An easy fool-proof approach to making the best cauliflower rice recipe for a grain free low carb diet. Use the tips and steps below to help you recreate your favorite rice recipes using cauliflower as the perfect keto gluten free substitute.
I may or may not be in the minority here, but as a follower of a low carb keto diet, I’m truly not a huge fan of eating cauliflower rice. I often find cauliflower rice is messy to make (from scratch) or comes out soggy and watery (frozen) and lacks flavor in general.
For the past two years however, I have posted several low carb recipes using fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Some of my favorites are this easy Bacon Cauliflower Fried Rice, this Loaded Cheesy Mexican Cauliflower Rice recipe or this Steak Bibimbap Bowl to Colcannon Style Cauli Mash.
What has been the game changer you ask in helping me not only like but love cauliflower rice?
Whether you’re preparing fresh or frozen cauliflower rice, baking is the keto to success along with a few other tried and true tips for success in the post below. Be sure to read through and check out my video tutorial before viewing the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Food Processor (for fresh cauliflower rice) or Box Grater
- Baking Sheet
Below is a breakdown of common questions I get about preparing cauliflower rice and a tutorial for making both fresh and frozen rice as well. Don’t forget to check out the video tutorial too!
Does cauliflower rice taste like actual rice?
Um, that’s a big no-no from me. But, it can be a great sub when it comes to adding texture and bulk to a meal (just with fewer carbs).
Because the biggest difference (that makes this low carb) is the lack of starch present, you don’t get that sticky, chewy texture you often find with rice. However, if you follow my cooking tips below you can eliminate a lot of the complaints many people have about eating cauliflower rice as a rice substitute.
How do I make cauliflower rice from scratch?
Cauliflower rice from scratch is fairly simple to achieve, especially with a food processor. Depending on the size of your processor you can prep a pretty large amount at one time.
Start by removing the stalks and stems of the cauliflower and dice the head of cauliflower into large chunks. Place the pieces into the food processor and pulse until it resembles rice like pieces.
How do I make cauliflower rice without a food processor?
Don’t have a food processor? That’s ok!
Try using a grater instead. Though this takes much more time it still works as a great way to get the cauliflower into small, rice size pieces.
Cooking fresh cauliflower rice-
Once the cauliflower has been “riced” you need to par-cook it. This is best done by baking. That means there is NO STEAMING, NO MICROWAVING allowed in the making of this recipe.
Take the extra 10-15 minutes to bake the rice and roast it at 350 F. for about 10-15 minutes. This results in a perfect base for your favorite keto cauliflower rice recipes like fried rice or even like this dirty rice recipe.
What’s the best way to cook and prepare frozen cauliflower rice?
The SAME exact way! Baking is the key here. By roasting the rice and not steaming it in the microwave or on the stove (especially when coming straight out of the freezer), you use a dry heat cooking process to remove excess moisture.
That excess moisture is what will make or break any cauliflower rice dish (or cauliflower mash recipe) in my opinion.
Tips for cooking with frozen cauliflower rice-
- Not all brands are created equal. Some brands of cauliflower rice are larger in size than others. Brands I like are Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Sprouts.
- Smash and break apart clumps prior to baking. I do this by elegantly chucking the bag on the floor (a very technical culinary technique). If the pieces are really frozen together with some of that tasty freezer burn I’ll let the oven do the defrosting for me.
- Season while baking! I prefer a drizzle of olive oil and basic salt, pepper, and garlic powder (especially if I plan to make a cauliflower mash). If you plan on making this loaded Mexican style cauliflower rice dish, add some homemade taco seasoning instead. Match the spices to match your meal to impart some additional flavor.
What are the best ways to use cauliflower rice?
In anyway you want, get creative. I’ve used it for burrito bowls, power bowls, cauliflower mash, and even casseroles or a cauliflower mac and cheese. Check out the different ways I’ve used it from the links below!
I hope this post helped debunk and break down some easy ways to help you love this recipe! Cauliflower rice can be a great side dish (often only a few net carbs) when prepared with this method. Leave me a comment below and share what you make or give me feedback.
How To Make The Best Cauliflower Rice
- 1 Head of Cauliflower or 1 bag of Frozen Cauliflower rice
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Additional Seasonings desired
- 1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- 2. If making from scratch– remove the stem and leaves from your head of cauliflower and dice into large chunks. Pulse until riced in a food processor.
- If making with frozen– break up any frozen chunks in the bag with your hands (or by throwing the bag on the floor a few times… I actually do this)
- 3. Place your freshly riced or frozen rice onto a baking sheet and spread it thin. Drizzle with olive oil and your desired seasonings. My go-to’s for regular rice is always salt, pepper, and usually some garlic powder.
- 4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the rice has roasted and the moisture appears to have absorbed. Serve as is for a rice substitute or use for stir fry’s, casseroles, or in cauliflower mash.