Healthy “Rice” Recipes – Using Riced Cauliflower!

Healthy “Rice” Recipes – Using Riced Cauliflower!

Aug 22nd 2021


“Riced” cauliflower is all the rage these days. The low carb and keto diet crazes have really bumped up the demand for this fairly neutral tasting vegetable that readily absorbs a lot of spice and other ingredients, and suitably mimics the firmness and texture of small pastas, rice and even quinoa or other grains commonly used in cooking but also high in carbs. You don't even have to ship up riced cauliflower in your own blender or food processor any more, the craze is so prevalent that you can find it prepackaged in the fresh and frozen section!

Carbs taste great, but refined carbs especially are pro-inflammatory. This means a lot of things for our overall health in terms of disease and chronic conditions. It promotes everything from different types of cancer, to skin conditions such as acne and rosacea (Related: Comparison of Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid for Acne) and issues with joint and connective tissues. Those on low carb diets tend to enjoy better health overall.

The key is to make sure you are also getting plenty of vegetables so you are still getting a ton of antioxidants. In fact, vegetables should make up the majority of a good low carb diet (opinion). This is where recipes like the following come into play. You almost won’t even miss the real rice when you make rice style recipes with cauliflower rice!

Cauliflower Nutritional Profile Basics

Cauliflower has a really great nutritional profile. It's high in dietary fiber for one, so it's great for digestive health.  The primary benefit though and this is my opinion again, is the fact that it is high in sulfur compounds (hence the smell when cooking). Sulfurous vegetables are excellent for promoting blood flow, reducing cancer risk and reducing overall inflammation in the body.

Cauliflower is also rich in vitamins C, K and E, and contains numerous beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. It's also low in calories and has an excellent glycemic profile (it won't cause spikes and drops in blood sugar, but rather assists in keeping levels stable). Oh - it also absorbs other flavors really well and goes with a lot of different types of seasoning. This is why it is a low carb diet super star - great versatility!  

You can buy several different brands of this prepared food in your freezer section and often times in the fresh produce section as well. Sure, you pay a premium for the convenience of having it already “riced”, but sometimes the price is well worth it when you’re in a pinch.

If you’re on a budget, it’s also super easy to just rice your own cauliflower. As long as you have a blender or food processor of some sort, you can rice in a matter of seconds. The only worry is the additional step and the extra dishes if this is the case, but in truth you’re probably paying about half the cost for this method versus buying it pre-riced.

Decadent “Rice” Recipes – You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Flavor for Carbs!

I’m going to share some low carb “rice” recipes that I’ve been making lately that really help take the sting out of a carb-controlled diet. Of course, there is no 100% substitute for the real thing, but these recipes come close enough.

Spanish “Rice” Recipe Using Riced Cauliflower

I’ve made this one in bulk many times. Guests who have tried it are amazed that it’s rice. The spices used really help to take the attention away from the cauliflower because it absorbs it so well. It is really key in this recipe to not over cook your cauliflower. You don’t want it to be mushy. You want just the right amount of firmness without it being “crunchy”, so constantly sample while cooking.

You can easily double or triple this recipe btw. If you want to triple it, make sure you have a huge wok or very large and deep frying pan so you can toss it around to evenly cook.


  • 4 frozen bags of cauliflower, thawed out – these usually come in bags of 10-12 ounces (thanks to masked food inflation unfortunately I’ve been finding them increasingly in 10 ounce bags). I often will pull the bags out the night before so they are completely thawed by morning
  • Cooking spray of your choice – or butter or ghee – roughly 2 teaspoons
  • ½ onion or full small onion, finely chopped (you can even rice the onion along with the cauliflower here)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minced (you can also rice this along with your cauliflower) Related: Anti-Cancer Benefits of Raw Garlic
  • One can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • Chili powder, one tablespoon
  • Cumin, one tablespoon
  • Smoked paprika, one tablespoon
  • Optional : Salt to taste, adobo seasoning to taste (adobo usually contains salt), fresh cilantro to taste, 1/2 minced red bell pepper.
  • I put all the last ingredients as optional because truthfully, you do not need all of these ingredients for the basic smoky “Spanish” flavor of this dish. However, they do enhance it nicely. I want to make this an economical recipe with the least amount of ingredients possible for the base flavor, but also give you some of the additions that can make it even better. Basically, simply throw all the ingredients in a large, well sprayed or oiled pan and sauté all of them together until they reach the desired consistency. Flip the ingredients often for even cooking. You can top this recipe off with freshly sliced avocado if desired also.

    Second Cauliflower “Rice” Recipe : Thai Rice


  • 4 bags frozen cauliflower, thawed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (can rice right along with cauliflower here)
  • 6 cloves garlic finely minced (again, you can rice right along with cauliflower here)
  • Thai Chili pepper, ground. I found a really good one on Amazon. This might not be the easiest thing to find in a grocery store, but you may get lucky. Unfortunately there is no great substitute for this. It’s pretty distinctly “thai”. You will need to use this to taste since it does have some heat. Add about a half teaspoon first, then you can add more if you like more heat
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee, or cooking spray
  • Fish Sauce – 1-2 tablespoons (start light with this, it’s a potent flavor!)
  • Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon. Try for gluten free soy sauce
  • Lime juice, to taste. I like to add the lime juice right before I eat it. It helps temper any excess fish flavor from the fish sauce too.
  • 3-4 eggs (optional but I recommend)
  • Blanched peanuts (also optional, but adds more substance if you’re not going to add chicken or pork to the vegetarian recipe)
  • As you did with the Spanish rice recipe, you will sauté everything together in a well sprayed or oil pan. Keep the eggs for last. You will crack all of the eggs directly into the pan once the “rice” reaches the desired consistency. Simply stir fry them right into the pan until they are firm – like what you would see in a fried rice recipe.

    Salt to taste if this isn’t to your taste, or you can add more soy sauce since it’s naturally salty. You can add sliced avocado to this recipe also, I do and it’s really tasty, although you might not think to do this in a Thai style recipe! This one is actually better as it sits, so you may find you enjoy it much more the next day.