We are big fans of substituting in cauliflower rice as often as possible, but, well, let’s be honest: The same old cauliflower rice can get a little dull. You feel us? If so, you’ll absolutely love this recipe for Mexican cauliflower rice, developed by Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge. As far as Olayinka’s inspiration for this recipe is concerned, she says, "I love cauliflower rice. It’s a great alternative in our house to get more vegetables into our diet. I also love Mexican spices, so I thought the two would make a great pair!"
So, try spicing up your cauliflower rice with this dish that calls for cumin, paprika, and coriander. And if you need a little assistance as far as what to pair this tasty side with, Olayinka has you covered. "This will serve very well with some grilled meat, like chicken or beef, or meat on skewers. If you are vegan or vegetarian, [try serving with] some black beans." There you have it. Consider your next dinner, saved.
Gather your ingredients to prepare Mexican cauliflower rice
Head to your spice drawer before making this easy dish to see if you have the following required spiced: coriander, salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili flakes. Worried this Mexican cauliflower rice will be a bit too hot for you to handle? Olayinka assures that her dish is not super spicy, but she does note, "The only ingredient that is spicy, is the chili flakes, but [home cooks] can choose to omit this."
For the rice, you will also need a head of cauliflower, and three bell peppers — one red, one yellow, and one green. Finally, grab from your cupboards or shop for a vegetable stock cube, vegetable oil, a lime, and a red onion. Optionally, you can garnish the rice with cilantro and jalapeño to really boost the flavor and heat factors, and turn out a truly authentic Mexican meal.
Prep your cauliflower rice
Step one in making Mexican cauliflower rice is to grate your head of cauliflower into rice. Of course, you can always buy cauliflower rice if you want to save time. But if you are ricing your own cauliflower, Olayinka notes you will stop grating at the stem.
The next step is essential. Get a clean tea towel or cheesecloth. You will put your cauliflower rice in the towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Do not skip this, because otherwise, you will end up with soggy cauliflower rice, and no one wants that!
Next, you will cook your rice, but first, if you want, you can dice up your peppers and onion, and set them aside. Cooking the cauliflower is an active process that requires a wee bit of babysitting, so don’t step away to prep those veggies while it’s cooking, or you may end up with a burnt dish. And that’s about as unappealing as a soggy one.
Cook your cauliflower rice, and add the spice
Pour 2 tablespoons of your vegetable oil into a pan, heating it to medium-high heat. You will add the grated cauliflower, and cook it for two to three minutes, with Olayinka instructing home cooks to stir the rice consistently.
Next, add your spices — the garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, salt, etc. You will also add the vegetable stock cube, mixing all of the ingredients together to combine them. At this point, go ahead and remove the cauliflower rice, placing it into a bowl, and setting it aside for now. It’ll hit the pan again in a few minutes, but first, you are going to cook your bell peppers and onion.
Cook the veggies
Add the other 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan, and then add in the chopped bell peppers and onions. Cook the veggies on medium-high heat for another two to three minutes.
At this point, you are going to take one more step to ensure you do not end up with soggy cauliflower rice. Place the veggies in a bowl, and squeeze out the excess water from the veggies by pressing them down with a silicone spatula.
Now, back in the pan they go — although Olayinka recommends first wiping the pan clean — and add in the cauliflower rice. Gently mix the veggies and rice together, and serve with lime juice. You can add even more heat to this dish with chopped jalapeños and cilantro, or skip this step. Either way, you will never say that eating cauliflower rice is boring again! Just be sure to bookmark this recipe so you can enjoy an easy, healthy side whenever you’d like.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- ½ of 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, and green)
- ½ red onion
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Grate the head of the cauliflower, excluding the stem.
- Put the cauliflower in a clean tea towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze out all of the liquid.
- Dice the bell peppers and red onion, and set aside.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a pan, and heat it to medium-high heat.
- Place the grated cauliflower in the pan, and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring consistently.
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, the vegetable stock cube, and salt to the frying pan. Mix in all of the spices.
- Take the cauliflower rice out of the pan, place into a bowl, and set aside.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pan again, and fry the chopped bell peppers and onions on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Once the veggies have finished frying, set aside in a bowl, and try to squeeze out all of the water from the peppers and the onion by flattening down the vegetables with a silicone spatula.
- Wipe the frying pan clean, and add the cauliflower rice back into it along with the fried bell peppers and fried onions. Mix together, and serve with fresh lime juice.