Cauliflower Fried Rice


This cauliflower fried rice recipe transforms cauliflower into a fluffy rice-like texture, while eliminating the typical cauliflower flavor and smell, creating a delicious low carb alternative to traditional fried rice.

Cauliflower fried rice is a go-to keto-friendly alternative to the classic Chinese favorite. By substituting cauliflower rice for regular white rice, you can cut back on the carbs while still delivering on flavor and texture. But with the method used in this fried cauliflower rice recipe, you hardly notice the switch in rice. It’s the perfect low carb side dish to go along with broccoli & beef or keto teriyaki chicken.

A skillet with fluffy cauliflower fried rice. The rice has chunks of carrot, red bell pepper, egg and sliced green onion.

This nutritious twist on the classic dish features finely grated cauliflower that mimics the fluffy texture of traditional rice and is speckled with colorful bits of carrot and bell pepper, adding a crunch and vibrancy to each bite. Besides being easy to make, this versatile 20 minute rice side dish can easily turn into a meal by incorporating your favorite protein – tender chicken, succulent pork or juicy beef.

Wanting to make this recipe lower in carbohydrates? Decrease or omit the carrot and bell peppers. Without the carrot and bell peppers, each serving is 5.3 net carbs and 8.4 total carbs.

How to make cauliflower rice taste good

One of the reasons riced cauliflower gets a bad wrap is because it stinks, gets mushy when you cook it and it can give a hint of fruity, gym sock flavor. No wonder people make fun of this pungent cruciferous vegetable.

You shouldn’t have to suffer through eating a bad replacement for traditional medium-grain rice just because it’s keto. With these tips, you can easily make cauliflower rice from frozen cauliflower or fresh that doesn’t stink, doesn’t taste like an old fart, and is fluffy in texture instead of mushy.

Best way to cook cauliflower rice

The secret to making the best cauliflower rice is to cook the rice in a dry skillet. Don’t add any liquid or oil to the skillet. Just let the riced cauliflower cook for several minutes (4-5 minutes) or until all the moisture is cooked out of the keto rice and it has a fluffy, rice-like texture. The moisture is what makes your cauliflower rice mushy. It carries all of the unpleasant cauliflower smell and flavor as well. 

Using frozen cauliflower rice

This method is the same if you are using frozen cauliflower from a bag. No need to steam the bag of frozen cauliflower rice in the microwave or stovetop first. Just add the frozen riced cauliflower straight to a dry skillet and cook until fluffy.

Keto Fried Rice Recipe Video

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Fried Cauliflower Rice Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower or 10 oz bag frozen cauliflower rice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 medium carrot, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 - 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 3/4 teaspoon sweetener of choice
  • sliced green onions for garnish

Cauliflower Fried Rice Directions

  • Cauliflower Fried Rice
  • A plate of cauliflower fried rice mixed with red pepper, carrot and green onion. Chopsticks are laying on the plate.

    How to rice cauliflower

    Using a food processor

    1. Clean and chop: Wash the cauliflower head and pat dry. Remove any leaves. Then cut the cauliflower in half. Cut out the stem by making a V cut to remove it on both sides. Chop cauliflower into smaller florets.
    2. Pulse: Place the cauliflower florets into the bowl of a food processor. Don’t overcrowd and add too many. May have to work in batches. Usually add enough to halfway is fine. Pulse until the cauliflower is broken into small, rice-sized pieces. Don’t over pulse and turn into a puree or mush.

    With a food processor

    1. Use a box grater: Using the side of a box grater with medium-sized holes, grate the cauliflower into rice over a bowl.
    2. Finely chop by hand: After washing and cutting cauliflower into florets, individually finely chop each floret into “rice” using a knife.
    A food processor bowl with freshly processed cauliflower rice.

    Variations & additions


    • The carrot and bell pepper in this basic low carb cauliflower recipe are there just for flavor and color; however, you can omit, swap out or add additional vegetables to your liking.
    • Try adding peas, snow peas, green beans, broccoli, diced zucchini, edamame or mushrooms.


    • Instead of a plain vegetable fried rice, add in some protein.
    • Add diced chicken, shrimp, pork, sliced flank steak or tofu when cooking the vegetables.


    • Everyone likes their fried rice a little different. Maybe add extra soy sauce or add in a splash of fish sauce.
    • Or try adding toasted sesame seed oil, sriracha, red pepper flakes or chili garlic paste.
    • For extra brightness to the dish, try adding fresh lime juice and cilantro. 

    Substitutions for cauliflower rice

    • Still can’t stand to use cauliflower rice but really want to make fried rice? The cauliflower can be replaced with riced broccoli or grated zucchini while still keeping the dish low carb.

    Storage information

    Allow rice dish to cool completely before transferring to an air tight container or resealable plastic bag.

    Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    Fried cauliflower rice can be frozen. Just portion into individual containers or place in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. For best texture, try freezing the rice on a baking sheet before transferring to containers or freezer bag.

    Frozen cauliflower rice can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or just add straight to a heated skillet.


    • Stovetop instructions: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of water or oil if cauliflower starts to stick. Stir frequently.
    • Microwave instructions: Place cauliflower rice in a microwave safe bowl, cover and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each, until warmed through.


    Cauliflower Fried Rice: FAQS

    Should I use frozen or fresh cauliflower rice?

    It doesn't matter if you buy frozen cauliflower rice or fresh or you want to make your own by grating a head of cauliflower. The outcome and the method for preparing cauliflower rice is the same.

    Why is my cauliflower rice mushy?

    Mushy cauliflower rice can be caused by a couple different problems. Over processing the cauliflower in a food processor (if making your own), can make it turn mushy before you even cook it! Cooking your riced cauliflower in liquid or oil before you cook out the moisture from the vegetable can make it soggy. Adding too much liquid or sauce after cooking can make the rice alternative get mushy.

    Does cauliflower rice taste like real rice?

    Let's face it. Only rice will taste like actual rice, but there are techniques you can do when preparing cauliflower rice to minimize the cabbage-like flavor and give a neutral flavor ready to take on the flavors of the seasonings or sauces added.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Cauliflower Fried Rice

    Servings: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 109
    Fat 5.2g
    Protein 7g
    Total Carbs 10.6g
    Net Carbs 6.8g

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