How to Make Cauliflower “Grains”

You know how when you hear of something that you’ve never heard of before, and then suddenly you can’t seem to stop hearing about it. Well, that happened to me this past week. With cauliflower of all things. Yeah, my life is pretty exciting. Be totally jealous.

First, I saw a beautiful Spiced Cauliflower “Couscous” from Love & Lemons on Pinterest. Then a Cauliflower Tabbouleh from Gourmande in the Kitchen came across my Twitter feed. Then I was catching up on the Bitten Word and saw their post on Cauliflower “Rice”. And finally, a Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe popped up on Vintage Mixer. Cauliflower was all up in my face.

The unifying feature of all these recipes is that they use cauliflower as a replacement for starches. The idea is pretty simple. You just pulse cauliflower until it’s small and resembles grains. Then you can use it to swap out any type of grain (rice, couscous, quinoa, etc.) you would normally use in a dish. It’s a great way to incorporate more cauliflower into your diet or change up your usual side dish routine. And it’s gluten free, vegan, nut free and paleo friendly. We are using ALL the nutritional buzz words today friends!

So I started making Cauliflower “Grains” and I must say that I’ve really enjoyed incorporating them into various dishes. The possibilities are pretty endless. Recently, I used these Cauliflower “Grains” as a bed for some Slow Cooker Pomegranate Beef Short Ribs (excuse me while I wipe the drool from my computer) and the results were nothing short of amazing. I can certainly can see what all the fuss was about.

So just in case I’m not the last person on the planet to hear of this trick, I threw together a simple “how to” for you today. So you can go and make your own Cauliflower “Grains” and be totally amazed!



How to Make Cauliflower “Grains”

How to Make Cauliflower “Grains”


  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Make sure the cauliflower florets are very dry before you start.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment. Don't fill your food processor more than 3/4 of the way. Work in batches if necessary.
  3. Pulse the cauliflower florets until they are finely chopped, being careful not to over process them. Your goal is to obtain rice or couscous sized pieces. Remove the cauliflower grains from the food processor and set aside.
  4. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower grains, stirring frequently until the cauliflower just begins to brown in a few places. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  5. Cauliflower grains can be used in place of rice, couscous, cracked wheat, polenta, quinoa, mashed potatoes or any other starch.

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