Have you tried homemade cauliflower rice yet? It's all the rage on the healthy food scene. Swap cauliflower rice in for less-healthful white rice to up the nutritional profile of your recipes. Here we'll show you our favorite method for how to make cauliflower rice.

By Sheena Chihak, RD

Cauliflower is a super easy way to make your meals more nutritious (not to mention sneak in an extra serving of veggies!). Though you can cook cauliflower rice in a variety of ways, including roasting, boiling, and skillet-cooking, the process for breaking a head of cauliflower down into cauliflower rice is usually the same (the only exception is if you're boiling it). To make cauliflower rice, chop a head of cauliflower into individual florets. Then, use your food processor to process the florets until they are the size of rice. This should take only a few pulses, and the cauliflower rice should resemble the texture of couscous when it's ready. Once the cauliflower is broken down, feel free to cook it or add it to recipes as you want!

How to Make Cauliflower Rice: Roast It

For the most flavor, make roasted cauliflower rice:

  • Chop a head of cauliflower into florets.
  • Process florets in a food processor until the size of rice.
  • Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with oil and desired seasonings.
  • Roast at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.

Use roasted cauliflower rice in this DIY Burrito Bowl recipe.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice: Boil It

For mild flavor, boil cauliflower to make cauliflower rice:

  • Chop a head of cauliflower into florets.
  • Combine florets, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large saucepan.
  • Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender. Stir occasionally and add water, if needed.
  • Uncover and cook 5 minutes more or until water is evaporated.
  • Mash cauliflower with a fork or use a food processor until the size of rice.

Use boiled cauliflower rice in this Cauliflower Rice Cakes recipe.


How to Make Cauliflower Rice: Skillet-Cook It

For mild flavor and quick cooking time, make cauliflower rice by cooking it in a skillet:

  • Chop a head of cauliflower into florets.
  • Process florets in a food processor until the size of rice.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the cauliflower and desired seasonings. 
  • Cook cauliflower 8 to 10 minutes until you see some pieces beginning to brown.

Use skillet-cooked cauliflower rice in this Orange Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice recipe. (We used purple cauliflower here.)

How to Use Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice doesn't have to be just a low-carb substitute for white rice—you can also turn it into a pizza! If you're craving a cauliflower crust slice, follow these instructions for how to make cauliflower pizza crust:

  • Place 4 cups of cauliflower florets into a food processor. Cover and pulse four to six times, or until the cauliflower is crumbly and the mixture resembles the texture of couscous.
  • Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe casserole dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring once or twice. Allow to cool, then transfer cauliflower to a 100 percent cotton flour-sack towel. Wrap towel around cauliflower and squeeze until there is no more liquid (this step is crucial for a crispy pizza crust!).
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cooked and drained cauliflower, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. On a piece of parchment paper, pat the cauliflower mixture into a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust on paper to the preheated pizza stone. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp and starting to brown.
  • Spoon 3/4 cup of pizza sauce over the crust, spreading evenly. Top as desired. Bake about 5 minutes more or until heated with melted cheese. Cut into slices and dig in!


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