Learn how to make cauliflower rice with and without a food processor! In a few simple steps, you will have a healthy, low-carb, paleo alternative to rice that can be used in a variety of ways, in just about any dish that calls for grains, like rice or quinoa. Cooking tips and recipe included!
Today, we’re going to talk about my favorite low-carb side dish: cauliflower rice! Have you tried it, yet?
If not, it’s time to learn a couple of simple methods for how to make cauliflower rice and how to cook it. Cauliflower rice is really versatile: as a delicious side dish, as a substitute for rice with stir fries, etc., or turned into something completely surprising, such as tortillas or pizza crust.
I know, you can buy cauliflower rice from the store, but why do that when it’s SO easy to make your own, plus it’s super fresh that way!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- A healthy side: Filling, nutrient-rich, low in carbs, and low in calories, this cauliflower rice recipe is also gluten-free and keto-friendly!
- Flavorful: Cauliflower may be a bit bland for some, but we’ll show you how to season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or any of your favorite spices).
- Easy to make: This delicious side is so easy to prep with a simple process and just a few ingredients. Less than 20 minutes from the kitchen to the table!
What you need
Cauliflower rice is the perfect low-carb side dish recipe to serve with a variety of main meals. You can also convert this uncooked cauliflower rice into lots of recipes, from pizza crusts to tortillas. It can even be added to soups, burrito bowls or salads. Here’s what you’ll need for a simple side dish:
- Cauliflower: Look for a firm unblemished white head with compact florets. The outer leaves should be green and fairly fresh looking. The larger the cauliflower, the more rice you’ll get.
- Oil: Just a bit of heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil is needed for sautéing. If you prefer, you can also cook the “rice” with a bit of butter and/or another oil of your choice. Avocado oil is another great option.
- Flavor makers: Keep this simple or add other flavorings like minced garlic, diced onion, fresh herbs and/or any favorite spices.
- Salt and pepper: Simple seasoning that enhances the flavor of the “rice”. You can add other seasonings that you like, too.
How to rice cauliflower
Prepare the cauliflower
Before you proceed with the methods below, prepare the cauliflower by:
- Washing the whole head and thoroughly dry it.
- Remove all the green parts and discard them.
- Cut the cauliflower in half and remove the core.
- If you’re using a box grater, chop it into large chunks.
- If you’re using a food processor, chop it into small florets.
Box grater method
Grated cauliflower rice is fairly quick and easy, so if you don’t have a food processor, no problem. Just grate large chunks of cauliflower into rice using the medium-large sized holes (the side commonly used to grate cheese) of any hand-held or box grater.
This method is a little messier than using a food processor, but it’s also handy if you don’t have one or don’t feel like getting yours out. It also works well if you only need a small amount of cauliflower rice.
Food processor method
There are two easy ways for how to make cauliflower rice using a food processor. You can use a grater attachment or just toss chopped cauliflower right into the bowl of the processor. Either method works great! Here’s how:
- Grater attachment: Attach the grater attachment to your food processor. Feed the chopped small florets through the chute to grate into “rice”.
- No grater attachment: Fill the food processor container no more than halfway full with small cauliflower florets. Pulse back and forth until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. You may need to stop to scrape down the sides once or twice. Work in batches, as needed.
Tips for success
A few tips and tricks for perfect riced cauliflower every time!
- Once you’ve riced the cauliflower, we recommend transferring it to a clean dish towel or paper towel, then press or squeeze to remove any excess moisture, which can make your dish soggy.
- When you see that most of the cauliflower in the food processor has the right texture, but there are still a few large pieces, stop. Remove the larger pieces, scrape the rice out of the processor into a large bowl, and put the large pieces into the next batch. Don’t over process the cauliflower into tiny bits or it will turn out like mush.
- When cooking the rice as a side dish, feel free to season it any way you like. Just like white rice, you can make a pilaf, season it with southwestern spices, or add pretty much whatever you like.
- If you’re using cauliflower rice in salads or as a soup mix-in, there’s no need to cook it first. When it’s being used as a side, in a pilaf, or as the base for a veggie bowl, it can benefit from a quick sauté in a pan.
Frequently asked questions
Try to avoid leaving the riced cauliflower on the heat too long, so it doesn’t become overly soft and soggy. Quickly cook it in about 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Weight loss depends on your diet as a whole, but it’s low calorie and definitely a great way to get more vegetables into your diet, which is always a good idea. Cauliflower rice is a popular choice if you’re following a low-carb diet. In addition, Healthline states that cauliflower is an almost perfect source of many vitamins and minerals, it’s high in fiber, antioxidants, and choline, an important nutrient that many people are lacking.
Cauliflower is an amazing veggie option for those who are on the keto diet. It has a very low carb content and it’s the perfect substitute for rice and potatoes due to its texture and taste.
Make ahead option
A whole head of cauliflower makes quite a bit of “rice”! The good news is you can freeze the raw cauliflower rice in labeled freezer bags. It will keep for up to six months.
There’s no need to thaw frozen cauliflower rice before cooking it. However, you may need to add a bit more cooking time.
Storing & reheating leftovers
Cooked cauliflower rice will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat, warm it up in a skillet or individual portions in the microwave.
More cauliflower recipes
Looking for more easy, healthy recipes made with cauliflower? Give these favs a try:
Thanks so much for reading! If you make this recipe I would love for you to give it a ★ rating below. And be sure to follow me on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for more healthy food inspiration. Cheers!
How To Make Cauliflower Rice (with or without a food processor!)
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into large or small chunks depending on ricing method
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- garlic powder and/or another seasoning to taste
- salt & pepper to taste
- Wash the cauliflower then remove all the green leaves. Cut in half and remove the core.
- Grater Method: Cut the cauliflower into large chunks and then grate into rice using medium-sized holes
- Food Processor Method: Chop the cauliflower into small florets. You can use a grater attachment for your food processor or just toss it right into the container and pulse a few times until it resembles grains of rice.
- Sauté the "rice" in a large skillet over medium heat with oil. Cover with a lid so the cauliflower steams and becomes more tender. Cook for a total of 5-8 minutes, then season as desired.