Fall gluten-free paleo sides vegan

Cauliflower Stuffing [Made with Cauliflower Rice!]

November 7, 2019

This healthy, low-carb cauliflower stuffing will convince your Thanksgiving guests to jump on board the cauliflower rice train, while secretly getting them to eat more veggies! Plus it’s ready in under 20 minutes and can be prepared in advance.

Cauliflower Stuffing for a healthy thanksgiving
Cauliflower Rice Stuffing Recipe

cauliflower stuffing in a bowl made with cauliflower rice

Confession: I’m definitely not low-carb…but I think you knew that already. When people ask me my favorite food I’m always quick to answer “BREAD”. But seriously, bread is a food group in my life. But I also recognize that not everyone eats the same way I do (which is cool – you do you!) though I remain a fan of sneaking veggies into just about everything I cook.

These days, diets have basically become a religion and sometimes it scares me how divided we’ve become on the topic of food. I have my way of eating but I also acknowledge and respect that your way may look different. I think that’s a big part of having a healthy relationship with food – not feeling the need to push your way of eating on anyone else. Plus – your way of eating may change and no one deserves to be scrutinized because they’ve changed. In fact, it’s the most human thing about us.

Sitting here on a casual Tuesday eating my cauliflower stuffing feels kind of liberating. We all save stuffing for once (maybe twice) a year, since it’s basically the opposite of nutritious. But hot damn is it delicious. It also feels good knowing that people who make a different choice than I do when it comes to their food decisions can also enjoy this cauliflower stuffing. And this is coming from a bread lover – so you know this stuffing is good!

cauliflower rice in a food processor

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Have you guys ever tried cauliflower rice? It’s gained a lot of popularity in the past few years and for good reason – it’s delicious! Cauliflower rice is essentially as it sounds, “rice” made from cauliflower. Basically, cauliflower is cut into florets and places in a food processor to be processed into a grain-like consistency. It surprisingly has a pretty rice-like shape and is a great substitute for rice, grains or even bread like in this cauliflower stuffing. The process of making it is simple. All you need is:

  • A food processor (a blender can be used though I recommend blending it in smaller portions at a time or it will take a long time!)
  • A head of cauliflower

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in your food processor. Process until it has all broken down into a rice consistency. You may need to open up your food processor and mix things around to make sure you get an even mix. Just don’t oven process or you’ll end up with mashed cauliflower instead of riced cauliflower!

Note: many grocery stores actually sell pre-riced cauliflower so if you don’t have a food processor this will be your best option.

making cauliflower rice stuffing

Cauliflower Stuffing | How-To

This cauliflower stuffing is jam-packed with veggies! Similar to traditional stuffing I’ve included the classics like cauliflower, onion, mushrooms and of course, sage. But making this recipe is actually easier than most stuffing and doesn’t require any oven space! Here’s how to make it:

STEP 1: Rice your cauliflower as shown above.

STEP 2: Cook your onions, celery and garlic in your pan. I prefer using cast-iron.

STEP 3: Add your mushrooms and cook for 5 more mins to allow them to “sweat” their moisture

STEP 4: Add the riced cauliflower for another 5 mins or until fully cooked.

STEP 5: Top with pecans, spices and red wine vinegar and cook for 1 more minute.

Can this cauliflower rice be made in advance?

Absolutely! Just be sure to heat it up on the stove top before serving.

*For full instructions scroll down to the recipe. Feel free to hit the “print” button so you can be extra prepared on Thanksgiving.

cauliflower stuffing made with cauliflower rice

More Healthy Thanksgiving Swaps

Let’s build out your Thanksgiving meal with some of these healthy Thanksgiving swaps:


Cauliflower Stuffing

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower (roughly the 6 cups chopped)*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
  • 3 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until “rice” consistency is reached.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions, garlic and celery and sauté for 5 mins
  4. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until they’ve begun to sweat (about another 5 mins)
  5. Add in cauliflower and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  6. Top with pecans, spices and vinegar and cook for 1 min.
  7. Serve warm or store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

*if purchasing pre-“riced” cauliflower it comes out to roughly 4 cups

NOTE: This is not to be stuffed inside a turkey. Cook only on the stove top and serve alongside turkey.

Like this post? Here are a few other side dishes you might enjoy:

Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing
Sweet Potato Cornbread
Acorn Squash Soup


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  • Reply
    Jess Schua
    November 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Do you have a measurement for the 2 cauliflower heads?
    My 2 heads came to over 8 cups riced which was nearly impossible to cook at once. I halved it, but the seasonings were then overpowering.
    This first attempt went to a work potluck, but I’d love to have a better version ready for this Thanksgiving.


    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 22, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      It’s around 6 cups! Not cauliflower head will yield an exact amount so aim for 6 cups which for me was about 2 medium-sized heads. Hope you have better luck next time!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2015 at 1:57 am

    My Dr just put me on gluten-free which will be a challenge for Thanksgiving this year !?! LoL This recipe looks DEEELISH! I am buying the ingredients tomorrow to give it a try. It looks like a great alternative for us!! So glad I saw it on The Pin Junkie 🙂

  • Reply
    November 16, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I’m actually planning on volunteering at my favorite vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude for Thanksgiving! It’s a great way to spend the day by giving back!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      That is so so sweet! How thoughtful of you!

  • Reply
    Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
    November 13, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Mmmm! Shared this great recipe for my post today – 12 Whole30 Thanksgiving Side Dishes: http://physicalkitchness.com/whole30-thanksgiving-side-dishes/

    Thanks for the inspiration Davida!! I am sure my readers will love it.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks, lovely! I appreciate the support <3

    • Reply
      November 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for the list! I’m going to make this rice recipe and now I have more to look at! 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather | Cook It Up Paleo
    November 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

    This looks seriously yummy; I love cauliflower rice!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 12, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Thanks, lovely 🙂 Me too!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I’m a mom and I’m totally obsessed with cauli rice. Ha. I’m also obsessed with stuffing, so I’m totally making this!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 12, 2015 at 9:33 am

      So the theory stands!!! Haha thanks Karly. I have no doubts your thanksgiving is going to be epic!

  • Reply
    She Rocks Fitness
    November 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I am driving home to NJ for a small family Thanksgiving! It is going to be a quiet one, but that is okay. I am looking forward to my Mom’s Turkey and her stuffing…Salty goodness…Cannot believe it so close…AHHH!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:09 am

      That sounds lovely! I’m so jealous. I may just have to roast up a turkey here!

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    November 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I love cauliflower rice – I eat it all the time. Often I’ll serve Nate regular brown rice and I’ll use cauli-rice for me. You can freeze the “rice” raw after you process it so you don’t have to whip out your food processor every time you want some!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Seriously?! This is life-changing. Almost like when I discovered you can freeze avocados!

      • Reply
        November 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm

        I came across this post a couple weeks back, and I’m literally making all but two things on this group post, sooooooooo thank you! 😉 We will be vacationing on Thanksgiving (best tradition ever) so I’m planning/purchasing as many grocery list items pre-vacay as possible. I was wondering if I could purchase frozen cauliflower rice and use it in this recipe when I came across this comment. Do you think I should thaw first? Or just follow original recipe?

      • Reply
        November 20, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        You can freeze avocados?? Thank you from Gerogia!!!!

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    November 10, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Mmmm cauliflower rice is perfect for stuffing! It’s so tender and sucks up all the flavors. And that Harvest Salad…..omg.
    PS your photos are gorgeous! Major goals.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Aw thank you, lovely! I know Lexi’s salad looks unreal! Can’t wait to make it.

  • Reply
    Kerri Shaw
    November 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    This looks amazing! Although my daughter and I don’t care for mushrooms. Do you have any suggestion of a replacement for mushrooms in this recipe, or will it not work without them?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Totally can omit them! Feel free to replace them with another veggie if you’d like! It may be a bit heavy on the cauliflower rice without the mushrooms but it will still taste great 🙂

      • Reply
        Kerri Shaw
        November 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

        You. Are. Awesome. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    November 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Not living in the US, I only know what I know about US Thanksgiving from movies, but I so would love to try it out once, love all the delicious treats served for the holiday 🙂

    And I agree, these sides sound wonderfully tasty!

    ps: What a huge favour of fortune that Lee lives in the same city C’s family, so that you can combine meeting with Lee when you are on a family visit 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:05 am

      So so lucky! They’re legit neighbors. It’s convenient and so special!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    November 10, 2015 at 7:28 am

    It’s MAJORLY brilliant that you used cauliflower rice in stuffing – I would have never thought of that. Cauli rice is my thing, so I need to try this! Pinned!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 11, 2015 at 8:05 am

      It came to me in a dream…I wish I were kidding haha. And yes I dream about stuffing.

      • Reply
        December 28, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        Just made this recipe to go with my leftover turkey. It’s one of the worse recipes I’ve tried. I guess not everything can be made healthy.

    • Reply
      November 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Need to try this cauliflower has been been savior in all recipes. It is the tofu of lo cal substitutions. Can’t belive the recipeces I have been able to make and enjoy with rice, pearled, masked, you name it, so versatile with flavor

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