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How to Make Cauliflower Rice (And Why You’d Want to)

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Cauliflower rice is a rice alternative for people following a low carb, Whole 30, or Keto diet plan. It’s also a great way to get more veggies into your diet, which is often a struggle for people. (Raising my hand over here…) Read on to learn how to make cauliflower rice for use in your kitchen. (And why you might want to!)

whole head of cauliflower on a kitchen counter

I like cauliflower. It’s actually one of my favorite vegetables. But when I heard about people talk about riced cauliflower, my first thought: That’s nuts. Cauliflower is good at being cauliflower, but cauliflower cannot be rice. I might even have added “weirdos” to the end of that whole thought process.

Then I tried it, and that was that. It’s not an exact replica of rice, of course. But you know, it’s pretty darned good. And using riced cauliflower to replace rice in some dishes means fewer carbs and more veggies in my belly.

What is riced cauliflower?

Essentially, it’s cauliflower cut up into tiny little pieces. Rice sized pieces. For people who are following specific low-carb diets like the Keto plan or Whole 30, it’s a great stand-in for rice. But even if you’re not following a special diet, adding these bite-sized bits of rice to dishes bumps the veggie count! And if you’re growing your own cauliflower in the garden?? This is a great way to use it! (You will also want to make some of this fermented cauliflower.)

knife with chopped cauliflower rice

How to make cauliflower rice

There are several ways to do this, depending on what kitchen equipment you have available to use.

  1. The simplest method is to use a knife to cut the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. This is also the most time consuming method, but if you have a simply outfitted kitchen, it works just fine.
  2. Using a box grater is a bit faster.
  3. The fastest method is to use a blender or food processor. With a blender, you’ll pulse until the cauliflower is the right size. You can do the same with a food processor, or you can use a grater attachment on the food processor — either way works.
riced cauliflower in a white bowl, with a large head of cauliflower and a blender

It can be used in a variety of recipes; simply cook it in a pan much like you would cook rice, add it to soups, or make cauliflower fried rice. You can also freeze it in meal sized portions so it’s readily available when you need it.

While it’s entirely optional, I’ve had the best luck with cauliflower rice when I take the time to squeeze out the excess moisture. To do this, I place the riced cauliflower on a flat flour sack towel. Then I gather up the edges and twist the ball of cauliflower rice in the towel, pressing out as much moisture as possible. (Do this after it comes out of the freezer, too.)

riced cauliflower in a dark blue bowl
How to Make Cauliflower Rice

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Cauliflower rice is a low carb rice alternative for for people following a low carb, Whole 30, or Keto diet plan. It's also a great way to get more veggies into your diet! 

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower

Instructions

  1. Remove green leaves from head of cauliflower. Wash, and then cut cauliflower into florets.

Knife Method

  1. Chop the florets into small pieces similar to rice.

Box Grater Method

  1. Using the side of the box grater with large holes, grate the cauliflower (much as you would cheese). 

Blender or Food Processor Method

  1. In batches, pulse cauliflower florets in blender or food processor until it is the about the size of grains of rice. If most of the cauliflower is the right size, dump the riced cauliflower into a bowl and return larger pieces to the blender for further processing. Repeat until all cauliflower is riced.

Optional: Remove Moisture

  1. This step is unnecessary if you're adding cauliflower rice to soups, but you'll have better results when making fried rice or cauliflower pizza if you remove as much moisture as possible. Place the riced cauliflower on a flat flour sack towel. Gather up the edges and twist the ball of cauliflower rice in the towel, pressing out as much moisture as possible.

Notes

Makes about 3-4 cups of cauliflower rice.

Cook this cauliflower in a pan much like you would cook rice, add it to soups, or make cauliflower fried rice. 

You can also freeze the rice in meal sized portions. You'll probably need to give it a twist in a towel again when it comes out of the freezer to remove excess moisture.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 23Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

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