Cauliflower couscous (or cauliflower rice)

I cannot tell you that this is the recipe that convinced me cauliflower is the best vegetable out there. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a recipe out there that can really make me love cauliflower. I can, however, tell you that this is miles ahead of boiled cauliflower, is quick and easy and can do a pretty reasonable job replacing couscous for a wheat-free and nutrient-rich alternative.

cauliflower couscous

And listen, I’m not going to pretend that you won’t notice the difference between regular couscous and the cauliflower version, so don’t come in expecting it to taste like a wheat product. But, it does taste nutty, have just a little bit of crunch and give you a good feeling about your dinner choice.

Cauliflower is a great source of vitamins, way more than pasta and rice could even dream of. It’s a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (for all you non-fish eaters).

Try it for a boost of extra vitamins and a low-calorie, gluten-free and low-carb substitute for white rice with a stir fry, or loaded with harissa and lamb for a Moroccan-style couscous.

cauliflower rice

All you need to do to make cauliflower rice, and couscous, is chop your cauliflower head into florets. (You can use the stems in soup or a veggie stock.) Put them all into a food processor and blitz!

cauliflower couscous

Serves: 4

On the Counter

1 large head of cauliflower (about 850 g or 2 lbs)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt


food processor
skillet or frying pan

What to Do

Chop cauliflower into florets, setting the stems aside for stock or soup.

Add them into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds for “rice”. For “couscous”, scrape down the sides and blitz for a few more seconds/pulses.

To cook, heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or frying pan until shimmering. Season the cauliflower with salt and sauté it, stirring frequently, until it just starts to toast, about 2 to 3 minutes. If you would prefer it crunchier but less nutty tasting, cook it for less time.

You can do a lot with cauliflower rice/couscous. Stir fry some veg and make a peanut sauce, or turn it into a couscous salad. You could even add some spices in while you’re cooking to amp up the flavor. Maybe some Chinese 5-spice for a cauliflower rice stir-fry or cumin to make your cauliflower the accompaniment to a curry.

Do you have any favorite uses for cauliflower rice or couscous?

2 thoughts on “Cauliflower couscous (or cauliflower rice)

  1. Totally agree with the general cauliflower rice sentiment, when I was doing a lower carb diet it never quite cut it for me....Until I tried cauliflower rice sushi. Game changer! After sautéing the cauliflower you mix it with a little cream cheese for stickiness, then use it as you would sushi rice (in nori with your favourite veggies or fish or both) and roll! Also cauliflower mash with sausages and gravy, pretty much a winter staple in our house. Boiled cauliflower (or steamed I guess?) blended down into mash and mixed with butter and garlic or mustard. Love the sound of this cauliflower couscous with lamb though...I might have to give it a try.
    • I definitely have to try some cauliflower sushi - does it take a while to make? Cauliflower mash is also such a good idea, it's such a plain vegetable that you can really get creative with flavors!

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