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Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice

by Sophie

If you love the idea of making a big batch of cauliflower rice without making a huge mess in the kitchen, then here it is – my version of instant pot cauliflower rice. It’s easy, takes 1-minute of cooking time and is super flavorful. Plus, you can add seasonings while cooking for a bowl of yum, and perfectly seasoned cauliflower rice in instant pot.

Cooking cauliflower in instant pot is little trickier than I ever imagined. While the cook time is always short, the pressure release time is the real problem. In most of my cauliflower recipes, I DO NOT wait till the pressure valve releases pressure naturally. I repeat again, that I do not wait till the NPR. If you have ever cooked cauliflower in the instant pot and failed for some reason, then this might be the cause. 

Because natural pressure release overcooks cauliflower, you will end up with some nasty smelling, mushy cauliflower at the end of your recipe. Plus, it doesn’t taste great. Therefore, no matter what cauliflower recipe you are cooking, pay close attention to the natural pressure release time. Well, let’s be back to our instant pot cauliflower rice discussion. Shall we begin?

I love cauliflower rice even before I had diabetes. It was light, full of fibers and good for tummy. Plus, have a nice bite that tastes amazing with curries. Cauliflower rice is also very versatile. You can create some yummy fried rice by just replacing the rice, brown rice and quinoa with two cups of cauliflower rice. 

Here is Fried Rice recipe! Do not forget to swap brown rice for cauliflower rice for a lighter version.

The reason of making cauliflower rice in instant pot is because I don’t like babysitting my food while cooking. Most of the time while making cauli-rice in stove top, it ended up heavily browned or charred cauli-rice instead of soft, fluffy and rice-like cauli-rice. In contrast, the instant pot cooking elevates the flavors in cauliflower, then adds the right amount of softness to it and again, no babysitting. But, you need to pay close attention to NPR; if not, you will royally screw up your first batch of cauliflower rice which may end up in your trashcan. 

Trick to Make Perfect Cauliflower Rice in Instant Pot:

The trick to cooking perfect cauliflower rice are by:

  • keeping the cauliflower florets really big. While steaming, it will not overcook if you have big florets on the steam pan.
  • Another trick to avoid overcooking is by doing a QPR or quick pressure release.
  • Though it increases the cooking temperature suddenly, it releases pressure and helps to avoid overcooking. Result – soft yet lightly chewy and fluffy cauliflower rice.
  • Another and most important of all is to give your cauliflower an ice-water bath as soon as you take them out from the steam pan. This ensures no further cooking and perfectly al-dente and fluffy cauli rice.
  • The last trick that is optional though is to drain your cauliflower rice a little. This is important if you want to freeze your cauliflower rice and want to use it for some other recipes other than fried rice.
  • Draining helps to release some of that unwanted extra moisture and then all you will be left is perfect cauliflower rice to use for other recipes.

Some of my most loved cauliflower recipes are:

What is the Cooking Time of Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice?

The cooking time is just 1 minute. Because instant pot takes a few minutes to build pressure, I always put the water in sauté mode for 5 minutes and then insert the steam pot with cauliflower florets. I do this almost always because I hate mushy cauliflower, unless its mashed cauliflower. In that way, instant pot just cooks cauliflower for 1 minute and no extra time under the steam considering we do a QPR and give florets a cool ice-water bath. 

If you like to buy big bags of cauliflower rice, then you still can use this process to cook your cauliflower rice. Steam the rice for 1 minute and done. If you want, you can use the pot in pot style and add seasoning to it before cooking. It absorbs the flavors really well and ready to be served right after steaming. 

How to Make Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice:

Clean and Prep Cauliflower:

  • Start with cutting the cauliflower. Believe it or not, cauliflowers are notorious for having lots of bugs and worms hiding in them. The best way to clean the cauliflower is by cleaning them in hot water.
  • Cut out the main stalk and remove the leaves and leaf stems.
  • Then wash it really thoroughly under tap water or immerse in hot water for one minute.
  • If you want, you can also add turmeric here. But this step is optional.
  • Then rinse, and cut the cauliflower. Remember you need to cut big florets. So cut big florets and transfer florets to a steam basket.
  • I usually do not season cauliflower at this point unless I am using the rice for some recipe.
  • But if you want to flavor your cauliflower, dry seasonings and poultry broth powder work the best. Just slather the florets with seasoning paste or mixture and pack in a pot or place on a foil before steaming.

Steam in Instant Pot:

  • Bring the instant pot to a saute mode and add 1 cup of water. Allow the water to boil, and insert a trivet.
  • Once the water starts to boil, insert the steam rack with cauliflower and change the instant pot to a steam mode and set the time to 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, quick-release pressure and take the steam rack out.
  • Give cauliflowers an iced bath and transfer them to a colander.
  • At this point, cauliflower florets will be soft enough for a potato masher for fine shredding. If you want, you can also use a hand blender with a chopper attachment to shred the cauliflower florets till riced.
  • If you are like me and want perfectly riced cauliflower, then transfer the cauliflower florets to a food processor and process until riced. Your cauliflower rice is ready.

NOTE: If you want to use cauliflower rice for another recipe, then use a cheesecloth or kitchen towel to lightly drain the water from the riced cauliflower. For freezing, divide the riced cauliflower into individual portions and transfer them to freezer-safe boxes or ziplock bags. Then store them for a month. Reheat cauliflower rice before serving and add a little butter or oil while reheating frozen cauliflower rice. It helps to fluff up the rice really well. Although I love fresh cauliflower rice a lot more, I freeze some batch especially to use it for other recipes. 

I hope you make and enjoy this recipe just the way I do. If so, please leave a star rating just by clicking on the stars on the recipe card. 

Instant pot Cauliflower Rice, quick and easy process and makes a huge batch

Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice

Make a big batch of cauliflower rice in just under five minute. My version of instant pot cauliflower rice is quick, al-dente and perfectly cooked.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: 5-minute fried rice, cauliflower recipe, cauliflower recipes, easy cauliflower rice, instant pot cauliflower, instant pot cauliflower rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 25kcal
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 Tsp vegan chicken broth powder
  • 1 Tsp Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

Clean and Prep Cauliflower

  • Start with cutting the cauliflower. Believe it or not, cauliflowers are notorious for having lots of bugs and worms hiding in them.
  • The best way to clean the cauliflower is by cleaning them in hot water. Cut out the main stalk and remove the leaves and leaf stems. Then wash it really thoroughly under tap water or immerse in hot water for one minute.
  • If you want, you can also add turmeric here. But that step is optional. Then rinse, and cut the cauliflower.
  • Remember you need to cut big florets. So cut big florets and transfer florets to a steam basket. I usually do not season cauliflower at this point unless I am using the rice for some recipe.
  • But if you want to flavor your cauliflower, dry seasonings and poultry broth powder works the best. Just slather the florets with seasoning paste or mixture and pack in a pot or place on a foil before steaming.

Steam in Instant Pot

  • Bring the instant pot to a saute mode and add 1 cup of water. Allow the water to boil, and insert a trivet.
  • Once the water starts to boil, insert the steam rack with cauliflower and put the instant pot into a steam mode and set the time to 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, quick release pressure and take the steam rack out. Give cauliflowers an iced bath and transfer them to a colander.
  • At this point, cauliflower florets will be soft enough for a potato masher for fine shredding.
  • If you want, you can also use a hand blender with chopper attachment to shred the cauliflower florets till riced.
  • If you are like me and want perfectly riced cauliflower, then transfer the cauliflower florets to a food processor and process until riced. Your cauliflower rice is ready.

Notes

  • If you want to use cauliflower rice for another recipe, then use a cheese cloth or kitchen towel to lightly drain the water from the riced cauliflower.
  • For freezing, divide the riced cauliflower into individual portions and transfer them to freezer safe boxes or ziplock bags. Then store them for a month.
  • Reheat cauliflower rice before serving and add a little butter or oil while reheating frozen cauliflower rice. It helps to fluff up the rice really well.
  • Although I love fresh cauliflower rice a lot more, I freeze some batch especially to use it for other recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 200g | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g

Want to pin this recipe? Click here to pinit!

Instant Pot cauliflower rice, ready in a minute. It's vegan, keto and #easyrecipe #instantpotrecipes #veganrecipes #veganketo #mydaintysoulcurry

What is cauliflower rice?

Cauliflower rice is processed or minced cauliflower florets (raw or steamed) until they appear like small grains of rice or couscous. This is often used in a variety of recipes as a replacement of rice.

How do you make cauliflower rice?

You can either make cauliflower rice in food processor, box grater or in instant pot. Cut open a cauliflower head and cut small florets. Process in a food processor for 1 minute or more till the mixture looks like rice grains. Squeeze out excess moisture and use the riced cauliflower as it is, cook or steam or use it in different recipes. 

Why should you make cauliflower rice in instant pot?

It’s convenient and quick. No babysitting required or no stirring. Less mess in the kitchen. It’s time saving and cheap. Instant pot Cauliflower rice recipe makes a huge batch in minutes. That means you don’t have to buy a bag of cauliflower rice again.

How many carbs are in 1 cup of cauliflower rice?

Cauliflower has just 5 grams of carb per a cup of serving. Plus, it has good minerals, vitamins and plant-based phyto chemicals that supply healthy nutrients to the body. Learn more about health benefits of cauliflower rice.

Is Cauliflower Rice a Carb or Vegetable?

Cauliflower rice is finely shredded cauliflower florets that resembles small grains of rice. It is a simple and easy way to swap high-calorie and high-carb grains for a healthy low-carb vegetable.

How many calories are in a cup of cooked cauliflower rice?

Simple uncooked riced cauliflower is just 25 calories per serving. If you cook cauliflower rice with coconut oil or butter, the calories per cup of cooked cauliflower rice are 62 calories.

I hope you make and enjoy this recipe just the way I do. If so, please leave a star rating just by clicking on the stars on the recipe card. 

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9 comments

Kate | The Organized Dream July 24, 2019 - 4:47 pm

5 stars
This recipe seems absolutely delicious and perfectly simple! I have been wanting to try cauliflower rice for quite some time now! I’m pinning this!

Reply
Kristal July 24, 2019 - 7:38 pm

5 stars
We got a instant pot last year for Christmas and it is amazing. I will try this recipes, it sounds good.

Reply
Karen Giuliana July 24, 2019 - 9:01 pm

5 stars
Cannot wait to try this recipe! I’ve been dying to try a cauliflower recipe but always so scared it’ll just come out horrible. But this look pretty simple and looks delicious. Thanks for sharing!!

Reply
Elena July 25, 2019 - 12:21 am

I love how simple this is! I hate the mess of making cauliflower rice, so usually just buy it premade. This will definitely save me some money! Thanks!

Reply
Stine Mari July 25, 2019 - 8:34 am

5 stars
I love how thorough this recipe is, with a lot of tips and tricks!

Reply
Kasey Ma July 25, 2019 - 9:23 am

I’ve heard so many things about cauliflower rice. I can’t wait to try this!

Kasey Ma
http://www.TheStyleWright.com

Email: [email protected]

Reply
Tiffany Wood July 25, 2019 - 9:42 am

omg ready in one-minute? sounds too good to be true!
a million xo’s!
T

Reply
Madi Rowan July 25, 2019 - 2:44 pm

5 stars
Loving how easy this recipe is! I really need to get a instant pot! I think I”d get a lot of use out of it!

-madi xo | http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

Reply
Autumn July 25, 2019 - 3:27 pm

This looks so good! I’ve only ever eaten the frozen cauliflower, so I bet this is so much better!

Reply

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