Kirbie's Cravings

Pesto Cauliflower Rice

pesto cauliflower rice in a black skillet with a wooden spoon
Cauliflower rice is flavored with homemade pesto sauce for an easy, delicious, low-carb and gluten-free dish. It’s great to eat on its own or as a rice substitute for any meal.

We eat cauliflower rice a few times a week so I’m always trying to think of new flavors. My absolute favorite is still the garlic parmesan cauliflower rice, but this pesto one is really tasty too.
overhead shot of pesto cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon
You can use any kind of pesto for this, though I recommend a pesto that isn’t basil-based. Bail pesto tends to brown quicker, especially when mixed with warm foods. For this one, I used my kale walnut pesto. But I can also see it working well with parsley, cilantro, carrot top greens, etc.
cauliflower rice topped with kale pesto and grated parmesan cheese
This is so easy to whip together, especially if you buy cauliflower rice packages which seems to be pretty popular at supermarkets now. I usually use the one from Whole Foods, but I’ve been wanting to try the ones sold at Trader Joe’s and Costco. When I don’t have any packages of cauliflower rice, I just make my own with a food processor and raw cauliflower.
a close-up shot of a wooden spoon with a scoop of pesto cauliflower rice

Pesto Cauliflower Rice

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Cauliflower rice is flavored with pesto for an easy, low-carb, gluten-free dish.
5 from 2 votes


  • 3 cups cauliflower rice (see note)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Kale Pesto

  • 2 cups packed shredded kale stems removed
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil start with 1/3 and add more if needed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp  chopped walnuts


  • Add oil to a large skillet and bring to medium heat. Add in cauliflower rice and cook until tender.
  • To make the pesto, add all pesto ingredients into a food processor. Pulse several minutes until it reaches a thick sauce consistency. Pesto will initially be very chunky but will break down further into a sauce-like consistency after a few minutes. If it is not breaking down, add a little more olive oil until it does break down.  Taste and adjust as needed. Depending on the type of kale you use and personal preference you may want to add more cheese, oil, lemon, etc.
  • Stir pesto into the cauliflower rice. Start with a few tablespoons and add more as needed until it reaches your desired taste. You may not need the entire amount and can reserve any unused pesto for another recipe.
  • Serve cauliflower rice warm. Garnish with more parmesan cheese if desired.


  • Look for cauliflower rice in the produce department or make your own by pulsing raw cauliflower in a food processor until they are the size of grains of rice.
  • Nutrition estimate includes 1/3 cup of olive oil.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 293kcal, Carbohydrates: 8.8g, Protein: 5.8g, Fat: 26.6g, Saturated Fat: 4.5g, Sodium: 232.9mg, Fiber: 3.6g, Sugar: 2.2g, NET CARBS: 5

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

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Recipe Rating

8 comments on “Pesto Cauliflower Rice”

  1. I made it today with little less oil in pesto it was delicious. Thanks for the receipe.

  2. I    made this for my family last night and it was a huge hit! I  am hoping to make it again and send over to my sisters house but she is allergic to walnuts. Any ideas what the best replacement would be? Thank you!

    • Almonds and pine nuts would work, too. If she can’t have any nuts you can leave them out but the pesto will have a different texture.

  3. I made this today; it was fantastic! I did cut the oil – 1/3 cup- added about 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to be vegan.  Used 1/2 basil & 1/2 kale also. Sorry for changing this! But thanks for the recipe!

  4. Could you make the pesto w less or no oil??