Cauliflower fried rice is a tasty vegetarian and gluten-free main dish. Cauliflower rice is grain-free, making it one of our best loved paleo recipes (sans edamame)!

Cauliflower Fried Rice | A Couple Cooks

At the turn of each year, without fail come January 1 suddenly everyone is talking about healthy eating. It’s like a switch is flipped and everyone is ogling over bowls of vegetables instead of towers of cookies. Of course Alex and I love it, since this website is devoted to eating more vegetables. However, we know the interest in veggies is fleeting. By the time February rolls around, we all settle back in to our old “normal”. Here’s more about a new normal, and this cauliflower fried rice recipe.

Love fried rice? Also try our Fried Rice (Takeout Style!) and Shrimp Fried Rice.

A new normal: a sustainable approach

But what if bowls of vegetables became our normal? Over the holiday we watched Michael Pollan’s new documentary In Defense of Food, and wanted to pump our fists in the air every other second (you can watch it too!). Instead of sensationalizing an elimination diet, it urges us to focus on eating whole, non-processed foods in sensible quantities. Let’s eat mostly vegetables, but not feel like we have to deprive ourselves of meat in entirety (unless we want to). Let’s eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Why is it that a moderate, balanced approach isn’t sexy? Elimination diets are great for a short-term change. But for a healthy approach to eating in the long term, instead of a crash and burn diet cycle (because we’ve all been there!), we’re focusing on small, approachable steps.

It’s been nearly 8 years since Alex and I started eating whole foods and mostly vegetables, and I can wholeheartedly say that our lives have never been more delicious, more joy-filled, or more abundant. A bowl-full of cauliflower fried rice has never looked so good. Yes, we’re swayed by brownies and chocolates and cookies every now and again, but fresh, seasonal veggies highlighted with intriguing herbs and spices is what we crave.

Our home town of Indianapolis has changed right along with us in those 8 years. It’s undergone a transformation from a Midwestern fast food town to a mecca of culinary life, budding with urban farms, neighborhood farmer’s markets, and trendy new restaurants. Fresh eating in our town has never been better. And we’re excited to keep bringing you recipes for healthy eating in your town, too! It’s an honor to be part of your kitchen and table.

Cauliflower Fried Rice | A Couple Cooks

How to make cauliflower fried rice

And now for the recipe, cauliflower fried rice. Or really, cauliflower rice, made to taste like fried rice. What’s cauliflower rice? Some friends of ours recommended trying out cauliflower rice: chopping cauliflower into small bits that mimic grains of rice. For their recipe, they fried it in coconut oil, creating a Chinese-style cauliflower fried rice. Cauliflower rice is intended for grain-free and paleo diets, but we were more interested in it for the novelty of it all. (See the note on paleo recipes below.)

The verdict? The version we created of cauliflower fried rice turned out to be a fabulous taste treat. The cauliflower soaks up the aromatic ginger and garlic even more than rice would, and the bowl of piping hot vegetables was comfort food at its finest. To bring additional protein to the dish, we filled it with egg, edamame, and cashews. It was filling enough for a main dish dinner for the two of us. However, you may want to double the recipe if you have seriously hungry eaters. Enjoy, and cheers to a new year!

Cauliflower Fried Rice | A Couple Cooks

Looking for grain-free or paleo recipes?

We follow a 90% vegetarian diet, full of legumes and whole grains, so this website does not contain many paleo recipes. However, this cauliflower fried rice recipe is one of the handful of paleo recipes you’ll find here! A few other paleo recipes we’d recommend: Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup (without star toasts),  Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers, and Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls (omit the maple syrup in the dressing).

This recipe is…

This cauliflower fried rice recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo (using coconut aminos and without the edamame).

**For vegan cauliflower fried rice, you could try without the egg. However, we found it to be a nice binder and have not tested this version. Let us know in the comments below whether you try it without egg.

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x


Cauliflower fried rice is a tasty vegetarian and gluten-free main dish. Cauliflower rice is grain-free, making it one of our best loved paleo recipes (sans edamame)!


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (6 to 7 cups florets)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 nub ginger (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame (omit for paleo or keto)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup cashews, for garnish


  1. Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Place half of the florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully chopped and the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Remove the “rice” to a bowl and process the remainder of the cauliflower.
  2. Peel the carrots, then chop them into small cubes. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Thinly slice the green onions.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add the eggs and scramble them, breaking them into small pieces. Remove the eggs from the pan.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil; add the garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add carrots and saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and shelled edamame and cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes. Season with the kosher salt.
  5. Add the soy sauce and the cooked egg and stir until fully combined. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Serve topped with cashews.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Fried Rice, Cauliflower Rice, Edamame, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Dinner, Healthy Dinner,

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Happy 2016! I totally want to giggle at the flip of the healthy mindset switch every year. In fact I have a few family members starting diets and it’s secretly making me laugh because last time it was low carb, then low fat, then gluten-free/sugar-free and now it’s some weird combination of it all. I am of the same beleif that it’s all about moderation. You’re blog is such an inspiration to inspire healthy choices and I can’t wait to see what you guys whip up this year!

  2. “Instead of sensationalizing an elimination diet, let’s focus on eating whole, non-processed foods, in sensible quantities! ” Love how you articulated this. And I think a vegetable-based diet *will* become sexy to more people over time. ;-) Such a good post. I love cauliflower rice and fried rice so this recipe is looking really good. Happy 2016 to you two!

  3. This was excellent, guys! The flavors really pop and we didn’t miss the rice at all. My 8 year old prefers peas to edamame, but otherwise he had no complaints! I think bean sprouts will be a nice addition next time. Thanks for the recipe!

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