Low carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice with ground turkey and lots of veggies for a healthy 30 minute dinner entire family will love. This quick skillet is easy, flavorful and filling!

Love cauliflower rice? I have over 25 cauliflower rice recipes to browse through including cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower risotto, and this Mexican cauliflower rice, of course!

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Low Carb Skillet Dinner

Many of you know Mexican rice as a side dish. I made it into low-carb Mexican cauliflower rice with ground turkey. So, it’s a healthy dinner ready in 30 minutes. It works for us adults with a sedentary lifestyle who are trying to eat fewer carbs. And kids love it too!

In fact, I’ve been loving using cauliflower to create lower-carb family favorites; including cauliflower pizza, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks, and cauliflower mashed potatoes (plus more!).

This easy cauliflower rice recipe Mexican is so easy, flavorful, and filling. Not to mention it is packed with veggies to the brim. I promise you it will taste as close to the real rice experience as possible (the same goes with my cilantro lime cauliflower rice). With a few tips below.

Ingredients for Mexican Cauliflower Rice

  • Cauliflower rice: You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. It is made with cauliflower stalk, so it is firm and resembles real rice texture. You can buy it pretty much anywhere these days.
  • Ground turkey: You can also use ground chicken or beef.
  • Vegetables: Onion, garlic, green and red bell peppers, jalapeno. If you don’t love green peppers, use all colored ones. I also see how poblano will work nicely here!
  • Liquids: Water or stock and tomato paste.
  • Spices: Cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
ingredients for mexican cauliflower rice

You might also love these 45 healthy ground turkey recipes!

How to Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice

  • Cook ground turkey with spices until cooked through. Make sure to constantly break it into small pieces while stirring in between. Adding spices halfway through makes meat flavorful. Remove onto a plate.
  • Cook veggies in batches. Onion and garlic get browned first, then you add bell pepper and jalapeno. If you add everything at once, peppers will release too much water for browning to happen.
  • Add tomato paste and stock before adding cauliflower rice. It helps to incorporate thick tomato paste evenly.
  • Cook cauliflower rice just until warmed through – about 2-3 minutes. Cauliflower can be eaten raw and cooks fast, especially in small bits. Overcooking it will result in watery and mushy “rice”. Frozen “rice” takes just 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Combine everything: Add previously cooked meat together with cauliflower rice. Then turn off heat, add cilantro and adjust any ingredients to taste.

More Tips

  • Can’t find cauliflower rice? Here is a step by step tutorial how to make your own. Just make sure to work in small batches and not overprocess.
  • Do not thaw frozen “rice”: Defrosting makes “rice” more watery as it is just a cauliflower.
  • Cook fast and avoid overcooking: To avoid watery cauliflower rice dish any time, cook fast on medium-high heat and do not overcook to the point when cauliflower starts to release water.
  • Add more heat: Leave some of the seeds in the jalapenos instead of de-seeding completely.
  • Less or skip tomato paste: You can use half the tomato paste amount for barely any noticeable tomato taste. We prefer more.
Mexican Cauliflower Rice in a skillet with a spoon

Serving: You can serve Mexican riced cauliflower with salsa, yogurt/sour cream, Tex Mex or cotija (feta) cheese, diced avocado or guacamole. For a complete Mexican experience, try with refried beans. This will also pair well with several Mexican and Tex Mex dishes including chicken tostadas, chicken enchiladas, and within chicken burritos in place of rice.

The Mexican cauliflower rice skillet also works for healthy dinner sides and pairs very well with several types of protein including chili lime chicken or cilantro lime chicken.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice in a bowl with a fork

Making Mexican Cauliflower Rice in Advance

Storing and reheating: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in a covered glass container, makes the perfect healthy lunch idea. To reheat, I just throw it in a skillet and cook on low until warmed through. Good thing, cauliflower is watery so no extra oil or water is needed.

Can I freeze it? I have not tried freezing leftovers. If you need less servings, cut recipe in half. But I would just meal prep the whole recipe and eat throughout the week.

Enjoy and be healthy!

You may also enjoy these recipe round-ups of 14 frozen cauliflower rice recipes!

Mexican Cauliflower Rice recipe
Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Low carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice with ground turkey and lots of veggies for a healthy 30 minute dinner entire family will love. This quick skillet is easy, flavorful and filling!
5 from 17 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 171
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Ground Turkey:

Cauliflower Rice:

  • 4 cups 16 oz cauliflower rice fresh or frozen
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded & diced
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 oz tomato paste low sodium
  • 1/2 cup water or low sodium stock
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tsp avocado oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and swirl 1 tsp oil to coat.
  • Add ground turkey and cook for 7 minutes, breaking into small pieces with spatula and stirring often. Somewhere in the middle, add cumin, salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return skillet to the stove and swirl remaining 1 tsp oil. Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add bell pepper and jalapeno; saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Somewhere in the middle, add cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Add tomato paste and broth, stir to combine.
  • Add fresh or frozen (do not thaw) cauliflower rice, previously cooked ground turkey and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Add cilantro, stir and serve warm.

Notes

  • Serving: You can serve Mexican riced cauliflower with salsa, yogurt, cheese or avocado.
  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in a covered glass container. To reheat, I just throw it in a skillet and cook on low until warmed through. Cauliflower is watery so no extra oil or water is needed.
  • Freeze: I have not tried this. If you need less servings, cut recipe in half. But I would just meal prep the whole recipe and eat throughout the week.
  • Can’t find cauliflower rice? Here is a step by step tutorial how to make your own. Just make sure to work in small batches and not overprocess.
  • Do not thaw frozen “rice”: Defrosting makes “rice” more watery as it is just a cauliflower.
  • Cook fast and avoid overcooking: To avoid watery cauliflower rice dish any time, cook fast on medium-high heat and do not overcook to the point when cauliflower starts to release water.
  • Add more heat: Leave some of the seeds in the jalapenos instead of de-seeding completely.
  • Less or skip tomato paste: You can use half the tomato paste amount for barely any noticeable tomato taste. 
  • Green bell pepper substitute: If you don’t love green peppers, use all colored ones. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 379mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! I will definitely make it over and over again because my husband loved it and he does not like to eat healthy. In fact, he told me not to tell him what was in it because he thought he could eat it like a dip. Hahahaha, I did put tortilla chips around his dish to give it a look that would entice him and it worked!!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe, tasted and added additional spices if needed. Then added red cabbage and fresh corn. Already emailed to my friends

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