Cauliflower Rice

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Learn how to make cauliflower rice in under 15 minutes! This low carb and keto vegetables alternative to traditional rice is a great way to sneak in extra veggies.


Want to make a fresh batch of basic cauliflower rice? Here's a simple tutorial on how to do it! You only need three simple ingredients to make this flavorful and versatile cauliflower rice recipe. It's low carb and high in nutrients!

Cauliflower rice, also sometimes called cauliflower couscous, is a great way to cut carbs and calories in your meal prep without sacrificing taste. This cauliflower rice recipe will show you how to make cauliflower rice from scratch using only 3 simple ingredients.

Trust me - you'll love this recipe because it's delicious AND healthy! I ate some last night with Indian butter chicken and was completely satisfied. It's a great way to lighten up any dish that usually is served with rice and is such a great way to add more veggies to your day. 

Homemade cauliflower rice made with cauliflower florets cooked in olive oil and served in a wooden bowl.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

There are literally just three simple ingredients in this recipe. You can probably guess what they are, too!

  • Cauliflower: Obviously, you need cauliflower to make this rice. I used an entire head of cauliflower for the recipe. If you want to make less, you could buy some pre-chopped cauliflower florets and use them instead of a whole cauliflower.
  • Olive Oil: The olive oil keeps it from burning, and it gives the rice a delicious flavor too. The perfect alternatives to olive oil are ghee, butter, avocado oil. or coconut oil.
  • Salt And Pepper: Use as much salt and pepper as you want until it tastes perfect to you. This is a very basic recipe that is easy to customize. If you want it to have a bolder flavor, add some Italian spices or even some red pepper flakes.

Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this cauliflower rice recipe, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

  • Food processor: The easiest and fastest way to make cauliflower rice is to add the florets to the food processor and pulse it into small pieces. You can use the grater for more uniform pieces or just blitz it in the bottom of the food processor. Work in batches and make sure not to overfill the bowl of the food processor or the bottom florets will turn into mush.
  • Box grater: Use the medium-sized holes on a box or cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into small, rice size pieces. Just be careful of your hands when doing this since it is easy to cut yourself. 
  • Get rid of excess moisture: Use a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to gently press the rice and remove any excess moisture.
  • Saute: For best results, gently fry the cauliflower rice over medium high heat in about a tablespoon of oil or butter until tender about 6-8 minutes.  If the rice begins to burn in the pan at all, add a few tablespoons of water.
  • Microwave: You can also microwave the rice until tender, about 4-6 minutes depending on the amount. 

What To Serve With Cauli Rice

One of the fantastic things about cauliflower rice is how incredibly versatile it is! There are so many things you can do with it and ways you can serve it. It's one of my favorite healthy side dish recipes because of this very reason.

After you master this basic recipe, you can use it in main dish recipes like cauliflower shrimp fried rice or pork fried cauliflower rice. It's delicious in stir-fries, tastes great with almost any protein, and even is a great replacement in recipes like tabouleh and cold rice dishes.

This recipe is also a basic side dish that compliments bolder foods like baked teriyaki chicken. Or, use it as a white rice substitute with sesame steak. Since it has such mild flavors, it can literally go with almost anything you make.

Recipe Tips And Ideas For Riced Cauliflower

Follow these tips to make sure that this cauliflower rice turns out crispy and tasty every single time!

  • The easiest way to make this cauliflower rice is with a food processor. This also prevents you from making a huge mess - as you chop up cauliflower, you'll notice it gets everywhere.
  • If you use a box grater instead of a food processor, be prepared for small bits of cauliflower to make a mess on the countertop. Place a large piece of parchment paper on the table to make cleanup easier.
  • Only saute or microwave the cauliflower rice until it is just barely tender. If you overcook it, it will be too soft and won't have the same rice-like texture.

Flavor Ideas

There are so many great ways to flavor cauliflower rice. Basically any way you can season regular rice, you can season cauliflower rice. Here are some to try:

  • Cilantro lime: Make a lightened-up cilantro lime rice by adding fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro to the cauliflower rice after cooking.
  • Mexican: Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder or fresh jalapenos to the cauliflower rice to make a low carb version of classic Mexican or Spanish rice.
  • Parmesan lemon: If you love cheesy rice, add butter, minced garlic, fresh Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice to your cauli rice. Then top it with fresh herbs like parsley or basil.
  • Asian: Season the cooked rice with soy sauce to create a fried rice style cauliflower rice. Add carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs to make heartier fried rice. 

Low carb cauliflower rice with fresh cauliflower served with cilantro on the side.

Meal and Meal Prep Ideas

There are so many ways to use cauliflower rice! It will work as a replacement in almost any recipe that calls for rice and is an easy side dish for almost any cuisine since the flavor is neutral.  Here are some recipes that use cauliflower rice you will definitely want to try:

If you are storing cauliflower rice in the fridge, make sure to cook it first. Raw cauliflower rice will develop a fully, strong smell and start to brown quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...

How many carbs are in cauliflower rice?

In a 3/4-cup serving, there are 5g total carbs. If you are on the keto diet, you probably want to know how many net carbs there are. To calculate net carbs, you subtract the dietary fiber.

So. there are 3g net carbs in 3/4 cup.

What are the cauliflower rice calories?

In 3/4 of a cup, there are just 44 calories. This is the calculation for the plain cauliflower rice. If you add more butter or a type of sauce, then the calories will increase. 

How do you store this dish?

The best way to store cauliflower rice is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze riced cauliflower?

Yes, you can freeze cauliflower rice and save it for later! Let it cool down completely, and then place it in a plastic resealable freezer-safe food storage bag. Lay the bag flat on a baking sheet, and then put the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the bag is completely frozen, you can take it off of the baking sheet.

Using a baking sheet to "flash freeze" the rice first prevents it from freezing around other items in your freezer.

Can you make riced cauliflower without a food processor?

Yes, you can make riced cauliflower without a food processor - it will just make a much bigger mess and take a little more time. Use a box grater to shred up the cauliflower into rice-like pieces.

Keto cauliflower rice in a bowl with rice sized pieces of cauliflower cooked with olive oil and spices.

The Recipe
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Cauliflower Rice

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  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

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Food processor: If you have a grater attachment, you will get the best results. If not, you can process in the normal way. Add three cauliflower florets to the food processor and grate into small rice like pieces.

Food processor with cauliflower being pulsed into rice like pieces.

Box grater: Carefully grate the cauliflower quarters against the medium-sized holes of the box grater. Repeat until the whole cauliflower is in small rice like pieces.

Cauliflower being grated into rice on a box grater.

Saute method: Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a small pan over medium heat. Stir to lightly saute and then cover for 5-7 minutes to steam until rice is tender. Season well with salt, pepper, and your favorites spices or herbs.

Cauliflower rice being sauteed in a pan with olive oil.

Microwave option: Add the cauliflower to a microwave-safe container with a lid. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and toss with oil if desired. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Season to taste.

Cauliflower rice in a microwave container.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 44
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 29mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Cauliflower Rice
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December 13, 2021 - 01:47
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I blend 1/2 cup riced cauliflower into my protein shake
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April 12, 2019 - 22:29
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Option: Add 12-15 fresh Brussel Sprouts to Cauliflower Rice. Process same as cauliflower. Mix together and follow recipe. Unique and delicious.
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