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Are you wondering how to make cauliflower rice? The best methods for cooking cauliflower rice? And what the best cauliflower rice recipes are? You are in the right spot. This guide covers everything about making cauliflower rice keto style – and more!
Let’s start with the basics, then move on to how to make cauliflower rice – with a food processor and by hand – the best methods for cooking cauliflower rice, and then finally, plenty of 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 exactly what it sounds like: cauliflower that is cut into rice-like shape.
So what is cauliflower rice made of? CAULIFLOWER! That’s it! Homemade cauliflower rice is one ingredient.
There are different options for how to make cauliflower rice and many cauliflower rice recipes you can make with it. We’ll go over it all below.
Is Cauliflower Rice Better Than Rice?
I certainly think that cauliflower rice is better than rice! I’ve never been a big fan of rice, but once I started down the path of a low carb lifestyle and eventually keto, cauliflower rice was a delicious, natural, nutritious swap for regular grain-based rice.
Does Cauliflower Rice Taste Like Rice?
Yes, cauliflower rice does taste a little like rice! Because rice is a pretty bland and mild food, and often used as the base of a more flavorful meat, stir fry, sauce, etc., plain rice on it’s own is very basic.
Same with this plain cauliflower rice recipe. It is a blank canvas. 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.
So you also may be wondering this: Is cauliflower rice good? And the answer is yes! Many people find that it’s an easy low carb and keto alternative to regular rice.
The key to cauliflower like rice, is in the size and the cooking method. (More on that below.)
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.
Here is the easiest way to cut cauliflower rice:
- 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 cauliflower rice is with a food processor – mostly because it’s so fast! You can easily rice an entire head of cauliflower in mere minutes.
Let me show you how to make cauliflower rice with a food processor:
- Prep your food processor with the grater attachment. Attach the grater disc and feed tube and you’re ready to grate.
TIP: The grater blade is key – don’t use the knife S blade, which can make some pieces too fine while others stay too large!
- 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 cauliflower rice part way through.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice Without A Food Processor
While the food processor may be easiest way to make cauliflower rice, 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, 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
Now that we’ve made our “rice,” let’s get to how do you cook cauliflower rice? I’m going to share my favorite method for how to prepare cauliflower rice.
- Heat a generous amount of oil over medium-high heat, in a large skillet or wok.
- Add in the cauliflower rice 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 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 not a cauliflower mash.
- 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 cauliflower rice 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 cauliflower rice for casseroles. If you are using cauliflower rice in a casserole, such as cheeseburger casserole or buffalo chicken 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 moisture, then it can be okay to add raw.
- If using sauce, adjust the amount. Cauliflower rice does not soak up moisture as much as regular rice does, so you may need less sauce if you use it as a replacement in a recipe.
How Much Cauliflower Rice In A Head Of Cauliflower?
When you’re trying to determine how much cauliflower rice to make, here is a general rule of thumb. Note that cauliflower heads will vary in size, so this is an estimate!
- 1 very large head = 3 lb with leaves & stems = 8 cups or 2 lb cauliflower rice
- 1 medium head = 1.5 lb with leaves & stems = 4 cups or 1 lb cauliflower rice
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.
Is Cauliflower Rice Keto?
Yes, cauliflower rice is definitely keto. It’s one of the (many) reasons that I love it so much.
How many carbs in cauliflower rice? You’ll love the answer to this common question.
One cup of this keto rice has just 4 grams net carbs, making it the perfect addition or side dish to your favorite keto meals.
Is Cauliflower Rice Good For You?
Yes, cauliflower rice is good for you! Not only are the cauliflower rice carbohydrates low, but the rice is made from vegetables!
It’s a delicious way to eat a serving of vegetables and still stay within desired carb levels.
Cauliflower Rice Nutrition
How many carbs in cauliflower rice? Just 4 grams of net carbs!
I share the full cauliflower rice nutritional facts below, but here are some of the highlights per 1 cup of prepared cauliflower rice:
- 98 calories
- 7 grams carbohydrates
- 7 grams fat
- 3 grams fiber
Is cauliflower rice paleo? Yes! The only ingredients in this cauliflower rice keto/paleo is cauliflower, oil, salt, and pepper. The original recipe calls for olive oil, but you could also use avocado oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter, depending on your paleo fat of choice.
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 stores carry cauliflower rice around the United States.
You’ll find the pre-made cauliflower rice either frozen or fresh, and both options work well.
TIP: If you’re are buying the fresh cauliflower rice, make sure that it is fresh and doesn’t have any brown spotting on it. It goes bad fairly quickly.
How Long Does Cauliflower Rice Last?
Freshly riced cauliflower (homemade or from the store) will last about 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Any longer and it starts to get a bit mushy and stinky!
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 cauliflower rice 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, cool, and 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 the keto cauliflower rice.
The Best Cauliflower Rice Recipes
Now that you know how to cook cauliflower rice, the best part: how to use cauliflower rice and what to make with cauliflower rice! There are so many delicious ways to eat this nutritious vegetable.
- Easy Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice – A natural choice, this classic recipe will show you just how delicious cooking cauliflower rice can be.
- Cheesy Low Carb Cauliflower Tots – These easy and healthy tots need just 4 ingredients.
- Easy Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust – Yes, even pizza is a possibility when it comes to cooking cauliflower rice.
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice – A Mexican twist on this classic side dish.
- Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rolls – Yes, really, it’s low carb sushi!
- Gemista Greek Stuffed Tomatoes – In this Greek classic, traditional white rice gets a nutritious swap.
What To Eat With Cauliflower Rice
Obviously, a cauliflower rice dish makes the perfect side to so many meals:
- Coconut Curry Chicken – Scoop up every last drop of this thick and rich sauce with your cauliflower rice keto.
- Keto Korean Ground Beef Bowl – Flavorful ground beef pairs perfectly with cauli rice.
- Paleo Keto Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – Double the veggies in this meal!
- Grilled Ground Lamb Kebabs – Add some fresh mint and parsley to the rice for a Mediterranean meal.
- Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry or Slow Cooker Orange Chicken – These are not strictly low carb, but great paleo options.
- Best Easy Carne Asada – Serve sliced carne asada over cauli rice, and top with salsa, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
Tools To Make Cauliflower Rice:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Box Grater – Make your cauli rice by hand with a box grater.
- Food Processor – The ideal method for making cauliflower rice keto.
- Nonstick Wok – The best pan for cooking cauliflower rice – no cauliflower lost over the sides!
- Vacuum Sealer – If you’re freezing cauli rice, using a vacuum sealer is the way to go.
Reader Fave Keto Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
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.
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RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click 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:
Don't miss the VIDEO above - it's the easiest way to learn how to make Cauliflower Rice!
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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