9 Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Variations You Need to Try

Editor

What is cauliflower rice?

Cauliflower rice is made by processing humble cauliflower florets into rice-like grains. It’s not just a food trend, but my secret weapon for creating meals that resonate with my taste buds and nourish my body.

Whether I’m making a colorful stir-fry, a cozy bowl of “rice” and curry, or a guilt-free sushi roll, cauliflower rice is my go-to companion. It’s like a canvas that soaks up the flavors of my favorite spices and herbs, creating a symphony of tastes that make each bite an experience.

Cauliflower rice is not just a side dish, but a game-changer that has turned my meals into a delightful journey of health and flavor.

Why is cauliflower rice so popular?

Cauliflower rice has become a staple in many households, and it’s not hard to see why. This low-carb and low-calorie rice substitute is incredibly versatile, making it a go-to for health-conscious individuals seeking gluten-free, grain-free, or lighter meal options. But it’s not just about the nutritional benefits; cauliflower rice transforms our favorite dishes into healthier versions that are just as delicious.

From stir-fries to risottos, and even fried rice, cauliflower rice adapts to various flavors and textures effortlessly. It’s also incredibly easy to make at home, either by using a food processor or a box grater. Simply grate the cauliflower head, and voila – you have your own homemade cauliflower rice.

Not only is cauliflower rice a great alternative to traditional rice, but it’s also a great way to add more vegetables to your diet. Cauliflower is packed with nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, making it a great addition to any meal.

So, it’s not just food – it’s a lifestyle. Cauliflower rice has taken the culinary world by storm, and it’s here to stay. Whether you’re following a specific diet or simply looking to add more vegetables to your meals, cauliflower rice is a delicious and healthy option that you won’t regret trying.

9 cheesy cauliflower rice recipes

1. Classic cheesy cauliflower rice

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh parsley or green onions for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Begin by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess, as it can turn mushy.
  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and stir well to coat it with garlic-infused butter. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and evenly distributed throughout the cauliflower rice.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley or green onions, if desired.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve the classic cheesy cauliflower rice alongside grilled chicken, steak, or roasted vegetables as a side dish.
  • Cooked protein such as shrimp, chicken, or tofu can also be enjoyed as a main course.
  • Sprinkle some extra shredded cheese on top for an extra cheesy touch.
  • Add chopped herbs like thyme or rosemary while sautéing cauliflower rice for flavor.
  • This dish is best served fresh and hot, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

A nutritious alternative to traditional rice dishes, cheesy cauliflower rice is creamy and flavorful.

 

2. Bacon and cheddar cauliflower rice

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Four slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped green onions for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and combined with the cauliflower rice.
  • Stir in the crumbled bacon, reserving a small amount for garnish. Mix well to distribute the bacon throughout the dish.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember to adjust the seasoning according to your preferences.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with the remaining crumbled bacon and chopped green onions.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve the bacon and cheddar cauliflower rice as a flavorful side dish with grilled meats, roasted chicken, or fish.
  • It can also be enjoyed as a main course by adding cooked chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal.
  • Sprinkle some extra shredded cheddar cheese on top for an extra cheesy indulgence.
  • Added chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes can spice up the dish.
  • Other vegetables like sautéed mushrooms or diced bell peppers can easily customize this recipe.
  • Adjust the cooking time for a tender or crunchy cauliflower rice bowl.

Savor the delightful combination of bacon and cheddar in this cheesy cauliflower rice variation for a tasty and satisfying dish.

 

3. Broccoli and parmesan cauliflower rice

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon zest for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Begin by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chopped broccoli florets to the skillet and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the cauliflower and broccoli are tender.
  • Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the cauliflower and broccoli mixture. Stir well until the cheese melts and coats the vegetables.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with lemon zest for a fresh touch.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve broccoli and Parmesan cauliflower rice as a delicious side dish with grilled chicken, baked fish, or roasted pork.
  • It can also be enjoyed as a vegetarian main course by adding sautéed mushrooms or chickpeas for extra protein.
  • Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese for added cheesy flavor.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice before serving to enhance the dish’s brightness.
  • For heat, sprinkle red pepper flakes or add hot sauce.
  • This versatile dish can be used as a base for stir-fries and Buddha bowls or as a filling for stuffed peppers.

Indulge in broccoli and Parmesan cheese in this cheesy cauliflower rice variation. This variation offers a delightful medley of flavors and textures.

 

4. Spinach and feta cauliflower rice

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon wedges for serving

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chopped spinach leaves to the skillet and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the cauliflower rice is tender.
  • Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the cauliflower rice and spinach mixture. Stir well until the cheese is evenly distributed and melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and squeeze fresh lemon juice over cauliflower rice, if desired.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve spinach and feta cauliflower rice as a flavorful and nutritious side dish or as a light vegetarian main course.
  • It pairs well with grilled chicken, roasted salmon, or sautéed shrimp.
  • Sprinkle some extra crumbled feta cheese on top for added creaminess and tang.
  • Drizzle with additional olive oil for richness.
  • This dish can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature.
  • Serve with lemon wedges on the side for a refreshing citrus touch.

Indulge in this cauliflower rice mixture of tender spinach and tangy feta cheese. With its vibrant flavors and nutrient-packed ingredients, this dish offers a delicious and healthy option for any meal.

 

5. Buffalo chicken cauliflower rice

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: crumbled blue cheese for garnish
  • Optional: chopped green onions for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic, diced celery, carrots, and an onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Push the cauliflower rice to one side of the skillet and add the cooked chicken to the other side. Pour the buffalo sauce over the chicken and stir to coat it evenly.
  • Mix the chicken and cauliflower rice in the skillet. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat everything through.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with crumbled blue cheese and chopped green onions, if desired.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve buffalo chicken with cauliflower rice as a spicy and flavorful main course.
  • Top with additional buffalo sauce for extra heat, or drizzle with ranch or blue cheese dressing for added creaminess.
  • Enjoy it alone or as a filling for lettuce wraps or tortillas.
  • Sprinkle with chopped celery leaves for crunch.
  • This dish pairs well with crunchy vegetables or a simple side salad.
  • Adjust the spiciness level by adding more or less buffalo sauce, according to your preference.

This cauliflower rice variation that combines buffalo sauce and tender chicken flavors satisfies your craving for spicy chicken.

 

6. Mexican style cauliflower rice with queso fresco 

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (any color)
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon of ground cumin
  • One teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • Lime wedges for serving

Cooking instructions:

  • Begin by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bell peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet, along with cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Cook the cauliflower rice mixture for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender but still slightly crisp.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro. Mix well to incorporate the flavors.
  • Transfer the Mexican-style cauliflower rice to a serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco cheese.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve Mexican-style cauliflower rice as a flavorful side dish alongside grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over cauliflower rice before serving to add refreshing citrus flavor.
  • Garnish with additional chopped cilantro for added freshness and aroma.
  • This dish can be filled with tacos, burritos, or stuffed peppers.
  • Add diced tomatoes, black beans, or corn kernels for texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the spice level by adding a hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes.

Enjoy Mexican cuisine’s vibrant and zesty flavors with this cauliflower rice variation. It features the right combination of spices and crumbled queso fresco cheese.

 

7. Italian cauliflower rice with mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • One teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and diced onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, dried basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine the flavors.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the cauliflower rice. Stir until the cheese is melted, coating the rice evenly.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is fully melted and gooey.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve Italian cauliflower rice as a delicious side dish alongside grilled chicken, baked fish, or roasted vegetables.
  • It can also be enjoyed as a vegetarian main course by adding sautéed mushrooms or roasted eggplant.
  • Top with additional shredded mozzarella cheese for extra cheesiness.
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze or sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese for added Italian flavor.
  • This dish pairs well with a side salad dressed in a light vinaigrette.
  • Adjust the seasoning by adding more herbs or spices according to your preference.

Enjoy Italy with this flavorful cauliflower rice variation featuring melted mozzarella cheese and savory sun-dried tomatoes for a delicious and satisfying meal.

 

8. Greek cauliflower rice with lemon and feta

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Kalamata olives for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and diced red onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Remove from heat and transfer cooked cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the diced cucumber, tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped parsley to the cauliflower rice. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the cauliflower rice mixture and gently toss to distribute it evenly.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve Greek cauliflower rice alongside grilled chicken, lamb, or fish as a refreshing side dish.
  • It can also be enjoyed as a light and healthy vegetarian main course.
  • Top with Kalamata olives for a salty and tangy twist.
  • Drizzle with extra olive oil and lemon juice for added freshness.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature for the most delicious flavor.
  • This dish pairs well with a Greek salad or tzatziki sauce on the side.

Experience Greece with this Greek-inspired cauliflower rice variation, featuring zesty lemon, fresh vegetables, and creamy feta cheese for a taste of the Mediterranean.

 

9. Curry spiced cauliflower rice with cheddar

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized cauliflower head
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • One tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • Start by preparing cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower head into florets.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach rice-like consistency. Be careful not to overprocess.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sprinkle the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper (if using) over the cauliflower rice. Stir well to coat the rice with spices evenly.
  • Continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and combined with the cauliflower rice.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve the curry spiced cauliflower rice as a flavorful side dish or a base for curries or stir-fries.
  • Enjoy it as a vegetarian main course by adding chickpeas or tofu for protein.
  • Top with additional shredded cheddar cheese for extra cheesiness.
  • Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a citrus twist.
  • This dish pairs well with naan bread or roti for a complete Indian-inspired meal.
  • Adjust the spice level by adding more or less cayenne pepper, according to your preference.

Delight in curry’s aromatic spices in this cauliflower rice variation, enhanced with melted cheddar cheese. This is a comforting and flavorful dish.

Takeaway

Cauliflower rice is not just a side dish; it’s a blank canvas waiting for your personal touch. It’s an open invitation to culinary creativity, and I’ve been there – diving into a plate of classic cheesy cauliflower rice that’s creamy, comforting, and oh-so-satisfying. But the possibilities are endless!

Whether you are a cheese fanatic, or simply on a mission to create delicious and unique meals at home, these cheesy cauliflower rice variations are your answer. They’re the taste of adventure and the art of customizing to your heart’s desire.

So, gather your ingredients, let your creativity run wild, and dive into a world where every bite is a moment of pure culinary joy. Get ready to explore, savor, and relish the enchanting realm of cheesy cauliflower rice variations – a journey you won’t want to miss.

Editor
Autumn is an Editor @ WholeYum, passionate about holistic health and nutrition.

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