Cauliflower Rice

This cauliflower rice recipe is a simple trick that tastes almost sorta like actual cooked rice. Consider it a stealthy healthy approach to eating one’s veggies.

A food processor bowl with riced cauliflower

Cauliflower rice. Now, let us just say, in our defense, that we know the difference between cauliflower and rice. And we know that you do, too. But if you’re seeking a simple, subtle, perhaps even sneaky way to get the folks in your life to eat more veggies, this “cauliflower rice” recipe is your ticket. It has only the slightest glimmer of caulifloweriness which is easily obfuscated when you slather it with sauce or toss in some spices or aromatics. And it’s especially difficult to discern any vegetal-ness when you incorporate this cauliflower rice into this amazing  cauliflower fried rice. Originally published January 4, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi


Cauliflower Rice

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 4
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Toss the coarsely chopped cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it forms cauliflower bits the size of rice or couscous. (If using a large head of cauliflower, it’s best to do this in 2 batches.)

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the butter or coconut oil for 1 minute, then stir in the cauliflower. Sauté until sizzling, then add the water, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the rice—er, cauliflower—has softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

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    Tuxedo Variation

    • Cauliflower Brown Rice
    • Tux variation

      Our very own David Leite came up with his own nifty variation on cauliflower rice. It’s basically cauliflower rice made over higher heat so that the finished cauliflower resembles brown rice. Heat a large skillet over medium-high until it’s wicked hot. (David prefers his 12-inch cast iron skillet.) Drizzle in some olive oil and dump in the cauliflower. Stir the mixture continually until it begins to brown and resembles brown rice, 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon the amount of cauliflower you use. Season with salt and a fresh grind or two of black pepper. It was so good even The One asked for seconds.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I'm usually skeptical of recipes that purport to make a food something it is not. Zucchini is presented as noodles, cauliflower stands in for mashed potatoes, and so forth. Well, this cauliflower rice recipe totally won me over. I had cauliflower I had bought and not used that needed to be prepared somehow, some way, soon. There had been heads of cauliflower I’d mashed, roasted, and steamed in recent days, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with this one. This cauliflower rice has a wonderful texture. It makes a puffy pillow of white on a plate. It’s more like couscous than rice in texture, or, as my husband suggested, grits.The timing was spot-on. We enjoyed the cauliflower rice plain, but it won’t fool cauliflower haters that way. There is still a distinct but faint cauliflower flavor to the bits. A curry sauce would be wonderful with it, though, and would mask the taste, as would any strong seasoning. We served this in lieu of rice with bean and pork burritos.

    We've made a lot of versions of cauliflower rice, but this one may be our fave. It's so simple and easy to throw together. Cauliflower is easy to overcook, but this cauliflower rice recipe turned out perfectly with the directions given. Normally we make "fried rice" with cauliflower. That would be easy to do with this as the base, but it was wonderful as a simple side dish to go along with Thanksgiving leftovers now that we're out of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Good, healthy recipe.


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