How to Make Cauliflower Rice (Plus, What the Heck to Do With It)

Grain bowls! Tacos! Fried rice!

January  7, 2020

What is cauliflower rice? Cauliflower "rice" is cauliflower that's been blitz, grated, or chopped so finely it resembles rice. It's a great way to add veggie-heartiness to whatever you're eating.

Of TJ’s rationing fame, cauliflower rice is actually very easy to make at home—all you need is a food processor, box grater, or knife. Enjoy this alt-grain raw, as seen in this Mediterranean rice or Jessica Koslow’s kabbouleh; or cooked, like in this spiced couscous or bacon and egg fried rice.

But wait, not the stems!

Cauliflower stems don't "crumble" as nicely as the florets do. Use the stems—especially the center, woodier one—as a natural handle while you grate or mince the cauliflower rice, then pack them away for another (edible) use.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Pulse it.

Quarter the cauliflower head through the root, and separate the florets from the center, woodier stem. Reserve the stems for another use, like bulking this vegan Alfredo. Roughly chop the florets into one- to two-inch pieces, then blitz once or twice in a food processor until it's the texture of, well, rice!

Grate it.

Quarter the cauliflower head through the root. Using the center, woodier stem as a “handle,” grate the florets against the medium holes of a box grater. Stop when you’ve grated all of the florets (watch the fingies!), and reserve the stems for another use, like thickening this crudités dip.

Chop it.

Quarter the cauliflower head through the root. Grip the center, woodier stem with your non-cutting hand, and finely chop the florets off the center stem. Reserve the stems for another use, like stuffing this veggie muffuletta. Mince the chopped florets until tiny and pebbly.

more ways to cauliflower rice...

How do you like to eat cauliflower rice? Let us know in the comments below!

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Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.

1 Comment

Mark D. January 7, 2020
I found it cheaper to buy frozen cauliflower rice than to actually buy a head of cauliflower. The only reason I can think of is that they only use the perfectly shaped heads to sell to us, and sell the more misshapen ones to the cauliflower rice makers at a discount. Having tried both methods, I find the flavor to be indistinguishable, so I just buy the frozen variety and save myself some cleanup of the food processor.