Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have a new recipe to share today, and it’s a good one! This is one of those meals that I just threw together on a whim one night, with few expectations, but both David and I liked it so much that I’ve been making it on the regular ever since. I struggled with what to call this because it’s half cauliflower rice, half brown rice, with sort of a hodgepodge of ingredients. At the end of the day though, it reminds me of Spanish rice, with a few extras (like beans and kale) thrown in. So that’s what I’m calling it!

I know riced cauliflower has been a thing for quite a while now but I never really bothered with it until recently, mostly because it was a pain to “rice” the cauliflower myself. No time for that! Now that you can find cauliflower already riced (fresh or frozen!) in most grocery stores, I’ve been experimenting with it a lot more. I can see why it’s such a trend because it’s both healthy and extremely versatile. You could make this dish with all cauliflower, and I probably would if I was serving it as a side dish, but I wanted it to have a bit more staying power since we have it as a full dinner. With fiber-filled cauliflower, brown rice, and black beans, it’s a satisfying meal that will keep you full for hours!

If you already have brown rice prepared, which I recommend, this comes together very fast. I typically make a batch of brown rice at the start of the week since it’s a staple in our house and we use it in lots of different things, so I usually have some on hand. I haven’t used frozen rice, but that would work too! And of course, you could make it on the spot. The recipe will just take longer.

One more note about ingredients. I think the salsa really makes the dish, so make sure you use a good and flavorful one. I think Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa is delicious, so that’s what I use, but any variety that you like should work well. Most salsas are high in sodium, so if you’re limiting sodium in your diet, make sure you consider that too. Regardless, I recommend using no salt added beans and diced tomatoes because the salsa adds all the salt you need.

Do you have any favorite cauliflower rice recipes?

Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice


  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Riced cauliflower, frozen, 16 oz
  • 15.5 oz can black beans (no salt added)
  • 1 cup corn, frozen
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 cup salsa (I use Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale
  • 1 tsp cumin


  1. Lightly coat a medium sized pot with olive oil and sauté the garlic on medium heat for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. Add frozen cauliflower rice and a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on medium heat until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse black beans.
  4. Add in the brown rice and the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly.
  5. Cook until everything is heated through.

2 thoughts on “Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

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