Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Appetizers & Side Dishes

Mexican cauliflower rice is easy to make, flavorful, low in carbs, and filled with nutrition from black beans, tomatoes, avocado and the cauliflower rice! It’s gluten free and can be made dairy free too!

This recipe for Mexican cauliflower rice is a fiesta of flavor in your mouth! Let’s be honest, cauliflower rice on it’s own is not the most flavorful vegetable. Jazzing it up like in this recipe with spices, veggies and beans takes it up a notch and will convince even the toughest of cauliflower skeptics (one being my boyfriend, Rob!) of how good cauliflower can be!

healthy mexican cauliflower rice

If you’re looking for a low carb meal or side dish option that’s not boring, this Mexican cauliflower rice is definitely it. Carbs are our bodies main source of energy, and so while I’m not fan of super low carb diets, I do think there are places where you can “upgrade” or “swap” your carbs for something more nutritious, which in this case is cauliflower rice!

Feel free to also make this recipe with half cauliflower rice, half brown rice for a happy medium.

Cauliflower is still definitely having its moment (TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi anyone?!), and for good reason! It’s packed with vitamin C, K and fiber. When you think antioxidants, you often think of fruit or berries, but cauliflower is a good source of them too!

This Mexican flavor inspired dish is by far my favorite way to eat cauliflower rice and I know you’ll love it too. It’s easy to throw together with stuff you probably have in your pantry and you can definitely use frozen, or fresh cauliflower rice.

ingredients for Mexican cauliflower rice

Ingredients for Mexican Cauliflower Rice

  • head of cauliflower or a bag of riced cauliflower
  • canned petite diced tomatoes
  • canned low-sodium black beans
  • jalapeno
  • shredded Mexican blend of cheese or cheddarfor a dairy free version, omit the cheese
  • red, yellow or orange pepper
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

To make this recipe, I used pre-riced cauliflower I found at the grocery store. Most grocery stores carry their own brand of it and I also like this brand for all of my riced and veggie noodle needs!

You can make cauliflower rice yourself too, and it’s super easy. Simply use a head of cauliflower and cut it into florets. Place the florets into the bowl of a food processor and process until you the riced texture. That’s it!

I know what you’re thinking. Can you use frozen cauliflower rice in this recipe?! That totally works! You may have to drain some of the excess water from the skillet when using frozen cauliflower rice.

Buy it riced for the recipe or rice it yourself — whichever method works for you and saves you money and time is great!

How to Make Mexican Cauliflower Rice With Mostly Canned Items

Aside from the fresh ingredients like cauliflower, jalapenos, avocado and cilantro, you can rely on canned items for the rest! Here I used canned tomatoes and canned black beans to shortcut the cooking process.

When buying canned goods I always look for ones that are BPA-free (most canned goods are these days!) and I choose ones that are “low in sodium” or say “no salt added”.

Wondering what other canned goods you should keep in your pantry to build healthy meals like this one? Check out this article I contributed to in well + good about the healthiest canned goods to always have in your pantry according to a dietitian!

What To Pair Mexican Cauliflower Rice With

This dish is super versatile! The added black beans give this meal more protein and fiber for staying power than if would have if it was just cauliflower rice. Plus there’s extra fiber and healthy fat for the added avocado!

You can eat it as is for a great plant-based meal, or pair it with chicken or fish in a Mexican cauliflower rice bowl for extra protein. You could even add a cup of rice or quinoa to the recipe if you are not looking for a low carb recipe.

I also put the leftovers in a quesadilla the next day topped with more avocado and a side of my favorite grain-free tortilla chips ever from Siete! It even works a dip with chips, which I think would be super fun to have out for game day if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to football watching foods!

healthy mexican cauliflower rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Mexican cauliflower rice is a great low carb, plant-based meal or side that will be your new favorite way to eat cauliflower rice!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 serings


  • 1 head of cauliflower or 1 bag of riced cauliflower
  • 1 can of low-sodium or no salt added black beans drained and rinsed*
  • 1 10 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 red orange, or yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeños diced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend or shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado diced


  • In a medium sauté pan added canned tomatoes, rinsed and drained black beans, pepper and jalapeños. Stir around to sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Drain off any excess liquid on the pan, and add in riced cauliflower, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cheese and cilantro.
  • Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the cauliflower is softened, but not mushy and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from heat and top with diced avocado, extra cilantro and enjoy!


* don’t skip the rinsing! This will ensure the liquid from the canned black beans won’t make your cauliflower soggy.

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mexican cauliflower rice with black beans
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2 thoughts on “Mexican Cauliflower Rice

  1. This recipe was absolutely delicious, and so easy to make! I am keeping it as one of my favorite gluten-free meat-free meals.