The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
Fluffy Mexican Cauliflower Rice seasoned with sweet red pepper paste, spices, lime, and fresh cilantro. It’s a completely low-carb alternative to traditional Mexican rice. Serve alongside your favorite Mexican Dish, or eat a bowl of this alone. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!
It costs approximately $4.49 to make this recipe. The recipe makes four servings for about $1.13 per serving.
I love serving this Cauliflower Rice alongside Pollo Asado for a delicious meal.
Cauliflower Mexican Rice
I was definitely inspired by Mexican rice when making this dish. Without a doubt, this recipe contains a wee bit more spices than traditional rice, and I’ll tell you why.
I’ve taken in some quality insight from friends that cauliflower rice simply wasn’t “their thing.” I can totally understand why. For one, when you think of rice, you probably imagine a pretty neutral food flavor.
Ok, let’s be real. Cauliflower, well, tastes like cauliflower. Disappointing to some? I completely understand. However, this recipe is filled will so many spices. I hope you do not mind the heat. This is what gives more of a satisfying flavor than just that strong cruciferous vegetable taste. You’re Welcome. 🤓
This low-carb option adds a ton of flavor without adding any calories! You get more nutrition and flavor in one tasty side dish that takes about thirty minutes to make. It is a win-win any way you look at it and is the perfect side dish to complement your Mexican entrees.
What Ingredients do I need to Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice?
You will not find any crazy ingredients here!
Cauliflower rice — I like to use frozen cauliflower because of its uniformity and still contains all those wonderful nutrients.
Onion — you can use white or red onions.
Spices — like cumin, garlic, and chili powder, are going to give a nice Mexican-flavored backbone to this dish.
Red Pepper Paste — adds a nice red color and rich flavor. If you are not carb-conscious, feel free to use tomato paste.
Cilantro — if you want to keep it Mexican-inspired, keep the cilantro, otherwise, you may swap for fresh parsley, mint, or dill.
Lime — always adds a nice freshness right at the end.
And, of course, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Ingredients and Estimated Cost:
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – $0.11
- ½ cup red onion – $0.61
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder – $0.04
- 1 teaspoon cumin – $0.03
- 1 teaspoon chili powder – $0.03
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt – $0.01
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper – $0.04
- 12 oz frozen riced cauliflower – $2.17
- 3 Tablespoons red pepper paste – $1.00
- 1 lime – $0.25
- ¼ cup cilantro – $0.20
NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the prices for this recipe in March 2023.
How To Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
- First, microwave the cauliflower for thirty seconds and heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Then, add the olive oil, diced onions, salt, and pepper to the pan to saute until the onions are soft.
- Next, add the spices and red pepper paste. Mix and saute until the mixture has fully covered the onions.
- Add the cauliflower rice and stir-fry for five to ten minutes.
- Finally, adjust the seasoning to taste, squeeze lime juice over the pan, and sprinkle the cilantro over the top before tossing and serving.
Serve: Serve with lime wedges (optional). You can keep the rice out for not longer than two hours before it needs to be covered and refrigerated.
Store: Place in an air-tight container and place in the fridge for up to three days.
Freeze: Place the rice in a freezer-safe container or zipper-top bag once cooled. Freeze for up to four months.
- Instead of red pepper paste, you can use tomato paste.
- You can use white onion or yellow onion instead of red onion.
Yes! Cauliflower rice is lower in calories than traditional rice, making it a healthier option.
I add the following spices to this cauliflower rice to give it a Mexican-styled taste: garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Yes, you can overcook cauliflower rice if you are not careful, and it will become mushy. Be sure to follow the cooking time recommendations and keep an eye on it as each stove and pan cooks slightly differently.
More Mexican Recipes
- Breakfast Tacos with Quick-Pickled Cilantro-Lime Onions
- Pico de Gallo (No Cilantro) with tips!
- Pollo Asado – Paleo Recipe
- Simple Guacamole Recipe
- 12 oz (3 ½ cup) frozen riced cauliflower
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red onion small dice
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp coarse black pepper or to taste
- 3 tbsp red pepper paste
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 lime juiced
- ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, and tender stems
- lime wedges optional
- Microwave the frozen, microwave-safe cauliflower pouch for 30 seconds. It should still be frozen once finished. It's merely to break up any large chunks.
- When ready, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, diced onions, salt, and pepper to the pan. Saute until the onions have softened.
- Next, add the red pepper paste and all of the spices. Mix and saute until all of the onions are fully coated with the spices and the paste, about 30 seconds.
- When ready, add the cauliflower rice. Stir-fry for about 5-10 minutes. Long enough to cook the rice and for all the flavors to marry together.
- Once fully cooked, taste the mixture. Adjust the seasoning. Meaning add more salt or not. Squeeze lime juice all over the pan, and sprinkle in chopped cilantro. Give a toss, and you are ready to eat.
- Chop the onions finely. I like to have the flavor of the onions, though I don’t want to necessarily have big bites of onion. You have to be sneaky about it.
- When buying frozen cauliflower rice, place the microwave-safe bag into the microwave, and cook for 30 seconds or so. The cauliflower should still be frozen at this point. The goal is to press the bag, maybe give it a little punch— just to break up any large pieces in the bag.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high. If the heat is too low, you will get a steamed taste rather than a nice fried flavor.
- Finally, just like rice, always fluff with a fork to create a nice fluffy texture.
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Comments & Reviews
Easy to make and full of great flavors, this Mexican rice is a perfect side dish.
I love the flavors in this cauliflower rice. So delicious. Thanks for sharing.
I love all those bold flavors and without all the carbs! I’ll definitely be giving this one a try!
Love the low carb option. These spices are my jam!
Dana Sandonato says
This looks so good! Love that you getting extra veggies with this one, and thr flavors are awesome.