Cauliflower rice is mild-tasting, good both cooked and raw, and very versatile. Plus, particularly when raw, it has a pleasant toothiness. And if you’re avoiding gluten or grains in general, it’s an excellent substitute to your usual starches.
By now, you’ve probably heard about spiralized vegetables—zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” and all their variations. They’re a great way to eat more vegetables. But that spiralizer can also turn your hulking head of cauliflower into a fluffy pile of cauliflower “rice.” By using the spaghetti cut blade on your spiralizer (the green blade), you’ll break your cauliflower down into what looks like a pile of grains. You can also use a food processor to make quick, neat work of it. Don’t have either? A box grater takes a little more manual effort, but gets the job done too.
Prepared cauliflower rice also makes great leftovers, so it’s a good choice for batch cooking. Make it into a salad or a sauté a big batch of cauliflower fried rice on Sunday, and you’ll have lunch all week. Here’s some cauliflower rice inspiration to get you started.
Instead of white or brown rice, use sautéed cauliflower to toss with your vegetables, like peas, carrots, and scallions, and crack an egg in there too. If you feel like adding more protein, add some chicken. Cook your cauliflower rice in oil over high heat for a few minutes, until the “grains” are browning at the edges and soft. Toss it with veggies, some sesame oil, soy sauce, and a squeeze of Sriracha if you want to give it a bite.
This Middle Eastern salad is usually made with wheat-based bulgur tossed with lemon juice, tomatoes, and heaps of chopped mint and parsley. Swap out the bulgur for cauliflower rice, and you’ll have a salad that’s just as hearty but much lighter than the original. Try serving it with a side pita and homemade hummus.
Like any grain or grain alternative, cauliflower rice is a great jumping-off point for whatever you’ve got in your fridge. Whether it’s raw or cooked vegetables, some shrimp, cheese, or herbs, toss them with the cauliflower rice and your favorite dressing. You’ll be feeling very resourceful come dinnertime.
A head of cauliflower and a grater or spiralizer can make you a bowl of risotto that won’t drive you into a sleepy, starchy haze ten minutes after you eat it. And—as with most of these dishes—cauliflower risotto is incredibly versatile, so you can pull from whatever creamy, dreamy risotto memories you have. Try starting with mushrooms and thyme: cook down some onions, add mushrooms and thyme and a bit of butter, then add your cauliflower rice along with vegetable or chicken stock. Cook down until the cauliflower is soft and the liquid is absorbed, then add a splash of cream and some grated Parmesan cheese.
Riced cauliflower makes a healthy, gluten-free option for pizza crust—and it tastes good too. Topped with fresh veggies and cheese, and it’s the healthiest pizza you can possibly make. Learn how to make our delicious cauliflower pizza crust with this recipe and tips.
Can’t get enough cauliflower? Try our Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad with Lemon Brown Butter recipe and Whole Cauliflower Roast with Walnut Pesto.