Spanish Cauliflower Rice is a fast and easy veggie side that people go crazy for! You will be surprised at how well it tips its hat to classic Spanish rice but without the carbs. A drizzle of lime juice and a sprinkling of cilantro at the end completes this simple dish with an extra pop of flavor. It is just the right match for tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, or grilled chicken.
Cauliflower Spanish Rice is such a great alternative to white rice when you are watching your carbs.
This cauliflower rice recipe has become a year-round staple in my side dish repertoire. It is perfect for any time I am serving southwestern or Mexican food and works well in bowls and stir fries.
When you can serve a dish that is low carb, keto, dairy-free, and gluten-free that the whole family loves, I call that winning!
If you are looking to limit carbs, are on weight watchers, or are just trying to lower your calories, this is sure to become one of your favorite cauliflower recipes.
Ingredients for Making Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower: I typically use a whole cauliflower and pulse it in my food processor to make "rice," but if you want to substitute pre-riced cauliflower, you can.
- Oil: Olive oil or avocado oil works well here.
- Tomato Sauce: If you have any leftovers, freeze it for next time. If you would like a touch more sweetness, tomato paste is also a great option.
- Broth: I find that making my own saves money and yields the best flavor, but you can purchase broth if you need to.
- Garlic: I like fresh minced garlic, but garlic powder may be used in its place.
- Seasonings: Onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper give Spanish-inspired flavors.
- Lime Juice: Finishing with lime juice brightens the dish. Lemons are a great alternative.
- Fresh Cilantro: This gives a final pop of flavor.
- Add ½ diced onion to the skillet.
- Add ½ cup thawed frozen baby peas when you add the seasonings. Omit the cilantro and garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
- Use broccoli instead of cauliflower for Broccoli rice.
- For added flavor in your Mexican cauliflower rice, you can add in 2 teaspoons of chili powder.
- Make Spanish Yellow Cauliflower Rice by adding ½ teaspoon ground turmeric and a pinch of saffron.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
First, start by cutting your cauliflower into florets or large chunks.
Place the cauliflower florets in your food processor and process until it resembles rice.
Alternatively, you can use a box grater to grate the cauliflower.
Next, heat your oil in a large skillet. Add the raw cauliflower rice and cook for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, garlic and seasonings and cover. Cooking cauliflower rice takes between 5 and 10 minutes. You will know it is done when the liquid is mostly absorbed and the cauliflower is tender.
Add a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- If you find that your cauliflower rice is sticking to the pan, you can fix this by adding a little more oil or liquid to the pan.
- Frozen Riced Cauliflower tends to have a bit more liquid. Make sure you give it time to cook off!
- Spanish rice with cauliflower rice works well as a side dish for tacos, enchiladas, or burritos.
- It is fabulous with Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.
- Serve with Chicken with Avocado Sauce.
- Have leftovers? Top it with chicken and cheese for an easy cheesy rice bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Buy Cauli Rice?
Absolutely! Trader Joe’s was one of the first to come out with it.
Now, there are numerous brands available including Green Giant and Birds Eye. I have even seen several grocery stores with store brands. Look for it in the freezer section and the produce section.
How Do You Cook Cauliflower Rice?
The best way to cook it is to saute in a little oil for five minutes. Add liquid to the pan and cover. Cook for another five to ten minutes.
How Long Can You Keep Cauliflower Rice in the Fridge?
It will keep in the fridge for up to five days, loosely wrapped in plastic or a vegetable bag. Caufliower is best stored whole because the florets begin to lose moisture when they are cut.
How Do I Pick the Best Cauliflower?
Cauliflower should be pale white. Yellow or brown spots should be avoided, but minor ones can easily be trimmed off. Look for a head that has bright pale green leaves that are formed tightly around the base.
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- Food Processor (I ADORE this food processor. I have had many and this is the best. You may also use a hand grater.)
- Large Skillet
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
More Cauliflower Rice Recipes
- This Coconut Cauliflower Rice is an excellent twist on cauli-rice.
- Looking for a complete meal? You will LOVE this Low Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice! It is a one-pot meal that comes together in less than 20 minutes - recipes with cauliflower rice don't get any better than this!
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is a delicious side you will turn to again and again.
Spanish Cauliflower Rice
- Food Processor
- Large Saute Pan
- Cut cauliflower into florets. Place in a food processor and process until “riced”.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add cauliflower and cook for five minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce, broth, garlic, onion powder, cumin, sea salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, until tender.
- Uncover. Toss with lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
- Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.