Keto Mexican Rice is a flavorful side dish that is made using cauliflower. This low-carb rice dish is full of authentic flavor and can replace regular rice when you’re watching your carb intake. Gluten-free, grain-free, and keto-friendly.

A bowl of keto mexican cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is a breeze to make. It’s the perfect substitute for regular rice when you are avoiding simple carbs.

Cauliflower rice is sautéed with onion, garlic, and tomato paste to make a flavorful low-carb Mexican rice (also known as Spanish rice).

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, low-carb, dairy-free, and Whole30 approved. Cauliflower only has 5 grams of carbs per cup whereas cooked white rice has 37 grams of carbs.
  • Keto Mexican Rice only has six ingredients that are all healthy and easy to find.
  • You can serve cauliflower rice with just about anything. It goes great with just about any roasted vegetable and/or meat.
  • To make this dish into a full meal, serve it up with chicken, avocado, and roasted bell peppers for an easy and delicious dinner. Or, serve it with my Keto Chicken Fajitas, Costco Cilantro Lime Shrimp, or my Chili’s Shrimp Fajitas recipes!

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for mexican cauliflower rice

You’ll need either cauliflower florets or cauliflower rice to get started with this recipe. I like to make my own cauliflower rice in a food processor to save money.

You’ll also need spices and flavorings including tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Recipe Steps

Alright, let’s make this Mexican-inspired paleo rice!

Pictures showing how to make mexican paleo rice

Step One

Process the cauliflower in a food processor on high until it turns into cauliflower rice. Set aside.

Step Two

In a skillet sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion softens.

Step Three

Add the cauliflower rice, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook the cauliflower rice for 4 more minutes stirring often.

Step Four

Stir in the tomato paste and cook the cauliflower rice for 5 more minutes.

Turn off the heat and serve immediately with chopped cilantro.

A skillet with keto spanish rice in it

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze cauliflower rice?

Unfortunately you can’t freeze this dish because it gets mushy, but you can freeze uncooked cauliflower rice. Simply rice it in a food processor then place in freezer bags and use within two months for best results. Let thaw and then follow the recipe as directed.

Is cauliflower rice good for you?

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals plus it’s low in calories and carbohydrates. It’s high in fiber and a good source of antioxidants.

How long should I process the cauliflower?

You want to process it until it looks similar to the size and shape of rice. This should take around 15 seconds. Be careful not to overdo it or the rice will lose its texture.

More Keto Recipes You Might Like

Or, check out my entire index of Dairy-Free Keto Recipes.

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A bowl of mexican cauliflower rice

Keto Mexican Rice

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5 from 2 reviews

Keto Mexican Rice is a flavorful side dish that is made using cauliflower. This low-carb rice dish is full of authentic flavor and can replace regular rice when you’re watching your carb intake. Gluten-free, grain-free, and keto-friendly.

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, washed and broken into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional, for topping)


  1. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
  2. Process on high for about 15 seconds, or until the cauliflower florets have been broken down into cauliflower rice.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onion start to soften.
  5. Add the cauliflower rice, sea salt, and pepper, and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often to keep the cauliflower from burning.
  6. Then, stir in the tomato paste and cook the rice for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the top of the rice with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Food processor and stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 110
  • Sugar: 4.9 g
  • Sodium: 333.1 mg
  • Fat: 7.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with over 5 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.