You’ll love this Cauliflower Rice Caprese with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic glaze! A quick and easy side dish that’s low carb and gluten free.
Have you jumped on the cauliflower rice bandwagon yet? I’ve been seeing recipes everywhere for a while now. But I wasn’t an early adopter, as they say in the tech world.
Because, I’m lazy in the kitchen.
I have no desire to shred a head of cauliflower, and the frozen cauliflower rice never appealed to me. (But I like using frozen cauliflower florets in my Slow Cooker Cauliflower-Cheese Soup.)
Unless I’m making a special dinner, I’m all about the shortcuts.
Then, out of nowhere, my grocery store started carrying fresh, bagged cauliflower rice (called “pearls”) in the produce section. I did a double take the first time I saw it. What?!!!
I immediately threw two packages in my cart and had a spring in my step for the next hour of shopping. I know. It doesn’t take much. But this was brilliant.
The first time I made the cauliflower rice, I simply sautéed it with just a little olive oil and seasoning. It wasn’t bad, but my hubby, who’s a member of my Tough-Crowd Taste Tester Group, (otherwise known as my household) said it was too bland. It needed something.
And, I had to agree. All I could taste was cauliflower, and not much else. I found myself with a huge bowl of leftovers.
My wheels started turning. I needed to conquer the cauliflower with more dominant flavors. This is one veggie that works best as the backup singer, not the lead.
And I swear, developing a recipe to blog about was the furthest thing from my mind. I just wanted a delicious lunch, you know?
I looked over and saw some sad-looking tomatoes in my tiered, wire basket on my kitchen island. (Is it just me, or do tomatoes get super ripe in a New York minute?) My basil plant was sitting pretty on my corner window sill. And, the deli drawer in my fridge had all the Italian cheese.
I stock mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and Romano like toilet paper. We must never run out!!!
And, although anything Caprese usually involves fresh, buffalo mozzarella, I only had the regular kind. But, I knew it would work just fine.
So, I adorned my cauliflower rice with some cut-up tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella and ribbons of basil. Then I stirred in olive oil and seasonings. And, of course…I drizzled balsamic glaze (affiliate link) all over the top.
And, I was a goner.
Cauliflower Rice Caprese was officially a thing. A beautiful thing.
I’ve made it three times so far, and now just microwave the cauliflower pearls for a few minutes in lieu of sautéing them. So easy. So fast. So delicious.
I must share this with the world. And, now that I'm on the cauliflower rice bandwagon, I can't wait to try other recipes like Cauliflower Rice Stuffing.
More recipes like this
- Salmon Caprese with Balsamic Glaze
- Cauliflower Caprese Skillet
- 33 Italian Side Dishes (Contorni)
- One-Pot Farro with Cauliflower and Onions
- Caponatina (Eggplant Caponata)
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Cauliflower Rice Caprese Recipe originally published on Food Fanatic.)
Cauliflower Rice Caprese
- 1 pound bag fresh cauliflower rice (or pearls)
- 2 tomatoes (medium)
- 3 ½ ounces mozzarella, cubed (regular or fresh)
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (or more; see notes)
- Use a fork to poke holes in the bag of cauliflower pearls. Place the bag of cauliflower on a plate and heat it in the microwave on high for four minutes.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the tomatoes. Rinse and pat the tomatoes dry, and cut out the cores. Cut the tomatoes into fourths and scrape out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1 ½-inch pieces.
- Cut the mozzarella into cubes and set them aside.
- Pour the cooked cauliflower into a medium serving bowl. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Stack the basil leaves three at a time, roll them up tightly, and slice them into ribbons. Add the basil to your bowl.
- Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Use a spoon to mix the cauliflower rice Caprese until it’s combined.
- Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top and serve at room temperature, with extra glaze if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days. Bring leftovers to room temperature (by heating slightly in the microwave, if needed) before serving.
- Most grocery stores sell balsamic glaze near the vinegar.