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I’ve been scouring menus for restaurants in the Los Angeles area for the past few weeks because we’re leaving for a trip on Wednesday. I always love researching restaurants when we travel, but this time has been particularly interesting. LA has so many more low carb options on their menus than we have here in the Midwest. I even found a place that serves paleo cauliflower fried rice!
The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because it reminded me to share my own low carb cauliflower fried rice recipe, too. (Get an overview on how to make cauliflower rice here.)
So… confession time! It’s a little strange for me to be posting this. Truth be told, I was never a rice person.
In fact, I didn’t like rice even before I started eating low carb. My husband (then boyfriend) used to make fun of me for not liking the food that practically half the world uses as their main diet staple. (He was referring to mostly Asian countries.)
I still stand by the fact that I don’t like rice. To me, it’s about the texture, plus the carbs are excessive. Even if you don’t care about carbs, it’s a poor choice of calories in exchange for the level of nutrition it provides.
Fortunately, I came around to cauliflower rice. Once I did some testing and found my favorite way to prepare it, I actually fell in love with low carb cauliflower fried rice.
Anyway, my husband is happy, because this easy cauliflower fried rice recipe is the closest to rice that he gets to have at our house. Not that I’d stop him from making it, but he won’t.
I have to admit, at first I wasn’t sure about paleo cauliflower rice. I was worried it might taste too much like cauliflower. And I love cauliflower, but maybe not so much as a rice replacement.
In particular, the smell of steamed cauliflower was a deterrent. The good news is that I found some tricks to minimize that. Which is great, because cauliflower rice has lots of benefits…
Paleo Cauliflower Rice – Low Carb & Healthy
When you use cauliflower rice, you can prepare virtually all the same meals that you would with normal rice. The difference is the nutritional advantages.
First and foremost, it’s wonderful for so many diets. It’s a great alternative for a keto lifestyle but is equally awesome if you are paleo or trying out the whole 30. This easy, low carb cauliflower fried rice recipe is also vegetarian, though not vegan, because of the egg.
Cauliflower does share some nutrients in common with rice. It has vitamin B-6, iron, and calcium in common with rice. But, cauliflower rice has double the amount of each per cup.
Meanwhile, cauliflower is extremely high in vitamin C. One cup of cauliflower rice has almost 80% the recommended daily value! It’s also a great source of vitamin K, folate, potassium, and fiber.
That brings me to the most obvious benefit of paleo cauliflower rice. It’s keto and low carb, too!
Carbs & Calories in Cauliflower Fried Rice
The amount of carbs and calories in cauliflower fried rice will vary a bit. It depends on how you prepare it.
Pure riced cauliflower, with nothing added, is just 25 calories and 3 grams net carbs per cup. Of course, that would be pretty tasteless, so this amount will be higher once you prepare it in some way. (And, paleo cauliflower fried rice is my favorite way!)
Overall, both calories and carbs in cauliflower rice will be relatively low with almost any method. It’s hard to get around that. Fried rice with cauliflower is much lower carb than white rice. Just like spaghetti squash is a great low carb replacement for noodles.
Yet another reason for me to like it better!
This particular low carb cauliflower fried rice recipe makes about five cups. Each one-cup serving has only 127 calories and 6 grams net carbs.
The exact number will vary depending on how big a head of cauliflower you use. The nutrition label is based on approximately 4 cups of riced cauliflower.
So if it’s 4 cups of cauliflower rice, why does it make 5 servings? The rest of the volume comes from the other ingredients. Together, they make up my favorite way to prepare paleo cauliflower rice.
But before we talk about what to do with cauliflower rice, you need to know how to make riced cauliflower itself. Don’t worry, it’s super easy…
How To Make Riced Cauliflower
The easiest method for how to make cauliflower rice is by using a food processor. It’s probably my most used kitchen tool, so I highly recommend it if you don’t have one yet.
Before you begin, remove the leaves and stems from the cauliflower. The best cauliflower rice comes from the florets, so ideally you’ll want to remove as much of the stem part as possible. You can save the stems for another use if you’d like.
With the food processor, there are two ways to make cauliflower rice. The way I usually do it is by fitting the food processor with a grating blade, then pushing the florets down into the food processor as it’s running.
The grating blade gets you the most uniform results. Plus, it’s fast because you can keep the food processor running constantly.
If you don’t have a grating blade, you can also use the regular S-shaped blade. If you do, you’ll need to pulse the cauliflower in bursts. You run the risk of uneven pieces, though.
For those that don’t have a food processor, no worries! You can still make cauliflower rice.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice Without A Food Processor
How do you make cauliflower rice without a food processor? It’s still easy, just a little more effort. Simply use a box grater instead.
This is the so-called “old-fashioned” technique for how to rice cauliflower. I say “so-called”, because I’m not sure if the concept of cauliflower rice actually existed before food processors. But full disclosure – I have no idea how old either of them is, so I could be totally wrong about that!
Anyway, using a box grater manually will work just fine for ricing cauliflower. Grate it over a big bowl and you’re good to go.
I actually do use a food processor for making cauliflower rice, but I still have a tip about using the box grater method. Use cut resistant gloves! That way, you can get super close to the grater and not worry about nicking your fingers.
Where To Buy Cauliflower Rice
What if you don’t want to rice cauliflower yourself? You don’t have to because stores carry it now. Yep, you can buy it!
It first started popping up a few years ago. In my area, they have it at Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods. Chances are at least one of your local grocery stores carries it.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of caveats if you are considering buying cauliflower rice.
First of all, it’s expensive. Pre-packaged cauliflower rice is about double the price compared to homemade cauliflower rice.
Second, it goes bad extremely quickly. Like, you might blink a couple times and it’s already bad! Ha.
But seriously, you usually have to use it within a day of purchasing. Just keep that in mind. I only buy the pre-packaged stuff if I’m short on time and I know I’ll be making low carb cauliflower fried rice that day.
The Best Way To Cook Cauliflower Rice
Okay, so you have your riced cauliflower – whether you made it yourself or purchased it. On to the important part…
Now, what is the best way to cook cauliflower rice? Or even better, how to make cauliflower fried rice out of it?
It’s actually super quick and easy! This is truly a no-fuss recipe. You’ll have your paleo cauliflower rice stir fry on the table in less than 20 minutes.
My cauliflower fried rice is made with egg. If you want a version without it and don’t mind soy, try this recipe from Simply So Healthy.
For the best cauliflower rice stir fry, the first step is to saute the veggies. I like to do it in a little butter for flavor, but feel free to use avocado oil, olive oil, or ghee.
Don’t use high heat, though, to prevent oxidation. If you prefer to use high heat, stick to fats with a high smoke point, like avocado oil.
Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until the onions are just starting to brown. This initial sauteing lets the flavors develop in the veggies. If you like caramelized onions, feel free to cook for longer to get that effect.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with some salt and pepper. Push the veggies aside, add the eggs away from the veggie area, and cook until the eggs are just barely scrambled. You don’t want them too dry – they’ll finish cooking in the next step.
Push everything aside again, add more butter or oil to the pan, and increase the heat. Toss in the cauliflower rice, along with more salt and pepper.
Stir fry the paleo cauliflower rice for about five minutes, until soft. It should be tender, but not mushy.
Before you add the finishing touches, check out my tips for cauliflower rice stir fry…
Tips for Making Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
Here are some tips about the cauliflower rice stir fry process (and how to avoid that smell!):
- Make sure the heat is high enough. You want medium-high to high heat.
- Don’t cover the pan. This causes the cauliflower to steam and worsens the smell.
- Don’t overcook the cauliflower rice. It will get mushy, and it will smell, too.
Once the cauliflower has the texture you want, turn off the heat. Stir in the coconut aminos, sesame oil, and green onions.
Adding the aminos last prevents it from absorbing too much into the cauliflower and making it too mushy. The sesame oil also has to be added after cooking, because it has a very low smoke point.
And… that’s it. That’s all it takes to make this easy paleo cauliflower fried rice recipe. Now, I’m curious to try the restaurant version in LA!
More Low Carb Cauliflower Rice Recipes
- Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
- Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice
- Cheesy Cauliflower Tots
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rolls
And, check out all more low carb cauliflower recipes here.
Tools To Make Cauliflower Fried Rice:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Box Grater – With 4 different sizes, this handy grater will be in and out of your cabinet all the time. The large grate is perfect for Cauliflower Fried Rice.
- Food Processor – This appliance is a workhorse! It will take all of the heavy lifting out of shredding, chopping, slicing, and mixing doughs. A food processor will grate cauliflower rice in seconds!
- Sauté Pan – Perfect for almost any stove top or oven application, a sturdy sauté pan is great for one pan dinners.
- Coconut Aminos – A clean substitute for soy sauce, Coconut Aminos is both soy and wheat free.
Easy Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe - Low Carb:
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Easy Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe - Low Carb
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- Rice the cauliflower: Remove the cauliflower leaves and stems. (Cut off as much of the stems as you can.) Push the cauliflower florets into a running food processor with a grating attachment, to make cauliflower rice. Alternatively, rice the cauliflower using a box grater.
- Saute the veggies: In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of butter. Add the garlic, onions, and red peppers. Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just starting to brown.
- Cook the eggs: Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with 1/2 tsp (2 g) sea salt and a pinch of black pepper. When the onion is done enough, push the veggies to one side of the skillet. (If the pan is dry, you can melt in more butter.) Add the whisked eggs to the other side and cook for a few minutes, until barely scrambled.
- Stir fry the cauliflower: Push everything to the side again and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once it melts, increase heat to medium-high, immediately add the cauliflower, and stir everything together to coat. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Stir fry for about 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy.
- Finishing flavors: Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut aminos, sesame oil, and chopped green onions.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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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. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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