by Olena

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Olena Osipov
5 from 10 votes

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!

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Low Carb Skillet Dinner

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

This easy recipe 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 real rice experience as possible. 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.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice in a bowl with a fork

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. cooked ground turkey in white bowl
  • 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. veggies and spices in gray skillet
  • Add tomato paste and stock before adding cauliflower rice. It helps to incorporate thick tomato paste evenly. sauteed veggies and spices in gray skillet
  • 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. sauteed veggies, spices and cauliflower rice in gray skillet
  • Combine everything: Add previously cooked meat together with cauliflower rice. Then turn off heat, add cilantro and adjust any ingredients to taste.sauteed veggies, spices, ground turkey and cauliflower rice in gray skillet

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 and Storing

Serving: You can serve Mexican riced cauliflower with salsa, yogurt/sour cream, Tex Mex or cotija (feta) cheese, diced avocado or guacamole. For complete Mexican experience, try with refried beans.

Storing and reheating: 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. 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!

More Cauliflower Rice Recipes

Mexican Cauliflower Rice recipe

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice {Low Carb 30 Minute Dinner}

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 10 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Ground Turkey:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

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.

Serving: You can serve Mexican riced cauliflower with salsa, yogurt, cheese or avocado.

    Storing and reheating: 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. Good thing, cauliflower is watery so no extra oil or water is needed.

      Notes

      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Green bell pepper substitute: If you don't love green peppers, use all colored ones. But I also see how poblano will work nicely here! I love green peppers!

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Vitamin C: 98mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      22 comments on “Mexican Cauliflower Rice

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      1. 5 stars
        Awesome recipe, tasted and added additional spices if needed. Then added red cabbage and fresh corn. Already emailed to my friends

      2. 5 stars
        This is the 4th recipe I’ve tried and it too was delicious!! Thank you for teaching and helping me to make delicious healthy dinners that my twins love!! I’m excited to try more of your recipes ?

      3. 5 stars
        My one year old and I gobbled this up! I left out the jalapeno and chili powder since he was going to eat it, but still found it very flavourful. I used ground chicken and added a small can of diced tomatoes because I didn’t have enough tomato paste, I also added some diced mushrooms since I only had one bell pepper.

        1. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback, Andrea! Those additions sound amazing and you made it work for your family.

      4. 5 stars
        I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it. Instead of 1 pound of ground turkey, I’ll do 2 pounds of sliced sauteed mushrooms. And will report back. Thanks so much, Olena!

      5. 5 stars
        A wonderful great recipe, my family loved it and so ho healthy and easy to make. Love your cooking recipes and easy style. Ty olena

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