Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

By Kate Riley March 1, 2016

My friends today I’m sharing a recipe I’ve been making over and over and over again because it’s a great meal (or serving) of vegetables and protein and tastes soooo good. Cauliflower I’m discovering is such a versatile vegetable. Years ago I started smashing cooked cauliflower with a pat of butter to mimic mashed potatoes and friends have told me how it also makes a great pizza dough.

A few weeks ago, a favorite fitness instructor was telling me about how she makes cauliflower “fried rice” and being a lover of the real thing, I went out and bought the ingredients that very day, whipped up my first batch, and texted her how amazing it was.

There are a lot of recipes for cauliflower “fried rice” online, all are a tad different, some add garlic or ginger, and some recipes are vegetarian (mine is not, I add chicken). All the variations sound delicious to me I may mix those into mine from time to time. I condensed my version down to a special sauce and a few simple ingredients to make it easy to whip up when I’m in the mood for it, which is often! It’s been given excellent reviews around my house too.

 cauliflower fried rice

 cauliflower fried rice in pan



1 head of cauliflower (florets pulsed in food processer to create “rice”)

1 medium cooked chicken breast (swap for tofu if vegetarian)

2 scrambled eggs

¾ cup diced baby carrots

¾ cup frozen peas

½ cup low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp szechwan chili sauce

 cauliflower fried rice ingredients

To speed up the preparation and add flavor, I prepare a special sauce in advance. This is my cast of characters: szechwan chili sauce, sesame oil, and low sodium soy sauce.

 special sauce ingredients

To make the special sauce, mix ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of szechwan chili sauce and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. (I multiply that times two and pour it into a plastic condiment bottle for multiple preparations. The bottle makes it easy to store in the fridge then squirt into the pan.) The soy sauce adds sweetness, the sesame oil adds a nutty flavor, and the szechwan chili sauce brings a bit of spicy kick.

First, cook the chicken breast. You could use precooked chicken that’s fine, and here you could also add shrimp, or pork, or whatever floats your boat in the meat or seafood department. This dish could easily be vegetarian by skipping this step or substituting tofu.

I like using the special sauce to cook the chicken so it will have that same flavor going in to the “fried rice” medley later on. To cook the chicken breast and give it good flavor, I squirt one tablespoon of the special sauce in the pan, brown one side, add another tablespoon, brown the other, then pour ¼ cup of water into the pan, and cover for 4-5 minutes until the chicken breast is cooked through. Set the chicken aside to cool, then chop and add to the medley later.

 cook chicken breast

Next prep the “rice” by pulsing a head of cauliflower chopped into florets in a food processer. (You can also buy it in frozen at Trader Joe’s like this.)

 cauliflower florets

 riced cauliflower


In a non stick sauté pan or wok, over medium heat add ¼ cup of the special sauce to the pan then add the diced carrots. Cook carrots for 1 minute to soften them. (You could also add a little minced garlic in here too!)

 soften carrots


Add the remaining ingredients, starting with the “rice” cauliflower, then the eggs and peas and stir it all up.

 add remaining

 stir ingredients


Add the remaining ¼ cup of the special sauce to the pan and continue to stir all the ingredients over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.

 cauliflower fried rice in pan


This recipe makes 4 servings as a side dish, but I usually split it and gobble it up Half for lunch and half for dinner, it’s that good!

 cauliflower fried rice with chopsticks

I sprinkled some chopped chives at the end but that’s totally optional. Also sometimes I add just a dash of garlic salt on top since the soy sauce is low sodium and sometimes I feel like it needs a hiiiint more salt. Try it and tell me what variations you make!


 cauliflower fried rice recipe


Got any great cauliflower recipes you like? Describe them! Or link to your favorite, I’d love to know.



  1. This looks really good! Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Cauliflower stir fry is delicious, I highly recommend it.

  2. I can’t wait to try this. To make it even healthier, skip the soy sauce (which contains wheat) and substitute tamari sauce, preferably organic. You can’t taste the difference, but your body reacts better. Thanks for this.

  3. The grater attachment for be food processor actually makes the texture on this so much better than just the chopping blade! Give it a try!

  4. What would thiis recipe be like without egg? I am allergic to egg and that is why I stay away from fried rice which I LOVE and I also love cauliflower. Egg always seems to make fried rice for me. Also allergic to wheat (thus the sub in with tamari which tastes way better without the wheat) and to dairy (no worries here).

    I should just try this and live without the egg!

  5. I love this. I will try your special sauce next time. I love roasted chopped cauliflower florets with rosemary and olive oil and salt and pepper. I could eat the whole head like this. I also make cream of cauliflower soup with the roasted stuff. Add bacon and leeks and it is a dream soup. I add a little cream (I am a low carb eater) but it doesn’t really need it. Just whiz it with the immersion blender and it is good to go.

  6. Thanks so much for posting! Coincidentally, I picked up a bag of already “riced” cauliflower from Trader Joe this week and didn’t have a plan for what I would do with it. This is perfect! Thank you.

  7. This looks delicious Kate! I will definitely be making it this week. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  8. I just recently discovered substituting cauliflower for rice to accompany curry
    but never thought of making “fried rice”! Will definitely be making this. Usually put garlic, chilli, baby corn & diced bell pepper in my fried rice too. Your special sauce sounds tasty, look forward to trying it.

  9. oh my goodness, yes please! I invite you to share this yumminess at my Thursday link party ( you can link up from 7pm (mst) tonight through Saturday at midnight. Hugs!

  10. I’ve been making “faux” potatoes for years instead of mashed potatoes. Most recipes call for cream of tartar which counteracts the sweetness of cauliflower, but I discovered that using sour cream instead takes the place of the cream of tartar and cream or milk. They are so easy to puree in the food processor and freeze well for later.

  11. My wife printed this so I could make it for her this weekend. It looks great, and I’m looking forward to it myself. I just want to say that I’m a little bummed that it printed 25 pages (not a typo), including comments, because there is no “Print” option on the page. It actually made me a little sad putting all the extra pages in the recycle. I guess next time, we’ll just keep the tablet handy…

  12. I take it the Mexican route by sautéing first then adding lime and cilantro. My family makes carne asada bowls but you could use any meat. It’s replaced taco night in my home.

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