How to Make Cauliflower Rice


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Cauliflower rice is a wonderful low-carb and grain-free rice alternative. Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get more vegetables into your diet. Serve it up as a tasty side dish or use it as the base for macros bowls! 

A bowl of cauliflower rice.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

Cauliflower rice (lovingly called “cauli rice”) is a staple in my healthy meal prep routine. Now, I don’t necessarily follow a low-carb diet — I do eat white rice and other grains. But, I always try to incorporate extra veggies into my meals when I can, just like broccoli rice.

And while cauliflower rice has surged in popularity these past few years and you can now buy bags of riced cauliflower at the market, my homemade version is still a great option. Here’s why: 

  • It’s easy to make! All you need is a food processor (or blender) and a sauté pan to make this in under 30 minutes. Then, you have the option of freezing it for later.
  • There’s added flavor. Plain cauliflower is a bit bland in flavor, which is why I’ve added sautéed onions, salt, and black pepper. Those little additions really give it a boost! I’ve also got several more ideas on how to flavor your rice below.
Ingredients for cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower Rice Ingredients

  • Cauliflower: One large head of cauliflower is all you need. But if you’re feeding more than a couple of people, grab two!
  • Onion: I highly recommend it for an extra punch of savoriness. After all, who doesn’t love onions in a sauté?
  • Seasoning: Salt and black pepper are all you need, but feel free to add dried herbs or other seasonings for extra flavor.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Cauliflower Rice

Prep the cauliflower. Remove the cauliflower florets from the head of the cauliflower with a knife. Then, rinse the florets and make sure to pat them dry. 

Slicing cauliflower on a wooden board.

Grate the cauliflower. If you have a food processor, use the grater attachment to grate the cauliflower. If not, you can also use a box grater. It will just take a bit longer. And if you have a Vitamix (or other high-powered blender), I have instructions for that below.

Food processor tip: You can use the chopper attachment on your food processor (the one you probably use most often) instead of the grater attachment, but I find that the cauliflower grains are much more consistent with the grater attachment. The chopper attachment tends to mush the florets on the bottom and not chop the florets higher up. 

Grated cauliflower in a food processor.

Cook the onion. Sauté half an onion with a little olive oil in a pan to add delicious flavor to the cauliflower rice. Trust me, it’s a step you won’t want to skip!

Cooked onions in a pan.

Cook the cauliflower. Add the grated cauliflower to the pan and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes. The cauliflower should be warmed through and slightly tender. Season with salt and black pepper, or add some of the tasty flavor enhancements mentioned below.

Cooking cauliflower rice in a pan.

Common Questions

Can I make cauliflower rice in a blender?

Yes! What you’ll do is slice the cauliflower into small pieces and place them into the Vitamix (no more than ⅔ full). Fill the Vitamix with water until the cauliflower lifts above the blade and pulse until desired consistency, about 6 to 8 times. Then, pour the mixture through a sieve and pat the cauliflower dry.

What pairs well with cauliflower rice? 

Pretty much any kind of meal you would normally eat rice with! A few favorites of mine for a healthy meal are crispy baked chicken thighs, slow cooker pulled pork, or this slow cooker rotisserie chicken. But also, you can use cauliflower rice to make this delicious cauliflower pizza crust!

Tasty Cauliflower Rice Recipes

  • Cauliflower Fried Rice: A delicious, low-carb twist on classic fried rice!
  • Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh: Traditional tabbouleh swaps bulgar with cauliflower rice for added veggies. Plus, it’s gluten-free. 
  • Asian Cauliflower Rice with Ginger Shrimp: This is a bowl full of flavorful goodness with creamy avocado, and spicy shrimp.
  • Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice: If you’ve got a Mexican meal planned for, this cilantro lime rice is the perfect addition. 
  • Mexican Cauliflower Rice: Follow the below recipe, then stir fry 2 cloves of minced garlic after sautéing the onions. Cook the cauliflower rice for 5 minutes, then add 2 tomatoes (finely diced), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed and finely diced), 1/2 tsp cumin, juice from 1 lime, and finely chopped fresh cilantro. Stir it all together for a couple of minutes then serve.
  • Cauliflower rice is also used as the base in my cauliflower pizza crust recipe!
Cauliflower rice in a bowl.

Storage Tips

  • Storing cooked cauliflower rice: This will last up to 4 days in the fridge stored in a sealed container. When ready to enjoy, just microwave it or reheat it back in the pan to warm through. 
  • Freezing cauliflower rice: Once you’ve riced the cauliflower, divide it into storage bags or containers. It’ll stay good for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat it, just toss it frozen into a sauté pan as per the instructions below and cook for a few additional minutes until warmed through. Note: I don’t recommend freezing cooked cauliflower rice as it’ll turn mushy once thawed.

More Cauliflower Recipes

I hope you enjoy this cauliflower rice recipe! If you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe and what you paired with it in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community. 

A brown bowl of cauliflower rice.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice – Easy Recipe!

5 from 25 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Cauliflower rice is a great grain-free rice alternative. It provides a healthy, veggie base for so many meal options and tastes delicious. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!




  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Remove the florets. Slice the cauliflower head in half and use a knife to remove all the florets. Cut some of the larger florets into smaller pieces so they'll fit within the chute of your food processor.
    Sliced cauliflower on a chopping board.
  • Grate the cauliflower. Insert the grater adapter into your food processor and start feeding the cauliflower florets through the top. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to empty it halfway through.
    A food processor with grated cauliflower in it.
  • Sauté the onion. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened and translucent.
    Cooking onions in a saute pan.
  • Sauté the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower rice to the pan and sauté for another 5 to 7 minutes, until warmed through and slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper.
    A pan with cooked cauliflower rice.
  • Serve. Serve immediately while warm as a healthy side dish.
    Cooked cauliflower rice in a bowl.


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 450mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 0.3IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower rice, cauliflower rice recipes, how to make cauliflower rice
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted October 2016, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit! 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve made the cauliflower rice 3 times now, loved it.  Last time it turned out like mashed potatoes and I think I did everything the same.  What did I do??

  2. In your recipe, you say that one head of cauliflower is one serving. Can you say how much (say in cups) one head of cauliflower actually yields? I suppose it would depend on the size of the head. Where I live, grocery prices have skyrocketed so much, a head of cauliflower costs $5.99 (on sales sometimes for $3.49).5 stars

    1. If you don’t have a food processor, just slice your cauliflower head in half (or quarters) and use a box grater.

  3. Oh my gosh, awesome recipe, delicious. I isome for breakfast top with to fried eggs. I love the fact that you freeze the extra. Love your vidoes. Thank you.5 stars

      1. Lisa , after cooking cauliflower rice can I add this to my stuffed pepper recipe instead of my usual rice? Thank you very much!

  4. i have heard so much about cauliflower rice but have not tried yet. your recipe let me try this recipe at home last sunday. You know it come out as a surprised for us, we all love . i am back here just to you thanks for the recipe. I have not look for any other recipe for that. Bye5 stars

    1. Hi Mobasir – So glad this recipe turned out well for you! You’ll have to give my other cauliflower rice recipes a try now :)

  5. I love all your recipes. You are awesome! Easy healthy recipes. This is going to be my new addiction watching and making your recipes. Thank you!5 stars

  6. I love cauliflower rice but I always buy it pre-made because I figured making it at home would be too difficult! But this recipe made it so easy – thank you for that!5 stars

  7. I am so glad to find your videos/ recipes 
    You make it look so easy and inspire others 
    Cauliflower rice turned out lovely 
    Thank you xox 5 stars

    1. Hi Nabila – Welcome to the Downshiftology community! I’m glad you are enjoying these recipes :)

  8. Thanks for the video. I’m a visual learner and your video made it so easy for me to try this today. I made the lime and cilantro version w/onion and garlic. I added some cooked cilantro and lime marinated chicken breast strips to it for a complete meal. Fantastic!5 stars

    1. Oh yay! I’m glad you found the video helpful Marcia. The cilantro lime cauliflower rice is a favorite of mine as well!

  9. tossed some keffir lime leaves in at the end and covered the pan for a few minutes to steam off the heat. It really picked up that wonderful scent form the leaves and a decidedly Thai touch.5 stars

    1. Oh yum! That sounds like a wonderful addition to the cauliflower rice. I love keffir lime as well and all those Thai flavors.

  10. I used the chop setting on my food processor and had to shake up the florets for them all to be properly grated, but it was FAST and I added a whole head of cauliflower (chopped) to olive oil, green onions, chopped garlic, and a pat of butter. Delicious. I won’t be making rice anytime soon5 stars

    1. That sounds delicious with all of the flavors you added! So happy you loved it, Julie!

  11. Thanks so much for your easy instructions, your cauliflower rice sounds delicious and I feel I’m ready to try it now, my worst fears was that it would be mushy, your cooking time sounds perfectly right!5 stars

    1. No, it’s not mushy at all! It’s just lightly sautéed and still maintains the same texture as normal rice. :) I hope you enjoy it Patty!

    1. Yes, cauliflower rice is a great low-carb option to swap in so many different recipes. I hope you enjoy!

  12. This is such a great tutorial for making cauliflower rice. Love the flavoring ideas, and I’d go for the cilantro lime. That sounds fabulous!5 stars

    1. It’s a great substitute and bonus way to eat more veggies! ;) Hope you enjoy the recipe Emily.

  13. What a fantastic recipe – so healthy and so light! It will definitely help me to include more vegetables in my weekly schedule. And I bet it will be great with some chicken, too!5 stars

  14. I was just looking at the grater attachment that came with my food processor the other day thinking, wonder if I’ll ever use this? I love cauliflower rice and have been paying a boatload for it frozen. I will definitely give this a try. Love these ideas! Thanks.

    1. Yes, that grater attachment is perfect for making cauliflower rice! Hopefully you’ll save a bit of money making it at home now. :)

  15. This is an awesome recipe. I added mushrooms and garlic and it came out delicious. I made a good bit as I am using it for meal prep. Now to get my husband to try it. Thank you

  16. I was really nervous about making this for my family as they’re all pretty adverse to trying something new. But my husband was recently told he had diabetes so I thought it a good excuse to make them try it. It was Sooo good and easy to make !!! I didn’t feel to guilty about going back for seconds ? and I don’t think we will ever go back to rice !! ?

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear you both love the cauliflower rice Melissa! And it’s definitely a great, healthy options so go back for those seconds. ;) x

  17. Before freezing, I always wrap bundles and squeeze the extra liquid out. This helps especially when making a cauliflower salad.

  18. I’ve been wanting to try this for some time now but I think my brain has
    been wired toward rice for too many years to accept Cauliflower for rice. However, I’ve been put on a Low-carb diet and decided that I may as well give it a try. Thanks to your simple instructions, and yummy taste suggestions, I’m now hooked. Can’t imagine why bland rice has been such a staple in my diet for so many years when I could have been enjoying tasty, flavorful cauliflower. Also appreciate the tip on freezing now that caulis are so cheap at the moment.

    1. Glad you gave the recipe a try Wendy! It’s funny how we get these notions in our head, isn’t it? But better late than never to enjoy cauli rice! :) x

  19. It looks so easy to do , I want to do this because so many of my friends are Vegan and gluten free , so the more natural the better , ta and bye for now , I will be looking you up again!
    Matt in the UK x

    1. Glad you found the recipe and post helpful Matt! Cauliflower rice is definitely a healthy alternative than many will love. :)

  20. Made this for dinner. The family LOVED it! Even those that are not fans of cauliflower. They all voted to keep this recipe. So easy with the food processor. I know there is nothing in it to keep the cail fresh or to keep it from sticking together as in the store bought cauli-rice.

    1. Wonderful! So happy to hear the family loved it! And definitely give the fried rice version a try – that’s a reader favorite. ;) x

  21. Thanks so much for the video of how easy it is to “rice” cauliflower! I just tried it and it worked great in my food processor. I have tried the packages, but this is so much fresher. I am looking forward to cooking.

    1. That’s great Sharon! So happy you found the video helpful. Enjoy your cauliflower rice. :) x

  22. I usually buy fresh cauliflower… today i bought Trader Joe”s cauliflower rice in the bag. I let you know how it comes out. LOVE your cutting board. Where can I get one!

      1. I sautéed 2cloves garlic, onion 2stalks celery, 2 carrots some baby bell mushrooms. 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos and cauliflower rice. Omg. Yummy
        Yikes! Cutting board is expensive …

      2. That sounds amazing! Love everything you sautéed together! The cutting board is expensive, but it’s huge and really good quality. They do have smaller versions as well that are a bit less expensive. :) x

  23. Loving this recipe after a heavy holiday meal. Can’t wait to try it this week! Bet this would be wonderful with baked chicken. – Jess

    1. Yes – it would be fab with baked chicken! And I hear you on lightening up after the holidays. My body is craving ALL the veggies. :) x

  24. Such beautiful cauliflower rice! I have been meaning to make this myself, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Definitely need to. Glad you didnt flood the basement!

  25. I really need to give cauliflower rice a try. Every time I see it, i think how good it looks and then completely forget to add cauliflower to my shopping list. I love all the extra tips in this post. I hadn’t heard a lot of them before! And glad your parent’s basement remains unflooded! ;)

    1. It really is super versatile, though I personally love the lime cilantro rice. And yes, I think my parents are happy I didn’t flood their basement either! Lol. ;) Thanks Tracy!

  26. I have been procrastinating on cauliflower rice for ages now (for no apparent reason at all)! I love all the different flavour ideas you’ve given here, and GORGEOUS pictures btw! Thanks so much for the recipes!

    1. Cauli rice is shockingly easier than you think. And once you do it once, you’ll be hooked! Thanks Tina! :)

  27. Haha! Love the stream-of-conscious storytelling there! + I <3 cauliflower rice & thanks for the video. I'm in LOVE w/ your cutting board & fascinated by the gizmo under your large saucepan when you plate the rice. What are you using, dear Lisa? I must have those! xo

    1. Thanks Suzi! Yeah, I’m in love with that walnut cutting board as well. It’s from John Boos & Co. And that gizmo thing is a portable induction stovetop…since I’m filming in the basement and not in a kitchen. ;) If you have a kitchen, you don’t need one of those. Unless you’re camping. With electricity. Haha. xo

      1. I’ll certainly take both the cutting board & gizmo with me if I’m ever caught glamping! Thanks, Lisa! xo Suzi

  28. Thank goodness nothing bad happened during filming! I’m not a rice fan, but definitely LOVE LOVE LOVE cauliflower rice – so versatile, as you proved with your variations. Thanks for another great video/recipe!

    1. I know, can you imagine?! That would have definitely called for a blooper reel – lol! ;)