This healthy vegan cauliflower fried rice is a fast and easy weeknight dinner. It's also perfect for a vegetable-packed lunch meal prep.
Fried rice is such a classic comforting dinner. It's fast, easy and so filling. Of course, it can also be pretty heavy with all of that rice. And if you order it at a restaurant, it's almost guaranteed to be greasy.
That's why this fast and easy cauliflower fried rice is our new favorite version of the dish! It's healthy, packed with colorful vegetables and plant-based protein and just as fast to throw together.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
The first step to making this easy weeknight dinner is ricing cauliflower.
Of course, you can pick up a bag of riced cauliflower at most grocery stores these days. So that's an option if you're in a pinch. But if you already have a head of cauliflower on hand or are trying to avoid the plastic packaging, it's easy to make your own riced cauliflower at home.
Simply chop a whole head of cauliflower into smaller florets. There's no need to remove the stems, as these turn into rice just like the rest of the veggie!
To slice your head of cauliflower, remove the large stem at the base. Turn the cauliflower over and use your knife to separate the florets at their natural meeting points.
The cauliflower florets just need to be small enough to fit comfortably inside a food processor.
Give the cauliflower a few quick pulses in the food processor, and voila: freshly made cauliflower rice. In just a few quick minutes.
Pro tip: make extra cauliflower rice and freeze it so you don't have to go through the trouble in the future!
Now that your rice is ready, let's move on to the rest of this healthy plant-based recipe.
Press the tofu
While you chop up the other vegetables, I recommend setting your tofu up to drain. To do this, wrap the tofu block in a clean dish towel. Place something heavy on top (like a pan or a few plates) and let it sit while you move on with the rest of the recipe.
This allows extra moisture to come out of the tofu and helps it crisp up when you're cooking the fried rice. If you don't have time for this step, it's not the end of the world, just gently pat the tofu dry before adding to the pan.
Prepare the Vegetables
While the tofu is being pressed, dice your carrots, yellow bell pepper, onion and garlic.
Side note: since you already have your food processor out and handy, why not toss everything in and give it a few pulses to break down?
Next, toss all of your diced vegetable pieces into a hot wok or frying pan. It's key to let the pan and oil get really hot for this cauliflower fried rice recipe. You don't want anything to burn, of course, so you also want to keep everything moving in the pan.
As soon as the vegetables are nice and softened (only takes a few minutes), get them off of the heat and into a bowl on the side.
Crisp the Tofu
Next, crumble the tofu directly into the still-hot skillet. I love to crumble tofu with my hands rather than slicing it into neat cubes. The tearing gives the tofu extra surface area to crisp up and absorb flavors. Plus, it's easier!
Again, it's important to keep the tofu moving in the pan to avoid burning.
Add in the Cauliflower Rice
Finally, toss your riced cauliflower into the wok and cook it down for a few minutes. It's so small at this point that the cauliflower doesn't take long to break down. I like to also add aromatics to the rice while it cooks. In this case, garlic and ginger flavor our vegan fried cauliflower rice.
Once the riced cauliflower is nice and soft, add everything back in, along with the soy sauce (or tamari), chili garlic sauce and a sprinkle of salt.
I love the chili garlic sauce from Huy Fong Foods. It's available at most grocery stores. However, Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce will also work in this recipe.
Optionally, you can drizzle this easy cauliflower fried rice with sesame oil and/or seeds for garnish. I recommend a sprinkle of sliced scallions for some green on top of this easy Asian dinner.
More Easy Weeknight Dinners
If you make this Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
This healthy plant-based cauliflower fried rice is a fast and easy weeknight dinner. It's also perfect for a vegetable-packed lunch meal prep.
- 2 tbsp neutral oil, divided
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 14 oz container extra firm tofu, dried and pressed if you have time
- 1 cauliflower head, riced, or 1 bag of cauliflower rice
- 4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce or sriracha, plus more to taste
- Sesame oil to taste, optional
- 3 scallions, sliced thinly
- Sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
- Heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. When the oil is hot, add the carrots, yellow pepper and onion. Cook, tossing frequently, until softened. Remove the veggies to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tbsp canola oil in the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the tofu into the skillet and cook until it crisps up. Remove the tofu to the bowl with the veggies.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower rice, increase heat to high, and cook until soft but not mushy.
- Add the vegetables, tofu, soy sauce, salt and chili garlic sauce/sriracha to the skillet and toss everything to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning with more spice and salt.
- Top with sliced scallions, drizzle with sesame oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.