Jalapeño Ginger Cauliflower Rice

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Cauliflower rice is one of the first things you learn about when you take a hop, skip and a jump at the paleo lifestyle. For those of you who are unfamiliar with paleo, the idea behind it is to eat similarly to our primal ancestors, which is limited to meat, vegetables, and fruit, seeds, and nuts (except for peanuts…because peanuts are actually a legume). All grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, processed sugars (insert fun food here) are eliminated with the reasoning that our bodies have a difficult time digesting said delicious food (this is the simplified explanation so feel free to put your research cap on).

As a result of the food limitations, you learn a lot about meat and veggie preparation…it’s do or die. For real. From time to time, I get back on a paleo kick because I enjoy how incredibly clean it is, plus it makes me fit into my jeans better getting creative with paleo cooking is fun. I tend to love cheese, wine, and brownies too much to go gallivanting around like a caveman too frequently.

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable because of its neutral (euphemism for bland) flavor and wide range of textures depending upon how you prepare it.  In this case, we’re turning cauliflower into rice. You can use cauliflower rice in the exact way you would regular rice. Serve curry on top of it, put it in a burrito, make sushi out of it, throw a stir fry on top or simply enjoy it as a side dish.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Regardless of whether or not you eat grains, cauliflower rice is a great way of adding a vegetable to your meal. You’d never think there was much nutrition in cauliflower, but it is actually very dense in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate.

There are plenty of options for flavoring cauliflower rice. Sometimes I just throw in a teaspoon or two of chili powder and/or cumin, and that’s all it takes for flavor.  Sautéing the cauliflower up with coconut milk, fresh ginger and jalapeños is my favorite way of prepping the dish. So let’s go do that!

So you have your cauliflower and you have removed all the green stems.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

You then grate the whole head of cauliflower (cutting it in half first makes the job easier) on something that can hold a mountain of cauliflower shavings, like a cookie sheet.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

This is serious business, look at how much grated cauliflower we have! We’ve committed ourselves this far, we now need to do something cool with this pile.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Peel the ginger and grate it using the fine side of the box grater.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

We heat coconut milk and use it like we would oil.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Sauté the jalapenos for a hot minute.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Then add in the ginger and sauté for a wee bit.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Then we dump our mountain of grated cauliflower into the big sauté pan (or wok) plus the cumin and salt.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Stir it all up, allow the cauliflower to soften and let some of the moisture cook off, et viola! Rice a caveman would eat because apparently he’d make rice out of cauliflower before making rice out of rice!

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

And for some other cauliflower craaaaziness:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Parsnip Gratin (using cauliflower puree in place of cream)

Easy Cauliflower Soup

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net

Jalapeño Ginger Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 1 head cauliflower grated with a box grater
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk* from the can
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste*


  1. Remove the green stems from the cauliflower and cut it in half. Using a box grater, grate the whole head of cauliflower.
  2. Peel fresh ginger and grate it using the fine side of the box grater until you have about 1 tablespoon’s worth.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat the coconut milk over medium and add the jalapeno.
  4. Sauté for a minute then add the grated ginger, sautéing another minute or so.
  5. Add the grated cauliflower and stir everything together, allowing the cauliflower to soften.
  6. Once everything is fragrant and some of the liquid has burned off, turn the heat up to high and stir constantly. This will allow the cauliflower rice to get a nice crust on it for flavor.
  7. The rice is done when it has cooked down, is softened and has a little bit of a crisp on the outside.
  8. Serve in the same way you would regular rice!

Recipe Notes

*I used a scant teaspoon of salt, but that may be too salty for some folks. Start with ½ a teaspoon and go from there.

Jalapeno Ginger Cauliflower Rice (paleo friendly) | https://www.theroastedroot.net


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  1. Julie

    I keep reading about all the things you can do with the cauliflower–like pizza crust!?!? Considering that my favorite way to eat cauliflower is with lots and lots and lots of cheese sauce poured on top, I can’t quite grasp this whole concept. This looks really good! I think you need to come stay with me and teach me your ways, oh Wise Paleo One. Maybe we could even talk a certain daughter into trying this (if you come and teach her, too). 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      We’re going to have to start making a list of all this stuff we’re going to do and cook up together when I make it out there. Stephie’s biscuits are definitely on the list…and anything sourdough! Cauliflower is definitely pure insanity and I’d love to make it every which way with you ladies!! 🙂

      1. stephie @ EYHO

        Nice try there, Julie, but I’m never going Paleo. Did you not catch all of Julia’s snarkiety snark in this post? I want to eat all the delicious things! However, I might give this cauliflower rice bidnizz a try. Julia, thoughts on breaking down the cauliflower in your food processor as opposed to grating it?

        1. Julia Post author

          Ohhhhhh yeaaaaaah! You can definitely food process that shiiiiiii….cauliflower…! Yeah, paleo’s nice, but it really plays mind games with you if you go at it for too long..just my opinion. Girl needs her sugar. 😉

  2. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    This sounds so good! I actually love cauliflower and don’t find it bland at all, just delicious. It’s no wonder people do paleo to lose weight though, with none of that tasty sugar, dairy, or alcohol … why bother eating? Jusstttt kidding 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Paleo is definitely wonderful for short periods of time but after a long day, I want wine in my glass, not kale. 😉

    1. Julia Post author

      YES! I’m so glad you like cauliflower rice and am also happy you’re into the idea of using coconut milk…it’s a wonderful little dish!

  3. surreality

    This recipe sounds tasty but there are a few points I would like to make.

    First of all, there is no such thing as a paleo diet; our ancestors ate a huge variety of different diets using what was available which included legumes (the use of which goes back at least 20,000 years or so), grains, insects, and bits of animals that are seen as unsavory today (the fat of an animals was one of the most sought after parts of an animal due to its high calorific value).

    Secondly, cauliflower would not have been on the list of things to eat as this is a relatively modern vegetable being developed in the last 7 or 8 centuries.

  4. Ruth

    You are an absolute genius! My friend and I just tried your garbanzo bean brownie recipe and I hate to use the word life changing but… Anywho I am definitely going to try your cauliflower pizza crust recipe (I have researched about a million cauliflower pizza crust recipes and yours is by far the best looking one I have ever seen) and this one too! Keep doing what you are doing! I am thoroughly inspired!

    1. Julia Post author

      Ruth! Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback! I absolutely adore the garbanzo bean brownies…if you haven’t tried my recipe for black bean brownies yet, I suggest those, too! SO good! Let me know how the cauliflower pizza crust turns out – it’s definitely one of our household favorites! 🙂

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