Looking for the perfect paleo and gluten-free side dish for a south of the border feast? This simple Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower Rice is made from pantry staples and cauliflower. It’ll level up your Taco Tuesdays!

Whole30 and paleo Mexican cauliflower fried rice in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and limes.

A healthier Mexican rice!

Craving a tasty burrito bowl but tired of having to tell the nice person assembling it, “YES I KNOW THE GUACAMOLE IS EXTRA”? Make one at home! Of course, a burrito bowl isn’t quite the same when you can’t eat traditional rice ’cause it spikes your blood sugar. The solution? Whip up this Mexican Cauliflower rice recipe!

A collage of the cooking steps for Mexican Cauliflower rice, the perfect paleo side dish!

Perfect for Whole30 Taco Tuesdays

This easy-peasy flavor-packed Mexican Cauliflower Rice is made from pantry staples and spices and it’s the perfect vegetable-packed accompaniment for your favorite Mexican-inspired home-cooked meals. It’s super-quick to make, too—I always have bags of riced cauliflower in my freezer or fridge so I can cook this side dish without making a big mess with my food processor. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas to scratch that Whole30-friendly burrito bowl itch!

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, or cooking fat of choice
  • Small white onion
  • Garlic
  • Small cauliflower head: To turn cauliflower into “rice,” put the cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until the the cauliflower is about the size of rice grains. You can also use a 16 ounce bag of frozen (no need to thaw) or fresh cauliflower rice.
  • Ground cumin
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Tomato paste
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Lime, cut into wedges (optional)

How to make Mexican cauliflower rice

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the olive oil or fat of choice. Toss in the onions…

Sautéing chopped onions in olive oil in a large skillet for Mexican Cauliflower rice

…and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Cooking the onions until they are slightly softened for healthy Mexican Cauliflower rice

Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Adding minced garlic to the onions in the pan for low carb Mexican Cauliflower rice

Dump in the riced cauliflower…

Pouring a plate of riced cauliflower into the pan to make Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower rice

…and season with ground cumin and kosher salt.

Tossing in the seasoning for Mexican Cauliflower Rice into the pan

Stir in the tomato paste, diced jalapeno pepper…

Adding tomato paste and diced chilis to the riced cauliflower to make healthy Mexican Cauliflower Rice

…and mix thoroughly.

Stirring the paleo Mexican cauliflower rice in a skillet with a silicone spatula

Tuck a couple of cilantro stems in the cauli rice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes…

Adding a sprig of cilantro before putting the lid on the low carb Mexican Cauliflower rice

…or until the rice is tender but not mushy. Pluck out the cilantro…

When the low calorie Mexican Cauliflower Rice is finished cooking, remove the lid and remove the cilantro

…and taste the rice. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

An overhead shot of Mexican Cauliflower Rice in the pan

Serve with lime wedges so folks can squeeze fresh lime juice on top!

Overhead shot of Mexican Cauliflower Rice in a bowl with lime wedges

Serving suggestions

May I suggest a Mexi-Cauli Rice bowl topped with seasoned ground beef, Instant Pot Carnitas, Instant Pot Salsa Chicken, or Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas? And yes, you should totally add guacamole to it. Now, eat it up!

An overhead shot of a Whole30 burrito bowl with Mexican Cauliflower Rice, carnitas, sliced limes, and radishes.

How to save leftovers

This Mexican cauliflower rice is perfect for meal prep because it reheats beautifully in the microwave. You can keep it in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Mexi-Cauli Rice (Mexican Cauliflower Rice)

4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This simple Whole30 Mexican Cauliflower Rice is made from pantry staples and cauliflower rice. My fave low carb vegetable side for Mexican-inspired home-cooked meals!

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the olive oil or fat of choice. Toss in the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Dump in the riced cauliflower and season with ground cumin and kosher salt. Stir in the tomato paste, diced jalapeno pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  • Tuck a couple of cilantro stems in the cauli rice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is tender but not mushy. Pluck out the cilantro and taste the rice. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • Serve with lime wedges and your favorite cooked protein!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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11 Comments

  1. We have tried and tried to do cauli-rice and neither of us can stand it, no matter what. We cheat and substitute brown rice, which does have a low glycemic index even though it’s not paleo. Sorry about that. But the recipe is amazing with it anyway!!

  2. I just made Chile Verde today and made a big skillet of this to accompany! Truly my favorite cauli rice recipe out there!

  3. 5 stars
    Where has this been in my life?? This is so good. Spicy and perfect with taco bowls or just mixed in with different vegs. Will make this again and again.

  4. why is this so high in carbs? I thought it would be low carb. How can I make it low carb as I’m eating low carb these days. thanks.

    P.S. so enjoy your recipes.

  5. what makes this so high in carbs for a 4 oz serving? I’m doing low carb these days, and this seems high. thanks. Really enjoy your recipes.

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful. I’ve been looking for a go-to recipe to make cauli rice more interesting and this is a winner

  7. First of all, thank you for calling it Mexican rice and not Spanish rice because we all know, Spanish rice uses saffron and it makes the rice yellow! I usually add the jalapeños after it’s cooked; nice little twist there. My little sping is that I add chicken broth for a little extra flavor and bake it! As always, love your recipes!!!