Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

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This low carb Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice takes less than twenty minutes to make! It's the perfect healthy side dish for any meal and a great base for taco and burrito bowls.


Are you obsessed with cauliflower rice as much as I am? Well, you just have to check out this version using cilantro leaves and freshly squeezed lime juice- it's delicious! This Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is bursting with fresh flavors! As an added bonus, it's low-carb, paleo-friendly, and a perfect Chipotle copycat.

Cauliflower rice has become a staple for many low-carb, Paleo, gluten-free, and calorie-conscious dieters. It's a terrific replacement for rice, and plain riced cauliflower can be used as a substitute in just about any rice recipe!

This Chipotle copycat, however, brings the flavors of lime and cilantro to the cauliflower rice, which makes it a perfect side dish for Mexican and Asian dishes. It will keep in the fridge for a few days, so don't be scared to make up a big batch.

Once you start making this recipe, you'll want to have it in your fridge all the time!

Low carb cauliflower rice cooked with fresh cauliflower, lime juice, and cilantro served in two wooden bowls.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

The fresher the ingredients, the better it will taste! I used only the freshest ingredients in my cauliflower rice, and you can definitely taste a difference. Here's a bit more information about what I used to make homemade cilantro lime cauliflower rice.

  • Cauliflower: I used an entire head of cauliflower in this recipe, and it made enough for six servings. If you want to make less, you can grab some pre-chopped cauliflower florets and use those instead.
  • Olive Oil: You need a healthy type of oil for sauteing cauliflower and garlic. Use either olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil.
  • Garlic Cloves: Trust me, whole garlic cloves will have a MUCH better flavor than garlic powder. But, pre-minced garlic or even garlic powder will do.
  • Lime Juice: Squeezing fresh juice from a lime tastes slightly sweeter than jarred lime juice. In a pinch, fresh-squeezed lemon juice can also work as a substitute.
  • Cilantro: I chopped up about 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro. You can use as much as you want. If you really love cilantro, add more!
  • Salt And Pepper: Add as much as you want until it tastes flavorful. You won't need very much because the rest of the ingredients are quite powerful.

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

What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

I love how versatile cauliflower rice is - and this recipe is no different. There are so many things you can do with it and ways you can serve it. This is why cauliflower rice is one of my favorite healthy side dish recipes to make. It's the perfect thing to serve at your next Tex Mex party or for Taco Tuesday!

The restaurant chain Chipotle made this flavor combination super popular, so use their menu as inspiration. Use it as filling in your chicken burrito bowls. Or, add it to the rest of the ingredients in these homemade frozen burritos. You could also just put this rice on the side with some ancho chile ground beef tacos.

Another delicious idea is to mix this rice with the rest of the ingredients in fish taco bowls. It has lime slaw, so that flavor matches perfectly!

If you aren't feeling like Mexican food, this also pairs well with so many other recipes. Try it with this cilantro lime salmon, easy chicken recipe, or honey garlic shrimp stir-fry.

Recipe Tips And Ideas For Cilantro And Lime Cauliflower Rice

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

  • Save yourself time and energy and use a food processor. It makes the job super easy and keeps the mess contained too.
  • If you don't have a food processor, use a box grater to chop up the cauliflower into rice-like pieces.
  • Do not overcook the rice. Saute or microwave it just until it is barely tender. If you cook it too long, it will become soft and won't have the same rice-like texture.
  • Turn this into a meal with some chicken, steamed veggies, and creamy cilantro lime sauce.

Cauliflower florets being added to a food processor to make cauliflower rice with the outer leaves on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you are one of those people that thinks cilantro tastes like soap, don't worry! You can use fresh parsley, chives, or green onions instead of cilantro. It will taste delicious with any (or even all) of those choices.

Yes, you can freeze cilantro lime cauliflower rice and save it for later! I recommend freezing it as plain rice (without the cilantro) and then adding fresh cilantro when you reheat it. This way, you will experience the fullest flavor from the fresh herbs.

Here's how you freeze cilantro lime cauliflower rice:

  • First, let it cool completely.
  • Then, place it in a plastic resealable freezer-safe food storage bag.
  • Lay the bag flat on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in the freezer.
  • After the bag is completely frozen, you can take it off of the baking sheet.

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

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

Your cauliflower rice is probably soggy because you cooked it for too long. If you overcook cauliflower rice, it becomes super soft. For this reason, try to take it off the stove as soon as possible.

Cauliflower rice with cilantro leaves and fresh lime juice in a wooden bowl.
The Recipe
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Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

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  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt and pepper

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Remove the stem and outer green leaves. If using a food processor, roughly chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces. If using a box grater, cut into four quarters. Food processor: If you have a grater attachment, you will get the best results. If not, you can process it in the normal way. Add three cauliflower florets to the food processor and grate them into small 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. Press out any excess moisture using a paper towel.


Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and stir to lightly saute and then cover for 5-7 minutes to steam until rice is tender.


Turn off the heat and add the lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Cilantro and lime juice being added to cauliflower rice in a skillet.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 49
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 33mg
Total Carbohydrate 6g
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 Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
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June 1, 2017 - 22:13
can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?
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October 27, 2021 - 12:58
Absolutely! Any neutral cooking oil will work!
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