Spanish Rice

I have found that many times I can come up with a main dish to make for dinner, but unless I want roasted broccoli or asparagus for the fourth time that week, I sometimes have a hard time thinking of a good side dish to pair it with.  Sure, I could make a salad and call it a day, but there are times when I want something different that still fits the low carb model.  I think that’s why, in the Standard American Diet, pasta, rice, and potatoes are staples because you can use them in so many different ways to bulk up a meal.  Cauliflower rice is a great, versatile side dish that can be made to accompany many different kinds of protein.  Like regular white or brown rice, it will absorb the flavors of the seasonings and sauces you choose.  It can be used as fried rice, the base of a stir fry, formed into sushi rolls, or used in pretty much any way regular rice is eaten.  I’ve seen many different low carb Mexican dishes the last few years, and I think this Spanish rice would be the perfect pairing for carnitas, salsa chicken, or even a taco salad.

I began by gathering my ingredients shown above.

First I removed florets from the cauliflower head and then put them in my food processor for about 10 seconds until they had the consistency of rice.

Next I finely chopped the yellow onion.

In a large pan I heated the olive oil over medium low heat before adding the onion and minced garlic.  I sauteed them for a few minutes until the onions were translucent, and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  To that mixture I added the tomato paste and chicken broth.  I poured in the cauliflower rice and stirred until everything was combined.  I let the mixture cook another 2 or 3 minutes until the rice was warm and tender.  This is such an easy side dish for week nights because it takes practically no time at all.  I love how cauliflower takes on the flavors of the ingredients around it, making it the perfect vegetable base for low carb eating.  I’d love to hear some ways you use cauliflower, or other vegetables, as side dishes in your everyday cooking as well!

Spanish Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Spanish Rice


  • 4c cauliflower rice
  • 2tblsp olive oil
  • 2tblsp tomato paste
  • 1/2c chicken broth
  • 1/4c yellow onion
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • To Taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Remove florets from the head of cauliflower; place in a food processor for about 10 seconds until they have the consistency of rice.
  2. Finely dice the yellow onion.
  3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat and add the onion and garlic.
  4. Saute until the onion is translucent, and then add salt and pepper.
  5. Add the tomato paste and chicken broth.
  6. Stir in the cauliflower rice until everything is fully incorporated; cook 2-3 minutes until rice is tender and warm.

Nutrtional Information

Per serving: 102 calories, 8g total carbs, 5g net carbs, 8g fat, 2g protein (Note: Please remember these numbers are based on the brands I used and may vary slightly with other brands.)

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  1. Jo

    This is an old time favorite in my family (made, of course with the real-deal white rice) and I have missed it. I need some tomato paste first, but perhaps I will do a little riff on it and make it Fried Rice! That would even taste yummy! Thanks for the great recipes and even the spin off,\

  2. I really like this recipe. Cauliflower rice can be appealing but it often ends up fairly drab. I find that to be a serious problem for anyone who doesn’t like cauliflower all that much. Your recipe seems like it would be a great alternative and would be much more enjoyable to eat.

  3. Linda Chudej

    Thanks for this recipe. It’s going to help me deal with one of the things I miss most on a low-carb eating plan, rice! I’m glad I found Butter Is Not A Carb & look forward to trying the recipes.

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