This recipe is a low-carb, low-calorie riff on my Sheet Pan Fried Rice with Chicken. I've substituted minced cauliflower "rice" for real rice for a healthier recipe, yet this tastes remarkably like traditional fried rice. In fact, King-Man who isn't a fan of cauliflower, didn't even notice that this dish didn't contain real rice until I pointed it out to him.
The oven-roasted, sheet pan method, like I've also used in my Sheet Pan Fajitas and Sheet Pan Asian Stir Fry, is so much easier and fuss-free compared to traditional fried rice that is made in a skillet or wok on the stove-top.
Cauliflower rice is a surprisingly good substitute. I'm not always of fan of trendy healthy substitutions that don't deliver authentic results. Zoodles, for example, are a popular, fun way to cut zucchini into long spirals. I'm good with that--zoodles are healthy and fun, but they in no way fool me into thinking I'm eating pasta. However, the cauliflower rice in this recipe is an amazingly close substitute for real rice. I was initially skeptical, but now I'm believer. The key here is that the Asian sauce is very flavorful and makes the cauliflower taste like traditional fried rice. It works--give it a try!
Customize it with your favorite ingredients. You can switch up this recipe with whatever veggies or protein you prefer.
- Substitute or add veggies. I sometimes add corn or shittake mushrooms. I advise you to keep the general proportions of sauce to other ingredients about the same. If you increase the volume of ingredients & sauce, divide the mixture between two baking sheets rather than piling them up on one sheet. If the baking sheet gets too crowded, the rice and veggies will steam rather than roast, and the end result may end up soupier and less flavorful.
- Chicken or shrimp. This recipe uses chicken, but I've also made it with shrimp. The only difference with shrimp is that it cooks really quickly, so it should be added half way through the baking time instead of at the beginning.
- Make it vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken and substituting an equal portion of tofu or vegetables.
- Make it gluten-free by using gluten-free tamari in place of the soy sauce.
Nutritional Information for this recipe is provided in detail at the bottom of the post, just below the recipe. It's so nutritious and under 200 calories per serving! It's especially high in protein and vitamins A, C, B3, B6.
Step-by-step photos for making
Sheet Pan Cauliflower Fried Rice
ASSEMBLE AND PREP THE INGREDIENTS:
- Cauliflower rice. You can buy a whole caulifloweror use fresh or frozen (and thawed) cauliflower florets and chop them into "rice". Or, save time and buy a bag of riced cauliflower. I buy it regularly at Trader Joe's; what a convenience it is to have it on hand. You can even throw a bag in the freezer for future use.
THREE WAYS TO MINCE CAULIFLOWER INTO RICE. First remove the tough core of the cauliflower and discard it.
- Chop it with a knife. Simply chop the florets until the cauliflower is the size of rice kernels.
- Food Processor. Pulse florets until they are the size of rice. (Be careful not to over process, or you'll have cauliflower mush!) If you end up with mostly rice-sized pieces with a few larger chunks in the food processor bowl, remove chunks, pour out the "rice", return the chunks to the bowl and pulse them until they are also rice sized.
- Box Grater. Use the large holes to grate the cauliflower into rice. This isn't as fast as using a food processor, but it's easy to do.
Whether using fresh, frozen, or pre-cut bags, if the "rice" is moist, blot it with a paper towel to remove moisture and avoid sogginess. I've only needed to blot mine when I've used frozen cauliflower--it is normally wet after it has thawed.
- Chicken breasts or thighs -- skinless, boneless. Cut them into bite-size pieces, approx. 1-inch. (Omit the chicken for a vegetarian version of this recipe.)
- Sauce ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), sesame oil, minced garlic and ginger, sriracha is optional--omit or reduce if you don't want the heat.
view on Amazon: toasted sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce OR gluten-free tamari, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic press, Microplane (for grating ginger)
- Combine the sauce ingredients and stir in the chicken pieces. Let this marinate in the fridge while you prep the veggies--15 to 30 minutes.
- Vegetables: peas (fresh or frozen), chopped carrots, chopped green onions
view on Amazon: 7-Inch Santoku knife (my go-to for chopping tasks)
SHORT CUT! You can use frozen peas and carrots for convenience, if you prefer.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
- Brush a large 13x18 baking sheet (or two 9x13 baking sheets) with oil. Add cauliflower rice, peas, and carrots. Add marinated chicken to the pan, drizzling any remaining marinade sauce over the top. Use tongs to toss everything together and distribute the sauce, then spread the mixture out in an even layer on the pan.
view on Amazon: 13x18 baking sheet with lid (half sheet); 9x13 quarter sheet with lid (quarter sheet); value priced set of baking sheets with lids (one of each size); silicone pastry/basting brush
- Bake at 425 F for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Remove from the oven and use a flat ended spatula or spoon to scrape cooked mixture to pan edges, leaving an empty space in center. Pour whisked eggs in the middle and return to oven for 4 minutes until eggs are set. Remove from oven and break scrambled eggs apart into small bite-sized pieces.
- Toss scrambled egg pieces with cauliflower rice mixture until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Sprinkle green onions on top.
A complete, nutritious meal. This healthy recipe can be a stand alone meal, or it can be served as a side. I often pair this with some Trader Joe's pot stickers for an easy, tasty meal.
Optional toppings can be on the table for everyone to add as desired:
- roasted chopped peanuts or cashews
- toasted sesame seeds
- additional chopped green onions
- srirarcha or red pepper flakes
It's freezable! I like to freeze leftovers in small portions to heat up in the microwave for a quick, healthy lunch.
Easy, sheet pan recipes are often on my family menu, and this cauliflower fried rice is a new favorite, especially when I want a low-carb, low calorie meal. It is so nutritious. Good and good for you--a win!
You might also like these sheet pan meals:
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Sheet Pan Asian Stir-Fry
Sheet Pan Brown Fried Rice with Chicken
Make it a Yummy day!
Sheet Pan Cauliflower "Fried Rice" with Chicken
Servings: 4-6 servings
- 1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil (vegetable, peanut, grapeseed, canola)
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce (reduce or omit for less heat)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut in bite-size pieces
- 3 cups cauliflower rice*
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (or fresh snow peas, strings removed, cut into thirds)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 green onions, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- optional: 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews for garnish
*Purchase cauliflower already chopped into "rice"; or make your own using fresh or frozen (and thawed) cauliflower florets and a box grater or food processor. If cauliflower is moist, blot it with a paper towel before proceeding with recipe.
Brush oil evenly over surface of 13x18" baking sheet (or, use 2 smaller baking sheets); set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic and ginger. Add chicken, stir, and marinate in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes. While chicken marinates, chop the vegetables.
Distribute cauliflower rice evenly over oiled pan. Add peas and carrots. Add marinated chicken to pan, drizzling any remaining marinade over the top. Use tongs to toss mixture and distribute sauce throughout, then spread out in even layer on pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven, use flat ended spatula or spoon to scrape rice mixture to pans edges, leaving an empty space in center. Pour whisked eggs in the middle and return to oven for 4 minutes until eggs are set. Remove from oven and break scrambled eggs apart into small pieces. Toss scrambled egg pieces with cauliflower rice mixture until evenly distributed. Sprinkle top with green onions and optional chopped nuts.
Makes 6 cups.
Nutritional Information for a 1 cup serving using chicken breasts.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 5
Swapping cauliflower rice for traditional rice cuts the carbs and calories dramatically. The taste and texture of this healthy, easy oven-baked recipe is amazingly similar to traditional fried rice. Easy to modify for vegetarian and gluten-free. From TheYummyLife.com