TL;DR: Incredibly quick and easy cauliflower rice using your blender and microwave.
Growing up, I ate a lot of rice. No, a lot of rice. Pretty much every home or family meal was centered around a huge steaming pot of rice. I expect that a DNA analysis would reveal that I’m largely made of starch. You get the idea. In any case, as I grew up and got more interested in food and cooking, I incorporated other grains & starchy stuff into my diet like quinoa, bulgur, kamut, and everything in between. All of these are delicious and will always have a place in my heart (and my dinner table). But as I got more into health and fitness and learned about the importance of tracking my nutrients, I sought out less calorie and carb-dense options to have at my disposal. Enter this super easy cauliflower rice recipe.
In addition to being low in carbohydrates and calories per serving, cauliflower is also a great source of a bunch of nutrients like vitamin C and K. Moreover, when cooked and seasoned it actually tastes pretty damn good. This is coming from someone who does not like raw cauliflower. And depending on how you cook it, from steaming to sautéing to roasting, you can coax different flavor elements out of it. My method for making really fast, really easy cauliflower rice uses the microwave. Aside from being the fastest way to cook cauliflower rice, microwaving can also be the healthiest way to cook veggies too.
This recipe will result in a great rice substitute that you can eat with Indian dishes (like dal or rajma), with beans (black beans anyone?), or basically whatever else you would eat with rice. It also works nicely as a rice substitute in any pulao or fried rice recipe. You could even use it as a base for cauliflower pizza dough if you are about that life.
Also if I’m being honest, cauliflower “rice” is really more like couscous in texture than rice. Unless of course you have special equipment, infinite patience, or a combination of both. In any case, most people seem to refer to this as rice so I’m going to just follow suit.
Tool and Tips: Use a blender, work in batches.
There are a few different ways people make this stuff. The most old school and time consuming is by using a cheese grater (or similar contraption). Aside from the elbow grease and sheer time involved, this will leave a huge mess. Another method is to use a food processor. If you have one, go ahead and use it because it’s very simple and results in great, rice-like texture.
If you’re like me and love using your Vitamix for everything and/or don’t have a food processor, your blender will work just fine. Some important things to know:
- Cut the cauliflower up into small enough chunks or florets so that they actually blend. If they’re too large they’ll just float around in the blender.
- Secondly, you’ll need to fill up the blender with water until the pieces are floating. This may require you to work in batches but trust me it’s all very quick.
- I’ve found that pulsing gives the most control. Alternatively you can use a low setting (2 on the dial) but make sure not to over blend.
- After each batch, dump the raw cauliflower rice and water into a strainer to get as much moisture out as possible. If you don’t strain well, the final texture could be on the mushy side.
The Process: Roughly chop cauliflower, pulse in blender with water, strain out water, nuke for three minutes.
Get your ingredients and tools. Not many of them.
Remove the green stem parts and cut the cauliflower into pieces. Like I mentioned above, smaller is better.
In batches (depending on the size of the cauliflower and your blender) put cauliflower chunks into blender, fill with water until the pieces are floating. Pulse a few times or blend on a low setting (2) until everything is riced up. This will happen very quickly so make sure not to blend too long.
Pour cauliflower and water out into a strainer over the sink or bowl. Let the moisture strain out for a minute or two. You can push down on the cauliflower rice to squeeze more moisture out.
Dump into a bowl, add a little oil and salt and mix together. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and cook for three minutes on high.
Fluff and you’re done. At this point you have delicious and easy cauliflower rice to use in place of wherever you would normally use white/brown rice.
Yields 4 servings
Save your carbs for beer. Use your blender and microwave to make delicious, healthy and super easy cauliflower rice in under 15 minutes.
5 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp oil
- pinch salt
- Remove green leaves and stem from cauliflower. Roughly chop into small to medium sized chunks.
- Put cauliflower chunks/florets into blender and fill with water until the pieces are just barely floating. Depending on the size of your blender this may need to be done in batches. Pulse a few times or blend on a low setting very briefly until pieces are riced. This will happen very quickly!
- Pour out into a strainer set over a sink or large receptacle. Wait for a minute or two for the water to drain, and press down with a spatula to remove extra moisture.
- Dump raw cauliflower rice into a bowl, add oil and salt and mix together until evenly coated. Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Remove from microwave, fluff, and it's ready to serve. Eat with curry, lentils, or whatever else you eat rice with. Or use as rice substitute in dishes.
Macros per serving (1 cup): 3g protein, 1g fat, 7.5g carbohydrates (3.5g fiber); 45 calories