I Have Made Cauliflower! Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe

This is the first year I have attempted to grow cauliflower. My husband, G, built three raised garden beds and I got very ambitious and started planting all sorts of new things. I knew next to nothing about growing cauliflower and resorted to consulting YouTube for some how-to videos. Some were helpful. Others, like much of what is on YouTube, were downright bizarre. But I digress….

I learned that cauliflower grows in the middle of a large plant with lots of leaves and the ones in the middle sort of flop over the floret to keep it cool and shaded. It was for this reason that one day it seemed as if nothing was there but the very next day I poked a little deeper and discovered a serious cauliflower floret! I used a large knife to cut the floret out of the plant just as the large, nameless man in balloon-fronted shorts on YouTube had instructed. The moment, for me, was very reminiscent of Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “Castaway” when he is finally successful in making a fire. I actually exclaimed out loud,

“I have made CAULIFLOWER!!!”

After exulting in my success in growing this organic gem I pondered my next step. Of course I would need to find a recipe worthy of my first actual homegrown cauliflower floret. Shortly after starting the Paleo Diet I read about “Cauliflower Rice” and was intrigued. I happen to like cauliflower. But my husband and kids definitely do not like it in any form. In fact G tells a story of going home with a college buddy for a weekend and being horrified when the guy’s mom proudly declared that dinner was “Cauliflower Casserole”. Woo hoo! Not. Given the PTSD he suffered as a result of this experience I was not optimistic that G, or our boys, would be remotely interested in eating cauliflower in any form. But I am happy to report they ALL enjoyed the cauliflower rice and even asked for seconds. Given that the recipe is gluten free and low carb it works great for anyone on a Paleo, Primal or low-carb/Atkins type diet. It seems to fill the void that sometimes exists on a grain free and white potato free diet when you long for something starchy. Cauliflower rice fits the bill – without the starch and high carbohydrate count.

Basic Cauliflower Rice:


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a 8×8 microwaveable dish and cover with plastic wrap. There is no need to add water because the cauliflower will cook in its own moisture.
  2. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.paleo cauliflower rice recipe
  3. Use a food processor to pulse the steamed cauliflower until it is the texture of rice. (You may have to do this in a couple of batches.) Place the cauliflower in a medium bowl and set aside.paleo cauliflower rice recipe
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute’ for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add the cauliflower into the pan and stir fry for 7-10 minutes, until tender.
  6. Add the parsley, the sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6
I recommend you start with this basic recipe and change it up as you desire and depending on what you are serving it with. For example the basic recipe calls for flat leaf parsley but I have also used fresh basil with great success. Additionally, sauteing a diced onion in the olive oil prior to adding the garlic and cauliflower would be good as well. I have even seen a recipe that called for a cup of finely chopped celery. The possibilities are endless. I did find that steaming the cauliflower prior to sauteing it made the whole process easier. You can steam it and process it in advance and store, covered, in the refrigerator and saute’ right before serving.
Cauliflower rice goes especially well with the Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic recipe. I added about a half cup of the garlic sauce from that recipe into the cauliflower rice and served them together. It was really delicious, low carb, grain free – Paleo!
For more information on growing cauliflower and its nutritional profile you can check out this post.

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21 thoughts on “I Have Made Cauliflower! Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe

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  8. I just tried your cauliflower rice recipe and it’s very tasty! It’s a bit crunchy, so maybe I didn’t saute it long enough, but I like it anyway. Thanks!! Very easy! I actually chopped up the cauliflower by hand and it really didn’t take that much time.

    • Great! Glad you like it. It’s very versatile. I use a food processor so I generally end up with pieces that are pretty small so that could account for the difference in time needed to sauté it. Good to know it still works with hand chopping. Thanks for the feedback.

      • made the rice for the first time and LOVED it. I will say, chopping by hand for me was a lot of work and time! I probably won’t make again until I have a food processor, but it definitely makes me want to go out and buy one so I can make this again VERY soon. Had with chicken and homemade paleo pesto sauce and it was delicious. thanks for all the great recipes and tips!

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  12. Lea,
    I make my mom’s bacon fried rice with cauliflower, it turns out so good! My kids thought it was rice, they had no idea, and ate it all up! I chop it, sauté it in bacon fat, add either amino acids or tamari, sauté, then add scrambled edges, cooked bacon pieces and green onions. So great! Love your blog. I am trying the spaghetti squash gratin and will leave my review, thanks!

    • That sounds delicious, Julie. I find my kids really love any type of cauliflower rice and I’ll bet they’d enjoy the fried rice you are describing. We need to try this!

  13. I can’t stop laughing about your cauliflower story! Looking forward to trying your recipe for my sons school lunch. He just started preschool and I can’t even begin to thank you enough for all your wonderful paleo recipes! It’s been quite the challenge to keep him paleo AND nut-free since starting school, but so far so good!

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