Spicy Cauliflower Rice
This Spicy Cauliflower Rice is flavored with fried onions and Sumac, for a tasty and interesting cauliflower rice side dish. Or see other options for ways to add flavor to cauliflower rice. And if you use frozen cauliflower rice this is 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 (affiliate link), I urge you to try this version with 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?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete 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 spices could you use for the 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. Here are some other options for a different variation of spicy cauliflower rice:
- 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 this cauliflower rice cooked with onions.!
More Fun Ideas with Cauliflower Rice:
- Easy Cauliflower Rice with Garlic and Green Onion
- Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
- Roasted Cauliflower Rice Medley with Pine Nuts
- Greek Cauliflower Rice Bake
- Cauliflower Fried Rice with Shrimp
Even more ideas for using Cauliflower Rice:
Check out Low-Carb Dinners Using Frozen Cauliflower Rice for lots more ideas using it.
Steps for making Spicy Cauliflower Rice:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.
- 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:
- 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 is 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, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe
This recipe was posted in 2010. It was updated in 2021 with more information about cauliflower rice and other suggested spices to use to flavor the dish and was updated again with more information in 2023.