Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice

cauliflower rice

I don’t even know what to say about this.

I mean, I’m sure I could come up with a few things if you made me, but I fully acknowledge that this recipe is kind of obscure.

Like who posts recipes for brown rice and cauliflower sauce? Um, me.

Ever since I did the whole cauliflower-in-alfredo-sauce thing, I’ve been trying to incorporate as much as that creamy vegetable into my life as possible. And I say creamy because almost always, it’s pureed in a blender, salted and garlic-ed, super smooth, and just plain creamy-wonderful.

This is just how I operate.

cauliflower rice

Hey, though. If you want an awesome food to use for food photography, definitely choose brown rice with neutral-colored sauce. Definitely.

There is redeeming value in this pan of creamy rice, and that’s that it tastes supersuper good. It reminds me of risotto, but with more vegetables, and without the trip to the store for the risotto. The butter, the garlic, the filling and – yep – creamy sauce all up in there? I just liked it. A lot. And Bjork liked it. We ate the whole thing in 24 hours.

Maybe you want to add a few things to jazz it up, as we food lovers often do, or maybe you want to use this as a simple side dish, or maybe you just want to eat a bowl of brown rice with cauliflower sauce for dinner.

cauliflower rice

Is that so much to ask?

4.6 from 35 reviews
Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cups brown rice (I used a brown rice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6-8 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup Mozzarella cheese for topping (more to taste)
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and boil for about 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer cauliflower pieces to a blender or food processor.
  3. Puree the cauliflower, adding milk or extra vegetable broth to get a smooth, creamy consistency. Season with salt. Pour over the cooked rice and stir to combine.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the garlic, sauteing over low heat until the garlic is very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add the creamy rice mixture and stir until butter and garlic is incorporated. Add cheese on top or stir it throughout the rice to get it melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice Nutrition


WAAAAIT! I have exciting news! Because of all your awesome feedback and my own personal adoration of this sauce…

I released an eCookbook called The Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook.

Can you guess what the theme of the book is? Yep! Creamy cauliflower sauce. It looks like this:

The Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook

My hope is that the recipes in this eCookbook can give you meals that you love, with the people you love, that you all feel good about eating. Visit The Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook page to learn more.

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Comments

  1. Becky @ Olives n Wine says:

    I’m usually not a huge fan of cauliflower – or maybe I’m just not a fan of pretending that cauliflower rice is real rice – but this recipe looks amazing! I love that you’ve mixed in a bunch of decadent ingredients to make this – yum!

  2. This… this looks like cauliflower paradise! We’ve been grabbing giant heads of cauliflower every weekend at the market, so I know we’ll be trying this out soon.

  3. This looks so indulgent. I was so impressed by how healthy it actually is when I scrolled down to the ingredients! Cauliflower is like a miracle vegetable, huh?

  4. yuummm! This sounds amazing. It’s looks so creamy and rich. I love sneaking veggies into everything :)

  5. This looks wonderful!

  6. you sure make brown rice and neutral sauce look GOOD. and sound good too – I love riced cauliflower, but I think I love THIS idea even more…

    • Hahaha – thanks Kristina. I was so frustrated while I was shooting and then Bjork brought to my attention that it was possibly the ugliest food ever. :) delicious, though!

  7. I love everything about this. Keep the cauliflower recipes coming!

  8. This looks excellent and you did a great job photographing it!

  9. Ooo this looks awesome!!! As much as I love veggies, I like it better when they are masquerading as cream sauce ;)

  10. The creaminess of this rice looks just mouth watering. Somehow you made brown rice with a neutral sauce look so appetizing. You are just that good! Can’t wait to try this out.

  11. Looks delicious and healthy! And kuddos to you for making even this look mouth-watering:-)

  12. Yummy!!!!!!

  13. Wow this looks great! I bet if I subbed in my dairy free regular ingredients it wouldn’t be a bad version!

  14. Yes….I have all the ingredients! I’m sooo making this for dinner. I have been on a cauliflower kick. Thanks Lindsey!

  15. That looks like an awesome dinner…reminds me of risotto

  16. Mmmm, I love cauliflower! And I think the photos look wonderful.

  17. Do you think the entire recipe can be made ahead of time (like in the morning and baked at night) or at least the sauce? Looks amazing!

    • Yep! Just make the sauce and the rice separately, keep them in the fridge, and then do the last step (butter, garlic, kind of sauteeing the whole thing) just before serving. :)

  18. I love this recipe! It looks so good. What would life be without cheese?

  19. This sounds sooo good! I love cauliflower but have never made it into a creamy sauce before…. hmmm I think I need to correct that soon!

  20. Looks good!! I wouldn’t have thought to do this, but I might just have to try it!

  21. “Hey, though. If you want an awesome food to use for food photography, definitely choose brown rice with neutral-colored sauce. Definitely.” #sotrue.

  22. I love a good rice recipe, and this is full of awesomeness. Yum!

  23. “If you want an awesome food to use for food photography, definitely choose brown rice with neutral-colored sauce. Definitely.”

    Love your humor. :) Kudos for making it look really good. I love cauliflower, so will be trying this soon.

  24. This looks incredible! Perfect for a chilly winter night in Minnesota.

  25. yum – I love cauliflower and rice. It looks cheesy good!

  26. Love the versatility of cauliflower. Can’t wait to try this one.

  27. Obscure, maybe. Weird? Nah… we throw all kinds of random stuff into rice at my house! And I’m particularly in love with creamy rice, but risotto is like a decadent treat I only get at a restaurant. This idea, though, looks so simple and so delicious… with the garlic and the mozarellla and the butter… YUM! Plus, it’s so healthy. Love it. :)

  28. Sounds good to me!!! What a great idea, definitely want to try this with cauliflower sometime. Last night, I actually made the cauliflower pesto from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It was good, but I think I’d prefer a cooked version like this :)

  29. Stoppppp it! This looks amazing Lindsay! That shot with the cheese-strings… I’m dying over here!

  30. I’m sure I could eat this all by itself every single day of the week! I’m sure Jason would not go near it if he knew there was cauliflower in it but I don’t have to tell him what’s in it right?

  31. Im always looking for a good side & way to jazz up brown rice!! So smart! Cant wait to try this!!

  32. brown rice and cauliflower sauce? You rule! This looks divine!

  33. Those photos are making me drool! I have some vegetable broth with this recipe’s name on it! Pinned it, too! Thank you!

  34. I love that you’ve been using cauliflower to make a creamy sauce. When you made the fettucini, I made a mental note to whip it up next time we do pasta. And now with the rice…sigh…your brain is one of my favorite brains ever! Have a great weekend!!

  35. That looks awesome! I have orzo on hand so I might substitute that for the rice.

  36. Um, yum?!? This looks amazing!!

  37. Wow Lindsay! This looks fabulous! It reminds me of a dish my grandmother used to make with cauliflower, pasta and cheese. Definitely something comforting. Can’t wait to try it. :)

  38. I was wondering if you add the cauliflower pieces and the broth into the blender? I’d like to make this tonight.
    Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

    • I just added the cauliflower, but reserved the broth to add a few spoonfuls at a time as needed. But just the cauliflower to begin with. :) You don’t want it to get too watery.

  39. Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice — A star is born! What a winning combination of flavor and texture. I am so looking forward to whipping this puppy up!
    Thanks for sharing such a healthy, but not too healthy dish!

  40. I must try this since cauliflower is one of two non-salad vegetables my daughter will eat. Thanks for the idea!

  41. Alright, I may just have to suck it up and jump on this cauliflower wagon. I was skeptical about the whole mashed cauliflower is even better than mashed potatoes thing, but this dish is making me reconsider–monotone color and all. :)

    Also, am I the only one who always spells it cauliflour before cauliflower?? What a goofy word!

  42. Oh, this is perfect! I’ve been meaning to squeeze in more cauliflower to my diet. Thanks for the recipe!

  43. Retired bliss says:

    I make this with broccol,i raw milk cheddar, and Parmesan. Yummy!

  44. I just made the recipe and I wasn’t sure if I was doing something right or not… when you put the cauliflower in the blender, do you put all the liquid in with it/pour the liquid in the rice, or are you just taking out the pieces and not add the liquid? I wasn’t sure :)
    Mine turned out well, but not like the picture, so I think I did something a little differently than intended!

    • Francesca says:

      I put just the cauliflower pieces in the blender along with some skim milk, salt, and a little water (more milk would also work). I also added the garlic to the blender.

  45. I just want to eat this so bad. :)

  46. Made this as a side for our dinner tonight and WOW! We loved it! My girls wouldn’t dare let a vegetable willingly pass their purses lips. They gobbled up this rice and my littlest even had seconds. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  47. Has anyone tried to make it dairy-free? I was going to try almond milk and rice cheese…

  48. How many heads of cauliflower equals 6-8 cups?

    Look divine!

  49. Ohmy. Just made this. SO SO SO DELICIOUS and creamy! Excellent recipe. I have a feeling this will be made at least once a month at my house. :)

  50. This was delicious! I used a spicy pepper jack cheese instead of the mozzarella, which added a nice heat. I also used a short grain brown rice (it was all I had on hand), and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  51. Made this tonight. Super healthy, but didn’t turn out exactly like I thought it would. It was a little bland (but that could be because on top of substituting and estimating ingredients, I also halved the recipe). I ended up using Romano cheese because it was all I had, putting a little crushed red pepper, tabasco, teeny bit of cilantro (once again, only herb I had in fridge)… not quite right… SECRET INGREDIENT: LEMON JUICE! I squeezed some fresh lemon juice in and it really brightened it up! Delicious! Next time I will try original recipe plus lemon juice! Thanks for the recipe Lindsay!

  52. Do you save the leftover broth for anything? I would love to know if you reuse it for another recipe or if you just toss it.

  53. I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful side! Made this last night for my honey who is not a cauliflower fan – & he even made yummy noises! Leftovers made a great lunch today. Thanks for starting my week off so well!

  54. Looks Risotto-ish! Def. need to try this!

  55. Francesca says:

    I made this for dinner last night. Amazing!! It was like luscious creamy risotto. I used a cube of Saute Starters Garlic & Herb Butter to saute the garlic. It added major flavor! Looooooove your cauliflower recipes. I froze half the sauce leftover from last night…I’ll be making a pasta dish for dinner sometime next week. How about you make Cauliflower Mac & Cheese next? :) Please!!

    • Francesca says:

      This sauce froze perfectly. I used up the leftover sauce to make creamy macaroni last night. I was just going to leave the sauce as it was, but then I thought of Iowa Girl Eats’ Creamy Garlic Shells (http://iowagirleats.com/2013/03/06/creamy-garlic-shells/) and thought I’d go ahead and add those same flavors. I added about a cup or so of milk and a little bit of half & half along with Parmesan and garlic powder. Oh, and a few red pepper flakes. I’m currently eating the leftovers right now…so creamy, silky, and delicious.

  56. OMG- I just made this, and it’s AMAZING. That sauce is going to be a game changer for me- it tastes very much like Alfredo sauce!! I added a small amount of finely chopped broccoli and mushrooms to the garlic and butter, and that was wonderful. I used just water to cook the cauliflower and it still tasted amazing. Thanks so much for this!!!

  57. Just made this with Quinoa and gouda. My grandson and I are eating it before it gets to the table.

    • I love Gouda! My favorite cheese. Funny you should mention that because tomorrow I’m posting a really similar recipe with – guess what? Quinoa and gouda. :)

  58. Jessica says:

    Have you ever frozen left over sauce? If so, how?

  59. Hi Lindsay! I somehow stumbled on your site last week and printed off a bunch of recipes! I just wanted to let you know I tried this one and it was awesome! Usually when I make recipes they don’t turn out because I’m no Martha Stewart haha I added shredded carrots and chicken. It was even better today for lunch reheated! Yum! And Thanks!!!

    Linda

  60. Chassey says:

    Hey Lindsay,

    Love your site and your sense of humor. I love fake-out potatoes, but I’ve never tried a sauce. Since its just my husband and myself, too, I have a hard time cooking in small amounts and don’t like to waste anything. So I made the sauce with 1/2 the cauliflower and served it over the remaining cooked cauliflower. Yum! It was great and reminded me of the cauliflower and cheese mom used to make. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh, made it with the Parm Pesto *Flounder.*..also great and simple.

  61. Melissa says:

    I must say I was pretty skeptical, but I still felt the need to try this, and I dare say it is amazing! I think I will have to add black beans to it next time. Thank you so much.

  62. Mandala says:

    This…was…DELICIOUS.

    My substitutions:
    Instead of rice I used farro, which has a great risotto-y texture.
    Almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and I didn’t have any mozzarella so I added a bit of goat cheese and parmesan.
    Shallots and garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
    Added frozen spinach and ground turkey (seasoned with Italian herbs and pan fried).

    It didn’t taste like cauliflower, which I thought was interesting. The texture I ended up with was super similar to mashed potatoes, so I’m thinking I probably didn’t add enough milk to make it creamier. However, I really liked what I ended up with! It’s cozy and tasty and the ultimate healthy comfort food.

    I’m so excited to make this again and mess around with what I add. It’s such a versatile recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! xx

  63. This stuff is amazing!!! I put this cauli rice, roasted grape tomatoes (with olive oil and S&P only) and some cooked prawns in a bowl and mixed it all up for a great lunch. Thanks for this, it’s going in the recipe book. :)

  64. I’ve made this SEVERAL times now. My whole family loves it. My son has a ton of food allergies (luckily not veggies, so far) so I make most of his food and this is amazing! I feel good about the fact that its cauliflower and not Alfredo, especially when I’m trying to get as many veggies in my 1 yr old as possible. I make up batches of the cauliflower sauce and put it in/on everything :)

  65. Wonderful! Salivating! You work so hard but i have one question do you by any chance have the fiber on this? Diabetic and i deduct fiber from the carbs! Thanks :)

  66. Melissa M. says:

    Wow! Just made this, added just a bit (probably less than a tbsp) of onion-cilantro olive oil and about 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Rocking my freakin’ world. Thank you!!!

  67. Margarita says:

    Delicious!! I just made it with Quinoa and Cheddar cheese and put some shrimp over it. This is a keeper. Thanks for sharing it.

  68. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have an overly picky 7-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter resisting the transition from pureed to truly solid foods. Veggies are a battle. I made this tonight (with white rice because that’s I had). It is so delicious! My son informed me that I would be making this dish “over and over again” while my daughter is gobbling it up! Still waiting for the hubby’s reaction (he’s not home yet). I used my immersion blender which was super easy. There’s tons leftover, but we may not actually have any leftovers by the end of the night. I guess cauliflower is a new staple for us!

  69. This looks so good! But would it be good without cheese? My kids can’t have dairy and I don’t like cheese substitutes.

  70. OMG this was amazing… thank you for sharing this recipe has endless possibilities of spin-offs.

    Greetings from México

  71. Looks great! I want to incorporate some protein…do you think it would work to put chunks of chicken in with the rice, or would it be better to have a separate protein and use this as a side dish? Thanks for the recipe!

  72. This looks amazing, definitely going to make it soon! Quick question, how many cauliflowers did you use for this recipe? And what herb did you sprinkle on at the end, there?
    Thank you in advance!

  73. Made it just for me, so halved the recipe and leftover lunch! Won’t use as much garlic next time, but threw in some mushrooms and spinach for extra vegies. Delicious!

  74. I made this today for lunch. Wow! It was delicious and creamy, I felt naughty eating it. However, I calculated the WW PlusPoints and it turned out to be about 4 points per serving (I made a few changes like unsweetened almond milk and light margarine) which is awesome!! It reminds me of risotto which I love, but it is so high in calories I don’t get to enjoy it as much. This will be a great substitute! Thanks!

  75. We made this tonight and it did not work out for us at all… It was very bland and not what I was expecting based off the picture! Oh well, you don’t know until you try.

  76. I have been salivating over the picture for of week. Finally made it tonight. I don’t know what I did wrong but it looked nothing like the picture, and it tasted a bit bland. Kind of disappointed. Unfortunately, I am no Betty Crocker, so don’t have the know how in how to fix it. Oh well… Glad I tried it. The picture does look amazing!

    • Sorry to hear that Ivana! Using a rice blend helps the texture/appearance a bit, and sprinkling some fresh herbs through it when you’re done can adjust the flavor to how you might like it. I just used fresh minced parsley but I think any herbs could be great in this dish.

      • Okay so I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan, lol! It looks amazing in the picture but as soon as I tasted the first bite, I realized I would rather either cauliflower mash/puree or a creamy risotto. The rice and cauliflower together was a very strange texture to us so we won’t be making it again. I love trying new dishes though and I’m totally going to do that much garlic in butter and add it to my cauli mash in the future :) It was worth the try anyway.

  77. I made this for thanksgiving and was quite disappointed. The garlic was so overpowering and I did not even use as much as the recipe called for. I have always said you can’ t have too much garlic because I love it. I was wrong when it came to this recipe. All I could taste was the garlic and could not even taste the cauliflower. Will probably try again but with alot less garlic and will not puree the cauliflower.

  78. I’m considering trying this over cauliflower rice instead of brown rice for a low-carb variant. (death by cauliflower, anyone?!). What do you think? Will I be making any giant f00d pas?

    • I think that’s a great idea to just use cauliflower and no rice. We tried it and didn’t love the texture so I’ll be making it again but only with cauliflower “rice” or just mashing it :)

  79. Lindsay, I finally tried your cauliflower sauce – and this idea is nothing short of genius. I sauteed 3 huge garlic cloves in 2 tbs butter, then added and pureed a whole head of pre-cooked cauliflower, rich stock from roasted chicken, 1 cup of milk and about 1/3 cup parmesan – you can’t even taste the cauliflowerness. It goes great over rice, or pasta, or whatever! This will be a staple at our house. Thanks!

  80. I found you through Pinterest (clearly your photographs are good enough to pin despite the brown rice/cream sauce!) and I just made this tonight. Holy moly, it was INCREDIBLE! I’m such a sucker for cheese and cream based sauces on pasta and this more than satisfied the craving without the guilt! I added some sautéed zucchini to the garlic before stirring in the rice, a little fresh parmesan, and topped it off with roasted asparagus and sliced cherry tomatoes before serving.

    Can’t wait to check out the rest of your recipes! xx

  81. Is the 4g of fat for the entire recipe or per serving? I’m trying to stay away from dairy, but there is just no substitute for cheesey goodness is there? ;-) Going to try this soon! I’m a huge fan of cauliflower but I have never done anything but eat it like it is.

  82. I really like Cauliflower anything…. I’ve been making the same Cauliflower souffle http://cuceesprouts.com/2014/01/white-on-white-cauliflower-souffle/ for weeks now (and growing addicted to it) but I will try this recipe next

  83. CrystallineB says:

    I’ve been cooking my way through Pinterest and last night I made your Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice. It was a hit! I’ll definitely be making it again.

  84. Caroline says:

    Just made this tonight – was a bit more work than I had anticipated (I have no dishwasher, which does not help, and I cooked chicken to add), but it was surprisingly good! I do NOT recommend cutting the garlic in the recipe. I did, based on reviews above, and I could taste no garlic. I also added, in addition to grilled chicken, a heavy shake of cayenne pepper for a kick, parsley, and extra cheese.

  85. Soooo……what do you do with the 6 cups of liquid?

  86. Sooo….What do you do with the 6 cups of liquid?

  87. This recipe is amazing! I just made it for my fiancee and I (we are on our “wedding lifestyle”) and it was literally one of the most delicious meals I have ever made!

    Instead of using brown rice, I used Quinoa and instead of regular milk, I used coconut milk, just to add a little more creaminess to the texture. Also, I snuck in vegan Mozzarella (we are reaaalllyyy doing this health thing up) and my fiancee didn’t even notice!

    I wish I could give this 10 stars!

  88. This recipe was FANTASTIC. Even my family members who didn’t like cauliflower went back for more!

  89. Mmm! I never knew cauliflower could taste so good! I followed the recipe almost exactly, adding in some mozzarella, parmesan, ground pepper, and dried Italian seasoning at the end! I’m currently eating a big bowl of it, and can’t wait to see what my family thinks of it! :)

  90. Christina says:

    I’d like to make this recipe tonight but I’m unsure if the 1 1/2 cups of rice is cooked or uncooked…

  91. Kristine says:

    Treated this the way I would our favorite risotto- cooked the cauliflower in a combination of stock & white wine, used parm instead of mozzarella (I hate stretchy cheese!) :), mixed in some steamed asparagus in (1″ pieces), & topped with just a smidge of oven-crisped prosciutto. DEE-LISH. :)

  92. My vegetarian boyfriend absolutely loves this dish! I am also a fan, though I love it more as a side where he loves a big ole plate for his entire meal. The cauliflower sauce takes the most time to prepare, but everything else goes pretty quickly after that (note, I did not realize brown rice takes double the time as white rice! lesson learned). I certainly add a bit of whatever spice I am in the mood for – usually at least a good dash of red pepper flakes. I do not skimp on the garlic, using all 8 cloves. I also add parsley, though last night I was thinking basil might be a bit more interesting. In short, we really enjoy this dish… though we are in general pretty big cauliflower fans anyways. PS.. i totally put siracha when I plate my own dish :)

  93. Hi! I love your blog, I discovered it via your fab eBook on photography. I hope you don’t mind but I adapted this recipe and posted it today here: http://www.wellwornwhisk.co.uk/2014/07/creamy-cauliflower-brown-rice-with.html
    I have given full credit and a link too. The cauliflower sauce idea is inspired – I love it so much and will be using it regularly – thanks so much.

    Rachel x

  94. This was pretty good! I didn’t measure the cauliflower, I just used a whole head, so it was probably a bit too much, but it was good. I also didn’t measure the salt, but next time I will because I kept tasting it and adding more when I was just using the shaker. I didn’t have quite enough mozzarella cheese on hand, so I used a little bit of cheddar with the mozz I had. We loved the garlic flavor of this dish, and it was a good way to eat up a bunch of cauliflower! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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