How to make cauliflower rice

Cut the calories in your midweek meals by cooking low-carb, cauliflower rice. Our cookery team test three cooking methods and share their tips for preparing and storing.

Cauliflower rice and herbs on a plate

Faux carbs are fast becoming this year's hot trend. If you're not quite ready to get down with spiralizing, low-fi cauliflower rice is the perfect introduction to grain alternatives. All you need is a grater or food processor to knock up rice-like pieces, that can then be microwaved in a flash, pan-fried in moments or roasted to create a light, fluffy portion that will have the most ardent carb monsters asking for seconds.

Experimenting with flavours and textures is all part of the fun, but to get you started our cookery team put the most popular cooking methods to the test, rating them on flavour and ease and providing tips for preparing, storing and adding your own flourishes...

Watch our video guide on how to make cauliflower rice:

How to prepare

For best results...

Blitz A food processer will give the best results. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, cut it into quarters and remove most of the thick core, then cut each quarter into two or three chunks. You don’t want to overload the blender, or it will struggle to blitz the cauliflower, instead work with about half the cauliflower at a time. Blend for 30 seconds or so, until the cauliflower resembles fine rice, or couscous.  

You can also...

Grate If you don’t own a food processer, you can grate the raw cauliflower on the coarse side of the grater. You may find you’re left with a few bigger pieces, which will give the ‘rice’ a chunkier texture.

Raw cauliflower with leaves

How to store

Once the cauliflower is prepared, you can store it until you’re ready to use. If you’re following a calorie-controlled diet, divide the cauliflower rice into 100g portions, which contain just 25 calories each, and stash in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for two months. The ‘rice’ can be microwaved from frozen, or defrosted before stir-frying or microwaving.

How to cook

Cauliflower rice in a bowl
We tested three different ways to cook cauliflower rice, to discover our favourite. Make sure you season with salt after cooking, if you season before the rice can become waterlogged and soggy.

1. Microwaving
By far the easiest way to cook your cauliflower rice, and as you don’t need to add any fat, the healthiest too. Microwave fresh cauliflower rice in a heatproof bowl, covered with cling film, for three minutes on High. If using from the freezer, microwave for four minutes on High, mixing the ‘rice’ half way through cooking. This method gives the rice a nice, neutral flavour, perfect for serving with a curry or tagine.

Our verdict:
Flavour 5/10
Ease 10/10

Senior food editor, Barney says: ‘I think this method would enable me to pass the cauliflower rice off as regular rice or couscous to my kids. I’d serve it with their favourite curry, a creamy korma.’

2. Stir-frying
We stir-fried our cauliflower rice in a little olive oil, for 5 minutes. Although we found this gave it a lovely, nutty flavour and colour, the texture was less pleasing. We were left with soggy cauliflower rice, which clumped together in places.

Our verdict:
Flavour rating 7/10
Ease 6/10

Assistant food editor, Miriam says: ‘This would be perfect for making cauliflower sushi with, as it clumps together well if you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.’

3. Roasting 
This was our favourite method of cooking. We tossed the rice in a drizzle of olive oil in a tray, then spread it out to a thin, even layer. We then roasted the ‘rice’ at 200C for 12 minutes, mixing it in the tray halfway through cooking. This dried the rice out, giving it a light, fluffy texture and intensified the flavour.

Our verdict:
Flavour 10/10 
Ease 5/10

Food editor, Cassie says: ‘Next time I’d add some ground cumin, chilli and coriander to the ‘rice’ before cooking, and toss through some chopped mint and parsley once it’s out of the oven. It would be lovely with some lamb chops and a dollop of yogurt.’

Have you tried making cauliflower rice? Let us know how you got on and how you cooked yours in the comments below...

Comments, questions and tips

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Josephine's picture
17th Apr, 2020
Can we lose the advice to use cling film when microwaving please? We shouldn't be advocating single use plastic. You can buy a reusable cover for the microwave.
Anna Boulding's picture
Anna Boulding
12th Feb, 2019
We’ve cooked cauliflower rice twice now. We’re not fans of microwaving it as there was very little flavour and the texture felt quite coarse. Stir frying it in sesame oil was amazing though. We literally cooked it for about 2-3 minutes on a high setting and it was lush. Would definitely recommend trying it.
29th Oct, 2018
Microwave may be quicker but it is definitely not a healthy way to cook - and adding cling film into the mix is asking for cancer! Radiation and particles of plastic in my food? No thank you!
David Brennan's picture
David Brennan
13th Feb, 2020
It is impossible to cook anything without radiation. All heat is radiation. Microwaves simply vibrate the water molecules in the food causing them to emit thermal radiation. You may have a point about the cling film but microwaves do not put 'radiation in your food'.
20th Jul, 2018
To Bethanygrotto - I was unconvinced too, until I tried it. Mrs B was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes, thankfully cleared up now due to diet changes. Now we eat more cauli rice than normal rice, and can't really tell the difference. I use biryani seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice and it's just DELICIOUS... try it
18th Jul, 2018
First time cooking cauliflower rice, I roasted it with cumin, coriander and a little curry powder as suggested. I think it needs some seasoning and I subsequently tossed it in a little balsamic vinegar and it was lovely. Need to experiment a bit more but definitely a winner
14th Jun, 2018
I am not convinced enough to try it! From the reviews it's either easy to cook and bland, or tastes good but is hard to do. I would rather go without any rice or "rice"!
16th May, 2018
The roast version sounds particularly delicious! Will be trying that one for sure.
19th Jul, 2017
I stir fry with cumin, turmeric and a little curry powder and use this instead of regular rice in a kedgeree. I use smoked mackerel and mushrooms and any other veg I fancy. Delicious and low in carbs.
2nd Feb, 2017
The Cauliflower rice works really well for me simple by stir frying with other ingredients- fabulous idea and very quick and easy!


7th Jul, 2017
Just made this recipe. A whole cauliflower. Processed then divided into 4. Flavoured each differently. Moroccan. Indian. A lightly seasoned one and one with a veg stock cube. Roasted for twelve mins each tray plus a few One Cal sprays. Just need to know what is the calorific value per portion please. Can anyone help? PS it is really good!
6th Jun, 2017
I appreciate this is an old article, but if someone doesn't really like the taste of cauliflower, is this something to avoid?
Josephine's picture
17th Apr, 2020
My husband doesn't like cauliflower but will eat this, so it's worth a try!
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Jun, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes, we think it's probably not going to be a popular choice if you don't like cauliflower at all, although in this form it tends to be more subtle than eating larger florets.
15th Sep, 2016
For the microwave method, do you add water?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Sep, 2016
Thanks for your question Sandra, no you don't need to add any water. The cling film will keep sufficient moisture in. Enjoy!
6th Jun, 2016
I grate it and DRY fry it in a pan - fabulous!
Nabiha Shahab's picture
Nabiha Shahab
1st Jun, 2018
It is also possible to steam it to get a neutral flavour. Or stirfrying without oil but add a bit of water instead.
30th Aug, 2016
Don't cook it at all..... Tastes great or you can pimp it with your choice of herbs or spices.