Low Carb Rice Substitutes

5 Low Carb Rice Substitutes

Coming from an Asian background, believe me when I say it was TOUGH having to cut rice out of my keto diet. Growing up, my family would prepare a side of rice with every single meal (yes, we would even eat our bacon and eggs with a side of rice!).

Is Rice Okay for Low Carb Diets?

The short and sweet answer is no. A single cup of cooked rice can contain anywhere between 40-60g of carbs, depending on the type of rice.

While there are healthier alternatives to rice, such as quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat, the bottom line is that these substitutes are all still relatively high in carbs which is a no-go for a ketogenic diet.

Going on my third year now of being on my own keto journey, I thought I would share some alternatives that I have found throughout the years.

Low Carb Rice Substitutes

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Low Carb Rice

This is one of the holy grails or one of the staple options for people looking for a rice substitute. Cauliflower has a multitude of health benefits (on top of being tasty!):

You’ll find a multitude of various recipes or ways to prepare it online.

This can be quick and simple to make. Simply dice up your cauliflower head into chunks and blitz in a food processor until the florets are separated into small rice chunks.

If you’re one of the unfortunate people, like me, who don’t have a food processor, you can also use a cheese grater to rice the cauliflower florets into tiny pieces.

Once you’ve completed the tedious part, all you have to do is fry the riced cauliflower with oil and your choice of seasonings, veggies and meat for a simple low carb rice stir-fry!

You can still enjoy all of your favorite dishes with this simple substitution. While the texture won’t be the exact same as eating rice, it’s one of the closest options for a low carb diet!

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few recipes to get you started.

Miracle Rice (Shirataki Rice)

Miracle Low Carb RiceIf you’ve experimented with keto substitutions, then you may already be familiar with shirataki noodles. Shirataki products are made from a Japanese yam (konjac) which is known for being incredibly low in calories while high in dietary fiber! Being made from the same plant, Miracle Rice has a similar, gelatinous texture to the noodles.

The packaged product also has a bit of a fishy odor so I highly recommend straining it and running it under some water. You can also boil or heat the rice in a skillet and even make stir-fry with it!

I found that Asian supermarkets primarily carry the noodle version, but you can also order the rice one straight off of Amazon and have it delivered right to your door (how conveneient!).

Cabbage Rice

Keto Cabbage RiceSimilar to cauliflower rice, we can substitute the carby goodness with shredded cabbage. Either use a grater or blitz your cabbage into fine pieces in a food processor.

Depending on your preference, you can go with either a red cabbage or a green cabbage. Red cabbage does have its advantages including:

Stir-fry your cabbage, just as you would with your normal rice and toss in your favorite seasonings, additional veggies and meats for a low carb rice recipe alternative!

Studio Snacks has 2 simple recipes that you can follow or use as a guidance on how to prepare such a dish.



Substitute Rice With Salad For Low CarbWhile veggies aren’t exactly a rice substitute, a bed of lettuce or salad can be a great low carb alternative to rice. Instead of eating your meat with a side of rice, how about a side of freshly steamed broccoli, turnips or sauteed spinach?

Again, keto isn’t simply a fad diet, it’s a conscious lifestyle choice. Some sacrifices have to be made. This doesn’t mean you can never eat rice again, but for the vast majority of your meals, try swapping out the rice with a low carb alternative.


Low Carb Noodles

Low Carb Rice AlternativesIf you’re missing the texture or taste of rice, this isn’t exactly a direct substitute. However, if you’re simply looking for something to fill you up (and you’re not a huge veggie fan), or to soak up some of your sauces, you can give low carb noodle alternatives a try.

I’ve listed 6 low carb substitutes to noodles and pastas which you may want to try to pair with your favorite rice dish!

Hopefully these 5 alternatives have given you some ideas of what you can swap out your rice with when beginning your keto journey.

If you have any other favorite alternatives to rice, feel free to let me know and share them in the comments!

5 thoughts on “5 Low Carb Rice Substitutes

  1. I found hemp hearts to be my game changer to my rice substitute. It’s not perfect, but it’s by far the best thing I’ve come across!

  2. Half pound of peeled cooked shrimp with the tails off, minced in processor. Mix with 2 whole eggs and your choice of spices. Stir fry. It’s amazing as a no carb rice substitute.

  3. The title of this article “5 Low Carb Rice Substitutes,” is misleading. I am a very picky eater and there is no way I can substitute rice with any of the above. I even hate quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat. I love long grain rice & potatoes. This article should had been 2 sentences long: “Is Rice Okay for Low Carb Diets? The short and sweet answer is no,” and I am okay with that.

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