Preparing Spanish aka Mexican Cauliflower Rice in the Instant Pot is a great way to fix it and forget it while you prepare the rest of your dinner spread. This low carb and grain-free alternative to zesty Spanish rice is the perfect addition to taco night, fajita night and so much more! No Instant Pot? No worries. Stove top instructions are included as well!
If you're doing a Whole30, cutting carbs or simply trying to add more vegetables into your diet, this Spanish Cauliflower Rice recipe is for you. If you do not fall into any of those categories, and you just love good food, this one is for you too!
The bold flavors of bell peppers, onions and garlic and a blend of zesty herbs and spices take boring frozen riced cauliflower to a whole new level. I'm not exaggerating when I say: THIS IS THE BEST CAULIFLOWER RICE DISH I'VE EVER CREATED.
It brings together all of those delicious flavors found in rice from a traditional Mexican restaurant while not being rice at all.
This Paleo, Whole30 and Keto Mexican rice alternative is one you're going to want to add to your weekly rotation because IT'S THE BOMB. Let's get cooking!
Quick Word from the Wise: Use Frozen Cauliflower Rice
I'm not ever going to try to convince you that riced cauliflower is just as satisfying as real rice. It's just not. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise, proceed with caution, BUT what I will say is this: cooking it from frozen churns out a pretty damn good dupe. Cooking frozen cauliflower rice results in light and fluffy "rice" in just a few minutes. That being said, there are two important reasons we're using frozen bagged cauliflower rice for this recipe.
- The grain-free food industry has come a very long way. EMBRACE IT and take advantage of the convenience of bagged frozen cauliflower rice. Ricing a head of fresh cauliflower is not enjoyable (not.at.all).
- Fresh cauliflower rice tends to get watery and mushy if cooked in an Instant Pot or on the stove. While you can absolutely cook it right in the Instant Pot or on the stove, the margin for error is pretty high. Cooking it from frozen results in the perfect rice-like texture.
What Else You'll Need for Instant Pot Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Onion (Yellow or White)
- Green Bell Pepper
- Fresh Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Broth (Chicken, Beef or Vegetable)
- Tomato Paste
- Smoked Paprika
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Fresh Cilantro (Optional)
Cooking Spanish Cauliflower Rice from Frozen in an Instant Pot
Prepping your produce for this dish is really all you have to do. Your pressure cooker will do the rest!
- Make sure to wash and dry all produce before getting started. Then, dice the onion and bell pepper and mince the garlic.
- Next, add the EVOO to the Instant Pot and program it to SAUTE. Heat the cooking oil for about a minute. You want it to be hot but not smoking.
- Add the onion, peppers and garlic to the pot and saute for a minute or so. Once the veggies begin to soften and become fragrant, promptly turn the Instant Pot off (hit CANCEL). Be careful not to burn the garlic!
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot with the vegetables (except for the cilantro). Give everything a really good stir before securing the lid in place and sealing the pressure valve. Program your Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 1 minute. Keep in mind that it will take 10 to 15 minutes for it to reach pressure. Be patient, my friend.
- As soon as the pot beeps to tell you it's finished, manually release the remaining pressure. Wait for the bobber to drop before removing the lid and turning the Instant Pot off. Fluff the "rice" with a fork. Don't worry -any excess liquid will thicken upon standing for a few minutes. If desired, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.
Stove Top Instructions
I'd hate for anyone without an Instant Pot to miss out on this spectacular recipe, so I've provided stove top instructions as well!
- In a large skillet, heat EVOO over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions, peppers and garlic to the pan and saute until softened and fragrant (2 to 3 minutes).
- Next, add ½ cup of broth and remaining ingredients to the pan and stir. Bring the liquid to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook (stirring occasionally) until the cauliflower is cooked through and most of the liquid has absorbed (5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and dig in!
Storing the Leftovers
Any leftovers will store really well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. That being said, this dish is an awesome recipe to add to your weekly meal prep routine! I found the flavors to be even more bold and delicious a day or two later!
Making Spanish Cauliflower Rice Vegan & Vegetarian-Friendly
If you'd prefer this dish be completely plant-based, simply use your favorite vegetable broth! Everything else is already good to go!
I hope you enjoy this Spanish Cauliflower Rice recipe as much as I do, If you make it, don't be shy! Please leave a rating and a comment below! I love when y'all do that! Are you an Instagram foodie like me? That's awesome! Tag me on the gram @paleoishkrista with #paleoishkristaeats in your beautiful food photos!
PIN NOW! COOK LATER!
This insanely yummy gluten-free and grain-free dish goes great with Spanish and Mexican-inspired main meals. Check out the recipes below for inspiration!
- Vegan, Paleo & Whole30 Jackfruit Carnitas
- "South of the Border" Slow Cooker Bolognese Stuffed Potatoes
- Blackened Shrimp Lettuce Wraps | Paleo & Whole30
Can't get enough cauliflower? Great because there's more recipes from where this one came from!
- Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Lemon & Garlic
- Cauliflower Rice “Stuffing” with Sausage (Paleo, Whole30)
Instant Pot Spanish Cauliflower Rice (Stove Top Instructions Included)
- ½ cup onion (yellow or white) medium diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper medium diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ¾ cup broth beef, chicken or vegetable (reduce to ½ cup if following stove top instructions)
- 2 12 ounce bags frozen riced cauliflower i.e Trader Joe's or Green Giant
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- fresh chopped cilantro as garnish (optional)
Prep the Vegetables
- Wash and dry all produce. Medium dice the onion and bell pepper and mince the garlic cloves.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the Instant Pot, turn on the SAUTE function and heat the oil until hot but not smoking (about 1 minute).
- Dump the onion, peppers and garlic into the Instant Pot and saute (stirring frequently) until the vegetables start to soften and become fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Turn the Instant Pot off (CANCEL).
- Add broth, frozen riced cauliflower, tomato paste and all of the dried herbs and spices to the pot. Give everything a good stir. Secure the lid, seal the pressure valve and program to HIGH PRESSURE COOK for 1 minute (it will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure).
- Once done cooking, quick release remaining pressure. Once all of the pressure has released, remove the lid, turn the Instant Pot off and fluff the "rice" with a fork. Excess liquid will thicken upon standing.
- Season to taste with additional salt. If desired, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.
Stove Top Instructions
- In a large skillet, add extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add diced onion, peppers and minced garlic to the pan and saute (stirring frequently) until the vegetables begin to soften and become fragrant (2 to 3 minutes).
- Next, add ½ cup of broth, frozen cauliflower, tomato paste and the remaining dried herbs and spices to the pan and stir. Bring the liquid to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered (stirring occasionally) until the riced cauliflower is defrosted and cooked through (5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat, season to taste with additional salt and serve with fresh chopped cilantro (if desired).
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