When Michael and I were dating, we took a community education Spanish class together. Ah, the memories. We have even talked about going to Mexico for a language immersion program. And we named our daughter Vida, which is Spanish for “life” (boy does she live up to her name!). So, it is absolutely nuts that I haven’t posted a Mexican recipe yet. Like, really crazy. We eat some form of Mexican food at least weekly, whether it be tacos, nachos, burritos, taquitos, taco salad, etc. And, of course, guacamole. Guacamole is my spirit food. Anyway…
One of my favorite Mexican side dishes is Arroz Rojo, or red rice. The trouble is, once I start shoveling those fluffy kernels of tomato-scented rice into my face, it’s very difficult to stop until every last grain is in my belly. So for months now, I’ve been wanting to make Mexican cauliflower rice, because I had an inkling that it would be a) easy, and b) tasty. I’m proud to report that I was right on both counts. So here you have, Mexican Cauliflower Rice, or in Spanish, Coliflor Arroz Rojo. Let’s do this!
Mexican Cauliflower Rice can be on your table in 15 minutes, start to finish! The same cannot be said of the traditional rice version, so we win on the carb front and the time front. First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need:
1 large head of cauliflower (I love that Trader Joe’s sells them by the head for only $2/each!)
Jalapeño or serrano chile, or a can of diced green chiles
Olive oil (optional)
Salt (I used invisible salt in the photo above)
In case you missed it, we already covered how to make cauliflower rice, and my favorite way to prep the cauliflower is the shredding attachment on my food processor. It makes the prep work take just a couple of minutes! Wash, core, and cut a head of cauliflower into large pieces, then shred in the food processor along with the onion and garlic. Good to go!
Next, preheat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat and then add the olive oil (if using), tomato paste, and chile pepper (also optional, but great for a little heat and flavor). Cook for a minute or so, stirring often, just to get the tomato paste broken up a bit and distributed into the oil.
Now all you need to do is crank the heat up to high, add the cauliflower, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until the moisture has cooked out and the “rice” is nice and loose and fluffy (read: not wet).
Serve hot alongside your favorite Mexican main dish or stuffed into a burrito! It’s super tasty and you won’t get that “rice regret” feeling after eating a huge bowl. Not that I would know anything about that.
- 1 large head cauliflower, shredded or finely ground
- ½ white onion, shredded or diced
- 2 cloves garlic, shredded or minced
- 1 T. olive oil, optional
- 4 T. tomato paste
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, halved (optional), or sub 1 small can of diced green chiles
- 1 tsp. salt, or more to taste
- Shred cauliflower, onion, and garlic using the shredding disc on a food processor. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor using the S-blade until finely ground into pieces slightly larger than cooked rice.
- Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat and stir in the tomato paste, chile halves, and salt, and cook for a minute to flavor the oil.
- Increase the heat to high, and add the cauliflower, onion, and garlic.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until the moisture is evaporated and the cauliflower is light and fluffy.