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3 Ways To Make Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

I used to think I ate fairly healthy, but lately my daughter and daughter-in-law, Britta & Kaitlyn, are making me question that assumption! They are both on a healthy-eating mission and, dare I say, teaching this “old dog” some new tricks?! Case in point…today’s post about Cauliflower Rice. Who knew one of my favorite vegetables (that admittedly I don’t eat enough of) could be used in so many different ways and in so many different recipes!? Once again, not ME! Thankfully Kaitlyn is going to educate ALL of us today!

Kaitlyn writes:  One of my major obsessions passions in life is healthy eating. I’m not always the best at actually executing a perfectly healthy diet, but I loooove to research healthy recipes and diets. It’s a joke between my husband and I that I constantly start conversations by saying “So I was reading this article…” He knows that any sentence that starts with those words will end with me telling him something he should or should not be eating.

One of the things I’ve seen all over food blogs and social media lately is cauliflower EVERYTHING! It’s such a trendy vegetable right now – kind of like kale. Turns out it’s trendy for good reason!

While cauliflower is an extremely versatile recipe ingredient, it also has a whole host of health benefits. It’s high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and folic acid, and, for those watching their weight, it’s also extremely low in calories – one cup only has about 27 calories (compare that to 204 calories in a cup of regular white rice!) Check out this article for a more in-depth look at the health benefits of cauliflower.

Cauliflower crust

Jillee did a post back in 2012 on how to make a cauliflower pizza crust that turned out great! I’ve wanted to try out some other ways of using cauliflower for ages. This week I finally got around to making cauliflower rice! As I’m apt to do, I read a whole bunch of blogs to figure out the best way to make it. I found three general ways of cooking it that I decided try out.

But before you can cook the cauliflower you have to turn it into “rice.”

How To Make Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

Start by cutting the stem off the cauliflower and then chop the crown into smaller pieces.

Cauliflower Rice

Next, you can either use a blender/food processor or a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower.

I tried both and decided that the blender or food processor is the far superior method. I put a handful of cauliflower into my Blendtec, pulsed it a few times and it was done! The cheese grater worked fine but it made such a mess. Cauliflower is so crumbly that I ended up with little pieces of it all over the counter after using the grater.

Cauliflower Rice

At this point if you don’t think you’ll be able to eat the whole batch you can freeze some of the cauliflower. I got this idea from Alyssa at everydaymaven.com. She suggests freezing it in 2 cup portions.

Now it’s time to cook our “rice!” Like I mentioned above I tried 3 different methods.

First up, the oven method. 

Cauliflower Rice

Spread your cauliflower out in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 475 for 15-20 minutes, flipping the cauliflower one time.

I couldn’t ever get my cauliflower to really dry out. I think I should have dried it out a bit before cooking because it ended up kind of steaming in the oven. But it still browned up a bit and tasted great.

Next up, the microwave method.

Cauliflower Rice

Put your cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave for 2-3 minutes.

This ended up being my least favorite method. The microwave steams the cauliflower and it ends up tasting exactly like tiny little pieces of steamed cauliflower. Not that there is anything wrong with steamed cauliflower, but it’s not really the result I’m going for when making cauliflower rice.

Finally, the stove method.

I read quite a few more complicated stove recipes that involved adding onions, chicken broth and seasonings, but I wanted something as simple as possible.

Cauliflower Rice

I just heated a couple tablespoons of olive oil (coconut oil would be great too) in a pan and then added my cauliflower. I sautéed the cauliflower until it dried out a bit and had golden brown edges.

This was by far my favorite method! I loved the flavor that the oil added. And the cauliflower browned up so nicely. The texture was much better than the oven or microwave batches.

Cauliflower Rice

Now, even though I thought it turned out delicious I will say that it does not taste exactly like rice. It definitely still tastes like cauliflower. But the texture makes it a perfect rice substitute in a lot of recipes. From what I read you’ll generally want to use it with drier foods. Cauliflower tends to really suck up liquid so it’s not a great substitute in casseroles with heavy sauces.

I made Cauliflower Fried Rice for dinner last night and it was a hit! I added some grilled chicken to bulk it up a bit and make it a more complete meal. Even my husband liked it and he tends to be very leery of “healthy” food. His words were, “I can tell it’s not rice, but I don’t care!”

Cauliflower Rice

Here are 10 other cauliflower rice recipes I’m hoping to try:

I’m also planning to try my hand at cauliflower “mashed potatoes.”

What’s your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

This guide covers different ways to make cauliflower rice, incorporating SEO keywords for optimal search engine visibility.

Cauliflower Rice

Jill Nystul
Who knew one of my favorite vegetables (that admittedly I don’t eat enough of) could be used in so many different ways and in so many different recipes!?
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 97 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Start by cutting the stem off the cauliflower and then chop the crown into smaller pieces.
  • Use a blender/food processor or a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower.

The oven method.

  • Spread your cauliflower out in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 475 for 15-20 minutes, flipping the cauliflower one time.

The microwave method.

  • Put your cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave for 2-3 minutes.

The stove method.

  • Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil (coconut oil would be great too) in a pan and add the cauliflower.
  • Sautée the cauliflower until it dries out a bit and has golden brown edges.

Nutrition

Serving: 4peopleCalories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 43mgPotassium: 429mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 69.3mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 0.6mg

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  • What's The Best Way To Prepare Cauliflower Rice? Three Methods Tested | Lifehacker Australia says:

    […] up, you can microwave it, cook it in your oven or place it in a saucepan on the stove. An article over at One Good Thing covers the benefits of each method, with microwaving coming in last. Unsurprisingly, you end up with small bits of steamed […]

  • I would really like to enjoy your blog, but I am continually frustrated with the broken links to pictures… you use more pictures than words for descriptions of what you do, and I can’t see any of the pictures! How to fix this is beyond me!

  • You mentioned wanting to try Caulflower mashed “potatoes”. My family has actually been doing this for years. We started out doing half cauliflower and half potatoes, and now do about 3/4 caulfilower and 1/4 potatoes. To save time we use frozen caulfilower and just throw it in with the potatoes while they boil. Take it out and prepare it the way you normally make your mashed potatoes (we are simple, a little evaporated milk, butter, salte & pepper).

    Our family likes so much we never make regular mashed potatoes anymore, because we like the flavor better.

    We even serve it for holidays and our friends and family ooooo and ahhh.

  • Sounds intriguing; but I can’t imagine not being overwhelmed by the taste of cauliflower. Especially if cauliflower is not well liked in this house. Will give it a whirl though.

  • Cauliflower rice is amazing! The pizza turns out nice too, and you can just crisp up the base like crisp bread to dip in pesto. If you haven’t already, try make a cauliflower mash (thick purée) with butter- tastes amazing, and makes less of a mess while cooking!

    Tara
    http://Www.gettheskinny.co.uk

  • My very favorite cauliflower recipe is for dressing. I love turkey and dressing and this greatly reduces the calories. Thank you for all the rice receipts. Love, love this blog!

  • I love Califlower mashed potato. I always cook a whole head of califlower even when I need a little so I have some left to mash for my next meal. As I don’t like or eat potatos this is a great for me.

  • This sounds yummy!! We recently discovered a great Cauliflower “mashed potato” recipe and tried it out at Thanksgiving and LOVED it. Of course, right now I cannot find the recipe to include here, but I will send it when I find it. Easy and yummy-cauli, parmesan, salt, pepper to taste and topped with minced chives or tweak any way you want. We literally love it more than mashed potatoes!! I don’t even love cauliflower normally.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, looking fwd to trying it :0)
    Love all your posts, they never disappoint, keep up the good posting!

  • I grew up having fried cauliflower! It is so nutty and delicious!! I just break it down into flowerets, I like them mid size. Then I steam them to just barely tender. Let cool. I then shake a few of them at a time in a ziplock bag to which I have added flour, salt and pepper. While doing this I melt butter in a skillet. You could use olive oil but the flavor is not as nice. I then fry them in batches, turning frequently until all sides are nicely brown and crunchy! Yum!!!!

  • For plain cauliflower i really only like it roasted. It’s also good steamed and mashed then mixed with broccoli with a little blue cheese, olive oil and red pepper flakes. I do recommend cooking the cauliflower “rice” with the onions and broth. It makes a measurable difference and it’s much more pleasant to eat.

  • Jillee, I saw Joy Bauer do this on TV yesterday! You did a more in depth trial & error trial! It must be a Kale- like thing happening here!!

    Thanks.

  • I love that you included three different detailed experiments for how to make this dish, so that I already have an idea of the best method, rather then being left to wonder if there’s a better way. Thank you!

  • Thanks Kaitlyn! Great post. I agree to rice the cauliflower you must use a food processor then “stir fry” with the oil of your choice. Yummy! I even got a thumbs up from my very picky granddaughter after preparing it.

  • Huge fan of cauliflower mashed potatoes here. We sometimes add garlic and parm cheese too = fabulous.

    We’re also huge fans of cauliflower popcorn.

  • Love this! When my son had his wisdom teeth out in Jan, for some reason all he wanted to eat was cauliflower mashed potatoes! I just microwave steamed the (frozen) cauliflower in the bag, put it in a bowl and added butter and a touch of salt and mixed it with a hand blender…he ate that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  • I have always used the cheese grater and stove method to make cauliflower rice. Looks like I might need to try the blender…I am not sure why I never tried that before! Thanks for the post

  • The last time I made cauliflower rice I used the stove top method, used coconut oil to cook the onions first then put in “riced” cauliflower, kale, and mushrooms then added paprika, tandore, and cavenders to season it, turned out great!

  • Actually, I make cauliflower rice with very wet food. I like something, e.g., rice, couscous, or potatoes, to sop up all the gravy. I make it when I have something from the crock pot which generally yields a lot of sauce. It’s a good low carb and low calories alternative.

    Thanks for showing the other ways to make it. I’ve been doing it in the microwave, buy hubby wants to avoid microwaved foods. I’ll try the oven method.

    One thing: After you wash the cauliflower make sure to dry it very well. If it is wet before it’s cooked it becomes mushy.

    Again, thanks!

  • I accidentally made cauliflower rice by roasting my cauliflower without any oil until it was al dente. After a day or two in the fridge, not knowing what I was going to do with the cauliflower I decided to put it through the food processor. Came out wonderful! No water to speak of so I didn’t have to drain it or dry it out. I’m not a low carb eater so I don’t need to rely on it, but if I did, I would make it again this way.

  • I love cauliflower mashed potatoes. We’ll see if I get the hankering to do all the work for the rice…it sounds really good! The Indian spiced version sound amazing.

    I’ve also put mashed turnips into regular mashed potatoes. I loved it, but my ex-husband wasn’t such a fan. He humored me, though. I like mashed carrots in my mashed potatoes, too.

    I love that Kaitlyn is into healthy food because I get to reap a lot of the benefits in the form of getting to ask her advice. ;) (She’s my sister. She’s pretty awesome. I’m not biased, I promise.)

  • Hey Jill, thanks for the shout out on my Indian Spiced Cauliflower Rice! This is such a great tutorial. I’ve never tried it in the oven or frozen it first, I will have to try that out. And I’m definitely eyeing some of the other versions you have listed, like that chipotle one, yum. Great ideas!

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