Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

published Feb 23, 2022
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Start with a head of cauliflower or grab a bag of pre-riced cauliflower to make this cilantro lime-kissed dish.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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Credit: Laura Rege

Whether you believe it really is a substitute for rice or not, there is no denying that cauliflower rice has become more than just a trend and is now officially a staple in many households. When prepared correctly, cauliflower rice has a crisp-tender texture and soaks up whatever flavor you pair it with, like vibrant cilantro and lime.

It’s easy to achieve cilantro-lime flavor with lime juice and cilantro leaves alone, but adding freshly grated lime zest, along with scallions, garlic, and red pepper flakes, takes this recipe to the next level.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Start with a head of cauliflower and follow our instructions on how to prepare cauliflower rice, or opt for a shortcut and buy pre-riced cauliflower from the produce section of the grocery store. This recipe uses 6 cups of pre-riced cauliflower.

  • Start with a head of cauliflower. Remove and discard the outer leaves and trim any tough parts from the stem.
  • Cut or break the cauliflower into florets. Place the florets in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and the texture is similar to grains of rice. Alternatively, grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater.
  • Sauté the cauliflower rice. Cook, stirring, just until the cauliflower starts to look slightly opaque, but still has crisp-tender texture in the center. Remove immediately from the heat to prevent overcooking.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice Not Mushy

Mushy cauliflower rice is 100% avoidable. The key is to not overcook it. This is one of the fastest ways to prepare cauliflower. Stop when the cauliflower is crisp-tender, which takes just about 2 to 3 minutes. Cook it longer and your cauliflower rice which could turn into soft mush.

Credit: Laura Rege

Cauliflower Rice Versus White Rice

Cauliflower rice does a pretty good job disguising itself as a white rice alternative visually and can take the place of white rice in many dishes. The major difference is that cauliflower rice is hailed as a grain alternative because it is higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates than white rice.

What to Serve Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice With

Make cauliflower rice a side to pretty much any entrée, but we especially love it in place of white rice alongside saucy dishes that already love lime and cilantro notes, like curries, stir-fries, and enchiladas.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Start with a head of cauliflower or grab a bag of pre-riced cauliflower to make this cilantro lime-kissed dish.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head

    cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), or 6 cups cauliflower rice

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2

    medium limes

  • 1 bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes, plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Remove and discard the outer leaves and trim any tough parts from the stem of 1 medium head cauliflower. Cut or break the cauliflower into florets. Place half of the florets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped and the texture is similar to grains of rice, about 8 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat chopping the remaining cauliflower (about 6 cups cauliflower rice).

  2. Trim and thinly slice 2 medium scallions, keeping the white and light green parts separate from the dark green parts. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Finely grate the zest from 2 medium limes until you have 3/4 teaspoon; juice the limesuntil you have 3 tablespoons. Cut any remaining lime into wedges for serving. Finely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1 bunch fresh cilantro until you have 1/2 cup.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the white and light green scallions parts and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden-brown and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower starts to look slightly opaque but is still crisp-tender in the center, about 3 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, dark green scallion parts, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and red pepper flakes as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.