Make low-carb Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Vegetables in the oven using frozen OR fresh veggies. You don’t need to defrost them first either!
Ever since discovering the magic of roasting cauliflower rice so it becomes soft and fluffy, we’ve been making variations like this one. It’s a “pilaf” because it has lots of flavor from herbs and spices.
But, unlike traditional vegetable rice pilaf that cooks on the stove-top, this version bakes in the oven. Diced vegetables are tossed in too so they soften and caramelize at the same time.
Which brings me to why I think you’ll love this low-carb, gluten-free side dish (even if you don’t follow a particular diet):
- It’s customizable based upon whatever fresh and/or frozen ingredients you have on hand.
- Using frozen veggies is a time-saver and it’s budget-friendly.
- You can even turn it into a sheet pan meal!
The pan’s the limit when it comes to this recipe! A large standard sheet pan holds about 4-5 cups of riced and diced vegetables. It will be tight. But, strive to smooth all the ingredients into a single layer.
Use a combination of fresh or frozen:
- cauliflower – to make it fresh, process cauliflower florets in a food processor to resemble rice
- peppers (red or green)
Tip: You’ll find bags of frozen cauli-rice and bags of frozen diced vegetable mixes on the freezer aisle. Buy one of each and mix them together. You’ll have all the vegetables prepped and ready to go for this recipe!
In the article All about Mirepoix, Serious Eats details the differences between mirepoix, trinity and other regional mixtures. Or, you can just pick the one you like the most when you’re at the grocery store!
We often use carrots instead of peppers and you’ll find pictures of the final dish both ways. Chopped mushrooms are a nice addition too.
Season the mixture by tossing it with olive oil and fresh or dried herbs, such as:
- lemon pepper seasoning
- creole seasoning for a spicy version
*We used these ingredients.
Mix garlic and dried herbs in before you bake the pilaf. Stir fresh herbs in just before serving.
Punch the flavor up even more by adding some of these ingredients after the vegetables are done:
- Nuts – particularly roasted and chopped walnuts, almonds or pinenuts
- Dried fruit – you don’t need a lot to get the flavor.
- Sundried tomatoes
- Parmesan Cheese – or Asiago
Make it a meal
Add cooked sausage, ground or cut into slices, and turn Cauliflower Rice Pilaf into a complete meal. The sausage can be cooked right along with the vegetables or on the side.
We usually cook it separately because my daughter adds a vegan sausage and I love chicken sausage. That way everyone’s happy. 🙂
Tip: If you need to double the recipe, place the oven racks right next to each other. In my oven that leaves just enough room to slide a sheet pan in the middle. Put the sheet pans into the oven long ways and push each one to the side so they only overlap a little in the middle.
More Cauliflower Rice Recipes
Check out Ways to use Frozen Cauliflower Rice which includes these popular dishes:
Please rate this recipe and tag @DinnerMom or #DinnerMom if you make it. We love to see and SHARE what you’re cooking up!
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Vegetables Recipe
- 3 cups cauliflower rice frozen or fresh
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup carrot diced
- 1/2 cup red pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon parsley chopped; 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 Tablespoon thyme 1 teaspoon dried
- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- If using frozen cauliflower, break up any frozen clumps, but do NOT defrost.
- Mound cauliflower rice, onion, celery, carrots and garlic in the center of a sheet pan coated with non-stick cooking spray.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top and toss to combine. (I use my hands!)
- Spread cauliflower rice and vegetables into an even layer on the sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper or wait and season to taste at serving time.
- Roast mixture in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning the rice half-way through with a spatula or large spoon. If cooking from frozen, it will take about 25 minutes.
- Remove cauliflower rice vegetable pilaf from oven to serving bowl, scraping up all the browned bits on the pan.
- Toss with additional mix-ins if using (see notes) and enjoy!