This light and zippy Fiesta Cauliflower Rice Salad is coming at you just in time for Cinco de Mayo! In the midst of all the chips and salsa, guac, tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, here’s a veggie-packed, healthy option to serve. Aside from the dressing, this salad is basically ALL vegetables.
Let’s start with the base of cauliflower rice. Have I mentioned how much I love when vegetables take the role of carbs? A few pulses in the food processor are all you need to turn basic cauliflower florets into miraculous rice kernels. Even more awesome is that fact that you don’t even need a grater or food processor to make it because it’s popping up all over grocery stores these days. I’ve spotted it near the bagged lettuce in the produce aisle and in the frozen foods section.
Now comes the fiesta part of the salad. I’ve jazzed up the white and fluffy cauliflower rice with plenty of colorful veggies, including cherry tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños, black beans, and corn. I roasted a couple ears of corn to get a nice charred look on the outside, but frozen corn from the bag will work too.
The dressing adds a touch of sweetness and citrusy flavor to the salad thanks to the lime and orange juices. Shake up all the spices, juices, and oil in mason jar, whisk in a bowl, or for a smoother, more emulsified texture, blend it in a food processor or blender. For a salty finish, I crumbled queso fresco on top. Shredded Monterrey jack or feta would be great substitutions. For a vegan option, you could skip the cheese altogether.
I’ll be enjoying this Fiesta Cauliflower Rice Salad on Friday in honor of cinco de mayo, but I think I’ve found a lovely summer side dish to pair well with all the grilled dishes I’ll be making this summer!
Looking for more recipes to add to your Cinco de Mayo menu? Check out this cinco de mayo recipe roundup!
- 1 small head cauliflower
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup corn
- ½ cup black beans
- 3 jalapeños, finely chopped, seeds and ribs removed
- 1 package (10 ounces) grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- ⅓ cup queso fresco or cotija cheese (feta works too)
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 2 limes
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 small clove garlic
- Prepare the cauliflower rice: Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Place ⅓ of the florets into a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice kernels. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a large bowl. Repeat this process 2 more times with the remaining florets.
- Prepare the salad: To the bowl with the cauliflower rice, add the onion, corn, black beans, jalapenos, tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro.
- Make the dressing: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.