Citrus Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole30)

Before I made the switch to paleo, a bowl of seasoned rice was my go-to comfort food. Something about white food that can be eaten with a spoon makes it practically irresistible. White rice is so humble and unassuming, eating it was like finally exhaling after a tough day… aaaaaah. But no more! Because now I like my ‘rice’ to be made from veggies.

Happily, cauliflower is steadfast and true.

Sautéed with seasonings and finished with ghee, this pilaf from my cookbook Well Fed 2 is just the thing for the days that have you craving a soft landing.

Citrus Cauliflower Rice

Serves 2-4 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 10 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 1 large head fresh cauliflower (about 2-3 pounds)

  • 2-3 tablespoons ghee (for cooking & flavoring)

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)

  • zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)


Prep the cauliflower. 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 (which leads to mush).


Cook the aromatics. Place 2 teaspoons ghee in a large, nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Aleppo pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Finish it up. Add 1-2 tablespoons ghee to the pan, along with the cauliflower, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and sauté until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the parsley, try a bite, then add more salt and pepper, if necessary.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Replace the lemon zest & juice with lime and swap in cilantro instead of parsley. (Tastes just like Chipotle!)

Keep the lemon and replace the parsley with fresh or dried rosemary.

Drizzle the finished rice with a little tahini dressing.

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