Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice

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This easy-to-make Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice is the perfect solution for takeout cravings! It’s a healthy remake of the Thai dish from our local Thai restaurant, but it’s absolutely loaded with veggies. There’s no sugar added so it’s Whole30, gluten-free, and dairy-free as well. And we love the leftovers for easy-packed lunches during the week.

Paleo Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice in a white skillet with a wooden spoon.

Do you ever make something out to be a big deal in your head, only to discover it was really nothing at all? I do this all the time from the usual things people dread to the smallest of tasks. So… my latest mountain out of a mole-hill was grating cauliflower.

I’ve made cauliflower rice in the food processor but I heard grating it was the way to go. Right away my mind geared up into overdrive picturing little bits of cauliflower flinging about my kitchen creating an epic mess as I grated away. (I think you can probably see why my family thinks I have an active imagination!)

Anyway, I’m here to put your mind at ease, grating cauliflower really is the way to go. It’s super easy, doesn’t make a huge mess as I thought, and it makes for the best evenly textured ‘rice’.

But I’m also here to tell you, that frozen cauliflower rice works great too. And even better, it takes out most of the prep time making this recipe even easier.

A large white skillet filled with Paleo Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Avocado oilI love using this oil as a healthy fat in my stir fries because it has a high heat tolerance. But feel free to use any kind of stir-frying oil you prefer or even coconut oil.
  • Chicken – This is optional, but a great way to pack in a bit more protein and flavor. My original version of this recipe was vegetarian. But many of you have written to say you love this with chicken, (or shrimp) and we do too. So you’ll find it listed below in the ingredients.
  • Pineapple – Fresh pineapple sliced up into tidbit size is definitely the best here. Canned pineapple just can’t compete with the fresh flavor. I’ve used frozen, thawed, and drained pineapple before which is good. But it’s not quite as good as fresh.
  • Red bell pepper & carrots – make up the veggies in this recipe that add flavor to the cauliflower rice. These 2 ingredients have also been a staple in every Thai pineapple fried rice I’ve ever ordered out to eat.
  • Garlic – is definitely essential for the perfect fried rice flavor.
  • Green onions – and the green onions are much like the garlic, they’re essential for the best-fried rice flavor.
  • Cauliflower Rice – Why does everything have to be cauliflower these days? Just sort of kidding! But if you’re not the biggest fan, rest assured this is no ordinary cauliflower rice. Freshly grated cauliflower rice is so good here. But more often than not I opt for the convenience and time-saving aspect of frozen cauliflower rice. Also, frozen cauliflower rice is very budget-friendly where we live. One week fresh cauliflower is around $4 a head which is pretty reasonable. But next week it will be $4/pound making it super expensive!
  • Eggs – are a traditional ingredient in any fried rice, but they’re extra important in this recipe. Cauliflower rice is much more granular in nature than actual rice. But as the eggs scramble around it, the texture softens and is much more similar to fried rice.
  • Coconut Aminos – or tamari/soy sauce of choice is the perfect way to season this ‘fried rice’.
  • Chili – My original recipe called for chili paste. But since that has been problematic for some, I retested this for red pepper flakes. The other problem I’ve found with chili paste is they often have undesirable ingredients as well. So we have a new solution with the red pepper flakes. But you could use a fresh red chili as well.
  • Cashews – or any toasted nut you love for some added crunch!
A close up photo of Paleo Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice being spooned out with a wooden spoon.
Oh my goodness… doesn’t this just make you want to dive right in?!

Let’s make this Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice step by step

All the ingredients for this cauliflower rice recipe prepped and put into bowls with sliced green onions on a black cutting board.

Step 1: We’ll kick things off by prepping all of the ingredients first. Once you start cooking, it comes together quickly. So it’s best to have everything ready to go!

Tip: To make your green onions look the way they do when you go to a restaurant, you’ll want to slice them on the bias.

This is a simple trick that makes them look a little better, and the only thing you change is the angle of your knife.

When you’re slicing them just make sure your knife is at a 45º angle to the green onions. That’s all it takes to create those beautiful oblong slices!

Stir frying pineapple chunks in a skillet as the first step.

Steps 2 & 3: Next, sauté the chicken in a large skillet if you’re using it, and then set it aside.

Repeat this process with the pineapple. I like to sauté the pineapple separately like this because you end up with really tasty caramelized edges. This definitely makes it worth a couple more minutes!

The second step in the recipe sautéing the carrots and bell pepper together in a skillet.

Step 4: Then we’ll stir fry the bell pepper, carrots, and garlic until the veggies are crisp-tender.

Adding the cauliflower rice to the pan with the stir fried veggies.

Step 5: Next, we’ll add in the cauliflower rice and green onions. Cook just until the cauliflower is tender.

Note: Don’t worry about this tasting too much like cauliflower. I’m not the biggest cauliflower fan, and I ate this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner two days in a row!

Adding the stir fried pineapple to the finished cauliflower rice as the final step.

Steps 6 & 7: Then we’ll add the whisked eggs to the pan, and cook until the eggs have scrambled around the cauliflower rice.

Finally, it’s time to add the sauce, chicken, pineapple, and cashews to the pan. Cook just until the sauce absorbs, season to taste, and serve right away!

Paleo Pineapple Fried Rice in a white skillet on a grey background with green onions and cashews around it.

Ways to serve this

Tips & Tricks

  • Be sure to stir fry the cauliflower rice over high enough heat that liquid doesn’t accumulate and the veggies brown rather than ‘sweat’.
  • Use a large pan and keep the heat up to make sure this stir fries into a ‘fried rice’ texture.
  • Be careful when stir-frying the pineapple because it has a tendency to splatter. You can skip this step, but it does add a really nice caramelized flavor to the pineapple!
Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice in a large white skillet with a bowl of toasted cashews and a bowl of sliced green onions on the side.

I sure hope you enjoy this healthy remake of Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice! If you do make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here!

Paleo Pineapple Fried Rice in a white skillet on a grey background with green onions and cashews around it.

Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice


5 from 12 votes
Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Course: Dinner

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut into bite sized pieces, see notes
  • 2 cups small chunks fresh pineapple - weighing 8 ounces
  • 1 red bell pepper - cut into 1/2″ pieces, 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 small carrots - weighing 8 ounces, thinly sliced, 2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 cup green onions - thinly sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower - 1 lb 11 oz, or 5 cups frozen cauliflower rice, see notes
  • 4 eggs

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos - tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes - or 2 teaspoons chili paste

To finish:

  • 1 cup roasted cashew pieces
  • Sea salt to taste if needed

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Start by prepping all your ingredients before you begin cooking because this dish comes together quickly.
  • Grate the cauliflower using a box grater, and set it aside. Or skip this step if using frozen cauliflower rice.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk them together with a fork.
  • Mix together the coconut aminos and red pepper flakes or chili paste together in a small bowl and set it aside.
  • Preheat a very large non-stick skillet, (15″) over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it’s hot but not smoking.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon of the avocado oil to the pan and brown the chicken pieces. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Next carefully add the pineapple, then 1 more tablespoon of oil to the pan, (adding the oil after the pineapple helps to keep the oil from splattering).
  • Sear the pineapple chunks to create caramelized edges, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pineapple from the pan and set it aside while you finish the fried rice.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil to the pan and sauté the bell pepper, carrots, and garlic until the veggies are crisp tender. Then add the green onions, and cauliflower rice to the pan.
  • Cook 1-2 minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened. Add the eggs and cook stirring until the egg scrambles around the stir-fry, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce is absorbed and thoroughly mixed in.
  • Remove the fried rice from the heat and stir in the cashews, chicken, and caramelized pineapple. Taste test to see if you’d like to add some sea salt and serve immediately!
  • This stir-fry tastes best hot, but it’s really good at room temperature and cold right out of the refrigerator.
Bonus StepIf you made this recipe, please leave a rating/comment. Ratings really help us continue to bring you high-quality free recipes. Rate This Recipe!

NOTES

The chicken is optional in this recipe. It adds a bit more flavor and protein, but my original version of this dish was vegetarian. Over time we made it with just a bit of chicken so often I updated the recipe. Also the nutritional information is calculated with the chicken added.
I love using frozen cauliflower rice in place of the fresh cauliflower for a super quick dinner. I do recommend defrosting it first just in case you need to drain off any liquid. But so far every brand I’ve used has been fine to add straight to the pan from the freezer.
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Cauliflower Fried Rice, Paleo Pineapple Fried Rice, Pineapple Cauliflower Rice, Thai Cauliflower Rice

nutrition facts

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 6522IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg
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This Paleo Pineapple Fried Rice recipe was originally published in 2015. It’s been updated in 2021 to included more information, tips, and new photos.

51 thoughts on “Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice”

  1. 5 stars
    I never leave comments but have to for this one – I started this not expecting much, just a nice substitute for fried rice but OH WOW HOW WRONG I was. This is sooooooo good!!!
    I had to go back for seconds, and am so glad I made enough to pack for lunch. So simple and so effective!! Love it 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, that’s just the best compliment! I wasn’t expecting much the first time I tried cauliflower rice either, but it really does make a great fried rice substitute!

      Reply
  2. This is amazing!! Wish you had the nutritional breakdown … at least calories, protein, fat, carbs per serving. Just the basics would be great. Not sure my app can handle the conversion for meal tracking!!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I hope to have nutritional information more available in the future, it’s something I’ve been working on!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    The oroma of these rice are amazing. While I was cooking it spread all the way and increase our hunger. Indeed a wonderful recipe.

    Reply
    • Chili paste is spicy, but you can use as much or little as you’d like, just stir in a little bit at the end of the cooking time and work up from there to your taste. I hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I used olive oil as I don’t have any avocado, nor do I have aminos (used soy), but it turned out so yummy. I actually used the pre-shredded cauliflower and it saved a lot of time. I kept eating it as I was putting it in containers for lunches this week! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • I didn’t even know you could get pre-shredded cauliflower, I’ve never seen it around here but that would really cut the prep time down! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hello! I want to try this recipe as I am cooking for a paleo friend who recently had a death in the family. I don’t have any coconut aminos on-hand. Is there anything I could use to substitute? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • You can substitute soy sauce or tamari for the coconut aminos. Just be sure to check the label to see if there’s any allergens that might be a problem for your friend’s family like soy or gluten. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!

      Reply
  6. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. It was absolutely delicious! I came across your recipe searching for ways to use the frozen cauliflower rice I just bought from Trader Joe’s. I’m not strictly paleo, so I added peas and used sriracha in place of the chili paste, because it was what I had on hand 😉
    I am definitely going to check out some of your other recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • I’ve used sriracha sometimes too whenever I run out of chili paste, either one tastes great! I’m not strictly paleo either, so sometimes I make this with leftover cooked rice which is really good too. 🙂

      Reply
    • If you’re loving cauliflower rice, you’re going to be crazy about cauliflower fried rice – I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Reply

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