Cauli Rice Not-Paella

Cauli Rice Not-Paella

On so many levels this Cauli Rice Not-Paella has absolutely nothing to do with Paella – the classic Spanish dish of rice, stock and seafood cooked in a wide shallow paella pan.

BUT I was remembering a paella I’d had in Barcelona years ago when I was inspired to try this cauliflower idea. So I’ve kept paella in the name.

Sorry Spanish purists.

This combo of red peppers, tomato and paprika to flavour the cauliflower and prawns is so so delicious. Like me, you’ll be conspiring to find ways to make it again asap.

Frozen prawns are a new ingredient for me and they’re a super convenient (not to mention delicious) way to add protein. But if prawns aren’t your thing these flavours are also amazing with chicken, sausages, fish, pork or eggs.

Cauli Rice Not-Paella

Total Time 15 minutes


  • 200 g frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 grilled red pepper from a jar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 150 g frozen prawns defrosted
  • parsley to serve


  1. You need the prawns to be defrosted but the cauli is best still frozen. Slice the pepper into ribbons.
  2. Heat a medium frying pan / skillet on a medium high heat. Add the frozen cauli and cook stirring until defrosted (I don't bother with oil because the moisture from the cauli stops it sticking).
  3. When the cauli is hot, add the sliced pepper, tomato paste, smoked paprika, defrosted prawns and a pinch of salt.
  4. Cook, stirring for a few minutes until everything is hot.
  5. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the parsley leaves. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Recipe Video

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Variations & Substitutions for Cauli Rice Not-Paella

plan-B (pantry) – skip the parsley and you have an excellent pantry meal.

vegetarian – replace prawns with cooked chickpeas, boiled eggs or scramble eggs in with the tomato.

different protein – chicken, sausages, pork fillet, fish fillets, ground (minced) meat, boiled eggs or scramble eggs in with the tomato. If using raw protein, sliced and cook in a little oil then keep warm while you cook the cauli and add the cooked protein back to the pan just before serving.

nightshade-free / no tomato – make a cauliflower & prawn ‘risotto’ with the cauli and use butter and lemon juice to season.

more substantial (carb lovers) – use cooked rice as well as or instead of the cauli – this will be more like Spanish fried rice. Or serve with crusty bread.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with avocado, feta or almonds or extra protein.

different vegetables – any cooked veg will work well especially grilled zucchini or eggplant or serve with baby spinach or cooked greens. And broccoli ‘rice’ or other veggie ‘rice’ can be used instead of the cauli.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

frozen cauliflower rice / frozen prawns – keep it in the freezer.

grilled red peppers – in an unopened jar will last in the pantry for months, once open will last in the fridge for a few weeks.

tomato paste – in an unopened jar will last in the pantry for months, once open keep in the fridge. Can be frozen.

smoked paprika – keep it in the pantry.

parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.

Problem Solving Guide

bland – more salt! A squeeze of lime or lemon. Or add in a flavour bomb.

too watery – next time cook the cauliflower for longer before adding the other ingredients – to make sure the excess water is evaporated. For now you can drain off the liquid or serve with a spoon :)

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the parsley separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or can be frozen. To serve, warm in a pan with a little oil.

Cauli Rice Not-Paella

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With Love
Jules x

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