Cauliflower Rice Risotto

Take a look at this delicious Smoked Bacon, Leek and Parmesan Risotto – made with Cauliflower Rice!

A word from Chef Craig Rodger: Risotto has always been my favourite comfort food – utilising the cauliflower makes it every bit as satisfying, minus all the carbs! Coming into the warmer months, using this recipe as a base you could stir through some shellfish or alternatively some nice Spring vegetables.

A word from the Whole Food Dietitian Caryn: No more stodgy winter rice-risotto, cauliflower to the rescue as usual. While this dish appears to be very “white”, it’s still got a rich supply of micronutrients from the cauliflower and the leek. Know that LCHF-“white” dishes are not the same as mainstream nutrition “white” dishes and therefore don’t always mean low in nutrients, but for those who love colour, you could always serve it with some salad greens on the side.

A word from The Fat Professor, Grant: Risotto is such a family friendly dish, everyone eats and loves it. It’s great to see we can have a low carb alternative.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Carb count: 5.1g per serve


  • 1 Cauliflower head, in florets
  • 1 medium Leek
  • 2 tbsp (30g/ml) Butter or olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 rashers (100g) Smoked bacon (streaky, back or shoulder)
  • 3 tbsp (50ml) White wine or water
  • 1 cup (250ml) Cream
  • ¾ cup (100g) Mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp (20g) Parmesan (or a cheese you prefer), grated
  • 1 tbsp (5g) Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (5g) Chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp (5g) Capers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper to taste


Put the florets of cauliflower into a food processor and blitz the cauli until it resembles rice – I like to keep some pieces slightly bigger for a variety of textures.

Cut half of the green part from the leek and keep it for use in a soup or stew for another time. Slice the leek in half lengthways then, finely slice across the leek to get fine semi-circles. Add the leek to a large pan with the butter or olive oil. Slowly cook the leek over moderate heat until it softens. Add to the leek the garlic and smoked bacon and increase the heat in the pan a little to allow the bacon to colour slightly.

Add the cauliflower to the pan and stir to allow all of the cauliflower to be coated in the butter and oil – cook for 3 minutes stirring often. At this point, add in the wine (if using) or water then add in the cream, mascarpone, parmesan and allow to reduce slightly until it thickens. You can add to the risotto chopped parsley and chives for their flavour and colour – adding some chopped capers will elevate it to a tasty, sophisticated flavour.

Serve the risotto immediately, with plenty of freshly milled pepper, some grated parmesan and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.


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