Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf

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A low carb and paleo version of a traditional chicken and mushroom pilaf based off cauliflower rice. High in protein, one pot needed and super simple to whip up! Naturally gluten and grain free. 

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf- A delicious #paleo and #lowcarb meal which requires 1 pot to whip it all up-

‘Cauliflower rice tastes EXACTLY like white rice. I couldn’t tell the difference.’

This is a phrase I’ve read many times on multiple blogs sharing recipes for cauliflower rice. I’m not one to proclaim false advertising in my recipes or my content on here so telling you that would be dishonest. It doesn’t taste ‘exactly like white rice.’ I also could most definitely tell the difference. (Ignoring the fact that I made the dish). 

Saying that, cauliflower rice does provide a similar ‘bulk’ to rice and one up on it- It absorbs flavour so much better than rice does. For those watching their carbohydrate or calorie intake, it’s a very smart swap. When I first intended on going Paleo for a month, developing a simple (delicious) recipe around cauliflower rice was something I had intended to do.

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf- A delicious #paleo and #lowcarb meal which requires 1 pot to whip it all up-

Growing up from a hybrid Chinese/Persian background, rice was central to 95% of all meals. The other 5% was bread, eating out (which probably contained rice) or maybe we were sick and had no appetite. My mum being a talented cook in the kitchen, would have a variety of rice based dishes on hand. Persian style dishes incorporated many spices, flavours and a combination of the sweet and savoury. The Chinese style was more laid back and used more simple ingredients and one or two strong sauces to add flavour. 

Ironically, one of my favourite rice dishes came from neither cultures- A chicken and mushroom pilaf. Chicken and mushrooms are one of my all time favourite combinations for a pasta or risotto based dish, especially if there is a delicious, creamy sauce to accompany it. This, however, was only eaten on the rare occasion I would dine out in an Italian restaurant. At home, we’d have something similar but use basmati rice instead of arborio rice and add an Asian based sauce instead of a creamy one. 

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf- A delicious #paleo and #lowcarb meal which requires 1 pot to whip it all up-

Still treading waters when it comes to Paleo style savoury dishes, I opted to start easy with the Asian style sauce and before messing about with a combination of butter and ‘cream’ blends. I had my doubts before serving it to my friends and ironically, it was their favourite!

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf sounds so fancy, but in reality, it’s super simple to whip up. I used one pot and just added ingredients as needed be. The addition of bacon is completely optional but one I would recommend- It pairs well with the simply seasoned chicken. 

So is cauliflower rice ‘just like white rice’? No, it isn’t. However, I won’t underestimate it as a decent substitution when rice is not an option. Just like Niki said- I like white rice and I cannot lie

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf

A low carb and paleo version of a traditional chicken and mushroom pilaf based off cauliflower rice. High in protein, one pot needed and super simple to whip up! Naturally gluten and grain free.
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Servings: 4
Author: Arman


  • 1 medium head of cauliflower riced/grated with excess liquid removed
  • 2 chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces (approximately 300-400 grams)
  • 6 rashers of middle bacon chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 gloves garlic minced finely
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil separated
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos can sub for gluten free soy sauce if not strictly paleo
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes for seasoning
  • Extra coconut aminos for seasoning


  • Heat a large pot on medium heat and generously coat with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Fry the bacon lightly before adding the chicken, garlic, onion and mushrooms and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add the water and cook for an extra 2 minutes. Add the riced cauliflower and immediately add the remaining sesame oil and coconut aminos and mix well to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and broth has thickened the rice. Remove from heat and top the pilaf with red pepper flakes and extra coconut aminos if desired.


This pilaf tastes great the longer it sits, so whip up extra and keep it in the fridge for meals for the week.
For a vegetarian or vegan option, omit the chicken and bacon and add extra mushrooms- The sauce is so flavourful, the simplicity tastes great.
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf- A delicious #paleo and #lowcarb meal which requires 1 pot to whip it all up-

Want more Paleo recipes which are savoury? Check these out!

Smoked Paprika Roasted Salmon 

Smoked Paprika Roasted Salmon

Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Korma  



Curry Sloppy Joes

Curry Sloppy Joes (Gluten Free, Paleo)

Copycat Panda Express Broccoli Beef



67 thoughts on “Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Pilaf

  1. Great recipe, one pot wonders are the best!
    I made cauli rice once with my box grater – it worked but it was A MESS. I don’t think I’m ever doing that again. It’s also ridiculous that people claim it to taste like rice. Same with zucchini noodles. Just. No.

  2. This made me laugh….and reminded me of the time I made cauliflower pizza! Don’t get me wrong, it tasted great buuuut it’s not “exactly like pizza”…er definitely not! That being said, these cauliflower-based dishes have merits of their own- they can still taste fab even if they aren’t exactly like the real deal, as I’m sure yours does! I’m Indian so like you, I have a soft spot for rice. I am a big fan of zucchini noodles so I’ll definitely give cauliflower rice a shot…and with a recipe like this, how can I not :)!

  3. I have not used cauliflower rice, but I feel like I would really like it–I don’t really care for white rice, I like cauliflower, I like roasted cauliflower….thus. My problem is that I’m just lazy, and end up just eating it.

  4. It’s amazing how much cauliflower tastes like rice. My husband makes a Fried Rice concoction with cauliflower and it is one of my favorite meals. I am definitely pinning this one to try.

  5. I’ve actually never made cauliflower rice. I use cauliflower from time to time in recipes, but I’ve never made it in rice form. I might have to give it a shot…although I, too, highly doubt the claim that “it tastes just like rice.” I call BS on that! But I call dibs on this pilaf…it looks amazing. I second Tara’s comment that some crumbled bacon on top of this would be a nice addition. Haha!

  6. I should get on the cauliflower rice train. I’m not a big rice person to begin with, but I love love love cauliflower. This recipe legitimately looks like real rice, but I don’t think I could fool my boyfriend with it. Maybe he’ll come around. 🙂

  7. I know cauliflower rice doesn’t taste exactly like white rice, but I honestly don’t think that rice tastes of much. If I am eating it plain, then I can taste the difference, but once it has all the toppings on, I really can’t tell. So I would rather save the calories and have cauliflower 🙂

  8. I have made cauliflower rice before! I’ve been wanting to cook it in a skillet with oil like ‘fried rice.’ Love your combo here! I can’t get enough of mushroom…and lately bacon 🙂

  9. So cauliflower is one of the only veggies that I just don’t like… that and brussel sprouts, which is funny, because so many food bloggers love and talk about both a lot. My grandma used to make a cauliflower “mac” and cheese and I would be like NO! You aren’t fooling me that doesn’t taste like macaroni. Ha!

  10. i’ve yet to jump on the ‘cauliflower as other things’ trend (rice, pizza, whathaveyou) but that’s more due to laziness than anything else. One day. Maybe. Probably not though – I usually just end up roasting my cauliflower.
    As for heritage, besides my obvious Canadianness I’ve got British, German, Scottish, Irish and French in there. Pure European.

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