Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Hi. Here’s a recipe for you in case you bought the huge bag of cauliflower rice at Costco and are wondering what to do with it. If you didn’t, and you just have regular rice, you could go crazy and use it here as well. If you rice your own cauliflower, you’re an inspiration.

I’m not feeling super chatty as I just spent two hours on the phone with my sister so I’m not gonna make small talk today. I just wanted to get this to you in case you are in need of a new recipe. I think most of us are at this point in quarantine life!

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

(6 -8 servings)

16 ounces frozen riced cauliflower (about 2 cups, fresh works too)

1 cup onion, chopped (half of a large onion)

1 cup bell peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano flakes (sub with Greek/Italian oregano)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1 pound ground turkey, beef, or chicken

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 1/2 cups *chicken, beef, or vegetable stock/broth or water

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can black olives, drained and halved or chopped

*Use what you have in the way of liquids. A stock or broth will be more flavorful but water is fine, you might just need to add some extra salt at the end of cooking.


Place the frozen cauliflower rice in a fine, mesh strainer. Run some hot water over it, then allow it to thaw and drain while you cook the rest of the ingredients. Alternatively, you could thaw it in the microwave, but it will still need to drain.

Chop the onion and peppers (a small dice). I like to use the tri-colored peppers from Costco so I took about 1/3 from each and saved the rest to snack on. Using one color pepper is perfectly adequate, it could even be green.

Place the olive oil, onions, and peppers in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add a couple pinches of kosher salt (or about 1/2 teaspoon table salt) and some freshly ground pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon, go easy as you can always add more later) along with the paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaf.

Cook, occasionally stirring, over medium heat until the onions and peppers are soft; 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the ground meat (I used turkey) and stir it in until it’s well combined with the onions and peppers. Allow it to cook all the way through, about 10 more minutes, occasionally stirring.

Stir in the the tomato paste, stock/broth/water, and lime juice. Simmer on medium heat while you gather the remaining ingredients.

If you are using whole olives, slice them in half lengthwise.

Add the thawed, drained cauliflower (if it’s still quite wet, blot with a towel first to soak up some water) and then the rinsed drained beans. Finally, add the olives. Stirring, continue to cook until heated through.

Garnish with some cilantro and limes if you like. A couple people in my house added some grated cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Today I’m borrowing a quote from my friend Cassie’s latest newsletter for Roundabout Books, her lovely bookstore here in Bend. I think it’s so appropriate for the ever-changing time in which we find ourselves. Thank you, Cassie. I can’t wait to sit and drink coffee and chat in your cozy shop again. Meanwhile, Roundabout Books is still open for online and pick-up orders!

Inside the word emergency is “emerge,” from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark