In keeping with my life’s legacy of tardiness, I arrived at riced cauliflower years behind schedule. Better late than never, especially when it comes to Cauliflower Fried Rice!
Low in carbs and a veggie-packed substitute for regular rice, cauliflower “rice” is a one-time trend turned standby.
You’ll find it on many restaurant menus, at grocery stores, and in home kitchens, including my own.
If you’ve somehow yet to be acquainted, cauliflower rice is a low-carb swap for regular rice. It’s made entirely of cauliflower, so it’s grain-free too.
- Most often, I mix cauliflower rice 50/50 with brown rice to go along with regular stir fry recipes (like Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry).
- Given the full-on fried rice treatment like in this recipe, however (that is bulked up with veggies, scrambled eggs, and several good dashes of soy sauce and sesame oil), cauliflower rice can go from side kick to filling main event.
Thanks to its speed, supreme tastiness, and ability to flex to whatever is lingering in our refrigerator, fried rice is on the menu almost weekly here: Homemade Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, Pork Fried Rice—we love ‘em all.
When you are looking to pack in the most servings of veg, however, cauliflower fried rice is the one.
I can’t imagine a better way to consume a mass amount of vegetables, without actually feeling like I am doing so.
5 Star Review
“This was so easy to make and so delicious! My family couldn’t believe how tasty it was.”— Amelia —
How to Make the Best Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cooked properly, cauliflower makes great fried rice.
The two taste quite similar and like regular rice, cauliflower fried rice:
- Is sticky and fluffy.
- Is adept at soaking up bold Asian flavors.
- Tastes comforting, a feat I didn’t think was possible until I tried it myself.
The key to the best cauliflower fried rice is to keep it from turning soggy.
- Use high heat, so the cauliflower warms quickly before turning mushy.
- Only cook it for 1 to 2 minutes (left on the heat too long, cauliflower rice will steam and turn very soft, giving it a soggy taste).
- Add it last. Unlike traditional fried rice, you stir fry all of the other ingredients first, then incorporate the cauliflower rice at the very end so it doesn’t turn soggy.
How to Make Cauliflower “Rice”
With the help of a food processor, cauliflower rice takes less than 15 minutes or prep time.
- Wash and dry the head of cauliflower.
- Cut it into large pieces.
- Shred the pieces using a box grater or food processor.
Don’t feel like making cauliflower rice yourself? You can purchase pre-riced cauliflower from the grocery store.
Once you have your riced cauliflower, you are ready to turn it into cauliflower fried rice!
Cauliflower. The unexpected base of our fried rice dish! Cauliflower magically becomes rice-like and soaks up the delicious flavors. Bonus: cauliflower is packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants and is low carb.
Eggs. A classic fried rice addition that helps add filling protein to the dish.
Toasted Sesame Oil. Adds a toasty, nutty flavor that makes the fried rice taste special.
Pineapple. The sweetness of the pineapple pairs addictively with the hit of spicy sriracha and salty soy sauce. Plus, it caramelizes in the skillet into something fantastic and is high in vitamin C and potassium.
Veggies. I used a combination of bell pepper, carrots, green onions, and edamame. The bell pepper and carrots add a nice crunch, the green onions add a tasty bite, and the edamame is the perfect buttery, protein-packed addition.
- Soy Sauce. Seasons the fried rice and gives it that must-have touch of umami.
- Sriracha. The spicy component of this sweet and spicy fried rice. This dish only has a mild kick, but you can add more to take things up a notch.
- Make the cauliflower rice from cauliflower florets (or purchase fresh riced cauliflower).
- In a skillet or large wok, scramble the eggs.
- Cook the pineapple, bell pepper, and carrots.
- Add the edamame, green onions, and garlic.
- Stir in the riced cauliflower. Add the eggs, soy sauce, Sriracha, and remaining sesame oil. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate cauliflower rice in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze cauliflower rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The texture of the rice will be much softer when thawed.
Meal Prep Tip
Rice the cauliflower up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the recipe. You can also chop the carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and garlic up to 1 day in advance.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Food Processor. The easiest way to make cauliflower rice.
- Non-Stick Skillet. Using a non-stick skillet makes cleanup a breeze.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. The extra space is ideal for a recipe with lots of veggies.
Rice, rice baby…
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can certainly add protein to this cauliflower fried rice recipe.
Cauliflower fried rice chicken is our favorite! We love adding Air Fryer Chicken Breast or Crockpot Shredded Chicken. I also think Crispy Tofu, Air Fryer Shrimp, or Soy Ginger Salmon would all be excellent with this dish.
Frozen rice cauliflower is a wonderful, time-saving resource when you are using it as a side for other stir fry recipes, where the texture isn’t as important. I do not, however, recommend using frozen cauliflower rice to make fried rice, as it will be soggy once thawed.
If you only have frozen veggies on hand like frozen peas, you can swap them for the fresh veggies listed in the recipe. The frozen vegetables will release some excess liquid during cooking, however, so you may need to drain the skillet before adding your cauliflower rice. Otherwise, the dish may end up soggy.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or canola oil plus 1 teaspoon
- 2 cups pineapple tidbits from one 20-ounce can or diced fresh pineapple, drained if canned
- 1 large bell pepper cored and diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced (or substitute any other veggie you enjoy)
- 3 green onions sliced, plus additional for serving
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari to make gluten free
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or garlic chili paste also called sambal oelek, plus additional to taste*
- Prep the cauliflower: Cut into large pieces, then shred with the large side of a box grater. For quicker grating, place cut florets in a large food processor, then pulse until the cauliflower resembles small grains of rice. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, scramble the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely set. Transfer to a large, clean bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- Carefully wipe the skillet clean, then heat the remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil over medium high. Add the pineapple, bell pepper, and carrots. Cook, stirring constantly, until the juices have evaporated and the pineapple is lightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in the edamame, green onions, and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the cauliflower to the skillet. Cook until the cauliflower is hot but not mushy, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the eggs, soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve warm, topped with cilantro and green onions.
- *I kept the spiciness level of the recipe as written fairly mild, so feel free to add extra chili sauce if you wish.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate cauliflower rice in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze cauliflower rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The texture of the rice may change a bit once thawed, but it will still be tasty.
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