Today I have a from-scratch homemade Cauliflower Rice recipe made with fresh cauliflower. It is a simple low-carb side dish with only 54 calories (and 3 net carbs) per serving. It is a kitchen basic to use instead of rice when you are following a low-calorie, grain-free, Whole30 or ketogenic diet.

a skillet with cauliflower rice in it and a wooden spoon

I shared this recipe for Cauliflower Rice on January 23, 2015. This post contains affiliate links.

Why This Recipe Works

Over the years I have collected dozens of healthy cauliflower recipes. I love cauliflower any which way! Back in 2015 I first shared this recipe for Cauliflower Rice, and it has become my go-to low-carb and low-calorie alternative for rice. I pair it with clean-eating stir fry, add it to keto soup, and use it for the base of low carb burger bowls to name a few favorite ways of using it!

Of course, since I first tried making cauliflower rice from scratch, the availability of fresh and frozen pre-chopped cauliflower rice has exploded across health food stores, specialty stores and most supermarkets too. I love the convenience of bagged cauliflower rice, but still prefer it from scratch. I think the texture is better and I like to add in some other veggies and seasoning to make it taste more like rice pilaf.

Ingredient Notes

the cauliflower rice recipe ingredients
  • Cauliflower: You’ll need a whole head of cauliflower. Remove the green leaves and core and chop into chunks.
  • Garlic: You’ll need one clove minced.
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil: You could also use butter or a neutral cooking oil. Better yet try roasted garlic oil for a boost of delicious garlic flavor.
  • Broth: This is key to getting that clumpy rice-like texture! You can use a veggie broth to make this recipe vegan.
  • Salt and Pepper: To season.

How To Make Cauliflower Rice Taste Good (Optional Ingredients)

  • Celery: Celery is one of the optional ingredients that I add to my cauliflower rice to elevate the flavor and make it taste less like cauliflower and give it a homestyle flavor.
  • Scallions or Green Onion: Scallion is optional, but I encourage you to add it because the taste of the allium mixed with the cooked riced cauliflower can help to cut any sulfurous flavors.
  • Rosemary: I love the way rosemary tastes in cauliflower rice, but feel free to omit it depending on what you are pairing your cauli rice with. You can also sub in dried herbs in small amounts.

How to make Cauliflower Rice

ways to chop the cauliflower rice - left with a box grater, right with food processor

Step 1: Rice The Cauliflower

To rice the cauliflower, cut it into chunks. Then pulse it in the food processor (right photo) in two to three batches (depending on the size of your head of cauliflower.) If the food processor is too full, you may end up with a few large pieces that remain intact. Simply, pull them out, dump the granulated “rice” into a bowl, and reprocess the large chunks.

Alternatively, you can rice the cauliflower by hand on a box grater (left photo.) Take caution not to get your fingers too close to the cutting surface. Using a protective glove can help!

saute the celery and scallions

Step 2: Saute Veggies and Aromatics

Heat the oil (or butter if using) in the skillet and add in the garlic to cook it in the oil before adding the riced cauliflower. If using the optional ingredients add in scallion whites, celery and rosemary. Saute until the garlic is fragrant, the scallion whites are translucent and the celery is starting to soften.

Step 3: Add Riced Cauliflower and Cook

Add the cauliflower, salt and pepper coating with the scallion mixture. Cook, stirring often until you start to notice browned cauliflower when you stir along the edges of the skillet, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add broth, stir to combine and increase heat to high. Cook stirring often until the cauliflower is cooked but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in scallion greens. Remove from the heat and serve.

very close up of the riced cauliflower in the skillet with the scallion greens stirred in

Leftovers and Meal Prep

Storage: We love using cauliflower rice for meal prep and to reheat leftovers. Transfer the cooked and cooled cauliflower rice to glass storage containers and refrigerate up to 5 days.

Reheat: Reheat until steaming hot in the microwave for about 90 seconds on high per serving. Alternatively reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan with a little broth, stirring often over medium heat.

To Freeze

You can freeze this side dish after it is cooked but we think it is even better to rice the cauliflower, freeze it and then cook it from frozen.

To freeze it: Lay a sheet of parchment on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spread the riced cauliflower out on the parchment and transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. Once frozen, break up large chunks and transfer the cauliflower rice to a resealable plastic freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month. Cook from frozen in step 3, adding a few additional minutes of timing to thaw it out.

What To Serve with Cauliflower Rice

Try it with lighter comfort foods like Chicken a la King, Chicken Paprika. I use it instead of rice to serve with Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry too. Use it in place of quinoa in these Chicken and Quinoa Bowls. If you skip the optional ingredients it is pretty neutral in flavor, and really a blank canvas for whatever you want to pair with it or add to it.

Is Cauliflower Rice Good For You?

Yes! Cauliflower is low in calories and high in vitamins and nutrients. This cauliflower rice recipe has only about a third of the calories of the same volume of white rice. Consider swapping out lower-calorie sides that fill up your plate and belly with fiber and volume.

the cauliflower rice in a soup bowl

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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a close up of cauliflower rice

Homemade Cauliflower Rice Recipe


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Diet: Diabetic

Description

Cauliflower rice is a plain and simple low carb and keto vegetable side dish and rice alternative. It’s ready in 20 minutes or less. It can be made Vegan and Whole30 compliant.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 head cauliflower, core and leaves removed, cut into big chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced white and green parts divided
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white pepper
  • ¾ cup reduced sodium chicken (or Imagine no-chicken broth for Vegan option)

Instructions

  1. Place about 1/3 of the cauliflower in a food process fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until the cauliflower looks like tiny crumbs, 20 to 40 seconds. Transfer the processed cauliflower to a bowl, and repeat with the remaining cauliflower in two more batches.
  2. Heat oil in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites, garlic, celery and rosemary and cook, stirring often until the scallion whites are starting to soften and become translucent, and the garlic is just starting to brown, 1 ½ to 3 minutes.
  3. Gradually stir in cauliflower, salt and pepper coating with the scallion mixture. Cook, stirring often until you start to notice browned cauliflower when you stir along the edges of the skillet, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, stir to combine and increase heat to high. Cook stirring often until the cauliflower is cooked but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in scallion greens. Remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

Storage: We love using cauliflower rice for meal prep and to reheat leftovers. Transfer the cooked and cooled cauliflower rice to glass storage containers and refrigerate up to 5 days.

Reheat: Reheat until steaming hot in the microwave for about 90 seconds on high per serving. Alternatively reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan with a little broth, stirring often over medium heat.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 54 calories
  • Sugar: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 260 mg
  • Fat: 3 grams fat
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g sat
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: cauliflower rice,homemade cauliflower rice,cauliflower rice pilaf,how to make cauliflower rice taste good