high heat, in a large skillet or wok.
- Add the riced cauliflower and stir fry, just until cooked through.
TIP: Don’t overcook it! We’re going for al dente, not mushy. The color will change from bright white to a more muted ivory/cream color.
How Long To Cook Cauliflower Rice
Cooking cauliflower rice will take varying amounts of time, depending on the size of your rice and whether it’s fresh or frozen.
Fresh raw cauliflower rice takes about 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat, until the rice is soft, but not mushy.
If you are using frozen cauliflower rice, it will take an additional few minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated.
Tips For The Best Cauliflower Rice
I have a few tips for this foolproof and easy cauliflower rice recipe! From the right sized grains to the right texture, these are the keys to perfect low carb rice:
- Use the right food processor attachment. If you are using a food processor to make your rice, use the grate attachment, not the S blade. You’ll get more uniform cauli rice and longer “grains”.
- Use more florets and fewer stems. You can still use the stems if you like, but the flavor and texture is better if you use mostly florets. And with stems you sometimes get pieces that are too long, but with florets you won’t. Bags of cauliflower florets will also work well.
- Don’t overcook it. Make sure to watch your riced cauliflower when you are cooking it to avoid mushy cauliflower rice. It can get mushy quickly.
- Don’t cover it. We don’t want to steam our cauliflower, so leave the cover off so that the water can evaporate. When the pan is covered, you’re essentially steaming it. Steaming increases that cauliflower smell and makes it more mushy, sometimes even watery. Stir frying over high-ish heat is best.
- Don’t use water. Do not cook riced cauliflower in water like you would normal rice. It will just get soggy.
- Tip for cauliflower rice in soups: If you are adding riced cauliflower to soup, add it at the end, so that it only cooks for a few minutes.
- Pre-cook riced cauliflower for casseroles. If you are using cauliflower in a casserole, such as cheeseburger casserole, it’s best to cook it first. Otherwise, your casserole can get watery. The only exception is if your casserole has ingredients that can absorb excess moisture, then it can be okay to add raw.
- If using sauce, adjust the amount. Cauliflower rice does not soak up extra moisture as much as regular rice does, so you may need less sauce if you use it as a replacement in a recipe.
Additions & Variations
This riced cauliflower recipe is super basic — just cauliflower, oil, salt, and pepper. But, here are common additions that make cooking it even more delicious:
- Garlic – Saute a few cloves of garlic in the oil first, before adding the cauliflower rice.
- Fresh herbs – Add these at the end. Try parsley, cilantro, basil, or chives, depending on what you are serving with it.
- Dried seasonings – Try Italian or Cajun seasoning.
- Switch up the fat – I used olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil or ghee to fry the riced cauliflower. Butter is not great for high-heat cooking (some cauliflower rice recipes suggest medium heat, but I prefer medium high), but you can add some at the end for flavor.
- Lemons – Some fresh lemon zest or even a spash of lemon juice make delicious additions.
- Coconut aminos – A great addition for Asian flavors. It’s similar to soy sauce, but I avoid soy sauce for these reasons.
- Fried rice – Make cauliflower fried rice for a healthier takeout sub.
- Cilantro lime – Recipe coming soon in my second cookbook! (Sign up for the free keto food list here and then I’ll notify you once the book is ready.)
Cauliflower Rice Nutrition
The full cauliflower rice nutritional facts are below, but here are some of the highlights per 1 cup of this recipe:
- 98 calories
- 7 grams carbohydrates
- 7 grams fat
- 3 grams fiber
How many carbs in cauliflower rice?
Cauliflower rice has 7 grams of total carbs per cup, but only 4 grams net carbs per cup.
Is cauliflower rice good for you?
Yes, riced cauliflower is good for you! Not only are the cauliflower rice carbohydrates low, but it’s a delicious way to eat a serving of vegetables.
Is cauliflower rice keto?
Yes, since riced cauliflower is very low carb and all natural, it’s great for a keto diet.
How Much Cauliflower Rice In A Head Of Cauliflower?
When you’re trying to determine how much cauliflower rice to make, here is a good chart to use:
Cauliflower Head Size
Total Weight (With Leaves & Stems)
Volume Of Cauliflower Rice
Weight Of Riced Cauliflower
Note that cauliflower heads will vary in size, so this is an estimate!
The recipe card below contains ingredients per 1 lb cauliflower rice. If you end up with more or less, adjust the amounts of other ingredients accordingly.
Both cooked and uncooked cauliflower rice should be stored in the refrigerator.
How long does cauliflower rice last?
Freshly riced cauliflower (homemade or from the store) will last about 2-3 days in the refrigerator. If it’s cooked, it will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze cauliflower rice?
Yes, you can freeze fresh cauliflower rice, but you need to blanch it first. (This is what has been done for you with frozen cauli rice from the store.)
Blanching the cauliflower first is important to reduce enzyme activity, which can affect both flavor and texture. It’s the reason why freezing most vegetables completely raw is not recommended, but is perfectly fine after blanching.
Here is how to freeze cauliflower rice with the blanching method:
- Briefly submerge the riced cauliflower in boiling water, for about 30 seconds or so.
- Immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop all cooking.
- Drain, pat dry with a towel, and let cool.
- Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for 3-4 months.
How To Cook Frozen Cauliflower Rice
If you’re wondering how to cook cauliflower rice that’s been frozen, you can follow the same instructions as fresh cauliflower, but just know that it may take an additional few minutes to let all of the water evaporate.
TIP: Make sure to leave the pan uncovered to let the water evaporate. We don’t want to steam riced cauliflower.
The Best Cauliflower Rice Recipes
Now that you know how to cook cauliflower rice, here are some ideas for how to use it and what to make with it! It’s a great side dish, but can also be used to make meals. There are so many delicious dishes that incorporate this nutritious vegetable.
Find even more cauliflower recipes here.
What To Eat With Cauliflower Rice
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers that made this also viewed these recipes:
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
The complete guide for how to make cauliflower rice! Includes methods for making and cooking cauliflower rice (keto rice!), plus the best cauliflower rice recipes and what to serve with it.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Make cauliflower rice using a box grater or food processor with grater blade. (Skip if you have pre-made or frozen cauliflower rice.)
Season the raw cauliflower rice with sea salt and black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat, for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower rice. Stir fry 3-5 minutes, uncovered, until cauliflower rice is soft but not mushy. (Think al dente!) Do not cover. It may take a couple minutes longer if your cauliflower rice was frozen.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Serving size: 1 cup
Video Showing How To Make Cauliflower Rice:
Tap here to jump to the video for this recipe — it’s located directly above the ingredients list. It’s the easiest way to learn how to make Cauliflower Rice!
Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.
Total Carbs 7g
Net Carbs 4g
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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