How to Make Cauliflower Rice
Learn how to make cauliflower rice for a delicious side dish that incorporates more vegetables into your diet all while managing your carb intake! This easy recipe is the foundation for so many other low-carb vegan dishes including cauliflower fried rice. Plus video tutorial!
Cauliflower rice is simply a riced version of this cruciferous vegetable. It’s become wildly popular as a low-carb, paleo alternative to white rice, while still approximating the flavor and texture of rice. Along with cauliflower itself, cauliflower rice has 90% fewer calories and triple the fiber of white rice according to Stack.
In addition to being a terrific side dish, cauliflower rice is also used to make cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower fried rice. It’s a great go-to recipe you can make again and again.
STEP 1: RICING THE CAULIFLOWER
To prepare for ricing/shredding, remove the green leaves and cut the cauliflower into large chunks. Then shred them using one of these methods:
- Box grater: using a medium shred
- Food processor: using a grater attachment, or pulse with an S-blade as an alternative
- Blender: blend for 10-15 seconds using a large blender, or do it in batches in a small one
- Chef’s knife: make sure you have a large cutting board as it gets messy!
The goal for all methods is to get pieces the size of rice. One medium-size, raw head of cauliflower will yield about 4 cups, or 4 servings of cooked cauliflower rice.
Now if all this ricing seems like too much trouble, you can buy fresh or frozen bags of pre-riced cauliflower at grocery stores. It’s a super-convenient and time-saving option, although will cost you 2-3 times more than a cauliflower. Check expiry dates carefully to get the freshest product possible, and proceed to the next step.
STEP 2: COOKING CAULIFLOWER RICE
Once you’ve riced the cauliflower, it’s quick and easy to cook. Here are several ways to do it:
- Sautéed: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tbsp olive oil and cauliflower rice and sauté for 5-8 minutes.
- Steamed: Simply put the cauliflower rice in a steamer basket, cover and cook for 4-5 minute until tender
- Couscous: Place a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat; add 1 tbsp oil, cauliflower rice and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes or until tender.
- Baked: Place the cauliflower rice on a baking sheet, sprinkle on a pinch of salt and drizzle 1 tbsp oil. Bake at 400°F / 200°C for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Microwaved: Place the cauliflower rice and a pinch of salt in a 2-3 quart microwaveable bowl with lid. Microwave on high power for about 4 minutes until tender.
- Instant Pot
- Add the cauliflower rice and ½ cup water or broth to the Instapot. Close the lid and set to Manual High Pressure for 1 minute. Observing the manufacturer’s safety precautions, open the Quick Release valve to release pressure.
Baked cauliflower rice is my all-time fave with delicate nutty flavors. The texture tends to be softer and fluffier compared to stovetop cooking.
For the stovetop and oven methods, it’s best to check doneness a minute or two early, as overdone cauliflower rice will be mushy! If it does turn out like that for any reason, you can always use paper towels to soak up some of the excess moisture.
TIPS AND SECRETS FOR MAKING CAULIFLOWER RICE
- Pick a cauliflower with a creamy white color and densely packed florets without browning or blemishes. Fresh cauliflower is less likely to have a bitter taste.
- Remove excess moisture after shredding to get fluffiest texture. Use paper towels to pat dry the cauliflower rice before cooking. If steaming, you can skip this step.
- Use raw cauliflower rice in any recipe calling for cauliflower rice; substitute cooked cauliflower rice for recipes calling for cooked white rice.
- Uncooked cauliflower rice will last refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container or up to 1 month in in the freezer; cooked cauliflower rice will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE TASTY?
There are a few ways to eat cauliflower rice: raw, cooked plain or cooked & seasoned. People often complain cauliflower rice is bland, but it doesn’t need to be that way!
Cauliflower rice soaks up flavors incredibly well just like white rice. Here are a few quick seasoning combinations to consider to make it extra tasty:
- American: Grits-style with ¼ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup stock, season with salt and pepper, garnish with parmesan stirring occasionally until thickened
- Mediterranean: chopped tomato, garlic & fresh parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper
- Indian: 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, garlic powder
- Asian: 2 teaspoons soy sauce, ½ tsp sesame oil and minced scallions
You can also substitute cauliflower rice for white rice, as long as you cook it first to remove possible bitter notes. Experiment to see what you like best!
WATCH HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE:
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large head cauliflower, washed and dried
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Using a paring knife, remove the cauliflower's outer leaves and then cut the florets into 2-3 inch pieces.
- Wash the cauliflower pieces with cold water and use paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Rice the cauliflower pieces using either a box grater (coarse grate), food processor (grater attachment is S-blade) or blender.
Different Cooking Options
- Sautéeing: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and cauliflower rice and cover. Cook for 5-8 minutes until tender.
- Steaming: Place the cauliflower rice in a steamer basket with water on high heat. Steam for 4-5 minutes.
- Baking: Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Place cauliflower rice on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- Uncooked leftover cauliflower rice can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Cooked leftover cauliflower rice can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can generally substitute cauliflower rice for white rice in many recipes.
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