Does the thought or ricing up a big head of cauliflower just seem overwhelming? I wish I’d kept the photo of my kitchen after my first attempt. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on making fast and easy cauliflower rice that turns out perfectly every single time. This easy cauliflower rice recipe is paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan and pegan (paleo vegan). And only a handful of ingredients!
How to Make the Best Cauliflower Rice
After making a huge mess in my kitchen chopping up a head of cauliflower into florets (I was cleaning cauliflower bits out of every crack and crevice for literally months afterwards) I decided there had to be a better way. I tried steaming the cauliflower first and then cutting it up. Less messy, yes. But still quite a bit of work for a weeknight dinner!
How to Make Cauliflower Rice with Frozen Cauliflower
Enter frozen cauliflower florets! At my grocery store I can get the same amount of cauliflower for the same price whether it’s fresh or frozen (and sometimes the frozen goes on sale). Because the frozen cauliflower means less chopping and less mess, I gotta go frozen!Want less mess & stress? Tips for quick & easy cauliflower rice: Click To Tweet
To make your cauliflower rice from frozen cauliflower florets, you have a couple of options:
1) Steaming your frozen cauliflower on the stovetop
Get yourself a little steamer basket (preferably metal, silicon or bamboo rather than plastic). Read more about BPA and other chemicals that are released from plastics when you heat them.
Fill a pot with water so the water level is underneath your steamer basket. Bring to a boil and then load up the steamer basket with your cauliflower florets. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 2 minutes.
2) Microwaving your frozen cauliflower
This is your quickest and easiest option if you hate washing pots. In a microwave-safe bowl, add your frozen cauliflower florets and a tablespoon of water. Cook in your microwave on high for about 2 minutes (depending on how much cauliflower you’re doing). You can cover your bowl with a microwave-safe plate to help the frozen cauliflower steam better.Make steamed or fried cauliflower rice in minutes! Tips & #recipe: Click To Tweet
The Easiest Way to Make Cauliflower Rice
Now that your frozen cauliflower has gone from rock solid to soft and fluffy, it’s time to get it into small pieces that look like rice. Here are the different ways to do this that I’ve tried and what I thought about each one:
- Yes, the internet advised that using a box grater/cheese grater to make cauliflower rice was a reasonable option. Take it from me, it was not reasonable. Unless you have a drop sheet you’re going to put down to collect all the projectile cauliflower bits.
- If you’ve ever made riced potatoes, you know your way around a ricer. I hadn’t used one until I went to my in-laws’ house and they were making riced potatoes as a base for stew. I loved the texture! Making riced cauliflower with a ricer is theexact same process – get ready to squeeze!
- Food processor
- This option gets a gold star from me for being so amazingly quick. All you need to do is put in your S-blade and the cauliflower, pulse a couple of times and you’re done.
- This is your best option if you’re doing larger batches for dinner for more than 4 people or if you’re doing meal prep.
- I love to do a few bags of frozen cauliflower and turn them into cauliflower rice so my fiancé and I can make different meals out of it throughout the week. Yes, you have to clean the darn thing… but it takes less time than options 1 and 2 overall (and less mess).
Once your cauliflower is looking like rice, you can season it with some fresh herbs or spices and salt and pepper and then top with your favorite recipes. I recommend pairing with my Turkey and Green Bean Stirfry, Healthier Indian Curry Chicken, Miso Trout with Bok Choy or Turkey Chili.
How to Make Cauliflower Fried Rice
As an added step that I think adds plenty of flavor, you can sauté your cauliflower rice to make it cauliflower fried rice (rather than steamed cauliflower rice).Try this cauliflower rice w/curry or stirfry. It's #vegan, #paleo, #keto & #gf! Click To Tweet
Just heat some avocado oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spread out your cauliflower rice (a thinner layer means more crispy bits). Add your favorite spices (I usually put 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp turmeric and some freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt). Cook for 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn. So delicious!
I’ve written about my love for frozen vegetables before, but in summary…
7 Reasons Why I Love Frozen Vegetables
- You can stock up on them when they go on sale.
- Buying fresh veggies on sale is also a great way to save money on produce. The added benefit with picking up frozen vegetables at a reduced price is you don’t have to use them up right away.
- They’re perfect for those hectic weeknights when there’s nothing in the fridge.
- Didn’t have time to get to the store this week? No sweat! Frozen veggies are one of the foods I always keep on hand for quick meals when there is just no time to even grocery shop. Get my free printable shopping list of 45 foods to keep stocked in your fridge and pantry for quick and easy meals.
- They’re super nutritious!
- Veggies are frozen right after they’re picked, so your vitamins stay locked in for longer than fresh.
- They’re super convenient.
- Frozen vegetables are already washed and chopped. Just throw into your pasta sauce, stir fry or other dishes or steam on your stovetop or in the microwave for warm and yummy veggies in a couple of minutes!
- They last forever.
- OK, not forever. For 8-10 months. That’s way better than the couple of days fresh veggies last if you aren’t sure you’ll use them in time.
- They help reduce food waste.
- Don’t you hate throwing out fresh veggies that rot before you get to them? This is a common issue my clients bring up during counseling sessions. They want to eat more vegetables but they live alone and can’t get through a whole head of cauliflower or bag of spinach in time. That’s why freezing it (or buying it frozen) helps you reduce food waste.
- They save you money.
- See the comment above about reducing food waste. Essentially, you can buy your frozen veggies when they’re on sale and only use the amount you need and save the rest for later.Less waste and shopping the sales means more money in your pocket!
Dietitian tip: you want to make sure your frozen vegetables are plain Jane. Don’t get the ones that come with sauces or have salt or seasonings added. You can add flavor yourself without taking the sodium, fat or sugar sky high!
Cauliflower Rice Recipe – Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Pegan!
Have you tried cauliflower rice? What’s your favorite way to make it? Share in the comments below!