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Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

Cauliflower rice gets a big flavor boost with fresh basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts! And this delicious Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, South Beach Diet friendly, and meatless. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one!

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Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

My love for fresh basil is pretty obvious on this blog, and every summer I look forward to things like Basil Pesto with Lemon, Basil Vinaigrette, and Chicken Salad with Basil and Parmesan.  But it’s not summer yet and fresh basil weather is months away, so why am I bringing you a new recipe for Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts? It’s those gorgeous big basil plants you can buy in the spring at Trader Joe’s that have me craving fresh basil this early in the season.

Even though this year I managed to keep my windowsill basil alive all year, I’m always happy when I can replace the annual herbs in the spring (and I shared my newly replenished window herb garden on Instagram, are you following me there?)If there’s not a Trader Joe’s close to you, most big grocery stores will get basil plants like this when it’s garden planting time, and if you like basil, Parmesan, and pine nuts, I promise you’re going to love them in cauliflower rice!

I’m sharing this quick and easy Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts as a Meatless Monday recipe idea, and it would also make a great side dish for something like Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha or Grilled Vegetables. Or eat it as a side with your favorite protein if you’re a meat eater!

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Use the food processor to chop up the cauliflower so it’s about the size of cooked grains of rice and have the freshly-ground Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, and sliced basil ready to go.  (I used my Herb Scissors to get those wonderful slices of basil, but you can also chiffonade the basil with a sharp knife.)  Heat the oil over medium-high heat and then add garlic cloves and season the oil.  Remove garlic, add cauliflower and cook until it’s done to your liking, about 4 minutes for me.

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Turn off the heat, then one at a time add the Parmesan, the basil, and the pine nuts and gently stir into the rice.

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and enjoy!

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe adapted from Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts, which was adapted from Pine Nut and Basil Rice at Epicurous.com.)

1 lb. finely chopped fresh cauliflower (about 4 cups chopped cauliflower)
1 T olive oil (or slightly more if you don’t have a good non-stick pan)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (more or less to taste and depending on how much fresh basil you have)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Finely chop the cauliflower into pieces that are about the size of grains of rice, or slightly bigger.  (Be careful not to get them too small; you want some texture in the cauliflower.)  Slice the garlic cloves into 2-3 slices each and grate the Parmesan cheese.  Wash basil if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towels, then thinly slice the basil.  (I used my RSVP Herb Scissors to slice the basil, but you can use a knife to chiffonade basil instead.  Toast the pin nuts in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes, just until they are barely starting to brown.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  (I used my new Green Pan Wok, which was perfect for this.)  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook about 30-45 seconds, or just until you can smell garlic.  (Don’t brown the garlic; that will make it bitter.)  Remove garlic and discard; then add the cauliflower and stir-fry until it’s barely cooked through, about 4 minutes.  (I like it when the cauliflower still has a little bite to it; taste and see when you think it’s done.Season cauliflower with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Then turn off the heat and one at a time gently stir in the Parmesan, the sliced basil, and the pine nuts. Serve hot.

This isn’t bad when it’s stored in the fridge overnight but the flavor of the fresh basil really shines through best when it’s freshly made.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a perfect recipe for any type of Low-Carb eating plan, including all phases of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Delicious Low-Carb Ideas with Cauliflower:
Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Thai Cucumber Cauliflower Rice Salad ~ Cafe Johnsonia
Roasted Cauliflower with with Lemon, Curry, and Cumin ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Tots ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

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14 comments on “Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts”

  1. You kept basil alive ALL WINTER!! That takes skill. I am basil-obsessed myself and a local vendor here grows it indoors year-round so I always have access to it. It makes the cold weather much more bearable. Love this easy cauliflower side!

    • Joanne, I was proud, although by the end of the winter the basil was defnitely looking straggly, since it's an annual. I think the ultra mild winter had had here helped a lot. Basil-obsessed here too and I loved it in this!

  2. Oh, one of these days, I really have to try cauliflower rice. Especially after I head off to Trader Joe's to look for a basil plant!

  3. You did it again! You continue to surprise me with your cauliflower recipes. I mentally click the dislike button on all things cauliflower, but my husband keeps picking out your recipes. I make them, begrudgingly, assuming I'll choke it down, but I loved it. I would definitely eat this again. I've also had your cauliflower pizza crust and faux-mashed potatoes and love it all. I need to just accept that I guess I actually like cauliflower…just maybe not on the raw veggie tray.

  4. This was absolutely delicious. It was my first experience with cauliflower rice. I added lemon juice to the recipe and then served it with a lemon-basil tilapia. Yum! Thanks for the healthy recipe 🙂

  5. Well, I’m coming back here AGAIN, as I’ve made this dish dozens of times. (I’m surprised I still need to refer to the recipe!) It’s one of my favorites! And now, my Costco carries frozen cauliflower rice and my grocery store has pre-riced cauliflower!  We use it as a side dish for almost anything but I’ve also just eaten it alone. Love it, one of my all-time faves. 

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