Traditional Cauliflower 'Rice' Substitute Recipe

Total Time 15 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 5 min
Yield 5 servings (68 calories)

This "rice" made from chopped cauliflower will boost your entrees with fiber and nutritional value, and leave you more satisfied after any meal than white rice would. If you haven't tried making the cauliflower switch, this is the recipe to try out your first time. This cauliflower rice tastes very mild, but the beauty of a plain rice recipe is you can make it your own. Feel free to jazz it up and add spices, herbs, cheese, and whatever else suits your fancy. The finished cauliflower rice can be used under a sauce, such as a curry or chicken ala king, or as the base for a dish such as fried "rice" or a "rice" salad - likened to potato salad. So you know, it does not work well as a substitute for rice in casseroles where the rice is supposed to absorb liquid.


  • 1 head
  • cauliflower (or however much you want) (or about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)


To make this dish the most easily and to have it come out the best, three pieces of equipment are very helpful:

  • A food processor
  • A microwave and/or traditional steamer
  • A microwave-safe bowl or steamer (with tight lid)
  • Sauté pan
  • Baking sheet

1. Process fresh cauliflower until it is the size of rice, either using the plain steel blade or the shredder blade. Alternatively, you can shred it with a hand-held grater, or even use a knife, if you have the dexterity to chop it up VERY finely.

2. Microwave it in a covered dish for 3 to 5 minutes. DO NOT ADD WATER. Cauliflower absorbs water like crazy, and the "granules" will become gummy. To keep it fluffy, just let the moisture in the cauliflower do its work.

3. If the microwave taste isn't up to your standards, another method of making cauliflower rice is sautéing the rice with a tablespoon or so of olive oil over high heat. The taste will be bolder, and slightly sweeter than the microwave alternative.

4. Last, but certainly not least is the roasted version of cauliflower rice. This is by far the easiest method as you just spread the cauliflower evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil across the top and place in a 400F oven for 12 minutes for an easy peasy healthy rice option. 

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