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Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

Light, fluffy lemon herb cauliflower rice stir fry is a winning side dish that I use in place of regular rice. Half the calories and carbs. And half the cooking time. Throw in some butternut squash and it’s really pretty too.

I love beautiful colors on a plate and this cauliflower rice recipe hits the mark with white cauliflower, green herbs and orange butternut squash.

You can certainly leave out the squash if you don’t have any on hand. I go the lazy route and buy the squash peeled and cubed – so convenient.

A food processor is ideal to turn whole cauliflower into tiny ‘rice’ pellets. Some use the grater blade attachment. I just use the regular chopping blade. If you don’t have a processor, a box grater will work fine, although it does take a bit more elbow grease.

I kept the seasonings really simple for this side dish. Lemon, herbs, salt and pepper. I also add a little butter for richness, but oil is fine too.

Consider the amounts of ingredients used in the recipe as a guideline. A bit more or less won’t matter. The only part of the recipe that’s not as forgiving is the cook time. If you cook the cauliflower rice too long, it will turn mushy. In fact, it’s best to err on the side of under cooking. Tender with a bite is what you’re looking for.

Anything you would normally serve rice with can be replaced by this cauliflower rice stir fry. Here’s a few options to try: instant pot (or regular) veal stew, saucy baked chicken meatballs, tomato curry butternut squash, grilled BBQ chicken and Thai curried shrimp and vegetables.

Tailor To Your Taste

Seasonings

  • Play around with the seasonings and aromatics. Try adding minced garlic, ginger, chili flakes.

Herbs

  • I use cilantro, parsley and chives. Other good options are basil, dill, green onions. Here’s an article on how to use and store herbs to last weeks.

Toppings

  • The cauliflower rice stir fry is great on it’s own. You can, however, top it with:
    • spicy sweet chili sauce
    • chopped tomatoes
    • olive oil and olives
    • toasted chopped nuts
    • a drizzle of BBQ sauce or
    • peanut sauce.

Shortcuts

The recipe only takes 15  minutes, but you can cut the time and effort down even further (no judging).

  • Buy cauliflower rice (some groceries sell cauliflower that has already be processed into ‘rice’ pellets). You’ll need about 22 ounces (or about 16 ounces of cauliflower rice and 6-8 ounces butternut squash).
  • If you’re combining the cauliflower with butternut squash, buy peeled cubed butternut squash to save time.

Make Ahead

  • Uncooked riced cauliflower can be frozen for up to a month.
  • Cooked cauliflower can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Other cauliflower rice recipes you might enjoy

How to make cauliflower rice stir fry

various herbs, lemon cauliflower cut up squash oil
Ingredients: various herbs, lemon, cauliflower, butternut squash (optional), olive oil

chopped herbs in processor

chopped herbs and grated lemon zest in a bowl

processed rice size cauliflower and butternut squashed in a bowl

rice sized butternut squash and Cauliflower cooking in a pan

Lemon herb Cauliflower rice in a pan

Lemon herb Cauliflower rice in a bowl side view p4

Lemon herb Cauliflower rice in a bowl side view f
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5 from 6 votes

Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

Light, fluffy lemon herb cauliflower rice stir fry is a winning side dish that I use in place of regular rice. Half the calories and carbs. And half the cooking time. Throw in some butternut squash and it's really pretty too. 
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (one cup portions)
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • Food Processor (or box grater)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 pounds cauliflower (1 medium) Note 1 this will make ~ 5 1/2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs Note 2 any combination of chives, parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, green onion
  • 1 lemon zest plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • RICE CAULIFLOWER (and BUTTERNUT SQUASH if using): Wash cauliflower and pat dry well. Cut into 2 inch chunks. You will need to process cauliflower (and squash) in 2-3 batches. Place chunks in bowl with regular chopping blade. Pulse until cauliflower is small rice size. Repeat until all cauliflower (and butternut squash) is riced. Note 3. If riced cauliflower feels moist, pat dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. I almost never have to do this.
  • COOK CAULIFLOWER/SQUASH RICE: Heat butter or oil in large skillet to Medium. Add cauliflower (and squash) 'rice'. Stir for 1 minute. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until veggies are tender but not mushy.
  • FINISH 'RICE': Add herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and butter (if using). Stir to combine well for 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve immediately. Drizzle a topping of your choice if desired. Note 4.

Notes

  1. For a combo of cauliflower and butternut squash 'rice': For great color and additional fiber, vitamin A and C, you can replace 1/2 lb of cauliflower with 1/2 lb (~2 cups) peeled cubed butternut squash. Rice it in food processor as you would the cauliflower. 
  2. Herbs: Fresh is best, but dried will work well. Or partly fresh, partly dried. Figure about 1/3 the amount of dried herbs to replace fresh. Add, taste, then add some more to achieve the seasoning you like. Frozen herb cubes are an excellent substitution here. Typically 1 cube = 1 teaspoon fresh. Chop the herbs in a food processor or by hand. 
  3. If you don't have a processor: use a box grater. Grate large chunks of cauliflower on medium holes of grater.
  4. Toppings: Serve the cauliflower rice as you would any rice. or drizzle on a topping such as: spicy sweet chili sauce; chopped tomatoes, olive oil and olives; toasted chopped nuts; peanut sauce.
  5. Make Ahead:
    • Uncooked riced cauliflower can be frozen for up to a month in a sealed ziploc or container. (Don't rice it and keep it in the fridge - it gets funky).
    • Cooked cauliflower can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days. It doesn't freeze well once cooked. 
 
Nutrition Value estimates are for 4 portions of about 1 cup each. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 659mg29%
Potassium 798mg23%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1264IU25%
Vitamin C 144mg175%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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