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Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp

Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp

Cauliflower rice with shrimp is a nod to the Cuban staple, Arroz con Camarones. While we are not opposed to making this just as it was intended, with rice, we felt that making a Cauliflower Rice substitution was a great way to keep all the traditional flavoring you love but add an additional layer of healthy veggies.

The flavor of Arroz con Camarones is reminiscent of Paella but it has less ingredients and comes together a lot quicker.  The cauliflower and shrimp get a beautiful golden hue from bijol and other seasonings, which also add a lot of flavor to the dish.

“Arroz con Camarones” was one of my grandmother Alita Lily’s company dishes. She made homemade fish broth from fresh fish heads and used it to make this dish. Her arroz con camarones had equal parts shrimp to rice. She was unapologetically extra that way! She would make the recipe just up to the part where you add the shrimp. Once she was ready to serve, she would remove trays and trays of the shrimp from the fridge. She would have everyone sit down to her perfectly adorned table and then throw the shrimp in. By the time everyone sat down, the dish was ready to eat. She served it with maduros and Cesar salad


Speaking of flavor, Tips for Making the Best Cauliflower with Shrimp…

We like to keep the shrimp tails on for these types of recipes because they intensify the essence of seafood in the dish and makes the plate look a little prettier, but it’s up to you. 

You can substitute the shrimp for other seafood such as calamari, mussels, clams or even a combination of several types, which would be similar to “arroz con mariscos,” or rice with seafood. .

You can do the same with thing Alita Lily used to do, follow each step of the recipe, add the wine and the broth but don’t add the shrimp. You can make most of this ahead for a couple of hours and let it sit out. Then when you are ready to serve, bring everything in the pan to a boil and add the shrimp. They will take about 5-7 minutes to cook through.  

Keep it healthy and serve with one of our salads or indulge a little and serve with Tostones or Maduros. You just had a bowl full of veggies. You’ve earned it!

Let’s Cook!

Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: Entree


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 20 ounces of frozen riced cauliflower, thawed 

  • 1 onion, finely chopped 

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped 

  • 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped

  • ½ cup of white wine

  • 2 to 4 cups of fish broth or seafood stock

  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon of bijol 

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sazon

  • 1 cups of frozen peas

  • 1 zucchini, cut in small dice

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley

  • Garnish: fresh herbs such as chives, scallions or more parsley, lime or lemons.


  • Heat a large pot to medium high to start building your sofrito. Add the onions, ¼ cup of oil, salt and pepper.
  • Once they cook down for 3-5 minutes add the bell peppers, bay leaves, garlic powder and more salt and pepper. Cook them down for 5 minutes. If it’s getting too hot, lower your heat to medium. If you notice the vegetables getting watery, raise the heat to high. 
  • Push the veggies to the side and add the minced garlic. If you need a little more oil to cook the garlic add it now. Cook for 2-4 minutes just until it is golden and fragrant. You don’t want it to get too much color or it will burn. 
  • Add the tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of sazon and cauliflower rice. Raise the heat to high. Incorporate the cauliflower into the sofrito. 
  • Sprinkle the bijol all around so the rice begins to absorb the color and flavor. Continue to move around and mix. 
  • Push the cauliflower/ sofrito mixture to the side of the pan and add the shrimp with 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan. (If you are working in a small pan remove the cauliflower into another dish for now. You want space to properly saute the shrimp.) 
  • Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining sazon, salt and pepper. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes. As soon as the shrimp start to curl you can immediately incorporate everything back into the pan. 
  • Add 2 cups of the fish broth, peas and zucchini. Continue to keep your heat on high. Cook together for 5 minutes until the liquid has cooked down and been partially absorbed. Taste and check for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper as needed. If you like it “a la chorrera” style or soupier, add another cup or so of the broth. As it sits, it will absorb the broth.
  • Add the parsley and give it a final mix. Garnish with your favorite things. Serve immediately.