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Cauliflower Rice Guide: Prep, Cook, and How To Make Cauliflower Rice Taste Good

We are about to break down all things cauliflower rice, including how to make cauliflower rice taste good. In general, cauliflower is quite common when eating a low carb, high fat keto diet with good reason because of its versatility and low carb count!

Cauliflower can easily be transformed into cauliflower rice, also known as caulirice, and is an absolute necessity to try at some point in the keto game. Now, here’s where I’m going to keep it all the way real with you. Although cauliflower rice is a great substitution for white rice, it doesn’t taste anything like regular ole starchy rice, and never will! Trust this Carolina girl, I know! However, I can say it’s actually pretty good. With a little FatUp tweakin’ I have been able to come to enjoy it. 

cauliflower sitting on gold bowl

…’caulirice’ is a great substitution, but doesn’t taste anything like regular ole starchy rice!

We have already established that cauliflower rice is much different than traditional white rice, right!? It is a veggie and not a starch, so the expectation is set. However, we are going to use traditional white rice as the template for how to make cauliflower rice taste good, and it starts with prep! After a good steaming, the previously dry white grain has absorbed the added water to become a soft fluffy texture and with cauliflower, it’s the opposite. Cauliflower starts firm but is full of water, so we are just going to remove it. Giving us steps 1 and 2 of FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps, steam, and then press.

FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps

In just 4 simple steps you will have a blank canvas, to start building on for great-tasting cauliflower rice. If you like the moisture in cauliflower rice this will not be the method for you. We prefer to remove as much moisture as possible and build on flavor afterward. That may include adding flavorful bone or vegetarian broths, sautéing after following the prep steps, with aromatics, or simply adding to soups or casseroles. The possibilities are endless!

  1. Steam your cauliflower rice.
  2. Press out the excess liquid. I recently shared this technique in the Garlic Beef and Caulirice Bowls post. Our preferred, over 5 years time-tested method is with nylon nut milk bags which we highly recommend, not to mention easy cleanup. Simply hand wash the bag with soap, rinse, and let dry! They can be used over and over. Turn the nut milk bag inside out so that the seam is turned outside. This will prevent all of the little granules from getting stuck inside the seam. 
    • No nylon nut milk bag? If you don’t have a nylon nut milk bag or don’t want to buy one, no problem! A clean kitchen towel or even cheesecloth will work. Although a clean kitchen towel indeed gets the job done, I’ve found it to be a hassle to wash one dish towel for a bowl or two of caulirice (no thank you!). So after one shot of that, I thought about nut milk bags, discovered the nylon version, and haven’t looked back! 
  3. Rinse. This step prevents a lot of waiting for things to cool down after steaming but serves a bigger purpose. It really does help to reduce the cauliflower taste, although it doesn’t remove it completely. Once in the nut milk bag, run some cool water over the bag while simultaneously squeezing and pressing the excess water out for about 1 minute.
  4. Fluff it up in a bowl using your hands or a fork (season to taste).

Once done with these steps it’s easy to add to any dish of your choice. You can:

  • eat as is
  • sauté
  • stir fry 
  • add to soups
  • make cauliflower fried ‘rice’
  • a much more

How To Make Cauliflower Rice Taste Good

Now, let’s get into the things I have discovered over the years to make caulirice more palatable.  

  • Follow the FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps (steam, press, rinse, fluff).
  • Don’t be afraid to add liquid back to the caulirice in the form of broths, especially homemade ones that boost flavor no matter which method you use below to cook.
    • Sauté: Take your favorite fat (oil, animal fat, butter, ghee) to a pan, add caulirice, and seasoning to taste.
    • Stirfry: You can add caulirice to any stirfry with fat, other veggies, and protein of choice.
    • Soup: Want to add a little more to your soup, add some caulirice! It will absorb the flavor and taste delicious.
    • Fried ‘Rice’: One of my absolute FAVE ways to eat caulirice! So quick and easy especially if cauliflower rice was frozen and prepped ahead or purchased frozen. It can make for a quick weeknight meal. Add fat, aromatics (garlic, ginger, onions, etc.), protein, and other keto-friendly flavorings and seasoning to a hot wok and in just a few minutes, your meal will be ready to go!

 

Fresh vs. Frozen Cauliflower Rice

Although a matter of preference, there are some pros and cons to making fresh versus purchasing frozen cauliflower rice.

  • grated cauliflower rice on plate
  • Freshly Made Cauliflower Rice
    • PROS: 
      • There are more options, especially if you prefer organic or colored varieties of cauliflower, like the vibrant purple or orange. Sure there are organic options available, but some grocery stores don’t offer any. I have personally never seen any of the colored varieties in the frozen section at all.
    • CONS: 
      • Requires prep. You have to make sure you pick up a head of fresh cauliflower from the store, grate, or break out the food processor to get it into ‘rice’ form.
      • Clean Up. Yes, we love our food processor, but, we have to set it up, break it down, and clean it up afterward. Sometimes just the thought of that is enough to find a more time-saving option in the frozen aisle

frozen cauliflower rice in white bowl

  • Frozen Cauliflower Rice
    • PROS: 
      • Readily available in many stores across the United States. Almost every grocery chain around seems to have some option for frozen or even refrigerated options of riced cauliflower which can also be convenient. 
      • Affordable. For example, at the time of this writing, a 12 oz bag of riced cauliflower will only set you back about $2 at Walmart and Aldi.
      • Easy cleanup. Especially with the steamable bags that can go straight from the freezer to perfectly cooked cauliflower rice in a matter of minutes.
    • CONS: 
      • No colored cauliflower varieties.
      • Some stores don’t have organic options.

How To Make Cauliflower Rice Without A Food Processor

Collage of cauliflower pieces and grated cauliflower with grater

The quickest and easiest way is to use a food processor but by the time you get that all setup, you could have just grated it with a box grater, so that is what we will demonstrate here.

  1. Remove excess leaves, wash, blot off excess moisture.
  2. Cut cauliflower into more manageable pieces. I like to cut into 4 equal pieces.
  3. Use the holes that you use to grate cheese and grate away.
  4. Steam cauliflower. Do cook this right away to avoid funky smells of trying to store raw grated cauliflower in the fridge.

Where To Buy Frozen Cauliflower Rice

The top recommendation is to pick up a bag at your local grocery chain store, as they are much more likely to have a variety of options and usually at a great price. Also, many of them may have their own branded version available, generally giving you a little more savings. My favorite option is Costco, because of its current great value for a 40z bag of Organic Green Giant Cauliflower Rice.

Green Giant Organic Riced Cauliflower Costco

Still having a hard time getting a hold of some try one of these microwaveable cauliflower pouches here or here from Amazon.

How To Cook Frozen Cauliflower Rice

Each brand recommends different methods so follow what is recommended for best results.

  • Option 1: Use the steamable bags. This makes things super simple! When you purchase them they are already ready to go straight into the microwave for cooking with no additional effort from you except pressing the correct amount on time on the microwave to get it started.
  • Option 2: Pour into microwave-safe container and cover.  It’s hard to go wrong with this. Either in a microwaveable container with a matching lid or a microwave-safe bowl with plastic wrap, you can get the job done.
  • Option 3: A veggie steamer basket.
  • Option 4: Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook as you would traditional pasta, minus the salt (the rinse and press steps will remove it). Proceed with steps 2-4 of the FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps.

Quick Cauliflower Rice Keto Recipe Ideas to Try

  • Sauté onions with bacon fat until translucent and tender. Add prepped cauliflower rice, season to taste, and cook for just a couple of minutes and you’ll have a tasty little side dish.
  • Use caulirice sauté in butter or ghee as the base to a simple keto bowl with store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Use caulirice to make yummy sushi rolls filled with cooked salmon mixed with a bit of mayo, avocado, and cucumber. 

Cauliflower Rice Carbs

Per one cup serving, cauliflower rice contains about 4 total carbs and 2 net carbs.

 

FAQ

  • Why not saute it and forget pressing? You can, but I don’t prefer that way, at least not in the prep phase, because in my opinion, it enhances the cruciferous cauliflower taste. While we will likely never remove all of the cauliflower taste we will do our best with the FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps to reach our goal of how to make cauliflower rice taste good! This method includes reducing the cauliflower flavor as much as possible, especially when in combination with other flavors for things like cauliflower rice bowls. Later after we do all of the FatUp Caulirice Prep Steps, sauteeing is then a great option to add some good flavor back into the caulirice.

Tips

Nut Milk Bags - L New and R Used
New Nylon Nut Milk Bag (L), Used Nylon Nut Milk Bag (R),
  • Turn nylon nut milk bag inside out. You want the seam on the outside that way you can avoid all of those tiny little pieces of caulirice getting stuck in there.
  • Got a deal on cauliflower? Rice it, pack it, and freeze it! Reusable silicone storage bags like these are great! Grate or food process caulirice then bag it up into freezer-safe bags, label, and store for up to 6 months.

MORE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Kickin’ It Smoky Keto Seasoning

Lemon Mustard Chicken

Garlic Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls

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Bridgette Williams

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hello there,

I’m Bridgette, the creator of FatUp. Keto has been a friend of mine since 2016, helping me to lose over 50 pounds (30 in the first 3 months)! I’m a 30 something, new mom, wife that loves photographing food and creating recipes here on getyafatup.com. My goal is to make keto easy an approachable for women everywhere.