This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is one of my favorite ways to get my son to eat his vegetables. For the longest time, he had no idea I wasn’t using actual rice. Chances are, your family won’t realize it, either.
With cauliflower, both the texture and flavor are the same, but with just a fraction of the carbs. Plus, you get the pleasure of knowing your family is eating a day’s worth of vegetables in one delicious meal.
How to Make Cauliflower Fried Rice
Protein is Optional
I usually serve this as a side dish or on Meatless Mondays. If you want to turn it into the main course, cook your favorite protein in the skillet first. Once it’s done, remove it from the pan, wipe the skillet clean, and proceed with the recipe.
You CAN Freeze Cauliflower Rice!
If you find yourself a fan of Cauliflower Fried Rice, you might want to rice several heads at once and freeze the extras. Using ziplock bags works very well — remove as much air as possible then flatten them for easy storage.
The cauliflower rice will soften as it defrosts, so your future cooking time will be even shorter — just be sure to wring it well in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Turning Cauliflower into “Rice”
There are several ways to turn raw cauliflower into a rice substitute.
Using a cheese grater: Run cauliflower florets along the large holes of a cheese grater. You can even do the core this way. (Here are more clever cooking hacks using cheese graters.)
Using a knife: Remove the core and discard it, or freeze it to make vegetable stock later. (Here are more smart ways to use kitchen scraps like this one.) Using your knife, chop the florets finely, scraping them back into a pile as needed, until what’s left looks like rice.
Using a food processor: Break florets off and pulse them in the bowl of your processor using a metal blade until they resemble rice.
Vary the Vegetables
One of the great things about this Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe is that it’s easy to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Fresh or frozen broccoli, corn, carrots, peas or edamame, bell peppers, and green beans all work well. Sometimes I throw in mushrooms or even chopped zucchini. Be creative!
No matter what vegetables you choose, get them ready ahead of time. Stir-fried recipes like this Cauliflower Fried Rice require rapid cooking, so you won’t have time to pause and chop things.
Also, be sure to chop the vegetables so they’re all the same size. This step ensures they all cook evenly.
Tip: If you don’t have great knife skills, use a vegetable chopper like this one to speed up this part — even kids can use it with a little supervision! I use mine to chop vegetables in bulk and freeze them for future meals.
Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
- Food processor OR cheese grater (optional)
- 1 large cauliflower broken into florets
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, or any vegetables you prefer) chopped to same size
- 1/2 cup peas (frozen is fine)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil divided
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or more to taste
- 1 tsp Fish sauce optional for non-vegans
Rice the Cauliflower
- If using a knife: Place florets on a chopping board and "walk" the blade of your knife over them until they resemble rice.
- If using a box grater: Run florets and core on the large holes to make "rice."
- If using a food processor: Add florets to the bowl of a food processor equipped with a metal S-blade. Pulse until they resemble rice.
Make the Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 4 minutes until onion begins to turn translucent.
- Add mixed vegetables to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they're fully cooked. Use additional oil if needed.
- Add cauliflower "rice" to pan and cook, stirring constantly until it's softened. (About 2 minutes.)
- Add soy sauce to taste (and fish sauce, if using).
- Serve immediately. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheated in a skillet or microwave. Or freeze leftovers in an air-tight container or bag for up to 2 months.
Note: This recipe was first published on November 30, 2015. The steps have been revised prior to republication to provide alternative ways of making cauliflower rice.