Cauliflower Fried Rice – This colorful fried rice uses cauliflower rice for even more veggie goodness! (Gluten-Free, Paleo-Friendly, Whole30 Friendly)
Brian Regan once made a joke about how the cranberry marketing guys are REALLY good at their jobs. For a while, it felt like cranberries were in all the other juices… cran-grape, cran-apple, etc.
I feel like the cauliflower marketing folks have them beaten by a mile.
Cauliflower is in everything now. Like, everything.
People are using it as mashed potatoes, pizza crust, pasta, gnocchi, crackers, mac and cheese, and all kinds of other things. And, usually, it feels like they follow up the marketing with something like “no one will even know the difference!”
I usually know the difference.
There are lots of ways that I genuinely DO like cauliflower rice. I’ll happily eat it as a side dish with Mediterranean flavors, stir it into Paleo jambalaya, or scoop it up in this Taco Cauliflower Rice skillet. It’s not pretending to be anything else in those situations. It’s just being its cauliflower-y self. But with flavor.
This cauliflower fried rice recipe is kinda like that. I’m not going to say “no one will know the difference!” because this recipe isn’t trying to hide or prove anything. It’s just adding a little more veggie goodness to an already tasty recipe.
Here’s what you need to get started…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE
EGGS. I like egg in my cauliflower fried rice. It feels like a nod to the original and helps fill out this dish a bit more. I cook my eggs first and set them to the side while I cook the rest of the dish. (That way, the eggs keep their shape a bit better and don’t just coat all the veggies.)
CAULIFLOWER RICE. You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower rice for paleo cauliflower fried rice. I usually use frozen because it’s easy to keep on hand. But feel free to buy the fresh stuff in the produce section, or make your own!
CARROTS + RED BELL PEPPER. Diced carrots and red bell pepper add some bright, beautiful color to fried cauliflower rice. I love them!
GREEN ONIONS. Green onions add some lovely subtle onion flavor and a dose of green to our cauli fried rice. I love them here!
GARLIC (AND MAYBE GINGER). For a flavor boost (since cauliflower isn’t super flavorful on its own), I like adding garlic to my fried rice. When I have it, I also like tossing in a bit of fresh ginger, but feel free to skip it if it’s not your jam.
FROZEN PEAS. For another hit of green, I like adding some frozen peas along with my cauliflower rice. They cook in minutes, look pretty, and add a nice flavor.
TAMARI OR COCONUT AMINOS (OR SOY SAUCE). Then, to take this from plain cauliflower rice to cauliflower fried rice, I add a splash of gluten-free tamari. You can use coconut aminos for a paleo fried rice, or (if you don’t have dietary restrictions) you can use regular soy sauce. Make sure you use what works for your dietary needs!
SALT & PEPPER, TO TASTE. Lastly, you can season this with salt and pepper to taste. Friends don’t let friends eat bland food!
MIX IT UP! TRY ONE OF THESE YUMMY TWISTS ON CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE
ADD HAM, SHRIMP, OR CHICKEN. Feel free to kick up the protein and elevate this cauliflower fried rice from side dish to a main dish by adding some chopped and cooked ham, chicken, or shrimp. Note: you don’t want to add raw meat to fried rice and try to cook it through. Make sure it’s completely cooked first–this is a great use for leftovers!
ADD GINGER. I love adding ginger for another layer of flavor in my cauliflower fried rice. Add it in with the garlic and it’ll make the whole dish more aromatic and flavorful! (Pro tip: I love the frozen garlic & frozen ginger! It’s got no added ingredients and tastes like fresh!)
MIX UP THE VEGGIES. You can easily mix and match veggies for your cauliflower fried rice. Add chopped snow peas or sugar snap peas, frozen or fresh corn, more colors of bell peppers, white onion instead of green onion, sliced mushrooms, shredded cabbage, etc. Basically, look in your crisper drawer and see what needs to be used up!
OPEN SESAME! One easy way to add a deep flavor is to use toasted sesame oil for all or part of the oil in this cauliflower fried rice. It’s got a deep, rich sesame flavor that’ll shine here. (Know that it’s strong, so feel free to start small!)
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CAULIFLOWER RICE:
CAN I USE FRESH CAULIFLOWER RICE? You sure can! Your cooking time will be really close. Just keep testing and tasting to cook it to your desired doneness.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CAULIFLOWER RICE. If you can’t find fresh or frozen prepared cauliflower rice, it’s easy to make your own! All you’ll need is a head of fresh cauliflower and a food processor or grater. I use this cauliflower rice tutorial–it’s simple!
CHANGE IT UP! TRY ONE OF THESE YUMMY TWISTS. Want to play with the flavor or mix up the veggies. Scroll up to the section above to see some of our favorite ways to change up this cauliflower fried rice!
LOW-CARB? MAKE THESE SWAPS! I’m not following any kind of low-carb diet, but if you are, you can keep this dish lower in carbs by skipping higher carb veggies (carrots + peas) and using lower-carb veggies instead. Try…
- Adding shredded cabbage
- Using more bell peppers instead of carrots
- Mixing in some broccoli
- Swapping in mushrooms
- Using Green beans instead of peas
PALEO? WHOLE30? READ THIS! This recipe totally works for whole30 fried rice or paleo fried rice! If you’re making this dish as part of a paleo diet or Whole30 protocol, be sure to use coconut aminos. Everything else is naturally paleo & Whole30 approved!
TURN IT INTO A MEAL! SERVE WITH ONE OF THESE YUMMY FAVORITES:
- Healthy Beef & Broccoli
- Egg Drop Soup
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Paleo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Healthy Sesame Chicken
HELPFUL FOR MAKING THIS CAULI FRIED RICE: