In paleo recipes, rice is often replaced with cauliflower pulsed in a food processor into rice-like pieces. That’s all well and good, but WOW can it get a little boring—and let’s be honest, plain cauliflower rice gets real old, real fast. So for today, try one of these epic paleo rice alternatives and take your boring old low carb rice to a whole new level.
1. Thai Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls
Made with a base of cauliflower rice with lime juice and kosher salt, these delicious Thai-inspired bowls are filled with garlic, ground beef, raw honey, fish sauce, fresh basil (preferably Thai basil, but any will do), and quick picked carrots with green onions and hot sauce. Yum!
2. Butternut Squash Risotto
Because butternut squash has a naturally-creamy texture, it makes an excellent substitute for rice in risotto dishes. This simple risotto is made with olive oil, ghee, onions, sea salt, butternut, white wine vinegar, fresh parsley, and chicken broth. Easy!
3. Brussels Sprout and Rutabag Rice With Chicken Sausage
Nope, paleo rice isn’t always made from cauliflower! This fabulous rice bowl dish is made from rutabaga “rice,” olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, shallot, Brussels sprouts, chicken sauce, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and fresh chopped parsley.
4. Beef Fried Plantain Rice
Plantains have to be my all-time favorite rice substitute, personally. They have that starchy texture that makes real rice so good, so they make a great alternative—especially I this delicious beef dish with mushrooms, carrots, honey, coconut aminos, celery, apple cider vinegar, and more.
5. Water Chestnut Sushi Rolls
I can’t get over how delightfully creative this recipe is, relying on water chestnuts to create a substitute for rice in delicious little sushi rolls. You’ll need water chestnuts, rice wine vinegar, coconut sugar, nori sheets, raw vegetables, and if you’d like, some cooked flaked salmon.
Missing classic fried rice from Asian restaurants? Give this paleo version a try, with “rice” made from yellow squash instead of grains. You’ll also need organic green peas, onion, eggs, avocado oil, garlic, sesame oil, coconut aminos, sea salt, and onion powder.
7. Grain Free Bacon and Shrimp Risotto
The dry white wine, chicken stock, garlic, and grey sea salt in this dish create a creamy, savory flavor that means you won’t miss the Arborio rice in this risotto dish, which is made with peeled and shredded daikon radish instead of actual rice. The shrimp and bacon flavors blend perfectly with spicy radish!
8. Whole30 Lamb, Mint Chimichurri, and Butternut Rice
The colors of this recipe should be enough to make your mouth water, but if not, let me help: this is made with olive oil, fresh mint, garlic, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, ghee, and more. And it’s a Whole30 friendly meal, so there’s nothing to feel guilty about on this plate. And the butternut squash is a perfectly healthy rice alternative!
9. Romanesco Risotto With Roasted Grapes, Seared Scallops, and Walnuts
With ingredients like roasted grapes, toasted walnuts, butter, garlic, olive oil, and romanesco, you know this delicious plate is going to be both light and rich, with deep, elegant flavors and a creative and beautiful “rice” made from romanesco.
10. Broccoli Fried Rice With Shrimp
If you can make rice out of cauliflower and romanesco, it’s only natural that you could make it out of broccoli, too. I love the fresh flavors in this dish, with a marinade of ginger, coconut aminos (to replace the soy sauce), lime, and other flavors, and a rice side with broccoli, shrimp, and vegetables.
11. Paleo Paella
Yes, this rice is made from cauliflower, and I promised we’d go easy on the cauli-rice recipes today. But this one is too good not to share, with onions, chicken stock, saffron, Dijon mustard, Old Bay, Italian sausage, chicken, scallops, shrimp, tomatoes, mussels, and more.
12. Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice
We’ve seen spaghetti squash used as an alternative to noodles, but you can also use it in rice dishes like this fried rice, made with garlic, eggs, olive oil, carrots, green onion, dish sauce, and optional sriracha to taste. Serve with chicken or steak for a nutritious meal.
(Read this next: 13 Delicious & Wholesome Cauliflower Rice Recipes)