Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (2024)

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Initially I was hesitant with this whole cauliflower alternative to mashed potatoes and pizza crust, that is, until I actually tried it. My entire family and I love this quick riced cauliflower recipe that takes only 5 minutes hands on time and about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Even main stream grocery stores are now carrying riced cauliflower in bags in the frozen section. At first I only saw it at Trader Joe’s. I decided it was time to get off the fence and try it. Of course you can buy fresh whole cauliflower and rice it yourself, but then you are adding quite a bit of time and effort. It’s completely worth it to buy the already riced version in the frozen section. If you buy frozen then you will also always have the riced cauliflower on hand for last minute cooking.

What got me off the fence to try cauliflower was that I was looking for a lighter and quicker version of mashed potatoes, especially for that heavy Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner chaos.

How To Make Our Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (2)

Riced cauliflower with water in sauce pot

This recipe literally takes 20 minutes but only 5 minutes hands on time. Melt butter, add the riced cauliflower and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add water and boil, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Drain and puree. If you have a stick blender it makes super creamy cauliflower. You can also transfer to a blender or food processor. The nice thing is that you don’t need to worry about over blending the way you would have to with mashed potatoes. I don’t think it’s possible to over whip cauliflower.

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (3)

Using stick blender to cream the riced cauliflower

You’ll want to keep about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid to add back into the cooked cauliflower, depending how creamy or thin you want it. Instead of dirtying a big colander. I pour the cooked cauliflower into a hand held strainer fitter over a bowl. Then place the cauliflower back into the cooking pot. It will leave a little bit of water in the pot, but that’s OK, I consider this the reserved liquid and it is one less huge pot (colander) to clean.

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (4)

Using a hand held strainer instead of a colander to drain the quick riced cauliflower recipe

Potatoes Versus Cauliflower

Is Riced Cauliflower Quicker To Make Than Mashed Potatoes?

Riced cauliflower cooks in 10 minutes with an additional 5 minutes of hands on time. Have you ever made homemade mashed potatoes? It’s a labor of love. With riced cauliflower you just dump in the pot and it pretty much cooks itself.

Is It Easier To Cook Riced Cauliflower Than Mashed Potatoes?

Yes. This riced cauliflower recipe isn’t as particular as mashed potatoes. Meaning with mashed potatoes you can over whip the potatoes making them gluey because of their starch content. You also have to bake or microwave the potatoes, peel them and the put the potatoes through a ricer, food mill or mash them, much more time consuming.

Is Cauliflower Lower In Calories Than Potatoes?

Riced cauliflower is lower in calories than white potatoes and has nutritional benefits. Now let’s not get down on potatoes, they are a healthy choice as well. It has more to do with what you mix in with the potatoes or cauliflower. In this quick riced cauliflower recipe we add butter because, well, I just think butter makes everything taste better. But if you are watching calories you might want to boil the cauliflower in chicken broth for added flavor or add extra virgin olive oil instead of the butter.

As far as calorie count, a 1 cup portion of cauliflower has about 28 calories compared to white potatoes that weighs in at a whopping 135 calories. So if you are watching your calories then cauliflower is hands down your choice.

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (5)

What Is Riced Cauliflower?

It’s cauliflower ground into rice shapes so that it cooks quicker and is easier to make a creamy dish. A huge time saver over buying fresh. And it is frozen at the height of its nutritional value so can often times be more nutritious than the “fresh” version at your local grocery.

Is Cauliflower Gluten Free, Low Carb, Keto, Whole 30 and Paleo?

Yes, yes, yes, yes & yes. Cauliflower works well in all of the above diets. Let’s compare the glycemic index of cauliflower, white potatoes and just plain sugar. The GI for white potatoes is 98, for white sugar it’s 60 and for cauliflower it’s a very low GI of 15 according to a fellow blogger, Lyn. So if you are working with any of these diets or just want a low carb option to white potatoes, then this quick riced cauliflower recipe is for you.

According to Livestrong, the carb count for cauliflower is only 5 carbs in a one cup serving versus 31 carbs in white potatoes.

How Nutritious is Cauliflower?

Both cauliflower and potatoes are nutritious in their own right. Where cauliflower really shines is in vitamin C. A one cup serving of cauliflower will give you 60-70% of your daily requirement for adults. It’s also a strong antioxidant preventing free radicals.

Livestrong also says that cauliflower is a great choice for added folate, needed for pregnant women to reduce neural tube defects in the baby and for the rest of us it helps manufacture DNA that may help prevent various cancers.

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (6)

This quick riced cauliflower recipe is a perfect addition to any weeknight meal or for your holiday dinners. Try it with our 90 minute quick Thanksgiving dinner.

Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (7)

5 from 1 vote


Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe

Mashed potatoes are great, but if you’re looking for a lighter side dish, try riced cauliflower. It’s less particular than potatoes, very simple to make and really delicious.

CourseSide Dish

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Author On The Go Bites


  • 24OuncesRiced Cauliflower
  • 3TablespoonsUnsalted Butter
  • 2 1/2CupsWater
  • 1teaspoonKosher Salt


  1. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium high heat.

  2. Add riced cauliflower and cook for 3-5 minutes.

  3. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water in case you want to add later to make cauliflower creamier.

  5. Puree with stick blender or transfer to blender or food processor to make smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

When I drain the cauliflower I use the lid partially held onto the pan as I tip the pan to drain the water. You can’t completely drain it and will leave a little water in the pan, I consider this my ¼ cup water. But if you are worried about leaving too much water in the pan then use a colander to drain. After all, if you don’t get enough water out of the pan you will end up a watery dish. I drain pasta the same way so have plenty of practice knowing just how much to drain.

Sometimes to drain I'll use a hand held strainer (see picture in post) held over a bowl and drain that way. You can tell I don't like to dirty my big ole colander if I don't have to.

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Quick Riced Cauliflower Recipe - On The Go Bites (2024)


Is it cheaper to make cauliflower rice or buy it? ›

Cheaper: Making riced cauliflower from scratch will save you money in the grocery store. A head of cauliflower is cheaper than buying fresh or frozen riced cauliflower. Tastes Great: Because it's made fresh, it also tastes better. You can use it in any recipe that calls for rice.

How do you keep cauliflower rice from getting soggy? ›

"After, I lightly coated it in olive oil and added herbs and garlic. Spread it thinly over a baking tray, and roasted it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until it was slightly golden in color," they write. The final result: cauliflower rice with a soft, but not soggy, texture.

Is riced cauliflower healthier than rice? ›

However, rice can be high in calories and carbohydrates, meaning it will fill you up without providing you with many additional nutrients. Substituting cauliflower rice for white rice is a great way to get more antioxidants while reducing calories and carbohydrates in order to save room for other nutrient dense foods.

How do you squeeze water out of riced cauliflower? ›

It really is as simple as putting the cooked and cooled cauliflower on a clean flour sack towel , wrapping it up and squeezing all the water out. I like to use flour sack towels because they're large and really thin, which makes them easy to squeeze tight and get out as much water as possible.

Is cauliflower rice actually healthy? ›

Cauliflower rice is a nutritious alternative to rice that's low in calories and carbs. It may even provide a number of benefits, such as boosting weight loss, fighting inflammation, and even protecting against certain illnesses. What's more, it's simple to make and can be eaten raw or cooked.

What is the best appliance to make cauliflower rice? ›

Using a food processor to make cauliflower rice is a simple method that allows you to streamline the process and make delicious dishes with ease.

Why does cauliflower rice make me bloated? ›

The reason for this is that cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous veggies, such as kale and broccoli, contains raffinose and other oligosaccharides. These are specific types of sugars that remain undigested until bacteria in the gut ferment them, producing gas, and, in turn, causing bloating and gas.

Does Aldi sell cauliflower rice? ›

Nature's Pick Cauliflower Rice 300g | ALDI.

Can you overcook cauliflower rice? ›

Overcooking It

"When it is riced it's really easy for it to turn mushy from overcooking and then it won't hold up as well in your dishes where you're trying to use it to substitute rice," says Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD.

Is it OK to eat riced cauliflower everyday? ›

The fact that it's a vegetable makes cauliflower automatically good for you. Additionally, cauliflower is packed with nutrients that give it unique benefits, such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and choline. These properties give you a good reason to eat it frequently or even daily.

Is riced cauliflower good for weight loss? ›

If you are a big fan of rice bowls, swap the rice base with healthy cauliflower rice. Using cauliflower rice, which is rich in fibre, will benefit weight loss. Moreover, the cauliflower will give you additional nutrients, making your meal healthier without sacrificing the flavour and taste.

Can I eat too much cauliflower? ›

While everyone's tolerance is different, too much cauliflower can create G.I. distress, like excess gas and bloating. “Make sure to drink enough water to move it through your system,” suggests Lincoln. Cooking it can also dial back digestion woes.

How do you thicken riced cauliflower? ›

The key to a thicker consistency is to drain the steamed cauliflower really well before pureeing or blending it up. Put the puree back into the warm pan and add grated cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and you should have a nice, thick texture. You can also add a keto thickener like glucomannan or xanthan gum.

What happens when you add lemon juice to water when cooking cauliflower? ›

Keep The Cauliflower White. The pigments in white vegetables like cauliflower and onions will stay white with the addition of an acid such as lemon juice to the cooking water (as long as they are not overcooked).

Why did cauliflower get so expensive? ›

Cauliflower prices are rising due to a lower yield, while demand remains consistent. Quality is fair with good weight and coloring.

Why is cauliflower so expensive? ›

Cauliflower is a seasonal vegetable which means its availability comes at certain times. For example, when it's not in season and supply is limited, prices often increase due to higher demand and less availability.

Is homemade cauliflower rice better than frozen? ›

No. Frozen food is just as nutritious as a fresh head of cauliflower. Plus it's a quick and easy alternative to the homemade version, where you either have to use a box grater or a food processor to make cauliflower rice.

Is frozen or fresh cauliflower rice better? ›

Frozen has nearly identical nutritional values to fresh cauliflower rice. Similar to fresh produce that's available to us when it's fully ripened and at its nutritional peak, frozen produce is also processed at its prime, which means vital nutrients are maintained even long after sitting in the freezer aisle for weeks.


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