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Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower Rice is the perfect quick and simple side dish!

You are not going to believe how much flavor is packed in this cauliflower rice that only takes 10 minutes to make! Perfect for meal prep as well!

Whole30 Mexican cauliflower rice made with cauliflower rice topped with cilantro over a white lined napkin with limes and cilantro in the background.

Why this recipe works

  • Everything you love about Mexican Restaurant style rice but lower in carbs and packed full of vegetables!
  • So easy to make, it only takes 10 minutes and is perfect for lunch or dinner! Great for parties too!
  • Simple ingredients! You can find everything you need to make this Mexican Cauliflower Rice at the local grocery store! This healthy recipe is gluten free, vegan, paleo, Whole30, low carb and keto friendly!
  • Add flavor to any meal! Add to burrito bowls, tacos, taco salads, with fajitas, or with homemade guacamole and salsa and your favorite protein!
Silver serving spoon in a cast iron filled with Mexican Cauliflower Rice.
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Ingredients

  • Avocado oil or olive oil – this is used to cook the onions and cauliflower rice. If you want to reduce the fat, you could also simply spray the pan with avocado oil spray or olive oil spray.
  • Onions – onions help to give the dish a deep, savory flavor and are the base of the recipe. White onions, yellow onions or red onions can be used. Omit if you are short on time or cannot tolerate onions.
  • Cauliflower rice (frozen is preferred) – frozen cauliflower rice is preferred since it’s so easy to keep on hand, easy to find and doesn’t add any prep time to the dish. You could also use fresh cauliflower rice or make your own cauliflower rice (see the tips below).
  • Spices: Salt, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder – these spices help to create the Mexican seasoning. The ground cumin and smoked paprika create a smoky flavor. The garlic powder gives the dish a umami quality. Salt helps amplify the flavor of the lime juice and cilantro and seasons the cauliflower rice.
  • Lime juice – lime juice provides a bright, fresh flavor and balances out the slightly bitter flavor from the cauliflower rice.
  • Cilantro – cilantro pairs well with the Mexican spices and lime juice and adds a fresh pop of flavor to the dish.

How to make Mexican cauliflower rice

  1. Start by heating a skillet over medium heat. Add avocado oil and the white onion. Cook 2-3 minutes to soften the onion.

    Chopped onions in a cast iron skillet
  2. Add the cauliflower rice to the onions and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Riced cauliflower in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Take off the heat and add the spices, stir well.

    Cooked riced cauliflower in a cast iron with spices on top.
  4. Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro off the heat and stir well. 

    Mexican Cauliflower Rice in a cast iron skillet during cooking.

Top tips

  • Try to break up any large chunks of frozen cauliflower rice before pouring it into the hot skillet. Typically I will press down with the heel of my hand with pressure on the countertop to try to break up any large chunks.
  • Add the frozen cauliflower rice to a hot skillet (cook over medium high heat) and cook it long enough to ensure all the water that cooks off the cauliflower as it defrosts evaporates.
  • Don’t cook the cauliflower rice too long or it will get mushy.
  • If you are cooking fresh cauliflower rice, cook covered for the first 4 minutes for the best texture
  • If you are short on time, skip cooking the onions and add 1-2 teaspoons of dried onion flakes in place of the onion for a similar flavor!

How to add more spice to Mexican cauliflower rice

Common questions

Whole30 Mexican cauliflower rice in a white bowl over a grey striped napkin with a sliced lime and a brown vase in the background

How to make cauliflower rice at home

There are three ways you can make cauliflower rice for this recipe:

  1. Pulsed in a food processor (see below for directions)
  2. Grated by hand with a hand grater (very messy, I don’t recommend this method)
  3. Store bought (see below for where to buy cauliflower rice)

To make this dish in under 10 minutes, I prefer to use store bought frozen cauliflower rice. It’s easy to keep stored in the freezer and I don’t to worry about it spoiling in the fridge.

How to make cauliflower rice in the food processor

  1. Start by removing the green outer leaves as well as the thick stem.
  2. Place the cauliflower head on the counter and slice 1 inch thick steaks of cauliflower or chop into florets. You don’t need to worry about this looking pretty.

    Chopped cauliflower on a cutting board.
  3. Add about ½ of the cauliflower to the food processor and process on high until it resembles rice (takes about 20-30 seconds).

    Chopped cauliflower in a food processor.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower.

    Riced cauliflower in a food processor.
  5. Store in the fridge in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days before cooking or freeze for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container.

How to make cauliflower rice without food processor

  1. Remove the green leaves but keep the stem.
  2. Using a box grater, grate the cauliflower around the stem using the largest grater holes.

Tip: Work on one side of the cauliflower until you reach the stem. Don’t keep turning the cauliflower as you are grating it, it is harder to work with this way.

Where to buy cauliflower rice

Most stores now carry cauliflower rice in the frozen food section. Bird’s Eye and Green Giant both have frozen riced cauliflower in most grocery stores.

You can also find store brands at Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Whole Foods in the frozen section.

In many stores it is also sold in the fresh produce section. CeCe’s Veggie Co, Eat Smart, Green Giant brands can be found at most stores. Also, you can usually find fresh riced cauliflower at Trader Joe’s and Costco as well.

Wooden spoon in a bowl of Mexican Cauliflower Rice.

How to store leftover cauliflower rice

Fridge: This Mexican cauliflower rice lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure you store in a well sealed container.

Freezer: Cooked cauliflower rice can be frozen and stored in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge or in the microwave or on the stove.

Whole30 Mexican cauliflower rice topped with chopped cilantro over a grey napkin
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This whole30 Mexican cauliflower rice is the perfect side dish for your Mexican style meals! Paleo, vegan, grain free and ready in 10 minutes! Perfect for meal prep as well! | #whole30 #vegan #paleo #mexcian | bitesofwellness.com

Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This whole30 Mexican cauliflower rice is the perfect side dish for your Mexican style meals! Paleo, vegan, grain free and ready in 10 minutes! Perfect for meal prep as well! 
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cauliflower rice
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 9 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the avocado oil and coat the bottom of the pan
  • Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the frozen cauliflower rice and cook well until fully defrosted and hot. 
  • Add the spices and stir well.
  • Remove from heat and add the lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Notes

How to rice cauliflower in the food processor:
  • Start by removing the green outer leaves as well as the thick stem.
  • Place the cauliflower head on the counter and slice 1 inch thick steaks of cauliflower or chop into florets. You don’t need to worry about this looking pretty.
  • Add about ½ of the cauliflower to the food processor and process on high until it resembles rice (takes about 20-30 seconds).
  • Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower.
  • Store in the fridge in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days before cooking or freeze for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
82
Fat
 
3
g
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
Fiber
 
4
g
Sugar
 
4
g
Protein
 
4
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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Recipe Rating




d.f

Saturday 22nd of January 2022

easy and delicious.

Jeannie

Thursday 10th of June 2021

This was awesome!! So very yummy!

Carly Green

Monday 31st of May 2021

This cauliflower rice is very tasty, although it has much more of a salsa flavor than a Mexican rice flavor. I made it with white chicken enchiladas so it was great with them, and it's veg and easy. Win-win for me. I'll be playing with the spices is the future. Thank you for sharing this!

Tammy

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Fast, easy and delicious! Thank you!!

Nel

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Fast and easy to make on my first attempt. It definitely needs the lime, so don't leave that off (I did leave the cilantro off, though). Quick and easy to prepare. It was really dry, though, which was the reason for the 4 stars.