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

How to Make Cauliflower Rice: Basic Recipe

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, etc). It’s a great substitute for rice or couscous in recipes and, like rice, it’s bland enough that you can easily change the style from Tex-Mex to Asian. This versatile, low carb side dish is definitely one that you want in your recipe repertoire!

While there are literally thousands of recipes for cauli-rice they all start with the same basic techniques that I’m sharing here.

Closeup of cauliflower rice on a green and white plate garnished with a lime slice. Title image

Cauliflower Rice FAQs

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

Is cauliflower rice keto? Is it good for you?

Definitely keto friendly and low carb! It’s even low calorie!

Cauli-rice is made from cauliflower, 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.

Can you buy cauliflower rice

Yes, 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 too much liquid. 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!

This is one 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 it loses a little quality but it’s definitely doable. Just spread the riced cauliflower out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze it. The pour it into a freezer container and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it add a little water, beef, or chicken stock to a pan and steam it for about a minute.

How much is one head of cauliflower riced?

1 pound of cauliflower (about 1 medium sized head) will make about 4 cups of 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 cauliflower rice. 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 carefully on the box grater, creating rice 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.

It’s a good idea to dump the riced cauliflower onto a 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!

Cauliflower Rice Cooking Techniques

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


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

  1. Place the riced cauliflower 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.


  1. Bring water or stock to a boil in a pan.
  2. Cover a steamer basket with a layer of paper towel (don’t use cheap – it will disintegrate).
  3. Add the riced cauliflower to the steamer basket.
  4. Steam for 4 minutes or until tender.


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

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


  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

  • Fajita Chicken BowlIn these low Carb?Fajita Chicken Bowls?spicy fajita seasoned chicken breast, grilled onions, and cheese are mounded atop a bowl of steamed, grated cauliflower 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 on 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 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 Mexican recipe.
  • Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with Cauli-cousLow 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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Thanks so much for being a part of Lowcarb-ology!

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!

food processor sampleimage

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.

sample of automatic vaccume sealing machineimage

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


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


  • 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.


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: Basic Recipe”

  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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