If you want to make your side dish as special – or more special – than your entrée, you’ll want to sauté up this Mexican-style cauliflower rice! And you guessed it … there’s actually no rice in it.
This recipe features cauliflower that’s pulsed into the shape of rice kernels. That means it’s lower in calories and carbs and higher in fiber than when using regular rice … if that’s important for you. While I recommend both rice (especially brown rice) and cauliflower, having options is always a smart idea.
Rice the cauliflower
To make this Mexican-style cauliflower rice, you need to first transform a head of cauliflower into rice-shaped pieces. (Or you can cheat and buy it already riced!) I suggest simply trim off the leaves and stalk of the cauliflower and then cut the rest into large florets. Then add those florets into a food processor and pulse (don’t blend) just until you get the size you want. Do it in batches, if need. That’s it! And do remember that the cauliflower stalk and leaves are edible – so save those for later.
Sauté it up in a pan
The rest of the recipe is pretty straightforward. You’ll want to fully heat the skillet first so you truly sauté rather than steam the cauliflower from the get go. Next, sauté the riced cauliflower until lightly browned, then add jalapeno and garlic and sauté a little bit more. Then add in tomato sauce, salt, and cumin and sauté until no excess liquid remains. To finish, simply stir in cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Oh, then of course you eat it!
Pair this Mexican-style cauliflower rice with black beans. Enjoy it stuffed into bean burritos. Or serve it alongside any meal, like a grilled veggie burger and corn-on-the-cob, to give it Mexican flair.
If you want to make your side dish as special – or more special – than your entrée, you’ll want to sauté up this Mexican-style cauliflower rice! And you guessed it … there’s actually no rice in it. This recipe features cauliflower that’s pulsed into the shape of rice kernels.
2 tablespoons avocado oil or sunflower oil
1 medium head fresh cauliflower (about 20 ounces/567 grams), trimmed* and separated into large florets
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4cup (190 grams) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 lime wedges
Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until the size of rice. (Makes about 4 cups/454 grams uncooked riced cauliflower.)
Fully heat the oil in an extra-large (12-inches or larger) cast iron or other stick resistant skillet over medium-high. Add the riced cauliflower and sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and sauté until the cauliflower is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Add the tomato sauce, salt, and cumin, and cook while stirring until the tomato sauce is absorbed by the cauliflower, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro, and adjust seasoning. Serve with the lime wedges.
*You can slice the cauliflower stalk and leaves and enjoy in a soup or stir-fry.
For other Mexican-inspired recipes, try mexican caramelized rice and veggie skillet (see recipe HERE), plant-based baby bella, poblano, and corn tacos (see recipe HERE), and grilled vegetable taco cups (see recipe HERE).