Cauliflower Fried Rice

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There is so much to love about Cauliflower Fried Rice. While you might think of cauliflower “rice”as something you eat in place of grains, this recipe proves that cauliflower rice is delicious and satisfying in its own right.

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

A few days ago, I shared a recipe for Fried Rice with Ham and Vegetables that we all agree is better than take-out.

Like that fried rice recipe, I think this dish is better than almost anything you could get at a take-out restaurant and just as fast.

It uses cauliflower in place of the rice making it a great way to sneak extra veggies into your meal or for a lighter alternative to a starchy rice dish.

This recipe takes fresh, cold cauliflower rice and fries it up with veggies, Mexican spices, cooked chicken and a generous helping of shredded cheese. The result is a beautiful, flavorful combination of tastes and textures that the whole family will love.

Best of all, this Cauliflower Fried Rice only takes a few minutes to whip up in the skillet. It makes a great option for both lunch and dinner and the leftovers are delicious too!

How To Make Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice is almost ridiculously easy to make, especially with store bought riced cauliflower. You can find packages of riced cauliflower (cauliflower chopped up into grain sized bits) in most grocery stores and supermarkets these days.

It’s not difficult to turn a head of cauliflower into “rice” yourself. This tutorial on How to Make Cauliflower Rice  is a good step by step guide if you’ve never worked with cauliflower before.

Start by removing the leaves and stems from your head of cauliflower. Then pull or chop apart the florets as you usually would when cooking cauliflower. Pulse the raw cauliflower florets in a food processor until they turn into rice sized pieces.

You can also use a box grater (the kind typically used for grating parmesan) to rice your cauliflower by hand.

Once your cauliflower is ready to go, warm a tablespoon of oil (I use refined coconut oil or light olive oil) in large skillet. Add peppers and onions, give it a good stir for a minute, then add mushrooms and your favorite Mexican spice blend or taco seasoning mix.

After the vegetables have softened a little bit, add chopped cooked chicken and cook for a minute or so until warmed through. Remove the vegetables and chicken from the pan and set aside while you cook the cauliflower in more oil, a little bit of extra spice blend and a drizzle of hot sauce.

Once the cauliflower is seasoned and cooked, add the vegetables and  back to the pan and stir everything together until well combined.

I like to add a handful of shredded monterey jack or pepperjack cheese to the rice before serving. Cilantro lovers will love this with a beautiful handful of chopped cilantro sprinkled on top too!

Mexican "Fried Rice" with Cauliflower and Chicken

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is an especially great way to use up leftover chicken. Pan fried chicken and baked chicken will both work well in this recipe.

Make Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs for lunch and toss the leftover chicken (cut into 1/2 inch chunks) with this cauliflower rice, hot sauce and spices for the most delicious and easy dinner you can imagine.

If you’re in a hurry, you could also use your pressure cooker or Instant Pot to whip up cooked chicken for this recipe.

Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

I make a lot of stir-fry in this house because it’s one of the best ways to get a quick dinner on the table that I know everyone in the family will enjoy. Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry is a frequent presence on our dinner table as is this savory Thai Steak and Green Bean Stir-Fry.

Fried rice is a stir-fried dish that puts the “rice” (in this case, cauliflower rice) right in the pan with the other ingredients. And since you don’t have to pre-cook the cauliflower like you would with rice, Cauliflower Fried Rice is a one-pan meal that’s even faster to make than your average stir-fry. 

Most stir-fries use Asian inspired flavors. While I absolutely love a garlicky, ginger-y stir-fry like sometimes it’s nice to take a concept in a different direction.

This Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry uses Mexican flavors from a seasoning blend and the addition of hot sauce.

My Homemade Taco Seasoning works wonders in this recipe and you can also use whatever Mexican spice blend you prefer. The combination of cumin, chile powder, oregano and garlic adds so much flavor to the veggies and chicken.

I use Cholula original because that’s what my family prefers but feel free to use your favorite hot sauce. You could even experiment with a variety of hot sauces every time you make this recipe. (Believe me, you’ll want to make it often.)

Cauliflower Fried Rice is quick, nutritious, easy-to-make meal that’s full of tender savory mushrooms, juicy chicken, flavorful veggies and the perfect amount of spice.

Whether you’re a longtime cauliflower rice lover or just giving it a try for the first time, this is a recipe you simply must have in your arsenal. Your family will thank you!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the peppers and onions. Stir to coat and cook for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, stir, and sprinkle generously with 1 tablespoon of Mexican spice mix.

  2. Stir the skillet and continue cooking until the vegetables soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of Mexican spices. Stir and cook 1 more minute until warm. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl next to the stove.

  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot skillet and add the rice. Stir to coat and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of Mexican spices. Stir well and continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet while the rice warms. Drizzle hot sauce over the rice and stir well to mix throughout.

  4. Add the chicken and vegetable mixture back to the skillet with the rice. Stir well to combine and make sure everything is warm. Sprinkle with cilantro. Top with cheese, if desired, before serving.

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Mexican "Fried Rice" with Cauliflower and Chicken

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

5 from 3 votes
Cauliflower Fried Rice is quick, nutritious, easy-to-make meal that's full of tender savory mushrooms, juicy chicken, flavorful veggies and the perfect amount of spice.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 tbsp refined coconut or light olive oil (divided)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces, about 1/2 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced thin, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 3 tbsp Mexican seasoning mix, or store-bought taco seasoning (divided)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups COLD cauliflower rice
  • 2 tbsp Cholula hot sauce or the alternate hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups freshly shredded monterey jack or pepper jack cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the peppers and onions. Stir to coat and cook for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, stir, and sprinkle generously with 1 tablespoon of Mexican spice mix. 
  • Stir the skillet and continue cooking until the vegetables soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of Mexican spices. Stir and cook 1 more minute until warm. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl next to the stove.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot skillet and add the rice. Stir to coat and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of Mexican spices.  Stir well and continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet while the rice warms. Drizzle hot sauce over the rice and stir well to mix throughout.
  • Add the chicken and vegetable mixture back to the skillet with the rice. Stir well to combine and make sure everything is warm. Sprinkle with cilantro. Top with cheese, if desired, before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal · Carbohydrates: 7g · Protein: 23g · Fat: 24g · Saturated Fat: 14g · Cholesterol: 68mg · Sodium: 270mg · Potassium: 574mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 950IU · Vitamin C: 77.3mg · Calcium: 310mg · Iron: 1.5mg
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Cauliflower Fried Rice Stir Fry

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Alisha Ross says

    Made this tonight and topped the spaghetti squash with steamed broccoli, sliced cherry tomatoes, and green onions before pouring on the sauce. So delish!!!5 stars

  2. Alisha Ross says

    I love cooking meals with my crock pot! These are some great recipes and I pinned this to my Pinterest crock pot/slow cooker board. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Hannah Flack says

    Oh boy I am so glad you posted this!!!We love cauliflower and I have been wanting some new tasty recipes!
    5 stars