Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

5 from 84 votes

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is a low-carb grain-free paleo-friendly substitute for rice or couscous - it's a great way to add more vegetables into your diet

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

My cilantro lime cauliflower rice is perfectly flavored and seasoned for a versatile side dish. Cauliflower rice is a great low-carb alternative to white or brown rice—and it’s ready in less time! It’s a great way of getting some more vegetables into your family’s diet! Plus, this cilantro lime cauliflower rice recipe is vegan, grain-free, and keto-friendly, so it’s perfect for all diets.

Cilantro lime cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spoon dipped in.
Want to save this recipe?
Just type your email below and I’ll send it to you. And as a bonus you’ll get delicious new recipes from me!

The flavors in this cilantro lime cauliflower rice recipe are perfect to serve with Grilled Lemon Chicken, and they also go well with Tex-Mex dishes like Cheese Quesadilla or Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers. Plus, you can switch up the seasonings to pair with other flavors too.

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
Dietary Info: Low-carb, keto, vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian
Key Flavor: Citrusy
Skill Level: Easy


  • Great Substitute for Rice: A cup of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbs compared to 45 grams of carbs in a cup of rice. It also has a high amount of fiber with 4 grams in one cup. That’s going to really fill you up!
  • Works for Every Diet: Whether you’re gluten-free, keto, low-carb, paleo, vegetarian, or vegan, you can enjoy this cilantro lime cauliflower rice! And even if none of those diets apply to you, you’ll still enjoy it because it’s delicious.
  • Budget-Friendly: Why spend extra money on pre-riced cauliflower or other rice substitutes when you can make your own cauliflower rice for a fraction of the price?
  • Versatile: Jazz it up with all kinds of seasonings, and pair it with all kinds of main dishes—there are so many ways to put this cilantro lime cauliflower rice to use!

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients for recipe before prepping: salt and pepper, yellow onion, lime, oil, head of cauliflower, garlic, and fresh cilantro.
  • Cauliflower: If you do decide to use store-bought cauliflower rice, you can use 3 to 4 cups for this recipe.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Cooking the cauliflower rice in olive oil gives it a subtle nutty flavor.
  • Onion and Garlic: Cauliflower rice made only with cauliflower can be a bit one note, so I like to jazz things up with onion and garlic too.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Always essential for bringing out the best in any dish!
  • Lime: You’ll need the juice and the zest, but be sure to zest the lime first.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro pairs well with lime; the two add a bright flavor to this easy cauliflower rice recipe.
  • Swap the lime for lemon. For a flavor that pairs well with Italian and Middle Eastern dishes, swap the lime juice for lemon.
  • Use parsley instead of cilantro. And if you’re making your cauliflower rice with lemon juice instead of lime, go ahead and use parsley instead of cilantro.
  • Try other seasonings. Add turmeric and pair your cauliflower rice with Indian dishes, or add some chili powder if you’re using your cauliflower rice as a side for Mexican dishes.
  • Substitute green onions for the regular onions. These will add a milder onion flavor to your cauliflower rice.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until you have a mixture that resembles couscous.
  3. Cook the onions and garlic in a skillet with the olive oil.
  4. Stir in the cauliflower rice and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until the cauliflower softens.
  6. Finish with the lime juice and cilantro.
6 image collage making recipe: 1- cauliflower added to a food processor, 2- after processing into "rice" sized pieces, 3- chopped onions in a large skillet, 4- cauliflower rice and spices added to skillet, 5- after tossing together, 6- after cooking with fresh chopped cilantro added.

Tips for Making the Best Cauliflower Rice With Cilantro and Lime

  1. Use a box grater if you don’t have a food processor. You want to look for a box grater with medium-sized holes, which is normally used for grating cheese. This will take more time than using the food processor, but it’s still very effective.
  2. Do not over-process the cauliflower in the food processor, or it will get mushy. The goal is for it to look like short-grain rice or couscous.
  3. Process the cauliflower in batches if needed. If you try to cram all the florets in at once when they don’t want to fit, the blade of your food processor won’t be able to move!
  4. Use a cheese cloth to squeeze out excess moisture. This isn’t always necessary. But, I would recommend it if you feel there is excess moisture in the cauliflower after it’s been riced. You can use a cheese cloth or paper towel. Use your hands to squeeze out the extra moisture to ensure that rice doesn’t come out soggy.
Plate of cilantro lime cauliflower rice with flank steak cooked medium rare.

Serving Suggestions

Even though we’re cooking the cauliflower rice here to make cilantro lime cauliflower rice, you can totally serve it raw. Keep in mind that it will have a slight crunch to it. But it’s a great addition to salad recipes like my tabbouleh or butternut squash pomegranate salad. You can also use it in rice bowl recipes like my Vegan Buddha Bowl or my Chicken Burrito Bowl.

The second way to serve cauliflower rice is cooked. You can season it and cook it with some olive oil on the stovetop to make it more tender like in this recipe. When cooked, it makes a great side with dishes like curry, Middle Eastern stews or stir-fry.

What to Serve With Cauliflower Rice

How to Store & Reheat Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Store leftover cauliflower rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop with a splash of oil or in the microwave.

How long will cilantro lime cauliflower rice last in the fridge?

Cooked cauliflower rice will last for 3 to 5 days, so it’s a great idea to make a big batch!

Frequently asked questions

Can I use frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe?

I don’t recommend using frozen cauliflower rice, as it’s usually very soggy. If you do want a shortcut, look for riced cauliflower in the produce section of the grocery store.

If I don’t like cilantro, can I leave it out?

Absolutely! You can omit it altogether or replace it with another herb. Basil (and especially Thai basil) also pairs well with lime.

Can I use cauliflower rice as a substitute for rice in recipes?

It depends. There are some recipes, like Butternut Squash Risotto, that depend on the unique qualities of rice (mainly, it’s starchiness!) in order to work properly. But if the rice is part of a meal bowl or a dish is being served over rice, you can absolutely use cauliflower rice instead.

Spoon lifting up some cilantro lime rice from a skillet.

Whether you’re going low-carb or keto for the new year, trying to sneak extra vegetables into your diet, or just looking to try something new and healthy, give this cilantro lime cauliflower rice a try!

More low carb cauliflower recipes:

If you try this feel good Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

This Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice recipe was originally published on January 1, 2019. The recipe has not been modified but the post has been updated with new step-by-step photos and more helpful information.

order MY book

The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook is now available everywhere books are sold!

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is a low-carb grain-free paleo-friendly substitute for rice or couscous – it’s a great way to add more vegetables into your diet
5 from 84 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 82
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Email This Recipe
Enter your email and I’ll send this directly to you. Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!


  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets (or 3-4 cups cauliflower rice)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro


  • Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and resembles couscous. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower softens, 5-7 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add lime juice, lime zest and fresh cilantro and toss gently to combine. Serve warm.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 82kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 191mg, Potassium: 492mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 76mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Side Dish
5 from 84 votes (79 ratings without comment)

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Roberta Young says:

    Sounds delicious! At what point in the recipe do you add the lime zest?

    1. Yumna says:

      It gets added with the lime juice, thanks for bringing that to my attention, I just edited the method accordingly.

  2. Felicia Walker says:

    This is an absolutely fresh exhilarating recipe. Very quick to make tasty and surprisingly filling.

    1. Yumna says:

      So happy you loved it!

    2. Yumna says:

      Hope you enjoy it!

  3. felicity says:

    Fabulous I cannot wait to try this

  4. pj says:

    Loved it!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much!

  5. Stacy says:

    This turned out so great! The flavors are so delicious and well balanced in this recipe. I used 1 1/2 12 oz bags of frozen riced cauliflower and it turned out so well! Will make this a regular as a base for burrito bowls. Yum!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you! That sounds like a great idea!

  6. Angie says:

    Wow! Great flavors and so refreshing on a hot summer day! And healthy too!