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Flo’s Cauliflower Pilaf

January 12, 2018
Flo's Cauliflower Pilaf

Flo’s Cauliflower Pilaf is a low-calorie, low carb alternative to rice pilaf. This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, “Le Cordon Bleu Quick Classics”. It’s a rather small cookbook, but every page is culinary gold.

When I made this initially I used just one package of frozen riced cauliflower. However, the recipe below is doubled. After I tasted this the next day and it was even better than the first, I decided that it would be just a waste of time to make a small batch. It’s good at room temperature and I am going to experiment with some vinaigrettes to make it a salad. Who knew cauliflower could be so versatile.

So, here is what you will need to make Cauliflower Pilaf. Frozen riced cauliflower (which I might add could be as handy as the invention of buttons), onion, pistachios, dried cranberries, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. I added a bit of vermouth and a bit of thyme at the end so they’re not pictured.

Cauliflower Pilaf Ingredients

Cauliflower Pilaf Ingredients

Start out by dicing up an onion and roughly chopping up some nuts. I used pistachios but you can use pecans or walnuts or even pumpkin seeds. Let your imagination go nuts. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself).

Now, add equal parts butter and olive oil to a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Use a skillet that you have a good lid for because you will steam this a bit at the end. Add the onions and cook them till they start to caramelize a bit. Add the cauliflower. Stir occasionally until it starts to show a bit of color as well. Now add the nuts, cranberries and broth and a dash of white wine or vermouth.

Cover and let it simmer so the cranberries soak up the broth and get nice and plump. Simmer like this covered on low for about 10 minutes. Add some thyme, and give it some time.

Cauliflower Pilaf Cooking

Cauliflower Pilaf Cooking

And there you have it, an elegant low-carb, healthy side. Compare one cup of cooked white rice at 204 calories and one cup of steamed cauliflower at 25 calories. If you have any leftovers, they are delicious the next day.


Flo's Cauliflower Pilaf

Instead of rice, this recipe uses cauliflower to make an elegant, low-carb side dish. It's even better the next day so it's a great make-ahead dish. 

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 side dish servings
Author Jeanne Rogers -


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 12 oz bags frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth optional
  • 2/3 cup pistachios or other nuts roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. Chop the onion. Shell and roughly chop the pistachios.

  2. Heat a medium to large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the skillet. 

  3. Once the olive oil and butter are bubbling, add the onion. Add the salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until onions just begin to brown, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the cauliflower and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. 

  5. Add the pistachios, cranberries, broth and white wine.

  6. Cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes or so. This allows the cranberries to plump up and the flavors to marry.

Recipe Notes

The portions in this recipe are more of a guideline. Feel free to change the proportions to your liking. Instead of pistachios, use pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Instead of cranberries, use raisins or currants. 






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