Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (2024)

4.92 from 45 votes

Posted (last updated February 21, 2024) by Wendy Polisi

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Spanish Cauliflower Rice is a fast and easy veggie side that people go crazy for! You will be surprised at how well it tips its hat to classic Spanish rice but without the carbs. A drizzle of lime juice and a sprinkling of cilantro at the end completes this simple dish with an extra pop of flavor. It is just the right match fortacos, fajitas,enchiladas, orgrilled chicken.

Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (1)

Cauliflower Spanish Riceis such a great alternative to white rice when you are watching your carbs.

This cauliflower rice recipe has become a year-round staple in my side dish repertoire. It is perfect for any time I am serving southwestern or Mexican food and works well in bowls and stir fries.

When you can serve a dish that is low carb, keto, dairy-free, and gluten-free that the whole family loves, I call that winning!

If you are looking to limit carbs, are on weight watchers, or are just trying to lower your calories, this is sure to become one of your favorite cauliflower recipes.

Ingredients for Making Cauliflower Rice

Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (2)
  • Cauliflower:I typically use a whole cauliflower and pulse it in my food processor to make "rice," but if you want to substitute pre-riced cauliflower, you can.
  • Oil:Olive oil or avocado oil works well here.
  • Tomato Sauce:If you have any leftovers, freeze it for next time. If you would like a touch more sweetness, tomato paste is also a great option.
  • Broth: I find that making my own saves money and yields the best flavor, but you can purchase broth if you need to.
  • Garlic:I like fresh minced garlic, but garlic powder may be used in its place.
  • Seasonings:Onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper give Spanish-inspired flavors.
  • Lime Juice:Finishing with lime juice brightens the dish. Lemons are a great alternative.
  • Fresh Cilantro:This gives a final pop of flavor.
Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (3)


  • Add½ diced onionto the skillet.
  • Add½ cup thawed frozen baby peaswhen you add the seasonings. Omit the cilantro and garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
  • Usebroccoliinstead of cauliflower for Broccoli rice.
  • For added flavor in your Mexican cauliflower rice, you can add in 2 teaspoons ofchili powder.
  • MakeSpanish Yellow Cauliflower Riceby adding ½ teaspoon ground turmeric and a pinch of saffron.

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

First, start by cutting your cauliflower into florets or large chunks.

Place the cauliflower florets in your food processor and process until it resembles rice.

Alternatively, you can use a box grater to grate the cauliflower.

Next, heat your oil in a large skillet. Add the raw cauliflower rice and cook for about 5 minutes.

Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (4)
Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (5)

Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, garlic and seasonings and cover. Cooking cauliflower rice takes between 5 and 10 minutes. You will know it is done when the liquid is mostly absorbed and the cauliflower is tender.

Add a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.


  • If you find that your cauliflower rice is sticking to the pan, you can fix this by adding a little more oil or liquid to the pan.
  • Frozen Riced Cauliflower tends to have a bit more liquid. Make sure you give it time to cook off!

Serving Suggestions

  • Spanish rice with cauliflower rice works well as a side dish fortacos,enchiladas, orburritos.
  • It is fabulous withSheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.
  • Serve withChicken with Avocado Sauce.
  • Have leftovers? Top it with chicken and cheese for an easy cheesy rice bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Buy Cauli Rice?

Absolutely! Trader Joe’s was one of the first to come out with it.

Now, there are numerous brands available including Green Giant and Birds Eye. I have even seen several grocery stores with store brands. Look for it in the freezer section and the produce section.

How Do You Cook Cauliflower Rice?

The best way to cook it is to saute in a little oil for five minutes. Add liquid to the pan and cover. Cook for another five to ten minutes.

How Long Can You Keep Cauliflower Rice in the Fridge?

It will keep in the fridge for up to five days, loosely wrapped in plastic or a vegetable bag. Caufliower is best stored whole because the florets begin to lose moisture when they are cut.

How Do I Pick the Best Cauliflower?

Cauliflower should be pale white. Yellow or brown spots should be avoided, but minor ones can easily be trimmed off. Look for a head that has bright pale green leaves that are formed tightly around the base.

Tools Needed

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Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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More Cauliflower Rice Recipes

  • ThisCoconut Cauliflower Riceis an excellent twist on cauli-rice.
  • Looking for a complete meal? You will LOVE thisLow Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice! It is a one-pot meal that comes together in less than 20 minutes - recipes with cauliflower rice don't get any better than this!
  • Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Riceis a delicious side you will turn to again and again.

If you like this recipe don't forget to leave a 5 star rating and let me know how it went in the below comments, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, Instagram, and PINTEREST to see all my delicious recipes.

Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (7)

Print Recipe

4.92 from 45 votes

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

This Cauliflower Spanish Rice Recipe is a delicious low-carb side dish that you can enjoy without guilt! Naturally Gluten Free and Keto Friendly.

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time15 minutes mins

Total Time25 minutes mins

Servings: 4

Calories: 70kcal

Author: Wendy Polisi


  • Food Processor

  • Large Saute Pan


  • 16 ounces cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped

US Customary - Metric


  • Cut cauliflower into florets. Place in a food processor and process until “riced”.

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add cauliflower and cook for five minutes.

  • Stir in tomato sauce, broth, garlic, onion powder, cumin, sea salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, until tender.

  • Uncover. Toss with lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

  • Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.


Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 58.7mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Filed Under:

FavoritesGluten Free RecipesKeto and Low Carb RecipesSide Dish Recipes

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About Wendy Polisi

Hi, I’m Wendy! I’m a cook, 5 time cookbook author, blogger, natural health enthusiast…and most importantly a mom. My boys are 18 & 19 and my late life princess is 10.

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

  1. Sandy

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (12)
    This was amazing! Love it!


  2. Deepika

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (13)
    I love your Low carb New recipe idea "Spanish cauliflower rice" but more than that I loved the way you wrote about it. That made this post more interesting. Keep writing. 🙂


  3. Amber

    Can frozen cauliflower rice be used instead of fresh and dealing with processor?


  4. Amy Yalian

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (14)
    I'm very new to the Keto/Low Carb diet. I was so sad thinking that I was going to have to give up Mexican food. Then I came across you recipe and was so Happy! I tried your recipe and it was really good except that it was really salty. I don't add salt to my food when I cook or after...but thank you so much for coming up with this recipe. God Bless.


  5. MIchelle

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (15)
    Yes! Yes! and Yes!!
    And I did it super lazy! I also added an extra cup of water to the recipe and threw 12 oz cauliflower/ sweet potato in a rice cooker (feeling lazy) and it came out perfect 🙂


  6. Kat

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (16)
    Way too much pepper.


    • Wendy Polisi

      You could always dial it back if pepper isn't your thing, but I honestly double the pepper when I make it for our family. I like food that has a kick to it. A 1/4 teaspoon of pepper for four servings really isn't that much at all.


  7. Kelly

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (17)
    I just made this tonight (hubby and I are low carb). I doubled your recipe and used frozen riced cauliflower because I love the convenience. This was DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!


    • Wendy Polisi

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I've been using frozen cauliflower quite a bit myself lately!


  8. rose

    thank Wendy! Previously I did not know that the SPANISH CAULIFLOWER RICE is so great!


  9. temple run 3

    wow, this dish looks delicious, i also want to try it, thank you for sharing the way.


  10. Lynn

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (18)
    I made this for dinner tonight and my 4 year old grandson ate 4 helpings. He loved it! Great recipe.


    • Wendy Polisi

      You made my day! Nothing better than when you can get little ones eating veggies.


  11. Tammy

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (19)
    This was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe. 🙂


  12. Diane S.

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (20)
    I was surprised at how good this was, and so were the picky eaters in my family! I didn't have tomato sauce on hand, so I added extra broth and tomato paste from a tube gradually until I got the color I wanted in the mixture. I also added the zest from the lime, which I think put it over the top.


    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad that you enjoyed it - and especially that you even got your picky eaters to eat it! LOVE the addition of lime zest. It is amazing how just a touch of citrus can brighten a dish up.


  13. Jeff Wheeler

    Wendy, what is your opinion on the addition of mild green chilies? I’m thinking about adding them.


    • Wendy Polisi

      I think that would be AMAZING! If you try it let me know how it goes!


  14. Trish

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (21)
    Hi Wendy, I’m new to your blog and this is the first recipe that I attempted to make. It is absolutely delicious! ☺️ My Mom and Dad always buys this packet of instant Mexican brown rice that we absolutely love but I’ve been trying to cut down on carbs, so this is perfect! It tastes even better and much healthier! Thanks for sharing your recipe! Can’t wait to cook this for my parents the next time they come over for dinner! ☺️


  15. temple run

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (22)
    This was DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!


  16. Gretchen Hall

    Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (23)
    Loved this recipe!! I didn't have any onion powder so I added fresh. Just sautéed the onion and garlic together and added the cauliflower. I also used 1 tsp tomato bouillon with 1/2 c. water in replacement of the tomato sauce and the chicken broth. Everything else I kept the same. Thank you so much for this great recipe!!


Spanish Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low Carb & Keto Friendly (2024)
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