Cauliflower rice gets a boost of flavor with a Mexican flair! This easy to make low carb side dish can be served in under 15 minutes. It makes a perfect busy weeknight side!
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, through links in this post. See my Disclosure.
This is a different spin on plain cauliflower rice that gives it great flavor. I’m constantly looking for creative ways to prepare cauliflower, because it’s a great side dish for a Keto diet.
It’s very healthy, packed with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. There are many health benefits to cauliflower you can read more about in this article! I like it because it closely mimics the texture of rice, so it makes a great low carb substitute.
But plain cauliflower rice can definitely get a bit boring, so I like to add different flavors to make it more interesting. Like my cauliflower mushroom “risotto” or my lime cilantro cauliflower rice, both are loaded with flavor!
This Mexican cauliflower rice is also bright and colorful, which I really love! Give this dish a try and I think you’ll find yourself making it often!
What’s in Keto Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Cherry tomatoes
- Jalapeño pepper
- Tomato paste
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cumin
- Grass-fed butter
- Fresh cilantro
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Take a medium head of cauliflower, wash it well and cut into florets.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add in half of the butter and olive oil, then sauté the onions and jalapeño pepper for a few minutes.
Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for about 20 seconds, careful not to burn it. Add in the tomatoes and continue cooking for another minute.
Sprinkle in the cumin and smoked paprika, allow to toast for 10 seconds, while stirring. Add in the rest of the butter, tomato paste, lime juice and zest and salt, and mix.
Sauté the cauliflower in the mixture for 6-8 minutes or until it reaches the texture you prefer.
I like mine a little al dente, so not soft, but with a little bite to it.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
Tips for Making the Best Keto Cauliflower Rice
Preparing the Cauliflower
I prefer to rice my own cauliflower, since it’s so easy if you have a food processor. I cut the head in half, cut into florets and discard the thicker part of the stems. I pulse the florets in small batches in the food processor, which allows for more consistent “rice”. I typically rice a couple of heads at a time and keep them in the fridge in food storage bags.
Alternatively, you can purchase a bag of cauliflower that has already been riced, if it’s easier for you. While I haven’t tried this recipe with frozen cauliflower rice, you can certainly use it, just be sure it’s thawed and well dried.
Flavoring the Keto Mexican Cauliflower Rice
I used yellow onions in this cauliflower rice, but you can use white onions if that’s what you have on hand. I dice them small, as I do everything else in this mix.
I used fresh jalapeño peppers from my garden. It’s amazing how just one plant produced so many peppers in just one season! I make so many dishes with jalapeño peppers, like my Jalapeño Popper Egg Salad, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and my absolute favorite- Jalapeño Popper Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese!
If you’re not a fan of jalapeño peppers, you can use bell pepper as a substitute. You can also use poblano peppers or any other fairly mild pepper you like. If you like jalapeño peppers, but don’t have any fresh on hand, you can use jarred and add it in with the tomatoes.
I used cherry tomatoes. You don’t have to use cherry tomatoes, you can use Roma, plum, beefsteak, Campari or anything else you have on hand.
I used cumin and smoked paprika, which are two very popular spices used in Mexican dishes. I also used fresh cilantro, another favorite of mine. If you don’t like cilantro, you can use fresh parsley instead.
I also use the juice and zest of a lime. This brightens up all the flavors nicely, but you can omit the lime if you’d like.
If you happen to have some Queso Fresco on hand, I would highly recommend crumbling some of it in this cauliflower rice! Not only will it add great texture, but will really make the dish visually come to life!
If you’re not familiar with Questo Fresco, it’s a lot like feta cheese, a bit dry, crumbly and fairly mild in flavor. It’s used a lot in Mexican dishes.
Can I Freese Leftover Cauliflower Rice?
You can store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for several days or yes, you can absolutely freeze leftovers. You can even turn this into a complete meal by adding some shredded chicken to it.
I would add the chicken to the pan when you are toasting the spices, so it can absorb some of that great flavor. Then add in the cauliflower rice and cook 6-8 minutes, and serve!
What Can You Serve with Mexican Cauliflower Rice?
You can serve this flavorful Keto side dish with just about any Mexican inspired dish. Here are some of my favorites:
- Poblano and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- Creamy Poblano Chicken
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Burrito Bowl
- Easy Salmon with Avocado Salsa
- Grilled Lime Cilantro Shrimp Skewers
More Keto Mexican Recipes
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole
- Baked Southwest Skillet with Chipotle Cream
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Poblano and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- Easy Guacamole
Mexican Cauliflower Rice – Keto and Low Carb
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- ⅓ cup onion minced
- ⅓ cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup jalapeño pepper (ribs/seeds removed) minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- ¼ cup grass-fed butter divided
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add in half of the butter and olive oil, then sauté the onions and jalapeño pepper for a few minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for about 20 seconds, careful not to burn it.
- Add in the tomatoes and continue cooking for another minute. Sprinkle in the cumin and smoked paprika, allow to toast for 10 seconds, while stirring.
- Add in the rest of the butter, tomato paste, lime juice and zest, salt and mix. Sauté the cauliflower in the mixture for 6-8 minutes or until it reaches the texture you prefer. I like mine a little al dente, so not soft, but with a little bite to it.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.