Cauliflower Fried Rice with Vegan XO Sauce

The day you discover that “rice” can be made from nothing but a head of cauliflower will be one of the happiest of your life.

That day happened not too long ago for me when I made this totally bizarre fried rice where nothing is quite what it seems… Our rice is made from cauliflower, our XO sauce is made from mushrooms, and our scrambled eggs are made from tofu. Yes, it turns the world of cooking inside out, but this fried rice without rice might just be the best fried rice I’ve ever had. Add in our vegan XO Sauce from earlier this week, and we’re talking about something exceptionally good.

Not to mention, this is by far the most nutrient-packed rice you’ve ever eaten. It has no simple carbs, tons of protein, and more phytonutrients than you can count. Another score for real food.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Makes 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup vegan XO Sauce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Black pepper
  • 2+ tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 green onions

Cauliflower Fried Rice XO

Step One

As mentioned, you can turn cauliflower into something very similar to short-grain rice with just a food processor and 30 seconds. To do this, break the cauliflower into small florets and add them to a food processor (you may need to do half at a time for even processing) and simply pulse 8-10 times until you have evenly-ground “grains” of cauliflower. Incredible.

Step Two

Fried rice typically has scrambled eggs, so let’s make some! Mash the tofu with a fork or potato masher until it’s in small clumps. Heat a wok (or large saucepan) with just a drop of vegetable oil and add in the tofu. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and black pepper. Stir to combine. Then, throw in the cauliflower rice and the star of our show: the vegan XO Sauce from the last recipe (reserving a little for garnish) along with a splash of tamari / soy sauce. Stir until the rice is evenly coated and give this a few minutes to cook.

Step Three

Meanwhile, cube the carrots, slice the green onions, and measure out the frozen peas. After the cauliflower has had time to soften, add these vegetables with (possibly) another splash of tamari to taste. Now, simply let it simmer for another 5-8 minutes and your rice is done. When it tastes perfect, transfer to serving bowls and top with another spoonful of XO sauce.

Cauliflower Fried Rice XO Sauce

Cauliflower Fried Rice


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  1. I was eager to try this recipe because I hate cauliflower, but was hoping maybe I’d like eating it if it’s disguised as rice. Well, I do! This dish is fantastic, will definitely be making it again!
    And I’ve never even heard of XO sauce before, but I really liked the different flavors it added. Since I’m not a ham or fish person, I doubt I would like the “authentic” version at all.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Very cool, Catherine! I think this would be the perfect way to sneak cauliflower into a recipe for those who don’t like it. I mean, you can taste it if you try hard enough, but the textures and other flavors are so different that it really fades into the background. So glad you liked it! 🙂

  2. Just made this for dinner again, 2nd time in less than a week. That just goes to show you how much I love this dish! Thank you!!

    • Awesome! I’ve made it a few times as well, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s addicted… 🙂

    • Hi Liewn! Oh, it’s not the same stuff as in bread. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that’s very popular in vegan cooking because it has a wonderful cheesy flavor and is very nutritious!

      • Andrew,

        Thanks!! I am a newbie that currently 100% vegetarian and avoiding daries and honey as much as I am aware. So I am still learning on all things vegan.

        So where to buy? Jimbo Natural Store?

        I am going to find the Alter Ego choclate too (already Googled it and Jimbo has it)!! =)

        Thanks again for the recipe and info.


        • No problem! It’s a common question 🙂 You should be able to find it at any major grocery store (especially the healthier ones). Once you know about it, it’s pretty easy to find.

  3. Loved, loved this recipe! My ten year old and twin five year olds all agreed that they prefer this recipe over traditional fried rice any day! Definitely will add this to my list!
    My only complaint is that when I pulled out my food processor I dropped the top and broke off the lock tab! Looks like I need to find this asap so I can make more fried rice!

    • That’s so great, Felicia! I love hearing when kids enjoy healthy food.

      So sorry about your food processor! 🙁

  4. I’ve made this cauliflower rice a bunch of times now, it’s a favourite with me n my partner! That Xo sauce is a revelation. The whole dish is! Brilliant stuff.

  5. Made this tonight and loved it! The only question I have is that we try to do oil-free vegan most of the time. Do you think it would be possible to cut back or leave out the oil altogether in the XO sauce? I understand the flavor that the oil imparts, but my boyfriend has cholesterol concerns. I’m considering making it again with half the oil, but just wondered if you had any insights first!

    Thanks for your awesome recipes! I have yet to make a recipe from your website that I haven’t loved!!!

    • Hi Sarah, that’s a good question. I typically try to keep the oil down as well, but I went a little crazy in this one to get the flavors right. I haven’t tested other variations, but you might be able to get by with less oil if you use a tablespoon of water and a little more of some other ingredients.

  6. I made this tonight, but it came out soggy. I think the issue was I put the tofu, yeast, and cauliflower at the same time. Maybe the tofu didn’t have enough time to dry out.
    I also use a nutra bullet (no food processor), maybe my cauliflower rice was too small. The taste was great! The texture was quite mushy.

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Homemade Vegan XO Sauce

The First Year of One Ingredient Chef