Paleo pineapple fried rice is a delicious, healthier version of Asian take-out. Make this cauliflower rice recipe in only 20 minutes!
Welcome to easy prep/easy recipe month! When recipes are easy to prep and have a short cook time, they usually become a staple in my weekly menu. It gets even better when those same meals are also budget friendly! I can hear the cheering now! 🥳
30-minute meals can save you SO much time, especially when you have a busy schedule. Please don’t fall into the trap of believing that quick and easy meals can’t be nourishing, though! Honestly, it’s all about choosing healthy ingredients.
The building blocks of a nourishing meal:
Use fresh produce, whole grains, sources of lean protein, and healthy starches.
One question I hear often is,
How can I make Asian take-out meals healthier?
I get it. Asian foods, especially those with sweet and spicy flavors, are a favorite of mine, too. But more often than not, those sweet sauces are full of refined white sugar.
This is especially true for store bought sauces like sweet and sour, teriyaki, and yum yum sauce.
Add unhealthy saturated fats and high glycemic starches to the mix, and your favorite carry-out foods are basically empty calories.
No worries; they can be nourishing… Let me show you how!
Cauliflower Pineapple Fried Rice
This is a healthier version of fried rice that you will want to make over and over again. Paleo pineapple fried rice is:
- Quick– From pan to plate, you’re looking at 15 minutes to make dinner!
- Easy meal prep– Save yourself time by doing some of the prep on a less busy day. Then, pull everything out of the freezer or fridge on a busy night.
- Budget friendly– No expensive specialty ingredients needed. Even better, you can save money by using frozen peas and carrots. Also, making cauliflower rice instead of buying it pre-made is a huge money saver!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- cauliflower rice– If you prefer to make your own, you’ll need 1 small head of cauliflower. You can see instructions for making cauliflower rice in my riced veggies post.
- large eggs– Although they are a staple in pineapple fried rice, you can certainly omit the eggs if you need to.
- sesame oil– For the majority of my recipes, I say that any cooking oil works, but with Asian recipes, using sesame oil is really key to developing the correct flavor.
- fresh garlic cloves– You can use minced garlic from a jar if necessary.
- scallions– You’ll need to divide the white and green portions.
- fresh ginger– Using fresh ginger really enhances the flavor of the dish. If you can’t find any fresh ginger, use ¼ teaspoon of ginger spice instead.
- frozen peas and carrots mix– I like to use a frozen veggie mix because the carrots are the perfect size for stir frying. If you want to use fresh, just partially cook them first.
- tamari sauce– this is our go-to gluten-free substitute for soy sauce. Otherwise, gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos can be used.
- crushed red pepper flakes- Feel free to use more or less to increase or decrease the spice level.
- diced pineapple– Feel free to use either fresh or canned pineapple chunks. Reserve the juice if you have any.
How to make fried rice with cauliflower
One of the keys to making perfect fried rice is chilling the rice overnight. So, we make this healthy fried rice the same way.
Whether you buy it ready to use or you make your own cauliflower rice is completely up to you.
Either way, you’ll want to bake it off in the oven first, then pop it in the fridge until it’s cold. It takes about 6 hours to chill, so I usually do this step the night before I make the pineapple fried rice.
CHILLING IS IMPORTANT!
If you try to make this recipe without chilling the cauliflower rice first, you may be disappointed. Your dish will be tasty, but the consistency will be nothing like authentic fried rice.
Easy Meal Prep!
This recipe really is perfect for easy meal prep! Not just because you can make portions of it ahead of time, but also because so many of the ingredients can be purchased ready to use.
It’s QUICK and EASY too! If you use prepared cauliflower rice, the dish comes together in only 20 minutes.
If you would rather use fresh carrots, you can do so. When you’re dicing, just be sure to keep the pieces as close in size as possible. Otherwise, you may end up over or undercooking some of them.
How to serve pineapple fried rice
This dish is pretty versatile! It’s great on its own for a meatless meal. I like to add chopped cashews for a bit of protein, then I serve it with yum yum sauce over the top. It’s delicious, nourishing and filling!
Another source of plant-based protein would be great too, like chickpea or cultured tempeh.
If you want to serve it as a side dish instead, this healthy fried rice is fantastic with Asian dishes like Paleo Chicken Teriyaki or 10-Minute Pan Seared Salmon.
As written, the recipe makes enough to serve 3 to 4 people as a main dish. Serving size is 2 cups each.Print
Paleo Pineapple Fried Rice
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
Paleo pineapple fried rice is a delicious and healthier version of Chinese carry-out. Make this cauliflower rice recipe in under 15 minutes!
- 4 cups cauliflower rice (1 small head of cauliflower) *see notes
- 2 large eggs, beaten (plus oil for cooking)
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 small green onions (white and green portions divided)
- 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix, thawed
- 3 Tablespoons tamari sauce, gluten free soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- 1 pinch kosher or sea salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅔ cup diced pineapple- reserve 1 Tablespoon pineapple juice if you have any
- 3 oz cooked chicken breast
- yum yum sauce
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cashews
- The day before you make this recipe, bake and chill the cauliflower rice. See notes for more info.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon oil. Add and scramble eggs, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Wipe the pan clean.
- Next, add 1 teaspoon each sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, and ¼ cup white portion of green onions to the pan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and softened but not browned.
- Return pan to medium-high heat and add thawed peas/carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Mix in cauliflower rice, tamari sauce, salt, red pepper, pineapple (and juice),and additional 1 teaspoon sesame oil and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Add the scrambled egg and mix to combine.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining green onions.
- If there is any sauce left in the skillet or wok, pour that on top of bowl before serving.
- Top with optional crushed nuts and yum yum sauce. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
To make Cauliflower Rice: Chop cauliflower head in half and cut off stems. Place half in a food processor or blender and pulse until it’s “riced.” Then do the other half. See this post for how to rice veggies.
For best “fried rice”, bake cauliflower rice in the oven on a sheet pan for 18 minutes at 350°F. Let it cool, then store in a container in the fridge until ready to use. Best made the day before.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Category: Dinners
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Asian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 268
- Sugar: 11 g
- Sodium: 661.5 mg
- Fat: 13.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.1 g
- Fiber: 8.5 g
- Protein: 13.3 g
- Cholesterol: 124 mg
Keywords: pineapple fried rice, pineapple rice, healthy fried rice, cauliflower rice, Paleo, gluten free
Okay ya’ll. Let’s dig in already, mmm k? I think Friday movie night in with homemade Chinese takeout is gonna happen.
Have you made cauliflower fried rice before?
P.S. If you are wondering if cooked peas are paleo, that’s still a debate. I say yes.
Hint —> Lower phytate content and easier on digestion = WINNING!
This post was originally published on 6/3/2013. Recipe, images and content were updated and republished on 3/3/2021.
Delicious! Before seeing this recipe I never thought of roasting the cauliflower rice. Now I don’t think I’ll do it any other way! I just had frozen peas , so I sautéed a diced carrot with the onion (and was starving so I also added diced broccoli and asparagus) will definitely make again!!!
Love the asparagus combo! Thanks for feedback Karen
Any way I get the original version of this recipe? I’ve been making since 2014 haven’t made it in a while and I only saved the website not the original recipe
Definitely the new favorite side dish at my house!
I just made this for lunch and added rotisserie chicken. LOVED it so much!
Oh yay! So glad!
when did you add the egg? i dont see that in the recipe
Oh sorry! For some reason this recipe did not update. Just updated it! Let me know if it makes sense.
it wasn’t my favorite, but I will keep trying your recipes. It’s hard to please every palate. Keep cooking!
Oh no. I’m sorry! What was wrong with it? Thanks for feed back
Jody - Fit at 58
You know I have not made it 🙂 Looks & sounds amazing!! I would put my extra lean ground turkey or some chicken in there!
ground chicken would be fab!
Yes, I CANNOT believe it’s already June. It’s cray-cray, am I right? But I’m excited! It’s already getting so much warmer!
This cauliflower fried rice looks amazing! The pineapples are such an amazing addition to the whole pan!
i agree! I love me some pineapple… ALWAYS! haha right Cassie?
Katherine @ Katherine Lynn Fitness
ALWAYS looking for new ways to eat cauliflower rice! YUM. Never would have thought to add the jerky!
yes, it’s like the easiest ingredient ever to make so tasty! let me know if you try it katherine!
Kristy from Southern In Law
This looks SO good! What an awesome idea to add in jerky! Jesse would LOVE that!
haha i know, right? just a manly touch!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
Jerky fried rice?! How exactly did you get so brilliant?! This would be the easiest travel meal lever. Can you tell I’m hangry on a plane? 😉
we can put it in a jar and all it travel jerk jar! 😉
Thalia @ butter and brioche
I’m still to try cauliflower rice & have been meaning to make it for ages! Thanks for the inspiration!
yes go for it! keep me posted too
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
What a perfect paring of ingredients. Great recipe. Thanks so much. Have a wonderful weekend.
So true — I live with 4 men, and while I would be happy eating breakfast cookies every day…they would NOT. Total carnivores! A 15-minute meal is about all that I have time for these days, too. WIN!
haha yes, i grew up with 3 brothers and a dad… you know i relate!
I still need to try cauliflower fried rice one of these nights we make Chinese. It sounds like it would be so good.
You haven’t yet? I thought you had! ohhh let me know whatcha think!
How did I not know you were on Snapchat. I need to find you stat.
I think adding the pineapple here is pretty amazing. I bet it does great things to the flavor. You could almost go with a Caribbean theme here. Then we can add fruity cocktails., They’ll help cut the Texas heat. 🙂
how did i not know you were on there too? We must snippety snap!
michele @ paleorunningmomma
This is like a dream! And of course now I’m craving bison jerky!
isn’t it the best?! OMG yes! jerky obsession. and venison jerky!
Oh my gosh…this is making me want to run into the kitchen right now and make cauliflower fried rice for breakfast! Seriously gorgeous, Lindsay!
run to my kitchen and i’ll dish it up!
Erin @ The Almond Eater
Ok so I love cauliflower and fried rice and pineapple (obviously) sooo I’m pretty sure I’d love this. Also, LOL all we do is talk about how fast time goes by… so true! A blog post begins that way every 30 days.
ain’t that the truth. You’d think I’d learn already to stop talking about time! haha
Susie @ Suzlyfe
And another add to the recipe list! ANd now that I am actually cooking, it might ACTUALLY happen!
yay! are you all settled in the new place? feeling good?
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Then the carnivore sets in! I love it! Love the pineapple addition too.
right? tangy and delish! <3 you