Cauliflower Fried Rice

This cauliflower fried rice is low-carb and paleo and gluten-free but you’d never know by tasting it. And it can be made with chicken, shrimp, or pork—or whatever leftovers are in your fridge.

A plate mounded with cauliflower fried rice on a wooden table.

If you’ve got any doubts that this cauliflower fried rice recipe is darn near indistinguishable from the real thing (we understand, we had them, too…BEFORE we tried this recipe), read what our recipe testers had to say after trying it at home. (You’ll find their comments just beneath the recipe.) Then try the recipe yourself and let us know just how convinced you are.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the sauce
  • For the cauliflower fried rice


Make the sauce

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Make the cauliflower fried rice

In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and fry, stirring, until scrambled and mostly dry, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, still over medium-high heat, and heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir-fry until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic, about 20 seconds.

Add the chicken, shrimp, or pork, if using, and stir-fry until the meat is warm, 1 to 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the cabbage, peas, cauliflower rice, and sauce, tossing to combine. Stir-fry until the cabbage wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Finally, add the eggs back in. Taste and add salt if needed. Drizzle with the sesame oil, toss, and remove from the heat. Serve as soon as possible. Add the chicken, shrimp, or pork, if using. Stir-fry until the meat is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Originally published February 8, 2016

Print RecipeBuy the Paleo Takeout cookbook

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    • Seafood Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Use cut-up raw shrimp, scallops, and/or squid instead of meat and add a few minutes cooking time.

    • Breakfast Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Use cooked bacon, sausage, and/or ham.

    • Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Add some chopped, drained kimchi at the end and cook just until warmed through.

    • Vietnamese Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Use shallots instead of the onion and pork for the meat.

    • Thai Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Use shallots instead of the onion and add 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk and 1 teaspoon curry paste.

    • Rich Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • For added richness, substitute 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter for 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil.

    • Meatless Monday Cauliflower Fried Rice
    • Omit the meat. (Kindly note there is a seafood element in the recipe due to the fish sauce and egg so it’s still not vegetarian.)

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    What a great, guilt-free recipe! I love traditional fried rice. Like, LOVE. But more often than not I am sitting down to dinner at 9 pm and feel apprehensive about eating so much rice so close to bedtime. This is a fantastic alternative.

    Being no different than other stir-fry recipes, prepping the ingredients is the key. This recipe moves fast, so get your ingredients chopped and portioned before you heat the pan. I'm not a fan of bok choy, so I subbed 1 cup shredded green cabbage. The final assembly of cabbage, "rice," peas, and sauce went super fast. Once the cabbage was wilted after 2 minutes, the dish was ready to serve.

    Total yield based on a large head of cauliflower was about 6 cups, enough for leftovers to take to lunch the next day. Delicious!

    You’re in for an interesting and fun culinary experience and a surprisingly delicious meal. Oh c’mon, don’t be skeptical—it’s the fluffiest “fried rice” you’ll ever have!

    The cauliflower rice is already tasty unadorned (it’s much more flavorful than I ever imagined) and the quick and easy sauce and aromatics make it even more enjoyable. There's a lot of room for flexibility here—a common thread among most fried rice recipes. Maybe a little Sriracha or red pepper flakes in the sauce for some heat, chopped cilantro or Thai basil over the finished dish, a drizzle of sesame oil at the end, etc. Don’t have leftover meat? Skip it. I did and the fried rice was quite satisfying without it.

    Let your creative juices flow or try some of the variations suggested with the recipe. I have no doubt they’d be fabulous. (The Breakfast Fried Rice is calling my name.)


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    1. There are so many variations of this recipe floating around the interwebs, but this one is tops. The sauce is delicious and adds much more flavor than the usual addition of plain old soy sauce. I love the fact you can adjust this recipe to use what you have on hand. A recent version included leftover barbecued pork, bok choy, daikon, and edamame. The one pictured more closely resembles the original recipe, but with this basic timing and technique, you can’t go wrong being creative! It’s in regular rotation with my lunch group because it’s quick, delicious, and healthy.

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