Shrimp Cauli-Rice Risotto

A creamy risotto is almost always the most decadent thing to order when you’re out to dinner. The warm, savory goodness is delicious and so filling (unless everyone else at the table makes you give them a bite!)   

Not only do I highly recommend making this at home, but I REALLY highly recommend subbing out the traditional risotto for riced cauliflower. The dish becomes slightly lighter but still plenty satisfying for a family dinner or a fancy dinner party because kids and adults alike are going to love this. (My boyfriend said this is the best thing I’ve ever made sooooo I’m PRETTY excited about it!)

Shrimp Cauliflower Risotto

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 15 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (2 tbs veggies, 2 tbs shrimp)
  • 32 oz riced cauliflower (pre-riced)
  • 18 shrimp
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (1/2 for veggies, half for shrimp)
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon umami seasoning for shrimp (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 shredded parmesan
  • 6 slices of pancetta, torn
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped, (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Microwave bags of riced cauliflower, one at a time.
  2. Once cooked, rinse with cool water and wring out with cheesecloth. Set aside to add later. (See how best to wring cauliflower in the “Notes” section below).
  3. Sauté mushrooms in a large skillet 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half teaspoon garlic salt at medium high heat. Then set aside (reserve 1/3 of mushrooms to garnish over the top when recipe is complete.)
  4. Sauté diced onion until soft and slightly golden (about 10 minutes), add minced garlic and cook for another 3 minutes
  5. Add in spinach, a third at a time, stirring and wilting as you go.
  6. Sprinkle in black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and half the lemon juice, stirring evenly to mix.
  7. Stir in wrung-out cauliflower.            
  8. Pour in dry white wine evenly over the mixture and stir carefully.
  9. Next, drizzle chicken broth and heavy whipping cream evenly over the top and stir carefully.
  10. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes while cooking shrimp in separate pan.
  11. While mixture is simmering sauté shrimp in olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, other 1/2 of lemon, red pepper flakes and umami seasoning. (Here’s a great article on the best way to cook shrimp).
  12. Once cooked, remove lid and add shrimp and torn pancetta to now simmered mixture.
  13. Sprinkle in the shredded mozzarella and carefully fold in.
  14. Next, sprinkle in the Parmesan and carefully fold in.
  15. At this point, everything should be fragrant and taking on ooey-gooey perfection.
  16. Spoon onto plate and garnish with sautéed mushrooms, parsley and another sprinkle of parmesan.
  17. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

-There are many options when it comes to ricing your cauliflower. You can rice it yourself, buy pre-riced and boil it, or get steam-in-a-bag riced cauliflower. There are enough moving parts in this recipe that I like to nuke the cauliflower so I can focus on other elements.

-How to best wring out cauliflower: Spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons of cooled down cauliflower rice into a folded over cheesecloth (cut the amount you need and leave the rest on the spool.) Gather each corner of the cloth and wring it with some pressure over the sink, taking care not to tear the cloth. (If you’re still getting used wringing out cauliflower you may want to put a plate or cutting board in the sink so if your cloth breaks you can scoop up the cauliflower and wring out again.) Repeat the process for all the cauliflower. Once it’s wrung, each bundle should lose a considerable amount of size and be pretty mushed together. Don’t worry about that! It’ll break apart nicely once mixed into the other veggies.)

-Some people like more of a kick than I do. If that’s you, Add more red pepper flakes. If that’s NOT you, get rid of them all together!

-If you don’t have pancetta, sub in Prosciutto or even some crumbled bacon. Or you can leave it out (though you’ll be missing the salty, savory explosion you get when you bite into one).

-This meal screamed “Shrimp!” to me, but you can also sub out shrimp for chicken breast or thighs, scallops or even thinly sliced steak.

-Make it vegetarian by omitting the shrimp/pancetta and changing the chicken broth to vegetable broth.

-You can make it vegan by omitting the shrimp/pancetta, changing the chicken broth to vegetable broth, using either no whipping cream cream or a bit of coconut cream, and subbing in vegan cheese.

-If you don’t have crimini mushrooms, you can use porcini, shiitake, baby bella, or whatever you have!

 

20 Comments

  1. I tried making this but didn’t have much luck.

    I bought fresh riced cauliflower (not frozen) from Walmart but didn’t know how to cook it. I looked online and it said to sauté for 5-8 minutes in a little olive oil. It seemed pretty dry so I was unclear if I need to use a cheesecloth and squeeze it?

    I only used two 12 oz bags as it was enough to fill the pan with cooked cauliflower.

    It never formed a nice consistency like creamy risotto and had an overpowering cauliflower flavour.

    • I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it! I get what you’re saying and I personally think for BEST results for this particular dish, the cauli needs to be boiled and wrung out. That way when you simmer it with the broth and wine, it’s softer and really takes on the flavor. I hope this helps if you try it again! xoxo

  2. This was a winner for me! I subbed the pancetta for bacon because I couldn’t find it anywhere but who doesn’t love bacon!

  3. Robb Stack

    I just made this dish for my wife and I. It turned out excellent. I’d never used riced cauliflower in anything before, but the brand I purchased was microwavable, then I rinsed and wrung it out. In a world of fast, Instant Pot type recipes, this was a little more labor intensive, but overall it was not difficult. Also note, it makes enough for the Brady Bunch. I’ll have leftovers most of the week.

    I really like what you’re starting here, with the recipes, blog post, etc.. It would be great to see you start a YouTube channel to show the process of each recipe. Then photos could be pulled from the video to enhance the blog post/recipe. And with all of the ACS crowd, your subscriber count should climb very quickly; translation: Gina gets paid. You could also link your pots, pans, ingredients, etc. to Amazon and get some influencer credit. Just my .02, please don’t take any of it as criticism. I’d like to see this whole thing take off for you, then I can stay on track with NSNG with a multitude of Gina approved recipes.

    Thank you very much!

    • Thank you so much, Robb! I’m glad it turned out well – and with plenty of leftovers! And stay tuned bc some of these ideas are about to be implemented-great minds! 🙂

  4. Karla Adams

    Soooo good- thank you ! We have a “rotation” of recipes we use that we know we like and are healthy. This one will be added for sure! I used 2 bags frozen lemon garlic riced cauliflower – and we used turkey bacon instead of pancetta – and the results were spectacular! I love the internet – I can get awesome healthy recipes and I don’t have to do the work of creating them . Keep up the good work Gina ! 😉

    • Your words made my DAY, Karla! I’m so glad you customized it to something you loved and I’m honored I’ve made it into the rotation! xo

  5. Matt Colwell

    This was fantastic. My wife doesn’t like sauteed spinach so I left that out, and I threw the pancetta in with the shrimp while those were cooking to give them a little saltiness. I have made several of your recipes, and they have all been hits. I also took your hint about wringing out the cauliflower when I make fritters for breakfast and the texture is so much better so thank you for that. I don’t know how much effort it would take, but it would be helpful for us old-school people if the recipes had a printable version on the site. By the bye, your contributions to ACS are exactly what the show was lacking before you started. Please don’t ever change or leave.

    • Thank you for all these wonderful compliments, Matt! You have no idea what it means to me! Yes, I will try to make printable boxes – I’m just really new at this and still learning! 🙂 xoxo

  6. So. Much. Yes.

    I got home and realized I forgot pancetta, so DARN, looks like I have to make it again… I love that you can knock out most ingredients at Trader Joes. Easy, delicious, healthy dinner when you want to feel really fancy. I left the cauliflower a little “el dente” if you will, and it turned out fine. I have shared this site with so many people already.

    Thanks for being so passionate about cooking NSNG, Gina! It’s inspiring!

  7. Oh my gosh!! This is amazing!! Just heard about your website on Vinnie’s podcast today, finished running my two vizslas and went straight to the grocery store! I made rice for my husband because he doesn’t like cauliflower, he took one bite, and proceeded to devour it!!
    Thank you so much!! This will go straight into my rotation. Can’t wait to try more!

    • You absolutely made my day with this comment, Lynda! So glad you enjoyed!! xoxo

      • Thank you for putting together this phenomenal recipe! I decided to make a small change with the cauliflower that others might want to try, since I heard boiling can pull out some nutrients (not sure how big a deal that is). I took a head of raw cauliflower and threw it in my Ninja blender. I took those raw bits and sauteed them olive oil before simmering with all the other ingredients. The bits softened up and the whole dish tasted great!

  8. Absolutely delicious! I wimped out on the full prep by picking up some freshly steamed (and lightly cajun seasoned) shrimp from a local grocer just before preparing this fabulous dish! We both loved it! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  9. Gina,
    This turned out so good. It is my first time making one of your recipes. I picked a great one. Also my first time making anything with riced cauliflower. I won’t miss rice at all. Your directions were easy to follow. I can’t wait to try more of your guilt free comfort foods. Mmmm.
    Love you on Adam.

    • Wendy, this made my whole week! I’m so glad you enjoy this one – it’s one of my favorite meals too!! xoxo,gg

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