Curry Cauliflower Fried Rice with Roasted Chickpeas [Plant-Based + Gluten-Free]

Dinner is ready in 30 minutes.

cauliflower rice

Looking for a delicious way to spice up dinnertime? This curry cauliflower fried rice recipe is lower in carbohydrates, plant-based, and filled with flavorful curry spices.

With just a handful of fresh ingredients and a few pantry staples, this recipe can be on the table in 30 minutes.

Buying the Ingredients

This curry cauliflower fried rice is made with cauliflower, as opposed to traditional white rice, and crunchy chickpeas, plus a variety of healthy and warming spices. If you’ve never swapped cauliflower in place of rice before, prepare for an easy and healthy treat.

Cauliflower is a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and E, and potent antioxidants. The antioxidants in cauliflower (as well as other vegetables in the brassica family) are associated with reduced oxidative stress, promotion of detoxification pathways, stimulating the immune system, and decreasing the risk of certain cancers. Not to mention, cauliflower rice contains significantly more fiber than white rice, the latter of which has had its fiber stripped during processing, resulting in a high-glycemic grain.

Along with nutrient-rich cauliflower, this recipe also contains roasted chickpeas, which are heart-healthy crunchy bites. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are good sources of fiber, protein, manganese, folate, copper, iron, and phosphorus. Consuming these beans is associated with balanced blood sugar levels and satiety, thanks to chickpeas’ high amount of fiber.

To use chickpeas, cook your own from dried garbanzo beans (a batch cooking wonder) or purchase canned chickpeas in BPA-free cans or cardboard containers. If using canned chickpeas, dump them in a colander and rinse thoroughly before use.

This recipe gets its warmth and rich flavor from curry powder, a spice blend made up of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, basil, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, and cinnamon. All of these herbs and spices boast serious health benefits including antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory properties, and improved digestion. Look for an organic curry powder, which means that the spices and herbs used were not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. Once opened, store curry powder in a dark and cool place and use within a year.

curry cauliflower rice recipe
Credit: Kate Gavlick

Kitchen Prep

This curry cauliflower fried rice recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare. Simply preheat the oven, prep the rice, roast chickpeas, and sauté the vegetables and spices. Add everything together and dinner is ready.

In order to turn the cauliflower into rice, you’ll need a food processor or box grater. The food processor can pulse down cauliflower florets into rice, while the box grater easily shreds the veggie into fine rice-like pieces.

Both methods are seamless and simple. If you lack time, you can also purchase organic riced cauliflower at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s. Although much more expensive than just a regular head of cauliflower, riced cauliflower can help save time during kitchen prep.

In fact, some may take saving kitchen prep time a bit too far. The grocery chain, Trader Joe’s has imposed a two-bag limit of cauliflower rice due to the item’s popularity in several stores. Trader Joe’s headquarters reports, “The popularity of this item has led to a temporary lapse in its availability…We are hard at work to ensure more Organic Riced Cauliflower is available as soon as possible.”

cauliflower rice

Flavor Tips

While cauliflower rice is as versatile as they come and can quickly adapt to a variety of dishes and flavors, in this recipe, curry powder is the star.

From burrito bowls to homemade fried rice, cauliflower is an easy way to add in extra nutrients and fiber. Dana Shultz of the popular food blog, Minimalist Baker, notes “Because rice can often leave dishes feeling heavy, it’s nice to substitute a vegetable where a starch would usually be” she says. “In addition, it’s a great way to squeeze more servings of vegetables into your day.”

Another way to add in more flavor and nutrients is to add vegetables to the baking tray while roasting the chickpeas. Cubed butternut squash, sweet potato, onion, zucchini, or mushrooms can bulk up the dish while boosting the antioxidant and flavor content of this meal.

This recipe also fits a variety of dietary restrictions notably plant-based and gluten-free diets. To make this recipe Paleo-friendly, omit the chickpeas and swap with roasted winter vegetables instead.

curry cauliflower rice recipe
Credit: Kate Gavlick


10 min. Prep
30 min. Cook
40 min. Total
1 Servings

Curry Cauliflower Fried Rice with Roasted Chickpeas


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss chickpeas with one tablespoon melted coconut oil, cumin, turmeric, ½ tsp sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through. Chickpeas should be crisped and crunchy.
  2. While chickpeas roast, add cauliflower florets to a food processor. Pulse cauliflower several times until broken down to the size of small grains of rice or couscous. Alternatively, use a box grater to shred cauliflower into fine rice-sized pieces. Voila – cauliflower rice!
  3. Heat remaining one tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion and sauté for five to seven minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add in garlic and sauté for three minutes more, stirring often.
  4. To the skillet add cauliflower rice, curry powder, ginger, and lemon juice stirring to incorporate spices into the rice. Season cauliflower fried rice with ½ tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add in roasted chickpeas and baby spinach and stir well. Cook until spinach wilts, about three minutes.
  5. Divide between dishes and garnish with cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

Kate Gavlick is a nutritionist with a masters degree in nutrition. Hailing from Portland Oregon, and has a passion... More about Kate Gavlick