Looking for a new way to cook cauliflower rice? I usually use it in my Cauliflower “Fried” Rice because I think the soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari) completely masks the flavor of the cauliflower, as it also does in my Cauliflower Rice Jambalaya, but every now and then I want a different flavor profile. This time, I decided to give the cauliflower rice a Mexican flair with this Mexican Cauliflower Rice Casserole.
This Cauliflower Rice Casserole is:
- An easy skillet meal, requiring just 30 minutes of hands-on preparation
- Slightly spicy, which you can adjust to your tastes as you go
- Loaded with healthy vegetables
- Vegetarian, but you can make it vegan if you omit the eggs and cheese or you can add meat, if you prefer. Make it your own!
- Higher in protein, thanks to the addition of protein-rich eggs, without becoming a frittata. (They pretty much go undetected in this dish.)
- A delicious cross between taco filling and a Mexican Lasagna
In this casserole, the cauliflower rice is almost reminiscent of taco meat thanks to its ground texture and spices. I used Trader Joe’s prepared Cauliflower Rice for convenience, but you can easily make your own by processing cauliflower florets and stems in a food processor, or grating them using the large holes on a box grater.
I made this casserole using fresh tomatoes the first time around, but the flavor wasn’t nearly as good as the second time when I used a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes. I think the boxed tomatoes have a more concentrated flavor, which again helps to hide any “cauliflower flavor” that you might want to avoid, but feel free to use fresh tomatoes if they are in season where you live.
To make this dish heartier and more casserole-like, I added eggs for protein and topped it off with a layer of cheese. It bakes to perfection for a comforting vegetable-packed meal, but if you’d prefer to skip the eggs and cheese, you can simply serve it as a Vegan Mexican Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry once the vegetables are all tender. (It’s done a lot faster that way, too!) Perhaps top it off with a creamy sweet potato cheese sauce? Or a sprinkling of Cashew Parmesan? These dairy-free options would make it Paleo-friendly, too.
However you serve this Mexican-inspired cauliflower rice casserole, I hope you’ll enjoy it.
This Mexican Cauliflower Rice Casserole is an easy and healthy vegetarian skillet meal that uses Trader Joe's Cauliflower Rice, with Vegan and Paleo options.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion , chopped
- 1 bell pepper , chopped
- 1 jalapeno , diced, white pith and seeds removed
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 (26.5 oz) box chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound cauliflower rice
- 3 eggs , beaten
- 2 to 3 ounces goat cheddar cheese , shredded
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a deep oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and saute the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, if using, and saute for one more minute. Add in the chopped tomatoes, salt, and cauliflower rice and stir well. Once the tomatoes start simmering, lower the heat and cover the pan to let the vegetables cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once tender, turn off the heat, remove the lid and give the vegetables a stir. Adjust any seasoning to taste then add in the beaten eggs. Stir well to make sure the eggs are well incorporated throughout the vegetables. Top with a sprinkling of cheese, then place the pan in the oven to bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF.
- The casserole is done when the eggs are cooked through and the cheese is bubbly and staring to turn golden. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- I haven’t tried this recipe using frozen cauliflower rice, but I would guess it would have a similar result to using the fresh version. Let me know if you try it!
- If you are trying to avoid nightshades, you might want to try using my Tomato-less Marinara Sauce instead of the chopped tomatoes in this recipe. (And then just skip the bell peppers, too.)
- As always, if you try another other substitutions, please let us know in the comments below so that others can benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to cook with cauliflower rice?