Buffalo Cauliflower Rice
Buffalo Cauliflower Rice is a quick and easy weeknight side dish the whole family will love. This one-pan recipe transforms frozen cauliflower rice into a hot, tangy, delicious low carb, paleo, and Whole30 favorite.
I’m the type of person that puts buffalo sauce on far more than just chicken wings. In my opinion, that rich, buttery, and spicy hot flavor belongs paired with all sorts of foods, so riced cauliflower was a no-brainer.
With a handful of clean, gluten-free ingredients, buffalo cauliflower rice comes together in less than 20 minutes. Frozen cauliflower rice saves you time and from the mess of making it from scratch. It’s a great low-carb alternative to rice.
The simplicity of this recipe leaves plenty of room to enhance your riced cauliflower with shredded chicken, blue cheese crumbles, or ranch. Seriously, you’re going to LOVE buffalo cauliflower rice!
🍚 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Riced Cauliflower: I like using frozen cauliflower rice because it doesn’t spoil if I don’t use it right away, and in my opinion, frozen caulifower tastes so much better than the fresh, refrigerated version.
- Ghee: You can also use avocado oil, but ghee adds rich, buttery flavor.
- Vegetables: The first layer of savory flavor comes from sauteed celery and red onion (you can also add in finely diced carrots and minced garlic here).
- Buffalo Sauce: There’s a variety of really good bottled buffalo sauces to choose from. I’m a big fan of the Whole30 approved New Primal line of buffalo sauce. You can choose from mild, medium, and hot.
- Salt & Pepper: to bring out the best in the hot, buttery, and tangy flavors.
- Cilantro: to sprinkle over top as garnish (or parsley if you have it).
- Recommend Tools: You’ll need a large skillet and cheese cloth (or a fine mesh sieve).
📖 How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower Rice
1️⃣ Thaw frozen cauliflower rice.
Empty your bag of frozen cauliflower into a bowl and thaw in the fridge overnight.
2️⃣ Drain cauliflower rice.
Once thawed, add the riced cauliflower to a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
3️⃣ Saute celery and onion.
Add the ghee to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute until soft and fragrant (5 to 7 minutes).
4️⃣ Saute cauliflower.
Next, add the dry cauliflower. Raise the heat slightly, and saute until the moisture cooks out and the cauliflower is warmed through.
5️⃣ Add buffalo sauce.
Add the buffalo sauce and toss with the veggies to coat. Season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute, and then remove from the heat.
6️⃣ Garnish and serve.
Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.
👉 Recipe Tips
- Don’t skip squeezing out the moisture from the cauliflower. Otherwise, it may turn out soggy!
- Dice the celery and onion the same size. You don’t want one to cook quicker than the other.
- If you can tolerate more heat, add cayenne to the sauce until it’s just right.
🔀 Variations & Substitutions
Are you looking for a specific ingredient substitution? Check out the swaps below.
- Rice – You can swap the cauliflower rice for cooked rice.
- Ghee – If dairy is of no concern, feel free to use butter. You can also use a plant-based butter spread to make this recipe vegan (given the buffalo sauce is also vegan)
- Veggies – Diced bell peppers and carrots are great way to boost the veggies. Add them in with the carrots and onons.
Make it a meal – If you want to keep things simple, add shredded rotisserie chicken or any leftover shredded chicken for protein and serve with a simple green salad.
Add cheese – While the rice is still hot, sprinkle shredded cheddar-jack cheese or blue cheese crumbles over the top.
You could even make a buffalo cauliflower rice casserole of sorts. Place it under the broiler for a minute, so the cheese gets browned and bubbly. Be sure to cover the cauliflower rice completely in cheese so it doesn’t burn.
Finish with dressing – Totally optional, but serving buffalo cauliflower rice with a cool and creamy drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing is a game-changer.
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good one to freeze.
The trick to making firm, chewy cauliflower rice is thawing it first and then squeezing out as much of the moisture as possible with a cheesecloth.
Yes. Nutritionally, frozen and fresh cauliflower are identical. Once thawed and drained, frozen cauliflower rice cooks as if purchased fresh.
In general, buying a head of cauliflower and ricing it yourself is the least expensive option, but the convenience of not doing that may be worth the few extra dollars.
Yup! It’s a staple in paleo and Whole30 lifestyles.
🍽️ More Healthy Side Dishes
Sauteed Mushrooms and Peas
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
Purple Cabbage Steaks
Roasted Root Vegetables
Buffalo Cauliflower Rice
- 1 saucepan
- 1 cheesecloth
- 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice thawed in the fridge
- 1 cup celery diced
- ½ cup red onion diced
- ⅓ cup buffalo sauce like The New Primal
- 2 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped; optional
- Add frozen cauliflower rice to a large bowl and let thaw in the fridge to collect any moisture and condensation.
- Once thawed, place the cauliflower rice in cheesecloth. and squeeze out as much liquid out as possible. This will keep your cauliflower rice from becoming soggy. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add diced celery and onion and saut until the veggies are soft and fragrant (5 to 7 minutes).
- Add the drained riced cauliflower. Turn the heat up slight, and saute until all the moisture cooks out and the riced cauliflower is warmed through.
- Stir in the buffalo sauce and toss to coat. Cook for an additional minute to marry the flavors. Remove and serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro.