Green Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice with spinach and fresh herbs is a healthy, quick, and easy weeknight side or main meal. Add some extra heft to this recipe by topping it with a fried egg, adding some tofu, or using it as the foundation for a burrito bowl.

A white plate with healthy cauliflower rice with greens, shredded pork and chopped, roasted butternut squash. A pink linen with a fork and butter knife are to the left. A bowl of Green Cauliflower Rice is in the upper left with chopped scallions and cilantro visible along with the green rice.
Coco Morante

My friend Erin introduced me to green cauliflower rice. She brought my family a meal when our baby girl was just two weeks old, and it was truly the best gift anyone could give us. She prepared some chicken drumsticks, along with a generous serving of cauliflower rice, studded with green onions and spinach.

This is my take on Erin’s version of green cauliflower rice, with a generous handful of chopped herbs thrown in at the end for even more flavor. I usually add cilantro, so the “rice” pairs well with Asian and Mexican-inspired meals. You can sub in flat leaf parsley to go with Italian food, or a mixture of parsley, dill, and/or mint for a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern meal.

A horizontal image of a bowl of low carb cauliflower rice with sliced scallions and cilantro scattered on the top. A silver serving spoon is in the bowl and the bowl is set on a slate background.
Coco Morante

What Is Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice isn’t really rice at all. It’s just cauliflower, broken down into little bits that somewhat resemble rice grains or couscous. You can chop the cauliflower up with a knife, run it over a box grater, or make fast work of it with a food processor. A lot of people eat cauliflower rice as a low-carb substitute for regular rice, and when it’s prepared the right way, it can be totally delicious!

You can find cauliflower already riced in the freezer section of most grocery stores, or make it at home. Just follow our recipe on How to Make Cauliflower Rice.

Tip for Tastier Cauliflower Rice!

This recipe uses frozen chopped spinach, which you’ll defrost in the microwave before adding to the skillet with the other ingredients. Once you microwave the spinach, squeeze out as much liquid as you can—this will make for tastier cauliflower rice!

Ways to Adapt This Recipe

This green cauliflower rice gets its color from spinach, green onions, and fresh cilantro. Feel free to experiment with adding other vegetables, too.

  • Add finely chopped red or yellow onions, or shallots.
  • Add minced garlic or ginger.
  • Throw in colorful veggies like bell peppers or carrots.
  • Try different leafy greens like arugula or kale; just make sure they’re finely chopped.
  • If you’re not a fan of cilantro, use your favorite herb.
Close up view of a white plate on a slate background. The plate has vegan green cauliflower rice in focus. Roasted butternut squash and shredded pork are also on the plate. A partial view of a bowl of green cauliflower rice is in the upper left. Teal salt and pepper shakers are in the upper right.
Coco Morante

How to Make Cauliflower Rice a Meal

You can serve cauliflower rice with any meal that you’d otherwise pair with regular rice. I like to have it as a side dish along with pulled pork, roasted chicken, or baked salmon. It’s also a fantastic base for a burrito bowl, with beans and all of the usual burrito fixings piled on top.

How to Store and Freeze Cauliflower Rice

You can store your cauliflower rice in the refrigerator for up to four days—it heats up great in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. You can also freeze it in zip-top bags or other freezer-safe containers for up to two months, then reheat in the microwave.

More Great Ways to Eat Cauliflower

Green Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 8 ounces (half of a 1-pound bag) frozen spinach, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1 pound cauliflower rice, homemade or store-bought, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Cook the spinach:

    In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the water evenly over the spinach. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, and microwave at high heat for 3-4 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave, until the spinach is fully thawed and steaming hot.

    Transfer the spinach to a colander or mesh strainer, and use the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

    A small white bowl has a small sifter set inside with chopped frozen spinach draining.
    Coco Morante
  2. Sauté onions:

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions and sauté until they are softened and translucent, about 2 minutes.

    Green onions are being sauteed in olive oil in a non-stick skillet on a gas stove to make low carb cauliflower rice.
    Coco Morante
    Green onions are sauteed in a non-stick skillet on a gas stove to make low carb cauliflower rice.
    Coco Morante
  3. Cook the cauliflower rice:

    Add the cauliflower rice, salt, and pepper and sauté another 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through and you’re starting to see a little bit of browning on the green onions.

    Add the spinach and sauté for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir in the chopped herbs. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper if needed.

    Cauliflower rice is heaped in a non-stick skillet on a gas stove. A wooden spatula is resting inside.
    Coco Morante
    Vegan green cauliflower rice in the process of being made on in a skillet on a gas stove. Herbs are incorporated with a wooden spatula.
    Coco Morante
    A non-stick skillet on a gas burner has cauliflower rice and chopped spinach inside. The spinach is set on top and not incorporated. A wooden spatula rests inside the skillet.
    Coco Morante
    Horizontal view of non-stick skillet with healthy cauliflower rice and greens and a wooden spatula. The skillet is on a gas stove.
    Coco Morante
  4. Serve:

    Remove from heat and serve right away or cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
114 Calories
8g Fat
10g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 251mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 60mg 300%
Calcium 128mg 10%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 575mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.