How to Make Cauliflower Rice
You’re probably caught on to this by now, but I'm pretty obsessed with veggies (I'm guessing you are too). Which is why I take every opportunity to add even more of them into our diet (#veggiesonveggies). Though I have nothing against real rice (and no, cauliflower rice doesn’t taste exactly like it), cauliflower rice is my favorite alternative; chewy, tender, and will absorb whatever you feel like seasoning it with (hello, curry sauce).
How to Make Cauliflower Rice, Two Ways
There are two ways to make cauliflower rice. The fastest way (by far) is to use a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, have no fear: you can use a box grater's larger holes to shred the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. With either tool, follow the simple steps below:
1 head of cauliflower yields 4-6 cups of cauliflower rice
- Cut the cauliflower into pieces. Trim away all greens and then cut the cauliflower into quarters. Cut away the core and then break the cauliflower into large florets (some stem is fine).
- Rice your cauliflower. Food processor method: Transfer half the cauliflower pieces into your food processor. You only want the food processor to be about 1/2 full so that it can process evenly, so processing it in two batches is a must. Process the cauliflower by pulsing the machine until it has broken down into rice-sized pieces. Box grater method: Grate the florets using the large holes of a box grater.
- Remove unprocessed pieces. Some larger florets and stems won't process into rice-sized pieces the first go-around. Remove them and, once removing the processed cauliflower rice, reprocess the unprocessed pieces separately.
To Cook or Not to Cook?
Cauliflower rice can be eaten raw or lightly cooked (key word: lightly!). I usually enjoy it raw or slightly "cooked" by the warmth of the sauce we're putting on top of the rice. Here are four great ways to enjoy cauliflower rice.
Pretty self-explanatory. Just process and eat! Great for cold grain-like salads or prep-ahead bowls that will be reheated.
A great option for a tender, more rice-like texture. Just don't overcook! Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and add some minced garlic. Once hot, sauté your cauliflower rice for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper after sautéing so the rice so it doesn't get too soft while cooking. Serve immediately or refrigerate 4-5 days.
The fastest way to cook cauliflower rice. Just add your processed or grated cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish, cover, and cook on high for one minute. After a minute, check on the rice and then continue to cook in 30-second increments until desired texture. 2-3 minutes total should be enough.
The most flavorful way to cook cauliflower rice. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the processed or grated cauliflower evenly on a baking dish (you may need two) and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Storage and Meal Prep Tips
Raw and cooked cauliflower rice can be kept in an air-tight sealed container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days
Cauliflower rice can be frozen for up to three months. Since cauliflower rice is a weeknight staple of ours, we like to freeze it to have on hand at all times. Simply bag up the raw cauliflower rice into Ziploc bags (or an air-tight sealed container of choice); we like freezing in 2 cup portions, which is about 2 servings. Freeze the bags flat so they don't take up a lot of space in the freezer. When ready to cook, steam frozen cauliflower rice in the microwave or sauté just as you would with fresh.
If you're making several servings of prep-ahead meals, you don't need to cook the cauliflower rice before adding to your meal prep containers. As mentioned above, the cauliflower rice will lightly "cook" from the curry sauce, especially if you microwave the whole meal prep container for 1-2 minutes right before eating.
Where to Buy Cauliflower Rice
To save time, you can find cauliflower rice in the freezer aisle of most US supermarkets. Green Giant and Birds Eye both sell frozen cauliflower rice. Trader Joe's sells both fresh and frozen cauliflower rice (their frozen version is organic), so check both the produce and freezer aisles. Whole Foods Market's 365 brand sells organic cauliflower rice in the freezer aisle of many Whole Foods Market stores. We've also seen organic cauliflower rice in the freezer aisle of Costco.
Cauliflower Rice Recipes
Use cauliflower rice wherever you'd use regular rice! Think: stir-fries, paella, burritos, or some of my favorite bowl and salad recipes (of course;):