Snapshot Cooking

The Easiest (and Tastiest) Ways to Upgrade Trader Joe's Cauliflower Rice

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn's easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.

When you hear the words "Trader Joe's" and "cauliflower," the grocery store's gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi — which is so popular they can barely keep it on the shelves — likely comes to mind. But let us not forget the original trendy cauliflower alternative that helped boost the veggie into the spotlight: Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower. Ever since the 15-ounce bags of crunchy rice-like florets and stems were released in 2015, it has proven to be one of the store's most popular items.

Sure, you can use it in place of rice in a grain bowl, or serve it as a simple side to chicken and veggies. But I think the riced cauliflower, which on its own is very bland, deserves a little more love than that. So I strolled the aisles of Trader Joe's and found five products — everything from a Fondue kit to a yellow curry sauce — that transform the veggie into super-flavorful side dishes in barely no time at all. They all yield such different results, in fact, that you could try one every day this week and never get tired of the cult-favorite veg.

5 Snapshot Recipes for 2-Ingredient Cauliflower Rice Side Dishes

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Cuban-Style Cauliflower Rice and Beans

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 (16-ounce) bag Riced Cauliflower and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 (15.5-ounce) can Trader Joe's Cuban Style Black Beans and their liquid and cook until the beans are warm, the rice is tender, and the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Curried Cauliflower Rice

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 (16-ounce) bag Riced Cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add 1 (11-ounce) jar Thai Yellow Curry Sauce and cook until the sauce is bubbling and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes more. (Use less sauce for a less saucy rice). Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with shrimp, tofu, mixed vegetables, etc.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Italian-Style Tomato Rice

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 (16-ounce) bag Riced Cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add 1 (12-ounce) jar Trader Giotto's Bruschetta and cook until the tomatoes are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with crispy fish or sausage.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Cheesy Risotto-Style Cauliflower Rice

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 (16-ounce) bag Riced Cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Squeeze in 1/3 of a 1 (14.1-ounce) box Trader Joe's Fondue and use a spoon to break it into smaller pieces. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Stir to fully incorporate, season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately. Serve with roasted chicken or top with a poached egg.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Spicy Mediterranean-Style Cauliflower Rice

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 (16-ounce) bag Riced Cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add 1 (8-ounce) container Zhoug Sauce and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with falafel, shawarma, pita pockets, etc.

What's your favorite way to prepare Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower? Tell us in the comments below!

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