Slow Cooker Mexican Cauliflower Rice (no ricing required)



If you are new to Paleo, you might not have noticed that we quite often use cauliflower as a substitute for rice. Cauliflower has a greater nutritional profile, a lower glycemic index, and most people just plain feel better when eating it opposed to rice. These are all positive things. The only negative about cauliflower rice is that you have to “rice” the florets to achieve a similar consistency. You can do this with a blender, food processor, grater, or knife. If you’ve done this before, you are well aware that little bits of cauliflower end up getting everywhere! This recipe skips this ricing step. No need to dirty an additional kitchen appliance. No scraping up bits of cauliflower from all over your kitchen. You simply cut the florets from their stems, and mash them up a little bit after cooking. Super easy. Now you have one less excuse not to make this. I’m sorry I’m not sorry.





What you need:

  • One large head of cauliflower, stems removed, cut into small to medium chunks of florets. 
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce (or 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped).
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock (or water).
  • 1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste.
  • 1 medium white onion, diced.
  • 2 bell peppers (preferably red and yellow), diced.
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced large.
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder.
  • 2 tsp of chipotle powder/flakes (can substitute cayenne).
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano.
  • 1 tsp of black or white pepper.
  • Salt to taste.

How you make it:

  1. Add your chicken stock (or water), tomato sauce (or tomatoes), and tomato paste to your slow cooker, stir. 
  2. Add your spices to your slow cooker, stir.
  3. Add your onion and peppers to your slow cooker, stir.
  4. Add your cauliflower florets to your slow cooker, stir everything to coat florets with as much liquid as possible.
  5. This recipe is designed for a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours tops. Cook on high for 3 hours tops.
  6. If using  a 4-quart cooker, use 2/3 of the ingredient amounts and the same cooking times.
  7. After cooking, use a spatula or other blunt-ended object to slightly “mash” the florets so that they break up into a rice-like consistency.
  8. Stir well and drain any excess liquid that you do not desire. The cauliflower will absorb more liquid if you store it in the fridge overnight, yet this is a good thing.
  9. Enjoy!




  1. This definitely looks like something I need to try! Adding these items to my shopping list 😀

  2. This looks amazing!!! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for posting! Love your blog!!

  3. Annie says:

    I have never diced cauliflower before and love the idea of using the crock pot. I am going to try using this method to make this dish and the regular way too. Thanks!

  4. Nicole says:

    1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste….any suggestions for what to do with the rest of the can? Thanks!

    1. Jason says:

      I used my remaining tomato paste in a stir-fry the next day. You can also use it to make ketchup.

      1. Nicole says:

        Thanks! Are either of those recipes on your site? Alternatively I’m thinking I could freeze the tomato paste in tablespoon portions for future recipes. On another note, you may want to put a caution somewhere to wear gloves when chopping the jalapeño – I forgot to do this and my hands are still burning hours later!!

    2. Chesa says:

      I spoon mine into the ice cube tray and freeze it – then I put them in a baggie and keep them in the freezer until the next time I need it! Keeps it from going to waste.

    3. katie says:

      you can buy the paste in a tube and store in refrigerator until needed again.

    4. Susan says:

      You can get tomato paste in a tube. Look near the jars of pizza sauce or at Trader Joe’s.

    5. Jennifer says:

      I like to make a sauce with tomato paste, grass-fed butter, coconut aminos, ACV, garlic powder, onion powder, Real salt, and a dash of chili pepper. It goes nicely over over london broil or a similar meat.

    6. albina saccardi says:

      freeze it in ice cube trays. When frozen pop them out into a freezer bag .when ever you need tomatoe paste you have it in the freezer, No harm to taste of paste.

  5. Cricket says:

    This recipe was great for a rainy day! I added 2 raw chicken breasts, cut into small pieces and a 1/2 can of coconut milk. It was yummy and made a complete meal with a green salad!

  6. JD says:

    This didn’t turn out well for me at all. I followed the recipe instead of tasting before I put my spices in and it was way to spicy.

  7. Liz says:

    Holy heck that was spicy! Added some guac, coconut milk, and some
    Shredded cheese but we were still burnin up. Tasty though! As always, thank you!

  8. Amy says:

    I like the idea of adding chicken and coconut milk as mentioned by Cricket above, might try that. I made it using only one jalapeño and one tsp of cayenne and it was very spicy, can’t imagine it with the full amounts of both!

    The flavor was good, though and I love the idea of it so we’ll try again with some tweaks. Thanks!

  9. Tommy G says:

    Hey Brother, this turned out excellent! My girlfriend and I aren’t deterred by spice so instead of just chipotle powder (I prefer the smokiness of chipotle to the burn of cayenne) I used chipotle paste as well. This was fantastic, easy, and one of my new easy go to sides. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be even better after a night in the fridge.

  10. Adair says:

    I LOVE this recipe! I must admit sometimes I am too lazy to rice cauliflower (I hate cleaning my food processor afterwards) so this meal was perfect. My house smelled amazing when I got home. My husband and I will be making this a regular in our meal rotation.

  11. Marsha Doran says:

    I usually don’t rice my cauliflower before.. It seems just as easy to mash it with a whisk after it is tender. and less mess no processor to clean. 🙂

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