Our cauliflower risotto recipe is a departure from the classic risotto, with some alterations to the ingredients for a healthier version. In this recipe, cauliflower rice is simmered with mushrooms, onions, cream, cheese, and herbs in flavorful chicken broth to reimagine the traditional version.
Creamy, but still light with less carbs and calories, cauliflower risotto can be paired with almost anything else on the menu, whether it’s grilled steak, chicken, or seafood. Plus, it’s also a great way to sneak more veggies into your daily diet.
What Is Risotto?
Risotto is a traditional northern Italian dish made from high-starch rice such as arborio. In the basic risotto recipe, the cooking process involves gradually adding broth to the grain, sometimes with meat and other vegetables.
Over time, the liquid absorbs to form a soft and creamy union. People also use garlic, onion, white wine, and cheese to enhance the dish’s flavor.
With this version of risotto, cauliflower rice is cooked by a similar technique that promises the mouth-watering flavor of the original version without the time, effort, and carbs.
Is Cauliflower Risotto Healthy?
Yes, containing fresh vegetables and nutritionally abundant, our cauliflower risotto recipe is definitely healthy.
First, cauliflower contains only 5.32 grams of carbohydrate in one cup versus 44.7 grams of carbohydrate in one cup of steamed rice. As such, this recipe is a perfect option for anyone wishing to cut down on their carbs or watch their weight.
Furthermore, cauliflower is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To be specific, one serving of our cauliflower risotto provides up to 75% of the recommended daily vitamin C intake and 50% of the vitamin K.
Fiber is another essential nutrient provided by cauliflower. There are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of raw cauliflower; that’s up to 10% of our daily requirement. This type of carbohydrate helps to feed healthy bacteria, which can support the digestive system and even reduce inflammation.
Cauliflower Risotto Ingredients
- Cauliflower: Rice cauliflower makes up the bulk of this keto-friendly risotto. As we’ve discovered, cauliflower rice tastes much better when made fresh at home (see our Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe). However, if you are short on time, you can go with frozen cauliflower rice.
- Mushrooms: There are a host of vegetables that can be added to this recipe. Mushrooms are our favorites, however, due to their sweet, nutty flavor and nutritional qualities.
- Peas: Green peas add another layer of flavor and texture to the dish. Besides, pulses like beans and peas provide a healthy dose of carbohydrates.
- Chicken Broth: Instead of water, we cooked the cauliflower rice in chicken broth, infusing flavor and making the dish even more delicious.
- White Wine: Deepening the flavor even further, white wine is a standard ingredient in any classic risotto recipe.
- Cheese and Cream: When you’ve almost finished cooking the risotto, stir in milk, heavy cream, and cheese for the distinctive creaminess of classic risotto. Parmesan cheese in particular melts into a heavenly sauce to thicken the mixture and bring yet another layer of flavor to your taste buds.
How to Make Cauliflower Risotto
Making cauliflower risotto is pretty simple; set up your own little production line on the table and off you go! The basic process looks like this:
Brown the mushrooms and onion.
Pour the white wine into the pan.
Add the cauliflower rice and green peas.
Add the cream and season the mixture. Simmer.
Garnish with parsley.
Tips for Perfect Cauliflower Risotto
This cauliflower risotto is incredibly satisfying and earns itself a place on any menu as a fantastic imitation of conventional risotto. However, making risotto with cauliflower rice is slightly different from preparing the classic Italian dish with rice.
Here are a few tips for cooking the dish right:
- Gradually Add in The Liquid: In the classic risotto, arborio rice can absorb three times its own volume. However, cauliflower naturally contains water, so we don’t recommend soaking cauliflower rice in broth in the same way as you would with arborio. Only add ¼ cup of broth at a time so that it’s easier to observe the liquid absorption and the texture change.
- Stir Occasionally: Good risotto is much more about cooking technique than with other recipes, especially with regard to your patience and attention. It’s crucial to stir the pot regularly to prevent the ingredients from sticking together.
- Vegan Cauliflower Risotto: Just as cauliflower rice perfectly mimics regular rice, so cauliflower puree is a great alternative to cream and can deliver the richness you’d expect to find in risotto.
Storing and Reheating
Allow any leftovers of this creamy cauliflower risotto to cool down completely and then store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 – 4 days.
If you need to keep cauliflower risotto for longer, you can also freeze it. Place it in an airtight container or a freezer bag and you can keep it in the freezer for 2 – 3 months.
To serve, let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Then you can reheat until hot in the microwave or on the stove.
What to Serve With Cauliflower Risotto
The best cauliflower risotto is rich and creamy, making it a perfect side dish for almost any protein-based food.
- Pork Tenderloin: The ultimate juicy and flavorful pork cut, it needs a hearty, starchy dish like risotto alongside. You can’t go wrong with cauliflower risotto in this combination since it ticks every box of flavor you love: umami, savory, and creamy.
- Stuffed Chicken: Vegetables and cheese wrapped in chicken are made to be paired with risotto. You’ll have everything you dream about in this meal: well-seasoned meat, crunchy roasted vegetables, and a healthy starchy side.
- Baked Chicken: This staple dinner is delicious on its own, but why not liven it up with an easy-to-make yet elegant Italian side dish!
Cauliflower Risotto Recipe
Our cauliflower risotto recipe makes a great gluten-free alternative to regular risotto. It calls for simple ingredients and can be ready in just 25 minutes.
- cook TIME 20 mins
- prep TIME 5 mins
- total TIME 25 mins
- COURSE Side Dish
- CUISINE Italian
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 169 kcal
- 18 ozcauliflower (chopped)
- 1.5 tbspolive oil
- 2 tspgarlic (chopped)
- 2 ozonion (chopped)
- 6 ozcrimini mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 tspwhite wine
- 2 ozgreen peas
- 1 tspthyme
- 2.5 tbspheavy cream
- 0.3 ozshredded parmesan cheese
- 0.3 tspsalt
- 0.3 tspground pepper
- 0.3 cupunsalted chicken broth
- 4 fl oz milk
- 1 tsptraditional Dijon mustard
- 1 tbspparsley (chopped)
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat. Add 2 tsp garlic, 2 oz onion, and 6 oz crimini mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes.
Pour the 2 tsp white wine into the pan and stir often until there is no liquid remaining.
Add 18 oz cauliflower and 2 oz green peas to the pan. Stir occasionally for another 2 minutes.
Add 1 tsp thyme, 2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream, 0.25 oz parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth, 4 fl oz milk, and 1 tsp Dijon mustard to the pan. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Garnish with 1 tbsp chopped parsley.
Transfer the food to serving bowls. Serve warm.