Low carb chicken shawarma is easy to make! From Lowcarb-ology.com

How to Make Cauliflower Rice Taste Good

Unless you’ve been living in the wilds of Timbuktu for the past five years you’ve heard of cauliflower rice (cauli rice, low carb rice, keto rice etc). It’s a great substitute for rice or couscous in recipes and like regular rice, it has a lack of any strong flavor so that you can easily change the flavor style from Spanish Rice to Asian fried rice. This versatile low carb side dish is definitely one that you want in your keto diet recipe repertoire!

While there are literally thousands of recipes for cauliflower rice, they all start with the same basic cooking method techniques that I’m sharing here for the best cauliflower rice.

Closeup of cauliflower rice on a green and white plate garnished with a lime slice. Title image
So tasty and healthy, the best cauliflower rice

Cauliflower Rice FAQs

Have a question that’s not answered here? Please leave it in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Is it good to eat cauliflower rice everyday?

Cauliflower rice is good for you. It is definitely keto friendly and low carb! Even better, it’s low calorie!

Riced cauliflower is made from cauliflower florets, one of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables on the planet. It’s loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamins C, K and B6, and potassium. It has 5 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber leaving a net carb count of 3 carbs per cup. Cauliflower has 25 calories per cup vs. 218 for a cup of cooked brown rice.

Best of all, cauliflower rice is better for us that want to reduce our carb intake while on a keto diet than traditional rice (like white rice) as it has 4 grams of carbohydrates where white rice has 46 grams in a cup. Best of all, there is less than a gram of fat and no saturated fat.

Can you buy cauliflower rice

Yes, you can buy grated cauliflower but it’s so easy to make there’s really no reason to. Grating it takes less than 5 minutes and the quality is much better.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

The biggest problem people run into when making cauliflower rice is having too much liquid. Fresh cauliflower is one of those vegetables that doesn’t feel wet but my gosh, when it cooks it seems like it pulls the humidity out of the air and releases it into the pan. It’s not doing that, but that’s one of things about frozen cauliflower is that it has additional water in it rather than fresh florets.

This is the big reason why you don’t want to use frozen cauliflower. There’s just that much more water to contend with.

Can I freeze raw caulflower rice?

You can. I think frozen riced cauliflower loses a little quality over fresh cauliflower rice but it’s definitely doable. Just spread the riced cauliflower out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze it. Then pour it into a freezer container and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to use the frozen cauliflower rice add a little water, beef, or chicken stock to a pan and steam it for about a minute.

How much cauliflower rice in a head of cauliflower?

1 pound of raw cauliflower (about 1 medium sized head) will make about 4 cups of cooked cauliflower rice. 1 cup of cauliflower rice is approximately 4 ounces.

Low carb chicken shawarma on a plate with cauliflower rice
Chicken Shawarma with steamed cauliflower rice.

Techniques for Making Cauliflower Rice

Basically there are two ways to make this cauliflower rice recipe. You can use the medium holes of a box grater or you can grate it in a food processor. I don’t recommend using the blade part of a food processor unless you want to make cauli-cous.

Box Grater Instructions

  1. Wash and trim the cauliflower.
  2. Cut it into chunks that are comfortable to hold.
  3. Grate the cauliflower florets carefully on the box grater, creating rice grain sized pieces.

Food Processor Instructions

  1. Wash and trim the cauliflower.
  2. Cut it into chunks that will fit into the chute of the food processor.
  3. Fit the food processor with a medium grater blade.
  4. Use the pusher thingie to push the pieces of cauliflower down into the blade.

For a texture more like couscous use the small holes on the grater or fit the food processor with the blade attachment and pulse.

Cauliflower Rice Pro Tip

At this stage I highly recommend that you start getting rid of some of the moisture. To do this, you want to spread out the riced cauliflower onto a bunch of paper towels and press out as much moisture as possible before continuing.

low carb dirty rice is easy to make and so good! lowcarb-ology.com
Just like New Orleans! Dirty rice without the carbs!

Cooking Cauliflower Rice Techniques

Which technique you use to prepare your riced cauliflower depends on the recipe you are working on and your own personal tastes.

Microwave

These instructions are based on one cup. You may need more time for a larger amount of riced cauliflower.

  1. Place the raw cauliflower rice in a microwave safe baking dish.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Microwave for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the plastic.
  5. Check for doneness.
  6. Remove from the microwave
  7. Fluff with fork.

Steam

  1. Bring water or stock to a boil in a pan.
  2. Cover a steamer basket with a layer of paper towel or a thin dish towel. Note that single ply paper towels will likely disintegrate. I found that out the hard way lol.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower to the steamer basket.
  4. Steam for 4 minutes or until tender.

Fry

Add finely chopped onion or minced garlic for more flavor. Bacon is also a great addition.

  1. Heat a little oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the cauliflower.
  3. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, or until done.

Roast

  1. Lightly oil a heavy baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle olive oil (flavored works great here!) over the cauliflower rice in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Spread in a thin layer over the baking sheet.
  4. Roast at 400 for 10 minutes stirring it a couple of times.
A cabbage roll made with cauliflower rice on a white plate
Easy low carb cabbage rolls made with cauliflower rice.

Recipes with Cauliflower Rice

  • Chicken Shawarma – This low carb favorite with juicy and tender chicken with an exciting exotic flavor. Add some steamed cauliflower rice on the side and you have an amazing meal.
  • Fajita Chicken Bowl – In this low carb Fajita Chicken Bowl , you have spicy fajita seasoned chicken breast, grilled onions, and cheese. These tasty morsels are heaped atop a bowl of steamed, cilantro lime cauliflower rice. It’s full of amazing smells and tastes as it’s flavored with cilantro and lime for an easy, tasty meal that won’t blow your eating plan.
  • Broccoli Chicken Cheese Casserole – Easy, cheesy chicken broccoli casserole is one of my favorite recipes. Here I’ve made some adjustments so it’s low-carb and low calorie but has that great flavor and texture that makes it so addictive.
  • Low Carb Dirty Rice – This low carb Dirty Rice is made with cauliflower, bacon, sausage, and lots of cajun flavor. It works great as a side dish or a light supper with a salad on the side. Quick and delicious!
  • Spicy Chicken Fried Rice – Induction friendly spicy chicken cauliflower fried rice handles those cravings for Asian food with just 6 net carbs.
  • Arroz con Pollo – This arroz con pollo is low carb with just 6.9 net carbs per generous serving. Cauliflower is substituted for the rice in this spicy keto friendly rendition of the classic Spanish cauliflower rice recipe.
  • Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with Cauli-cous – Low carb, spicy chicken stir fry is full of Asian flavors that really put a stop to all of those cravings for takeout! It’s quick and easy with just 3 grams of net carbs.
  • Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup – Easy stuffed Bell pepper soup recipe substitutes cauliflower for rice to keep it low carb and brings the net carbs way down but keeps all of the cozy flavor. It’s a quick and easy dinner for a chilly day with the fresh taste of late summer produce! With just under 4 net carbs per hearty serving it’s a delicious gluten free recipe you can enjoy often.
  • Old Fashioned Stuffed Peppers – These low carb, old fashioned stuffed peppers are easy to make, family friendly, and have all of that flavor of the ones your grandma made without the carbs OR the calories. Must be magic, right?
  • Cheesy Enchilada Skillet – One pan chicken enchilada skillet dinner recipe is quick, easy, and low carb. It cooks in about 15 minutes, has 7 net carbs per serving and is so good the whole family will love it! This, y’all, is the perfect weeknight meal! It’s cheesy, creamy explosions of Tex-Mex flavor in every single keto-friendly bite.
  • Cabbage Rolls (Galumpki) -Tangy, tender cabbage rolls just like the galumpkis mom used to make only low carb.
A cream colored bowl is filled with low carb stuffed Bell pepper soup - piled high with cooked ground been, tomatoes, and finely chopped cauliflower. A green and white towel is under the bowl and a silver soup spoon is on the right.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

You May Need…

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This is an easy dish but here are a few things to make it even easier.

A good food processor makes ALL the difference! Making cauliflower rice yourself is cheaper and tastier! What I love about mine is that it’s not one of those several hundred dollar ones yet is a real workhorse. It saves me a ton of time in the kitchen and is easy to clean. I’ve had others and cleanup was a pain. This Hamilton Beach unit lets me toss the blades, lid, and the container (bowl) into the dishwasher (on the top shelf for safety) and I’m done.

Hamilton Beach 70725 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor
Hamilton Beach 70725 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor

I love my vacuum sealer it keeps the prepped food I make on the weekends fresh all week long and allows me to freeze things without worrying about flavors or freezer burn. With food prices continuing to go up and up and up, I’m buying more in bulk items and use it. Like for a special occasion, I’ll buy a multi-pack of steaks, grill some of them and vacuum seal the rest. That way they can stay in the refrigerator longer without going bad. Best of all if I have to freeze them, there’s very little risk of freezer burn. This has saved me tons of money and this little device has more than paid for itself many times over.

FoodSaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine
FoodSaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine

Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe

A dish of cilantro lime cauliflower rice is places on a wood table and garnished with a slice of bright green lime.
Print Pin Recipe

Basic Cauliflower Rice

The is the most basic recipe for cauliflower rice. Be sure to read through the guide for variations and cooking techniques.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Low Carb Basics
Keyword cauliflower rice, caulirice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 14kcal
Author Katherine Peters

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower about 1 pound
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower, then remove the core
  • Cut into chunks and grate with the box grater on the side with medium holes.
  • OR Use the grater attachment of the food processor.
  • Place on a clean tea towel and press as much moisture out as possible.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet.
  • Add cauliflower rice and saute until crispy tender – just a few minutes.
  • Cover and remove from heat.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add seasoning as desired and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 27.3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.2mg

4 thoughts on “How to Make Cauliflower Rice Taste Good”

  1. 5 stars
    Marye, this is a wonderful guide to Cauli-Rice. It contains all a person needs in order to make Cauli-Rice and some wonderful recipes to make with it.
    Thank you so much. I appreciate all you do to help us stay on our lifestyles without sugar. I am going to save your entire post so I don’t need to go anywhere else to know how to prepare Cauli-Rice.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for taking the time to compile this resource for cauliflower rice. I have been using cauliflower rice for a few years now as part of my diabetic/low carb diet and I love it. But, I was able to learn a few tips to handling this versatile but wet product. Thank you so much!

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