How to Make Cauliflower “Rice”

This post has been a long time coming.

I should have posted it months and months ago but I really wanted to take photos of the process of making cauliflower “rice” and not just a dish with it in it.

Finally, last week, after a discussion on my Facebook page about serving Beef Bibimbap over brown rice or cauliflower rice (recipe coming later this week!), someone mentioned making cauliflower rice in big batches and freezing it.

Why hadn’t I thought to do that before? I freeze everything else right? Such a great idea so thank you!


I picked up a bunch of organic cauliflower at Trader Joe’s for a great price and set up to stock my freezer and (finally) take some in process photos.

OK, so let’s talk about cauliflower “rice”. Cauliflower rice has been making it’s way around the food blogging circuit for a long time now and for good reason.

It’s zero Weight Watchers Points Plus, Low-Carb, Slow Carb, South Beach diet friendly, Paleo, Primal and just a good way to get more vegetables into your diet.

The real deal is that you are not ever going to trick yourself into thinking you are eating rice. Maybe if you spice it up like crazy and close your eyes, you could convince yourself you are eating something similar to Uncle Ben’s Boil in a Bag White Rice? Maybe.

But the point is not to trick you, it’s to make a different choice sometimes.

To eat more vegetables and to have fun with ingredients.

To add volume without calories.

To bulk up dense dishes without adding carbs.

To mix things up and keep trying something different because you never know, you might love it!

Ginger Coconut Cauliflower Rice and HOW TO MAKE CAULI RICE IN THE OVEN

NOTES:

  • I like to use cauliflower rice under really spicy food and I prefer it under drier foods as a lot of sauce tends to water-log the rice.
  • Don’t try to sub cauliflower rice for regular rice in casseroles or in any dish where the rice is there to absorb liquid.
  • I do not recommend the microwave cooking method as the “rice” retains moisture. I prefer the rice a bit dryer and more “rice” like so I use a non-stick frying pan or the oven method detailed below in the recipe.

Do you have any tips for cooking / storing cauliflower rice? If so, I would love to hear them!

4.9 from 29 reviews
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
 
Prep:
Cook:
Total:
 
0 Points Plus Per Serving (Servings Per Cauliflower depend on Size)
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 (or more) head(s) of organic cauliflower
  • food processor or hand-held grater
  • sandwich size freezer bags
Instructions
TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER RICE:
  1. Grab cauliflower and make sure there are no brown or black spots on it. If so, remove with a paring knife.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  2. Rip the leaves off of the bottom.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  3. Cut the cauliflower in half and cut the florets off from core until you are left with just the core.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  4. Discard the core and break up the florets into somewhat evenly sized pieces.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  5. Place florets in bowl of food processor in batches. Process until evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.comHow to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  6. Remove rice to a large bowl and continue processing florets in batches until all florets are "riced". Alternately, you could use a hand grater but I imagine it would take quite a bit of time. Grab a measuring cup (I like to freeze 2 cup portions) and some sandwich sized bags (preferably freezer bags even though I took a picture of the non-freezer ones.)How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
  7. Once you fill your baggies, press the cauliflower flat to be sure to remove the excess air and make storing in the freezer easier.How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.comHow to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com
COOKING TIPS:
  1. If preparing the cauliflower rice from frozen, I suggest removing from the freezer and leaving on the counter to soften and defrost a bit while you cook whatever you are planning on serving it with.
OVEN COOKING METHOD (my favorite!)!
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spread cauliflower rice out on one or more baking sheets (depending on how much you have) into a single layer. Don't make yourself crazy about the single layer thing, you just don't want to crowd the pan or it will steam and remain moist. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping the "rice" at least 1x. Remove, serve and Enjoy!
FRYING PAN METHOD:
  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat and add cauliflower rice.
  2. I like to "dry fry" it to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Make sure to season with salt, pepper and another complimentary spice if possible. Enjoy!

How to Make Cauliflower Rice by www.everydaymaven.com

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Comments

  1. Holly says

    I love this idea!!! One of the things I have missed, when I started to do “Eat to Live” was the rice and pastas. Well, here is my answer to rice, and I found Explore Asian Organic Adzuki Bean pasta….so excited!!!! Thank you for the Cauliflower Rice idea!!!!

    • Nej says

      Funny, I came looking for cauliflower rice since buying it at Trader Joe’s(whom can’t keep up with demand)..so I am going to do your method, much cheaper and will be awesome! I can’t wait to try and make it with Bibimbap! Thanks for the great instructions.

        • Stacey says

          I went into Trader Joe’s yesterday looking for it, they said they’ve been sold out and won’t have it in until Mid August…
          they as well as their supplier could not believe how quickly it sold out and how high the demand is…

          • currion says

            If you are asking if you can make cauliflower rice with purchased frozen cauliflower, the answer is no. Frozen bagged cauliflower is already cooked or blanched and if you try to turn it into rice it turns mushy.
            FYI I use the non stick pan method with no oil at all, just toss and ‘toast’ the grated raw cauliflower.

  2. Esther Cruz Acosta says

    We made the cauliflower pizza recipe that’s going around on social media…delicious! Thanks for your recipes. Looking forward to trying them. I want to try to make Spanish “rice” with cauliflower.

  3. Rebecca K Strobel says

    LOVE this! Making it again and I use Ghee for the stove method and then saute mushrooms, garlic, celery (love me some celery in everything) in Veggie stock…NUMMY! Win Wi!t

  4. says

    I just found your wonderful recipe today. I made it and added onions, garlic and fresh thyme, sautéed in coconut oil. Then, I used it as a base for beef cheek stew. It was so delicious.!!!
    Thank you so much. It’s a real break from grains.

  5. says

    We just enjoyed a yummy stir fry over oven roasted potatoes, but I was thinking roasted cauliflower rice would be a nicer/lighter option for regular days. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve been grain free for a long time now and STILL haven’t made cauliflower rice!! It’s time! 😉
    Rachael @ Love Yourself Green recently posted..If You Get Nervous Before Job Interviews, Don’t Be Sorry You Didn’t Try This Easy Confidence Booster Before It StartsMy Profile

  6. Nezza says

    Tried this tonight as an alternative to rice for a beef stir-fry….it was delicious! Very similar texture to cous cous but was impossible to muck up. Love it. Will be making this from now on :)

  7. David M says

    A friend suggested cauli-rice to me a few months ago. My wife and I tried it while on an Atkins-like diet, and we were very pleased with the result. We spiced the grated cauli to within an inch of its life, stir fried it with basic ingredients and some pre-cooked lean beef strips. Yummy ! I recently went back to it, and am now using it as a 100% rice substitute. I had no trouble with freezing / defrosting at all. I don’t thaw at all. Frozen to frying pan on med heat and covered. Warms up, breaks apart easily, and then “dry fried”. Not much scent, and very convenient. And as a diabetic too, this is an incredible WIN !

  8. Kim says

    Great recipe just tried the fried cauliflower rice was so quick and easy. Cooked it in a little coconut oil and threw in some fennel seeds delic!

  9. Hana says

    Hi,
    Can you cook the cauliflower before freezing and then warm it up and eat it out of the freezer? Or do you have to freeze it raw and dry fry it after you bring it out?

  10. Veronica says

    Have you used this for pizza crust? After freezing, dry fry a little and proceed with pizza crust? Or defrost and follow pizza crust receipe? I would think that even though you squeeze out moisture before freezing, that once you took it out of the freezer and defrosted it would have moisture and would have to be squeezed again.

  11. Kristina says

    Thanks for the information! I actually ran into your recipe when googling “Cauliflower Rice.” I had made this accidentally because I didn’t have my blender handy and was attempting to make “mashed cauliflower” with a fork. Anyway, I added the leftover mashed cauliflower to some Chicken Tikka Masala instead of basmati rice and when I mixed the two it was so good I had to know whether this was a thing. Haha. Loving all of the Indian food awesomeness with very little carbs! Now if you can come up with a Cauliflower Naan recipe I will be in heaven. 😉

  12. Birdlady says

    I hope you are not using Sandwich bags for the freezer. Freezer bags are designed to reduce freezer burn on foods.

  13. robyn says

    i loved this recipe
    i sprinkled some smoked garlic salt on for extra flavour
    thanks for the recipe and guiding pics

  14. Dorie LaRue says

    I mix a bit of cauliflower rice with real rice, sometimes half and half. That way I get a vegetable and stretch my real rice, so I am not eating so much real rice. I could eat real rice at every meal.

  15. Eileen MARRINAN says

    Thanks for that information Frans DeJong- that has been my experience freezing the riced cauliflower.
    I will blanch as you have suggested to remove the enzyme as it is most off putting – negatively effecting the taste, colour and texture of the cauliflower.
    Appreciate the fix

  16. Doreen Smyth says

    I thought that it was not good to heat olive oil to high heat so therefore it’s not good for frying with.

  17. Jenn says

    Ha! So late to the game here. But I do this and make pizza crust with the cauliflower. Why oh why did I never think to do this with it??? Thank you so much, Maven!!

  18. Cecelia says

    I will be trying this.I got many of good ideas and suggestions from all the comments. I will be adding them to my list when I make this. Thanks

  19. AEIM says

    I sure hope you’re washing and reusing those bags. Otherwise, it’s such a waste of plastic! Tupperware, folks.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Sabster says

    This has become my rice substitute. I love rice and I ate it almost everyday.I add a little garlic powder to it and I make healthy curries and spicy sauces to place on top of my cauliflower rice. I have dropped a good 65 pounds in 8 months and I eat this all the time. This saved my life. Cauliflower mash is also amazing.

  21. Susan says

    Thank you, thank you we have been working on a low carb diet, wanted stir fry but the other one that lives here was worried about no rice. Don’t thinj we will ever eat rice again. :)

    • says

      Hi Alice,
      I am not qualified to answer that for you. I would advise consulting with a nutritionist, dietitian or your doctor. Personally, I like to eat a varied diet and not eat too much of any one thing.

  22. Martha says

    Thank you so vey much for sharing this idea! It is delicious and I am using it as a base for many dishes. Love the fact that it can be used to bulk recipes up also. I am a fan of cauliflower!!

    Has anyone tried adding it to soups and if so how does the texture change?

    Thank you!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Martha! So glad you are enjoying the “rice” so much :) I have tried adding it to soups and I am not a fan – it gets too mushy for me but try it and see what you think for yourself.

  23. says

    I have used cauliflower in stuffed cabbage but I did it a bit differently. I cooked the cauliflower first in boiling water (basically blanching it) then drained it very well and chopped it in the processor. Then I drained it again but it really didn’t seem necessary. I added it to the meat and seasonings and prepared just as rice. In this dish, I could not tell the difference.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Morgan,
      I only cook it for 15 minutes and make sure to toss the “rice” at least once. Only the edges get a tiny bit brown. It looks exactly like in my photo – pure white!

  24. says

    Do you think this can be used in place of the rice in stuffed peppers? I usually cook Rice-a-Roni and then combine with ground beef and marinara sauce then bake in the peppers.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Dawn, You could certainly use it but I think the cauliflower “rice” will absorb a lot of liquid and be quite mushy. It won’t have the texture of rice that you may be looking for.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I have yet to try it with broccoli. Some cautions would be that you would only be able to use the broccoli stems and might need to peel them to get that hard first layer off. Also, broccoli tends to cook differently than cauliflower and can become “stinky” if that makes sense. If you try it, please report back and let me know how it comes out!

  25. Gerald Homp says

    The easiest way I found to chop up the cauliflower was to use the Pampered Chef hand chopper on a flexible Pampered Chef cutting sheet. I chopped directly on the sheet and didn’t use the rubber bottom that came with the chopper. I could chop more and faster. The bonus was when I put the cauliflower into the ziplock plastic bag I just curled the cutting sheet and dumped the cauliflower right in. Quick and easy! :)

  26. Maria Acosta says

    Yes I live here also! Been here most my life. I get a bunch of my ideas from my sister. She has a Paleo food truck based out of Renton but were all over Seattle. You should come by when you’re out and about =)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Maria! Out-of-the-box food truck?? My husband and I had lunch at the truck in SoDo one day (it was great!).

  27. Maria Acosta says

    Love the idea of freezing it in batches!thank you for posting! i used to dry fry mine also but i started to bake it instead i just put it in a bakingpan, sprinkle olive oil and sea salt and pop it in the oven. This dries it out completely and browns it. I love it! Are you from Seattle?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Maria – that is such a GREAT idea of baking it off. I am trying that for sure :) We are not from Seattle but live here now. Do you live here?

  28. Beebs says

    Oh, yeah. This was just great. I made some for myself, while the rest of the family had white rice. They preferred my cauil-rice and I had to share. Thanks a lot! I guess I’ll be back at the grocery store for more cauliflower sooner rather than later.

  29. Liz says

    I use a blender when I make mine. Rough chop the cauliflower like above, put it in the blender and fill to the top with water. Pulse for around 30 seconds, then drain and press the water out!

  30. Liz says

    I have been making cauliflower rice for a long time, so long in fact, that my daughter thought that all rice was cauliflower until I clarified just recently! The first time I made it, I was nervous the kids wouldn’t eat it bc it was a veggie…so I left that detail out! My husband was astonished that my teriyaki chicken and ‘fried rice’ was better than take-out, and my daughter went back for seconds of just the ‘rice!’ Thanks for posting about freezing it! Now I can make a bunch at one time, rather than every week!

  31. Clint says

    Amazing!! Just made the “rice”, looks like rice, feels like rice…cook it up with some coconut oil, put in bowls, whipped up some red peppers, chicken, onions, and some hot red peppers and, oh yeah, orange zest…..put that on top or the “rice”, poured a little of soy sauce (gluten free of course) and it was…..Let’s just say that my roommate didn’t know it wasn’t rice! :-)

  32. Clint says

    I miss rice since I went low carb, I used to make stir fries on top of rice, even made my own sushi rolls….I miss them so, but now, I’m gonna give this a go…yes!!!! Thank you!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Dan,
      I haven’t tried it but I have heard of a couple people who have used a blender. Good Luck!

  33. You says

    Any body thought about dehydrating it before freezing? Might add to the rice effect if combined with the dry frying later.

  34. Frans DeJong says

    I would like to comment on Teresa’s findings. It is not a good idea to put cauliflower rice in the freezer. Cauliflower contains the enzyme polyphenoloxidase, which is an important anti-oxidant for the plant. When you process the cauliflower you destroy the plant tissue and release the enzyme which results in brown pigments (like in apples), off flavors and stickiness. It reacts with the oxygen in the air very quickly. If you want to put vegetables in the freezer for more than a few weeks you should blanch (1 – 2 minutes in hot water) the vegetables to inactivate the enzymes.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Frans,
      I’ve never heard of that before. Something to look into if that is something you are concerned about.

  35. says

    Hey there! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!
    Teresa recently posted..TeresaMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Teresa!
      Thanks for the shout out – I really appreciate hearing from you. Have a fabulous long weekend :)

  36. Gun says

    I found that the cauliflower got a VERY strong smell once it was thawed … and yes, it was a bit off-putting

  37. Teresa says

    After I first tried out cauliflower rice this spring, I decided to make a whole bunch at once the next time, and freeze several batches. I found it did not taste very good after it had been frozen, though. I put the batches in Ziplock freezer bags, removed all the air, and used them within two weeks, but the cauliflower all turned slightly beige, and tasted odd after being thawed. I tried thawing the bags in the microwave, on the counter, in the fridge overnight, and everytime, it tasted funny once cooked. Has anyone else experienced that? Any ideas as to what might be going wrong? I would still prefer to freeze in batches if possible, and it seems to be working for you guys!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Teresa,
      Did you cook the rice before freezing or freeze raw? Did you use freezer bags or regular bags?

      • Teresa says

        Thanks for replying so quickly! I froze the riced cauliflower raw, and I used heavy-duty freezer bags. Should I be microwaving it first, and putting it in bags once cool?

        • EverydayMaven says

          No, I say skip the defrosting / thawing and just put right into your pan. You may have to cook a couple minutes longer but the riced cauliflower is such small pieces it shouldn’t add a lot more time. Let me know if that works!

  38. cutismama says

    I just pulled out my frozen cauliflower last night and dry-fried it. Easy. Thanks for the tip!

  39. Mom says

    Grate whole garlic and onion into the califlower. It adds a wonderful flavor. What a great side dish substitute for rice/mashed potato, or even a snack if your on WW.

  40. Mari says

    Hello,
    I had a friend that suggested I try this and I thought she was crazy. I’m Asian and I love my rice :) I don’t even eat brown rice because it is not what I grew up eating plus it just taste nasty for me. When it comes to rice, I’d rather not eat rice if i have to eat brown rice. I am very intrigue about this. I am going to try it. If i like it, my Asian family would be shocked and maybe I can help them lower their cholesterol and blood pressure. Thanks for posting this.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Mari! good luck with it and let me know how you like it. Don’t expect it to taste exactly like rice but it’s a great substitute :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Fran,

      I would think about a month or 2 so as long as you store it in an air-tight container for freezer bag.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Danie,

      I use a non-stick frying pan to cook the cauliflower rice over medium to medium high heat to “cook” out the moisture. Hope that helps!

  41. Vicky says

    I’m I the only person in the world that has NEVER heard of this before? It sounds wonderful! Going to try it soon.

  42. Michael says

    I love it! I sometimes add fish sauce lemon and coriander, or use it as cous cous.
    It’s really good but I read somewhere that it causes gout if u eat too much of it?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Michael – fish sauce, lemon and coriander sounds like a great combo! I think eating too much of anything can be bad. I probably have cauliflower rice 1x a week :)

  43. Marlene says

    Found the perfect mess-less way to rice the cauliflower! I used my meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid with the larger holes. No flying cauliflower particles and just rinse for cleanup.

  44. Marlene says

    Nice to find an active site – I always love to read comments. Question – could you blanch florets and then rice them before freezing? I would expect the food value would be saved and it would last longer in the freezer. I made the pizza crust recipe and had to force myself to exercise self-control before I ate the whole thing. It was incredibly delish!!!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Marlene! I have not tried it that way. I like to rice them raw so I get a good texture. Once you cook cauliflower, it releases its moisture and I think the cooked florets would be more like mashed cauliflower than “rice” if that makes sense. I LOVE cauliflower pizza crust – soooooo good :) I should post my version one of these days.

  45. Gun says

    Don’t know if someone has already mentioned this but you can also do the ricing in a blender. Just put the cauliflower florets in the blender and fill up with cold water. Pulse a few times and Voila! Riced cauliflower. Drain it over the sink and you have very little clean-up to do!

  46. Bahirism says

    This is so great, thank you! I just quit eating rice (not an easy feat considering I live in Asia). I’m really excited to try this out!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Not silly Teri! You just use a non-stick frying pan to cook out the moisture so it’s nice and dry and more rice-like.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I love making these big batches. I have it down now where I only make the cauliflower rice 1 or 2x a month – so easy!

  47. Sarah Lucas says

    What an excellent, thanks for sharing. Why do you remove the core? If you blitz in a food processor anyway it will add fibre. I always chop the core up and steam along with the florets, or roast it when I cook cauliflower that way.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Sarah! I find the core to be a bit too tough to digest but if it doesn’t bother you, I say go for it!

  48. Dorothy says

    I’ve been wanting to try this for some time and appreciate your pictorial guide. My son is following the SCD diet and I was considering trying this with ground meat in stuff cabbage rolls. But maybe this is one of the ways it won’t work so well. Do you (or any readers) know how it might work?

    • EverydayMaven says

      You know Dorothy, I hate to say it but I don’t think it would hold up in stuffed cabbage. Can he have Quinoa? If not, what about chopping up some water chestnuts really small like rice for texture?

      • Dorothy says

        thanks for your thoughts about this. i may try the water chestnusts… and I will definitely use it in others ways!

  49. janine says

    I made some yesterday for the first time and froze it. Super excited to try it. I have frozen cauliflower before and it’s nasty soggy. I assume this doesn’t do that, correct? Can’t wait to use it this week in a dinner.

  50. Jennifer C - Seattle, WA says

    Oh, I like your tip about “dry frying” the rice! I’ve made cauliflower rice several times but steamed it in the microwave – tasty, but a lot of liquid. I’ll be trying your dry fry method next time. Thanks for sharing!

  51. says

    Really fun recipe. I guess it does resemble rice, but I’d probably call it hashed cauliflower (although I guess with most hashed veggies you parboil them first, then mince them fine). Anyway, not something I’d ever thought of – really clever. Thanks so much.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..Shaved Fennel SaladMy Profile

  52. Eha says

    Had heard about it, but never prepared it! As soon as our cauliflowers begin arriving in the shops will surely not only prepare this healthy variation for a ‘meat base’ but make enough for freezing and many quick ‘sides’ afterwards! Great idea :) !

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