Starting from raw or frozen, master how to cook cauliflower rice to throw into a variety of dishes, whether you’re using a microwave, oven, or stovetop.
Head’s up: prepare to make a big batch of this cauliflower rice so you have plenty in the freezer. Yes…you can be stubborn about your love for rice and carbs AND wanna scoop up multiple helpings of cauli-rice.
Cauliflower: from Raw to Rice
- Rinse and pat dry a large head of cauliflower and strip away its green outer leaves.
- Time to chop it up! Use one of these easy methods to get rice-like pieces!
Roughly chop cauliflower into small florets. Working in batches, pulse the florets into even granules. Make sure to not over-process or you might end up with cauliflour. If you need a laugh, continue the downhill trend with these baked cauliflower fries!
Or use a high-speed blender, pushing the cauliflower down with the tamp to distribute it.
Chop cauliflower into large sections you can easily work with, and grate them through medium-sized holes. Test and see if you’re getting the right size of grains you want before going full throttle with the grating!
Pull out your best chef’s knife. For this method, you’re probably better off discarding most of the stem. Proceed to mince the cauliflower!
How to cook cauliflower rice – 3 Ways
Steam it in the microwave
Place 1 serving of cauliflower rice in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a plate. Microwave on High for about 3 minutes.
On the stovetop
Stir-fry over medium-high heat with oil and salt. This could be the beginning of some fried rice. Or skip the oil for a plain version!
In the oven
Here’s probably the most flavorful method! Toss cauliflower rice with olive oil and salt and spread it into a single layer on a baking sheet, then roast at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), 10 to 15 minutes, tossing it again halfway through.
Freezing and defrosting cauliflower
Frozen cauliflower rice is ready for anything! Defrost it in the microwave on Low for 2-3 minutes before adding it to any fried “rice,” rice pilaf, or another dish on the “drier” spectrum (as opposed to moist steamed rice or boiled porridge).
The freezing and defrosting process makes the florets more tender and perfect for fried “rice.”
When you use frozen cauliflower florets, you don’t have to trim, cut, boil, drain, and chill the cauliflower, which could add 15 minutes to prep and cooking time.
Important tip: Before throwing it into a pan for fried “rice,” blot the cauliflower dry with a paper towel to achieve that dry rice grain texture. Wet cauliflower will “steam” and not stir-fry well.
Now that you’ve got the cauliflower rice fundamentals down, let us know in the comments how it turned out!
Can’t get enough cauliflower? Try these recipes.
Use it as a base for one of these one-bowl meals!
Fried rice time?!
Other handy how-to’s
- Cooking brown rice in the microwave
- Quinoa in the Microwave
- Ancient grains galore!
- How to Make the Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large head cauliflower
- Salt to taste
- Cooking oil, as needed (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry the head of cauliflower and strip away its green outer leaves.
- Cut cauliflower into sections; individual florets if using a food processor or high-speed blender, larger chunks if using a box grater or chopping by hand. If chopping by hand, remove most of the stem.
- Dice cauliflower sections using method of choice to create even-sized rice-like granules.
To cook cauliflower rice in the microwave:
- Place 1 serving of cauliflower rice in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a plate. Microwave on High until heated through, about 3 minutes.
On the stovetop:
- Stir-fry cauli-rice over medium-high heat, with oil and salt if desired.
In the oven:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Toss cauliflower rice with olive oil and salt and spread it into a single layer on a baking sheet, then roast until “rice” is dry, stirring halfway, about 12 minutes.