I recently hosted a dinner party for 12 people and wanted to serve cauliflower rice. But the idea of figuring out how to sauté, like, three heads of cauliflower — without the “rice” getting mushy — and how to have it all ready to serve at the same time was overwhelming. I wondered if there was an easier way.
There is: oven roasting!
Say hello to Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice. The oven-roasted rice is easier to make in large quantities (no stovetop management!), has a superior texture (no mush!), and tastes more like rice (nutty flavor!). This is my go-to from now on — even if I’m only making a single batch. Give it a try!
Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice
Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes | Whole30 approved
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding.
2. Place the cauliflower rice in a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil and salt. Toss with two wooden spoons until the rice is coated with the oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to get a few brown spots, about 25 minutes.
3. Serve with anything that needs a lovely bed of rice. (Meatballs are always a good choice.)
Moroccan Meatballs on a bed of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice
You might also want to note that the roasting time for Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice is exactly the same time and temperature it takes to bake a batch of meatballs — like the ones in this March Meatball Madness post or the Burgers, Balls & Bangers section of Well Fed 2. With about 20 minutes of prep and 25 minutes of oven time, you can have a complete dinner with minimal cleanup and maximum flavor. Just sayin’…
From now on, when I make my cauliflower rice recipes, I’m going to roast the cauliflower. It’s reliable, the work gets done in the oven without me needing to pay attention to it, and it’s far easier to double and triple recipes. YAY!
Here’s how you can adapt the recipes in Well Fed and Well Fed 2 to this new technique.
Well Fed: Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Here are the changes you can make to the recipe in the book to use the roasted rice: Roast the cauliflower rice as instructed above. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil and add the apricots, raisins, pine nuts, onion, and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and cook until the onions are translucent and the nuts start to brown, about 5 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the cumin and cinnamon to the oil, then stir everything together—oil, spices, onions, nuts, fruit—so they all mingle in happy harmony. When you can smell the spices, about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, toss in the roasted rice, and toss until everything is combined. Try a bite, then season with salt and pepper.
Well Fed 2: Citrus Cauliflower Rice
Here are the changes you can make to the recipe in the book to use the roasted rice: Roast the cauliflower rice as instructed above. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil and add the onions, cooking until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Aleppo pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ghee to the pan, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss in the roasted rice and stir until combined. Add the parsley, try a bite, then season with plenty of salt and a little pepper.
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