The Washington Post

Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Apr 9, 2014

This twist on the traditional Creole dish of red beans and rice takes out the smoky meats and uses "rice" made from cauliflower, a boon to those following a low-carb diet -- or anyone looking for a different way to get their veggie fix. The beauty of using home-cooked beans is the bean-cooking liquid, which adds flavor and creaminess here.

Of course, you can serve the beans over real rice instead.

Make Ahead: The beans can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen in their liquid for up to 3 months. The cauliflower can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • For the beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 poblano chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups cooked red kidney beans (homemade or canned no-salt-added), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups bean-cooking liquid (may substitute water or no-salt-added vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cauliflower rice
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


For the beans: Pour the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the oregano, mustard, cayenne and smoked paprika; let them sizzle and bloom for 30 seconds.

Add the poblano, celery, onion and garlic; cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the beans, cooking liquid, the 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling; cook, uncovered, until the flavors meld and the liquid has slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste, and add salt if needed. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.

For the cauliflower rice: While the beans are cooking, add the cauliflower pieces to a food processor and pulse until they are reduced to the size of rice. Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it shimmers, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, if using, salt and the cauliflower; reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the cauliflower is barely tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

To serve, divide the cauliflower rice among shallow bowls and top with the beans and some of their liquid. Serve hot.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Food editor Joe Yonan, author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook" (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (10)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 230

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 5g 8%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 570mg 24%

Total Carbohydrates: 36g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle