I love the idea of Cauliflower Rice, but what I don’t love is how much of a pain it is to make. Most recipes call for a food processor and then a follow-up cooking, and that cooking is stand by the stove, stirring often, cooking.
That, imho, is the worst kind of cooking and if I’m going to be standing around tending something it better be something better than cauliflower rice! A custard or pudding or some kind of dessert might be worth the pain, if you get my drift. Maybe something chocolate, lol!
So enter the Instant Pot. You’d think it would be a perfect solution for a one pot, easy and fast cauliflower rice. And it is, but it took a lot of recipes and a lot of experimentation to get it right. Over and over I got cauliflower rice that was too soft or too hard and what I wanted was cauliflower rice that has a beautiful al dente texture – soft with just a bit of a bite. And I didn’t want to pull out the food processor to get it.
The issue? The IP is going to cook based on shape, density and amount. The short cook time that cauliflower needs doesn’t allow much room for error. It has to be cooked enough to mash into “rice” but not too soft or soggy.
I had to figure the shape, density and amount into my “equation” for getting perfect cauliflower rice, every time. That’s the good news.
The bad news? You’ve gotta be pretty precise and follow the weight, size and timing to the letter. A kitchen scale is a near must, but a good eye for estimating might get you by. Oh, and you’re going to have to count! I’ll explain, below.
Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice
- 1 pound cauliflower florets, hard stems removed and cut into florets about 1 1/2″ across
- 1 cup of water (for the bottom of the instant pot)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or oil, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Carefully prep cauliflower as directed above, trying to keep the florets intact; try pulling them apart by hand or cutting by using the knife from the bottom of the floret to the top so it separates cleanly.
Add one cup water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, add the rack and evenly arrange florets across the top. Add the lid, seal and set to low pressure for two minutes. The cauliflower needs to cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Watch the instant pot carefully after it comes up to pressure (this will take about five minutes) and after the first minute of cooking, count (or use a timer) cook for 30 more seconds. Immediately manually release the pressure.
Remove the rack & the cauliflower as soon as the pot is able to be opened, then remove the liner and any stray florets that have fallen through the rack into the liner. Discard water and put liner back in the instant pot. Set to saute. Add oil or butter if using. Add the florets back to the pot and using a potato masher, break the cauliflower down to small pieces.
Cook to desired doneness, a minute or two to dry the rice, a little longer if you’d like a bit of color. Add salt to taste.