A low-carb and nutritious blend of cauliflower rice, sausages and red bell peppers packed with flavors of turmeric and cilantro. Savory yet sweet, with bright colors, and full of vegetables – this recipe for cauliflower rice with sausage and peppers is a hit in our house!
About Cauliflower Rice with Sausage
This is an easy stir-fry recipe featuring packaged sausage and fresh cauliflower rice. I add a red pepper for extra sweet flavor. I also flavor the cauliflower with cumin and turmeric. The turmeric changes the cauliflower rice into a gorgeous yellow color.
How to ketofy Sausage with Rice
Substituting cauliflower rice for white or brown rice is the single more important step to ketofy a typical sausage stir-fry recipe. There are 87 g net carbs in 2 cups of white rice and 96 g net carbs in brown rice. In contrast, there is a mere 9.8 g net carbs in the head of cauliflower used to make the 2 cups of cauliflower rice for this recipe.
The next step is to not overload the recipe with peppers or onions in order to truly keep it very low carb. I only used one medium red bell pepper with 6.2 g net carbs. And instead of a regular onion, I used the tops of green onions to add onion flavor to the dish.
The last strategy is to ensure that you don’t accidentally pick a sugar-laden sausage. For example, the Meatless Sweet Apple Sausages from Quorn have 4.6 g net carbs per ounce, compared to 1-2 g net carbs per ounce in most sausages. Given that I used 14 ounces of sausage in this recipe, that discrepancy of 2.6-3.6 g net carbs per ounce becomes an additional 36.4-50.4 g net carbs in the recipe.
Making Cauliflower Rice with Sausage
- This recipe uses essentials from around the kitchen: a knife, cutting board, and frying pan.
- Apart from those essentials, a large food processor is critical for making cauliflower rice from fresh cauliflower – technically you could use a small processor, but it would take much longer. I have a Cuisinart that is half the price and includes a bowl scraper.
- Sausage: I used smoked sausage, but any sort of sausage would do. Fresh sausage without added flavorings typically has the lowest net carb count.
- Cauliflower: For stir fry recipes, I prefer cauliflower rice from fresh cauliflower instead of frozen cauliflower rice. But making it from fresh adds a significant amount of time and effort to the recipe. I will try this recipe with frozen cauliflower rice, and will report back once I do.
- Red pepper: You could use a green pepper for fewer net carbs, but I love the sweetness and color from the red pepper in this recipe.
- Green onion tops and cilantro: I use my trusty herb-cutting scissors for fast, fresh chives mixed with cilantro. Together, they pack flavor while minimizing carbs.
- Turmeric and cumin: These spices add to the depth of the dish. In these quantities, they don’t affect the spiciness level significantly. The turmeric also makes the cauliflower rice a beautiful yellow color.
- Start the stir fry. To optimize my use of time, I stir fry ingredients while I prepare my cauliflower rice. I start with sausage so it can release some fat, which I use to stir fry the rest of the ingredients. Next, I stir fry the red pepper, then the cauliflower rice.
- While sausage and red pepper stir fry, make cauliflower rice. Chop the cauliflower into chunks, then use the food processor to make it into a rice-like consistency.
- Stir fry cauliflower rice. The goal is to cook the cauliflower enough to lose any crunchiness, but not so much that is over soft and has no bite. I sample the cauliflower every few minutes while it stir-fries to make sure I don’t cross the Goldilocks point of doneness into soft mushiness.
- Bring everything together. Once the cauliflower rice is cooked, add the turmeric and cumin, then the rest of the ingredients.
- Substitute the sausage with chicken, beef strips, or tofu chunks.
- Use frozen cauliflower rice instead of freshly made cauliflower rice.
- If you aren’t trying to make the dish keto, you could use quinoa or regular rice.
- Use a small amount of purple or white onion instead of green onion.
- Use green pepper instead of red peppers.
- Add spinach or mushrooms.
- Add Cajun seasoning.
- Add cheese when serving, and let it melt. I made this modification for my toddler, and he loved it!
This dish incorporates both protein and veggies. I believe it can stand on its own without much accompaniment. But you could consider serving it with:
- another vegetable-heavy dish, like spinach casserole
- almond cheese muffins
- salad (for example my beet salad with pecans)
This dish easily stores in an airtight container for one week in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cauliflower Rice is actually made by shredding or grating cauliflowers. Once cooked, it takes on a texture and mild flavoring similar to white rice.
Cauliflower Rice has the same mild flavor as white rice. It is very good at absorbing the flavors of any spices added to it which makes it a healthier and less carb laden substitution to white rice.
One of the great benefits of cauliflower rice is that it has considerably lesser calories per cup of serving compared to traditional white rice. It may aid in weight loss for someone who is used to a rice centric diet because of the lesser calories consumed per day.
Cauliflower Rice with Sausage and Peppers
- Food Processor
- Skillet or Frying Pan, large size
- Cutting Board
- 16 oz Sausage
- 1 head Cauliflower ,about 550 g
- 1 Red Bell Peppers
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 3 Green Onions
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro ,chopped
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the sausage into 1cm thick pieces on an angle. Add to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip the sausage pieces, and cook on the opposite for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pan; leave the grease in the pan.
- Meanwhile, chop the red bell pepper into long thin strips. Remove the pith and seeds. Sauté in the fat from the sausage for about 5 minutes, until they are softened slightly. Remove from pan.
- Wash and chop the cauliflower into rough chunks. Add to the large food processor. Pulse the food processor until cauliflower is homogenously shredded into small pieces, forming cauliflower rice.
- Add the cauliflower rice to the grease in the pan. Cook, stirring frequently. Sample the cauliflower rice frequently, and remove the pan from heat once it reaches your desired level of doneness. This took about 5-7 minutes for me.
- Add the cumin and turmeric to the cauliflower rice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until the rice reaches a homogenous yellow color.
- Chop the tops of green onions and cilantro with herb scissors and add directly to cauliflower rice. Add the sausage and red pepper back in, and serve while warm.
- Sausage can be substituted with chicken or tofu
- If you’re not a low carb diet, you can use white rice or brown rice instead of cauliflower rice.