Spicy Cauliflower Rice
Spicy Cauliflower Rice is flavored with fried onions and Sumac, or see other options for ways to add flavor to cauliflower rice. This is a delicious low-carb or Keto side dish any time of year, and if you use frozen cauliflower rice it’s quick and easy to get on the table.
It’s been more than ten years since I first tried cauliflower rice, and since that time I’ve started liking it a lot more and also discovered frozen cauliflower rice! And recently when I made this Spicy Cauliflower Rice using frozen cauliflower rice, it was so good I knew I had to update the recipe on the blog with that suggestion!
The frozen cauliflower rice eliminates the step of chopping up the rice in the food processor, and cooks a bit more quickly as well. And cauliflower rice is so versatile for a low-carb side dish.
I’m a huge fan of green onions so Easy Cauliflower Rice with Garlic and Green Onion is probably the version I make most. But if you have some of the middle eastern spice called Sumac, I urge you to try this version with a few fried onions for flavor and a generous sprinkling of Sumac on the top. Or see suggestions below for other seasonings you can use if you don’t have any Sumac! I’d love this as a side dish for most anything cooked on the grill.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- frozen cauliflower rice
- salt and black pepper
- Sumac (affiliate link)
What is Sumac?
Sumac (affiliate link) is a dark red spice used in the middle east, and in the U.S. you might see it in a shaker jar in middle eastern restaurants! The dried Sumac berries are ground into the powder that’s used in cooking, and the flavor is tart and slightly lemony. I’ve been a fan of this from the first time I tried it!
What other spices could you use to flavor Spicy Cauliflower Rice?
Sumac is a spice that has a good flavor without being cooked, so you need to pick something else like that to sprinkle on the rice in this dish. Za’atar Spice Mix (affiliate link) is a middle eastern spice blend that contains Sumac, and that would be perfect to use here. Szeged Sweet Paprika (affiliate link) or Spanish Sweet Paprika (affiliate link) are both something I’d enjoy sprinkled on most anything. You could also use my beloved Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) to add flavor to this rice. People who enjoy the wildly popular Everything Bagel Seasoning (affiliate link) will love that sprinkled on this cauliflower rice dish. And the options are really endless; any savory spice blend you enjoy sprinkled on food can be used to sprinkle on cauliflower rice!
More Fun Ideas with Cauliflower Rice:
You can’t go wrong with my Easy Cauliflower Rice with Garlic and Green Onion if you’re wanting a cauliflower rice dish with something served over it. When it’s fresh basil season I love Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts. If you don’t mind a bit more work, I swoon over Roasted Cauliflower Rice Medley with Pine Nuts. And my Greek Cauliflower Rice Bake is a super tasty combination to make for a cauliflower rice side dish. Check out My Favorite Low-Carb Recipes with Cauliflower Rice for lots more ideas using it.
Steps for making Spicy Cauliflower Rice:
(This is just a summary of the steps; scroll down to see complete printable recipe including nutritional information.)
- Chop onion into medium-sized pieces.
- Heat olive oil, then add onions, turn heat to medium and let them cook. Be sure to turn them a few times so they don’t burn. Cook until the onion is nicely brown.
- While onions cook, break the frozen cauliflower apart inside the bag. (Or if you prefer fresh cauliflower, follow steps in the recipe to make the fresh cauliflower into “rice”.)
- When onions are nicely browned add the cauliflower and more olive oil, season generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and turn heat to medium high.
- Let cauliflower cook, turning often, until liquid has cooked off, and it’s lightly browned and cooked to your liking.
- Sprinkle cauliflower generously with Sumac (affiliate link) or one of the other options listed above and serve hot.
- I didn’t think it reheated particularly well, so I’d only make enough for one meal. You can refrigerate the uncooked ingredients separately to make it again another day.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
More Low-Carb Cauliflower Recipes To Try:
- 3 T olive oil, divided
- 2 small onions, diced
- two 12 oz. pkg. frozen cauliflower rice (see notes)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- generous amount of Sumac for seasoning (or see notes above for other options)
- Chop onion into medium-sized pieces.
- Heat the olive oil, then add onions, turn heat to medium-high and let them cook until they're nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Be sure to turn onions a few times so they don't burn.
- While onions cook, break the frozen cauliflower apart inside the bag. (Or if you prefer fresh cauliflower, follow steps below the recipe to make the fresh cauliflower into "rice".)
- When onions are nicely browned add the cauliflower and the other tablespoon olive oil, season generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and turn heat to high.
- Let cauliflower cook, turning often, until liquid has cooked off, and it’s lightly browned and cooked to your liking, probably about 8-9 minutes.
- Sprinkle cauliflower generously with Sumac (affiliate link) and serve hot.
- I didn’t think it reheated particularly well, so I’d only make as much as I would eat at that meal.
To make this recipe with fresh cauliflower: Trim leaves and some of the stem from the cauliflower and cut into thick slices. Use a steel blade in the food processor. Add the sliced cauliflower and pulse until the texture resembles rice, or slightly bigger. (You may need to do that in two batches.)
I highly recommend the Sumac (affiliate link)used here to season the cooked cauliflower, but if you don't want to buy that use any of the other options mentioned in this post.
This recipe created by Kalyn, inspired by several rice recipes in cookbooks and on food blogs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Of course Spicy Cauliflower Rice a perfect choice for any low-carb or Keto diet plan, although you might want to use less onion if you’re being really strict on carbs. It would also be approved for all phases of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Cauliflower Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find 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.
Historical Notes for this Recipe
This recipe was posted in 2010. It was last updated in 2021 with more information about cauliflower rice and other suggested spices to use to flavor the dish.