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Saffron Riced Cauliflower Pilaf Recipe

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As you know, I am always on the hunt for delicious and nutritious recipes. This saffron riced cauliflower pilaf recipe fit the bill perfectly! I served it alongside a pork tenderloin for dinner and then the leftovers were added to a mixed green salad for lunch the next day. I loved how the pilaf added layers of flavor to my lunch salad! So unexpected!

Now, I admit this is not a super fast recipe. It is easy, but takes some slicing and chopping. I love turning on some music after work as I get busy in the kitchen. For me the chopping and prepping of the vegetables is very therapeutic. Plus the smells of the sauteing onion, celery, and carrots fills your kitchen with the most amazing aroma! That good feeling of preparing healthy foods for your body after a long days of work will fill your soul.

Saffron Riced Cauliflower Pilaf Recipe


  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 4 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 cup chicken stock (Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. To prep the saffron, place the 1/4 teaspoon of saffron in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of hot water and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Then add your diced carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and sauté until your vegetables turn a light golden color – about 7 minutes.
  3. While your vegetables are cooking, prep your cauliflower. Place your florets into a food processor (this will take two batches for a medium sized head of cauliflower). Using the pulse setting, pulse the florets until the cauliflower resembles course rice.
  4. Once your vegetables are a nice light golden color, add in the riced cauliflower and the saffron (with its water) into the vegetable mixture. Mix all vegetables together.
  5. Add in chicken stock, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  6. Once your broth is boiling, lower the heat to simmer and cover your pilaf. Continue cooking until your cauliflower is tender – about 8 more minutes.
  7. Once the cauliflower is the desired consistency, remove the pan’s lid and cook until the broth has been reduced.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and fresh parsley.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

We loved this rice pilaf alongside an oven roasted pork loin for dinner. But as I said earlier, it also made a wonderful addition to my lunch salad! I need to pack my lunch for work every day, and I often make a salad with whatever leftovers I have in the fridge. I wasn’t certain about how the pilaf would mix in with my salad greens – but it was divine! My salad consisted of mixed super-greens, 1/4 chopped avocado, about 1/3 cup of pilaf, some chopped chicken, salt and pepper. That’s it! The avocado and pilaf were so creamy that no other dressing was needed. Divine!

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