Worlds better than carryout, Cauliflower Fried Rice is a quick cooking, tasty weeknight staple and a super healthy plant-based recipe the whole family will devour.
Eating more vegetables can be delicious—and easy—when there’s Cauliflower Fried Rice for dinner. It’s a great low-carb recipe that’s also keto-friendly, gluten-free, and whole30 compliant.
I load up my cauliflower fried rice with easy frozen vegetables, some fresh ginger, ham, and scallions, but you can add what ever you want, fresh or frozen, to make it any way you want it.
Got an extra big wok and an extra large appetite for Cauliflower Fried Rice? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
What is cauliflower rice?
It may be tiny and white, but it’s not really rice. It’s finely chopped (riced) cauliflower that acts as a low-calorie, high-fiber stand-in for rice. It also happens to be a great way to incorporate more vegetables into our meals. It cooks quickly and can be used instead of rice for some recipes, especially this one!
Is cauliflower rice better for you than rice?
Pound for pound, cauliflower is made from one of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables you can eat. It’s a superfood that’s loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamins C, K and B6, and it’s high in potassium.
It’s outrageously low in calories, too: cauliflower has 25 calories per cup vs. 218 for a cup of cooked brown rice.
I love rice of all kinds, and I definitely look for occasions to enjoy it. But vegetable fried rice works so well, I never miss a single grain when I make this recipe.
Where can you find riced cauliflower?
Lots of companies and producers have caught onto the cauliflower craze, so it’s not too difficult to find frozen cauliflower rice at the grocery store, or fresh, pre-bagged riced cauliflower at places like Trader Joe’s or Costco.
I like to make my own, though, because it’s fresh, isn’t processed (other than by me) and doesn’t get as mushy as the frozen riced cauliflower.
If you find a good source of freshly riced cauliflower, it definitely saves you a step or two! If not, don’t worry; I’ll show you how to make it as fast (and neatly) as possible.
How to make perfect cauliflower rice every time:
- Once you cut the cauliflower head into small florets, add them to the bowl of your food processor.
- Be sure not to overcrowd the cauliflower by packing too many florets in at a time. Crowding over chops some of the cauliflower, while leaving the rest too chunky.
- Work in batches, processing a few handfuls of florets at a time, using the pulse function if your machine has one.
- When the cauliflower is chopped up and resembles rice or couscous, stop the machine.
- Pour out the cauliflower into a bowl and start the process over again until you have the amount you need.
Can you make cauliflower rice without a food processor?
If you don’t have a food processor handy, all you need is a plain old box grater. It’s just right for making riced cauliflower. Try out the different sizes of graters, to see which one works best for your needs.
How do you cut cauliflower?
When you make cuts from the top of the cauliflower head, or curd–as the white clusters are called–things can get messy, and fast.
The neatest way I know to trim up and cut a cauliflower apart is by starting from the bottom.
- First, trim off the leaves, which are all at the bottom of the head. Removing the leaves will allow you to see the core of the plant.
- Next, with a small knife, carefully cut out the core.
- Once the core is out of the head of cauliflower, you can slice through the underside of the head, through the stem, to separate out the florets.
- Keep trimming through the stem of the florets, letting the florets break apart naturally once you reach the curd.
Now you’re ready to make cauliflower rice for any recipe!
Cauliflower Fried Rice– Tasty Variations:
The best part about this stir-fry is that you can improvise and get creative. (You can also use what’s in the fridge!)
Cauliflower Fried Rice with chicken: Go ahead and add diced, lean chicken breast for an extra protein boost. As with any stir-fry, I would cook the chicken (or any raw protein) separately first and toss it in at the end. You can even use the juices from the chicken to cook your cauliflower for additional flavor.
Cauliflower Fried Rice with shrimp: Yes, please! Those little frozen shrimp make a fabulous addition to fried rice, with or without the ham.
Cauliflower Fried Rice with egg: Many nights, I’ll quickly fry a beaten egg in sesame oil, chop it into thin slices, and mix it into the riced cauliflower with everything else.
Cauliflower Fried Rice with bacon: If you don’t have ham but you do have bacon, chop up 2-3 slices and cook it first in the pan until it’s the way you like to eat bacon. Set it aside and add it in when you add the vegetables.
Cauliflower Fried Rice Vegetarian Recipes:
Cauliflower Fried Rice with tofu: Make Cauliflower Fried Rice vegan by subbing out tofu or tempeh for the ham. Easy and delicious vegan dinner.
Cauliflower Fried Rice with broccoli: I chop up a bit of broccoli into little bits to add to the cauliflower. But you don’t have to stop there! You can add diced zucchini, water chestnuts, garlic, or bok choy to make the most wonderful vegetarian or vegan fried rice ever.
Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
- 1 medium sized head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds, oe 4 cups of riced cauliflower)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup ham diced
- 1 cup frozen mixed carrots and peas
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce Tamari for Gluten Free, Coconut Aminos for Paleo/Whole30)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 2 scallions chopped
- Transfer florets to the bowl of a food processor. Blend or pulse until the cauliflower has broken down into small pieces, about the shape of rice or couscous.
- Preheat large skillet or wok. Add sesame oil. When oil is shimmering, add the cauliflower, red pepper, carrots, peas, ham, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Stir over a medium-high heat until the mixture is hot, taste and season again with soy sauce if needed.
- Add the chopped cilantro at the end and serve at once.