Side Dish | May 15, 2014

Lemon Pesto Cauliflower Rice

I feel like side dishes are my weakness in cooking. If I have a theme, like Mexican or Asian, I can whip up a side no prob. But for that chicken sausage? I got ‘nothin.

THAT IS…..UNTIL………this. Lemon Pesto Cauliflower Rice.

Lemon Pesto Cauliflower on plate with roasted vegetables

I had to see what this cauliflower rice movement was about. ‘Errbody and their mom was doing it. So as a food blogger, and with our family’s trip back to SoCal for my husband’s optometry school graduation and its accompanying ┬ádays at the beach, and my post-baby body, I felt it was my duty to make this here cauliflower rice. No, it doesn’t taste like rice, but it does taste like whatever you make it taste like, is a vegetable, and a great gluten-free side dish that fills you up just the same! It has somewhat of a light, fluffy grain texture with hints of cauliflower. The lemon pesto is bursting with yummy, spring flavor and the peas break up the texture to punch in some variety. Seriously so easy and tasty! I had leftovers for lunch the next day. And again, with the lying to my 2-year-old (see my other lie here), I told him it was rice. And he dug it.

Lemon Pesto Cauliflower with lemon garnish, with sausage and roasted vegetables

Whip up some lemon pesto. Easy peasy. Blend the cauliflower with your super-awesome Blendtec in two batches, or I’m sure a regular blender would do just fine, or if you have a grater attachment for a food processor. You can also grate it with a cheese grater, but I have not tried it and it just sounds like a lot of work. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Really, if you can find it bagged, just get it.

Trader Joe's brand Riced Cauliflower in bag, with pesto sauce in jar

cauliflower rice in pan with peas and pesto sauce

Cook the cauliflower until it has lost some of its moisture and is lighter and fluffier. Fold in your peas and pesto and you have yourself a bright little side dish!

Lemon Pesto Cauliflower close up with lemon garnish

5 from 1 vote
Lemon Pesto Cauliflower Rice
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A bright little side dish!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pesto cauliflower rice
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 190 kcal
Author: Stephanie
  • 1/2 c basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 c pinenuts
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/8 c EVOO
  • 1 head cauliflower or bag cauliflower rice
  • 1 c peas room temperature
  • 1 T EVOO
  • lemon to garnish
  1. Prepare pesto by blending basil, garlic, parmesan, pinenuts, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in food processor until it resembles a paste. Blend in 1/8 c EVOO. Set aside.
  2. Roughly chop cauliflower into large pieces. Pulse half the cauliflower in blender at a time until it is finely ground. Repeat with other half.
  3. Heat 1 T EVOO in frying pan over medium heat, add in cauliflower. Cook, stirring frequently until cauliflower has lost some of its moisture and is fluffy, about 15 minutes.
  4. Fold in peas and pesto with cauliflower to heat. Squeeze lemon over rice and serve warm.
Recipe Notes

If you don't have a blender you like, you can grate cauliflower with a cheese grater or use a grater attachment for your food processor.

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Pesto Cauliflower Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 434mg19%
Potassium 202mg6%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 500IU10%
Vitamin C 29.6mg36%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

3 thoughts on “Lemon Pesto Cauliflower Rice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.