Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This Mexican cauliflower rice is the perfect low carb twist on the traditional dish. It will make a great addition to your taco nights and any favorite Mexican dinner recipes.

Mexican cauliflower rice being spooned out of serving dish.
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Mexican Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Traditional Mexican rice is always my favorite side dish when we eat our favorite Mexican food.

But this cauliflower twist is a great way to save on the carb count and sneak in some yummy vegetables that the whole family will eat.

This riced cauliflower tastes so good that I bet you'll love it even if you're not a fan of fresh cauliflower. It's a healthy side dish with bold flavor that's just as good as traditional rice.

We make a big batch of Mexican cauli rice frequently on Taco Tuesday. Salsa verde pulled pork tacos go so well with it. But it's really perfect for any meal!

Add in your favorite beverage like an Orange Margarita or Michelada and you've got yourself a fiesta, even in the middle of the week.

Mexican cauliflower rice in a round, rectangular white serving dish.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

Mexican cauliflower rice is one of my favorite ways to prepare cauliflower! It always turns out so tender and full of flavor. I don't think I've had this easy recipe turn out as flop.

You're going to love how simple it is to turn a head of cauliflower into the perfect side dish!

  • Mexican cauliflower rice is a great recipe to make for meal prep. Make a large batch and divide into the servings you need.
  • This recipe is vegan, low carb, gluten free, and low calorie. A win in so many different dietary areas!
  • It only takes 20 minutes to make this easy side dish. Great for busy evenings when you need to get dinner on the table quickly.
Mexican cauliflower rice ingredients separated in individual glass bowls.


These basic ingredients are all that you need to make this easy Mexican dish:

  • whole head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • diced red and green bell peppers
  • diced jalapeños
  • tomato paste 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • lime juice
  • chopped cilantro
A head of cauliflower.

Substitutions and Variations

Although this recipe calls for a large head of cauliflower to make your own cauliflower rice, you can use store-bought cauliflower rice instead. If it is frozen, allow it to thaw completely before using it in this recipe.

Give this rice even more flavor with minced garlic or a dash garlic powder. Diced onion would also be a tasty addition.

Red and green bell peppers have the most complimentary flavors for Spanish rice, but you could use yellow or orange if your prefer.

Looking to make this recipe with real rice? Then use my traditional Mexican rice recipe instead of trying to adapt this one!

How to Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Here's how to make this easy Mexican side dish recipe:

After cleaning the whole head of cauliflower well, chop it into individual florets. Chop up the core as well, but discard the leaves.

Raw cauliflower chunks in food processor.
Raw cauliflower diced in food processor.

Place the cauliflower florets and core into a large food processor and pulse until it form rice-sized pieces.

You may have to stop a few times and shake the food processor to ensure all large florets get chopped up.

Diced red and green peppers in a skillet.

Then, heat a large skillet or dutch oven with one teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the fresh cauliflower rice to the pan, along with bell peppers and the jalapeño pepper.

Sauté the mixture until softened.

Diced cauliflower mixed together with red and green peppers.
Diced cauliflower, red and green peppers seasoned with spices in a skillet.

Then add tomato paste, spices and fresh lime juice to the pan and stir to coat.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Add another spritz of fresh lime juice if desired.

What to Serve with Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Serve a super low carb meal by pairing this cauliflower rice with beef taco lettuce wraps. You could make corn and tomato salad too as a second low carb side dish.

It serves as a delicious healthy side dish with other Mexican favorites like rotisserie chicken enchiladas and grilled chicken fajitas.

This dish would also pair well with the flavor of my cilantro lime marinade. You can use it on cilantro lime chicken or even make cilantro lime shrimp. Shrimp tacos are absolutely delicious!

You can also use it to make a breakfast burrito bowl the next day!

Horizontal photo of Mexican cauliflower rice being spooned out of serving dish.

How to Store Leftover Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Place leftovers into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat each serving on the stove top or in the microwave.

Mexican cauliflower rice can also be frozen. However, keep in mind that the texture of riced cauliflower will change after being frozen. But, if you choose to freeze it place leftover in an airtight container or a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • To make this recipe more like the texture of rice, don't process the cauliflower into pieces that are to small. It's also important not to over-mix the ingredients when they cook or it can become a mushy mess.
  • Make sure to sauté over a medium heat or low heat so that the cauliflower rice doesn't stick on a pan that is too hot.
  • When you are at the grocery store looking for cauliflower, be sure to choose a fresh bunch. Look for a some that is creamy white and doesn't have any brown spots or brown leaves.
Close up photo of mexican cauliflower rice in a round, rectangular white serving dish.


Why is my cauliflower rice soggy?

If you end up with a soggy end result, you like sautéed the cauliflower too long. Make sure you dice the bell peppers into small pieces so that they cook evenly with the cauliflower rice. Then, once the rice and bell peppers are soft add the rest of the ingredients and immediately pull it off the heat.

Why replace rice with cauliflower rice?

There are many different reasons why people choose to eat cauliflower rice, but the main two are because it is low carb and low calorie. Cauliflower can also very easily take on many of the same flavors that white rice can and, if cooked correctly, has a similar texture to rice. This healthy alternative is also a great way to get more fresh vegetables into your diet.

More Mexican Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Mexican cauliflower rice being spooned out of serving dish.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This simple low carb side dish is full of flavor and so easy to make! Mexican cauliflower rice will be a go-to recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers diced red and green
  • 1-2 jalapeños diced and seeds removed for less spice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • juice from 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Chop the cauliflower into large pieces, including the core, but discarding the leaves. In a large food processor, pulse the cauliflower pieces until you're left with rice-sized pieces.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the cauliflower, peppers and jalapeño until softened.
  • Add in tomato paste, spices and lime juice then stir to coat.
  • Serve immediately with fresh chopped cilantro.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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