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How to Prep and Freeze Cauliflower Rice

If you are Paleo, doing the Whole30 food challenge, or just eating healthy, learning how to prep and freeze cauliflower rice can save you a lot of time in the kitchen and help you have healthy food on hand when you need it.

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

When we did the Whole30 food challenge this past fall I thought the two hardest parts were not having any grains and having to make everything from scratch all of the time. The grains were so hard because I really missed having the filler in the meal.  I never realized it before but we were pretty addicted to the carbs.  We almost always have rice or potatoes or some sort of bread with our meal.

I had heard of cauliflower rice and after the first few days of Whole30 REALLY needed something to fill up the meal and shake things up a little bit.  So I tried it and I liked it!  Now to be clear, it didn’t really taste like rice, and the texture wasn’t exactly like rice, BUT it was really good in it’s own right.  I served it just like I would rice at any meal and it was a perfect compliment to the meal.  In fact, every time we had the cauliflower rice I always felt satisfied and not like I was missing anything.

{To see ALL of our Whole30 Recipes, click here!}

Making the cauliflower rice is pretty simple, but even better, I tried a couple of methods and found a way I could prep a super-sized batch and then freeze it so that I could quickly pop it in for dinner.  HUGE win!  It was a big time saver not to have to get out the food processor and wash all the pieces each time I wanted cauliflower rice for dinner.

I wanted to share my process to help make healthy eating quick and easy for you too.

How to Prep Cauliflower Rice

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

There are a couple of methods you can use to make cauliflower rice.  My good friends at Stay Fit Mom swear by the cauliflower rice blender method.  I have a serious infatuation with my food processor though, so I knew that I wanted to use it.  Pick your favorite kitchen tool and go for it.

First wash your cauliflower.  I usually get 2 pound bags of precut cauliflower florets at Costco, but you can also by a head at your local grocery store and roughly chop the florets and stalks and discard the stems and greens.

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

Place about a pound of the cauliflower in the food processor.  Pulse the food processor until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice.  Be careful to watch the texture not to pulse too much or you can turn the cauliflower into more of a mash and not a rice.

Super simple!

How to Freeze Cauliflower Rice

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

Once you have your cauliflower riced, you can get it ready to freeze.

First make sure your rice is nice and dry.  If you used the food processor it should be good to go.  If you used the blender method you will want to make sure to pat it dry and make sure there is not much excess moisture.

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

Next portion it out into separate freezer bags in the quantity that you need for each meal.  I usually account for 1/2 cup per person, or 1 cup if it is a main element of the meal like in a burrito bowl or fried rice.

I use quart sized freezer bags, scoop the cauliflower in then squeeze the air out and seal.

To help store the rice, flatten it out before you put it in the freezer then stack the bags on top of each other to minimize the amount of space you need.

Make sure to use a sharpie to label the bags with the date. Standard freezing guidelines say cauliflower can stay frozen for up to 6 months.

The whole process ends up to take less than an hour and you can make enough cauliflower for many meals.  I like to do about 4 pounds at a time which usually gives me about 8 bags in the freezer to pull out for a family sized easy dinner.

To use the cauliflower you can either pop it in the refrigerator the night before and let it thaw over the day, or use the defrost on the microwave.  But I usually just put it in the frying pan with the lid on for a few minutes and it thaws right up and is ready to be seasoned and cooked any way you like it!

Update:  Since writing this post I have received many helpful messages from readers.  You can actually buy pre-made cauli rice in the freezer section at many stores.  I got the opportunity to sample the cauli rice from Boulder Canyon which was really good, especially when you don’t have time to prep it yourself.

Check out some of my FAVORITE ways to cook cauliflower rice!

  1. Mexican Cauliflower Rice – We have a SERIOUS addiction to this stuff.  I am long off of Whole30 now but we still eat it because it is just that good.  Plus, gluten free, dairy free, and low calorie and low carb… you just can’t beat it!Mexican Cauliflower Rice recipe -Get your Mexican food fix while you are on Whole30!
  2. Roasted Cauliflower Rice– My friend Tracy made this recipe for me the first time I ever had cauli rice and it is a classic and a keeper!  Perfect to compliment any dish but not overpower it.Roasted Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Low carb, gluten free side dish
  3. Indian Spiced Cauliflower Rice– Ok I admit that i have not actually tried this recipe yet, but anything my friend Karen makes is DELISH and we have been on an Indian kick lately so this is absolutely next on my list!Indian cauliflower rice recipe - low carb, gluten free side dish option. Love the indian flavors!!

How to Prep & Freeze Cauliflower Rice

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How to Prep and Freeze Cauliflower Rice
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets
  • 4 quart sized freezer bags
Instructions
  1. Place one pound of cauliflower into the food processor and pulse until the consistency resembles rice. Be careful not to over process.
  2. Scoop about 2 cups of riced cauliflower into each freezer bag.
  3. Press air out of bag and seal.
  4. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  5. Flatten bags and stack to freeze.
  6. To thaw place the cauliflower into the refrigerator 24 hours before you want to use it.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I love this tutorial! I’ve heard so much about cauliflower rice and I think the concept sounds good, but I had NO IDEA how to actually go about turning the veggie into a rice-like texture! Pinned!

    • says

      Thanks Blair! Kind of crazy how easy it is. And for how healthy it is I actually think it is a pretty awesome exchange. Definitely one of our highlights of doing the whole 30!!

  2. Melanie says

    I am going to try it this weekend. Question. Does it make your freezer stink? I tried once to food process a double batch. Cooked one that night, left one uncooked but processed in the refrigerator. Holy Moly was it stinky! :)

    • says

      Standard vegetable freezing guidelines say that you can freeze cauliflower for 6-12 months. We have never left it in our freezer that long though. Hope this helps!

    • says

      I have never blanched mine and it is always worked well with how I cook it. When you freeze veggies it usually changes their cellular structure a bit since the water expands when it freezes, but that is similar to what happens when it is cooked, so if you plan on cooking it then I think it shouldn’t matter! I do always cook mine on pretty high heat to avoid it being mushy or watery.

      • Liliana says

        Tip – once the cauliflower is “riced”, place in a bowl, add some salt, let it sit for 30 mins, then put in a muslin cloth, squeeze and drain the excess liquid. Then freeze :O)

    • says

      Thank you so much Tabitha! We moved last year and don’t have a Trader Joes close anymore but glad to know they have it if we get back close to one! So glad this was helpful!

  3. Betsy says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I love cauliflower rice but find it time consuming. I have wondered if I could freeze it, glad to hear someone else had success!!

  4. nan2oz says

    Thanks for taking the time to post about how to freeze. Thankfully I had done precisely what you did (only on a box grater- sadly no food processor) and o froze the “rice” uncooked so I could later fry quicker on weeknights. Glad to know it was the safe method to have done!! I also buy heads of caluliflower while its on sale and stock up–great item to sub in may casserole dishes.

  5. Tracie says

    Going to have to try this…we have a Trader Joes in the town my husband works in which I sent him to and they indicated if you were not in the store when they opened your out of luck…so doing this on my own!

  6. says

    I’m not sure how I’m missed this post! This is SUCH an amazing idea! I love cauliflower rice but I never thought to freeze it ahead!! I am so going to try this. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy for all the processing come dinner time, I’m loving the idea of having that step finished. Thanks for the link love on my Indian version! :)

  7. Rachelle says

    This method MAY work if you use the cauliflower in a week or so. I’m concerned that you deem it safe with a shelf-life of 6 months, That is totally incorrect. That shelf life is for BLANCHED cauliflower. Most vegetables require blanching to kill the enzymes that will spoil the food. I’ve been seeking a way to safely freeze cauliflower rice and not get food poisoning. This method should only be used if the cauliflower will be used within a week or so. Otherwise, people will play roulette with food poisoning.

  8. Geraldine Denise Kuss says

    I blanch the cauliflower florets before ricing, I’ve never ever heard that veggies are good for six months without blanching!After blanching into the food processor and then I rice it all and freeze. THEN, yes it’s all good for a long time!

  9. M.V Clarke says

    I checked online and found out that I can soak cauliflower in salt and water instead of blanching. Tried this and it works like a charm.

  10. Dede says

    Now Costco sells double bags of the cauliflower rice. I always pick up a few when I can’t slow down enough to process my own. I use one bag to make our pizza crust (my son and husband say it’s THE BEST), one bag for our mashed potatoes (a BIG hit at our family gatherings. They always ask me to make it), fried rice, etc. I also make a big batch of my own super healthy spaghetti and turn it into 3 to 4 different meals. 1st Spaghetti, of course. Over Zucchini noodles. 2nd: stuff red or green pepper with some of the ‘spaghetti’ mixture (you can add different spices at this time to change the flavor), for stuffed peppers, adding cheese on top after pepper and mixture is heated. 3rd, mini Shepherd pies. I take some of the ‘spaghetti’ and add like peas, carrots, what you like, heat all that up in a skillet, then put into ramekin dishes and top with my cauliflower mashed potatoes and bake in the oven till potatoes are brown. 4th. I make my zucchini lasagna. I take like 1/2 lb to 1 lbs of the spaghetti and add 1 lb of spice or mild italian sausage that I pre cooked. Make my cheese layer mixture. Now do the layers! I love being creative and trying to cook large amounts ahead of time to make several meals during the busy week.

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