You can find rice pretty much in every pantry, kitchen, or even restaurant around the world. It's an incredibly versatile ingredient featured in global cuisines, from classic dishes like risotto to sushi. But if you're following a low-carb diet, you might be wondering - is rice keto? Let's explore the nutritional information of rice, as well as some keto-friendly rice recipes and low-carb rice alternatives.
While whole foods like rice can be a part of a healthy diet, this doesn't mean it's suited for a low-carb diet.
In order to reach ketosis, we need to limit the amount of carbohydrates that we eat to under 50g per day. This forces our bodies to start burning fat stores for energy rather than the usual carbohydrates.
To meet this goal, some classic foods suddenly become off-limits!
So, can you eat rice on keto?
In this post, we're going to find out! I'm sharing all you need to know about rice, low-carb rice substitutes, and keto rice recipes to help you along the way.
Is rice keto-friendly?
Suffice it to say that rice is not a keto-friendly food.
Cereal grains, including rice, are widely avoided on the ketogenic diet because they contain high carb counts that limit the possibility of ketosis.
The carbs in rice are far too high to fit into a balanced low-carb diet. There are 40-50 grams of net carbs per serving (1 cup) of cooked white rice, depending on the variety.
And while you can't eat rice on a keto diet, all hope is not lost!
There are plenty of low-carb rice alternatives that you can use in your favorite rice-based recipes.
Keto rice substitutes
Rice is the most consumed grain in the entire world! It makes sense, then, that so many recipes revolve around this humble food.
To eat your favorite rice-based recipes on a low-carb diet, here are some of the substitutions you can use.
Cauliflower rice is hands down the most popular of all the low-carb rice substitutes. Made simply from blending cauliflower florets in a food processor, you can sub this keto-friendly veggie for any dish with cooked rice.
For the easiest way to prep this rice alternative, read my post on how to make cauliflower rice in the microwave.
Cauliflower rice nutrition
The macronutrients for 1 cup of raw cauliflower rice (107 grams) include:
- Total carbs – 5g
- Net carbs – 3g
- Calories – 27
- Protein – 2g
- Fat – <1g
- Fiber – 2g
Shredded cabbage also makes an excellent rice substitute in casseroles, dumplings, stir-fries, and Buddha bowls.
Cabbage rice really soaks up flavor, so when paired with a delicious cooking sauce, it's even tastier than traditional rice!
Cabbage rice nutrition
The macronutrients for 1 cup of shredded cabbage include:
- Total carbs – 3.9g
- Net carbs – 2.3g
- Calories – 17
- Protein – 1g
- Fat – <1g
- Fiber – 1.6
Also known as konjac rice or shirataki rice, Miracle Rice has a low carb count and an incredibly small amount of calories (just 10 calories in an entire package!)
You can use this rice in any traditional rice dish, pairing well with Asian-inspired flavors.
The rice grains are made from the konjac plant, which is 97% water! The rest is a low-calorie plant fiber that makes you feel full with very few calories.
Do note that Miracle Rice shouldn't be eaten in excess because it can cause some bloating and discomfort from its high fiber content.
Miracle rice nutrition
The macronutrients for 1 package of Miracle Rice (227g) include:
- Total carbs – 9g
- Net carbs – 4g
- Calories – 10
- Protein – 0g
- Fat – 0g
- Fiber – 5g
Mushrooms make a super delicious keto rice substitute. Unsurprisingly, their natural umami flavor adds a ton to a dish, pairing perfectly with miso, sesame oil, soy sauce, and creamy nut butter.
You can make mushroom rice from any variety of mushrooms you choose. Use it in bowls, stuffed peppers, and fried rice dishes!
Mushroom rice nutrition
The macronutrients for 1 cup of white mushrooms (96g) include:
- Total carbs – 3g
- Net carbs – 2g
- Calories – 21
- Protein – 3g
- Fat – 0g
- Fiber – 1g
You can pre-purchase broccoli rice in the fresh or frozen aisle or make it at home by grinding broccoli florets in a food processor.
The result is a nutrient-packed rice substitute that is delicious along with cream cheese, cheddar, and cracked pepper.
You can also mix it with lemon juice, olive oil, and cilantro for a fresh and fragrant side dish.
Broccoli rice nutrition
The macronutrients for 1 cup of broccoli rice (85g)
- Total carbs – 4g
- Net carbs – 1g
- Calories – 25
- Protein – 3g
- Fat – 0g
- Fiber – 3g
11 Keto rice alternative recipes
Ready to start eating rice again? Check out my favorite low-carb "rice recipes" featuring cauliflower, Miracle Rice, and more!
1. Keto rice pudding
My keto rice pudding is made with Miracle Rice, eggs, and a low-carb sugar substitute.
Nutmeg, coconut cream, and vanilla make this dessert a creamy delight!
2. Ground turkey and cauliflower rice casserole
This ground turkey and cauliflower rice casserole is rich, creamy, and easy to make.
The best part is the incredible cheese blend, including cream cheese, cheddar, and mozzarella.
3. Easy mushroom cauliflower rice risotto
This easy mushroom cauliflower rice risotto is a simple side dish with major star power, featuring coconut cream, cheesy nutritional yeast, and baby bella mushrooms.
4. Cilantro lime cauliflower rice
My cilantro lime cauliflower rice is the perfect addition to any Mexican-inspired meal. Pair it with low-carb fajitas, burritos, or seasoned pork.
The combination of cilantro and lime is bright and acidic, livening up any spread.
5. Filipino garlic cauliflower fried rice
This garlic cauliflower fried rice makes for a delicious breakfast, made with eggs, ham, and riced cauliflower.
6. Keto Mexican cauliflower rice
This Mexican cauliflower rice combines just cauliflower, tomatoes, seasoning, and fresh cilantro for a delicious low-carb dish.
7. Cabbage rice with Indian spices
This Indian-spiced cabbage rice is tasty on its own or pairs well with Indian curry. The cabbage base soaks up the Indian spices for a fragrant and flavorful result.
8. Ham and cauliflower rice casserole
My ham and cauliflower rice casserole is layered with melted cheese for an easy, crowd-pleasing dish. It works wonderfully for large gatherings.
9. Chinese cauliflower pork fried rice
My Chinese cauliflower pork fried rice is healthier and less expensive than getting takeout. Plus, it's totally keto-friendly!
10. Cheesy beef taco skillet with cauliflower rice
This cheesy beef taco skillet forgoes the high-carb tortillas for a well-seasoned, low-carb dish.
11. Cheesy cauliflower rice
My cheesy cauliflower rice is quick and easy to make, packed with cheddar, cream cheese, and sugar-free bacon.
Serve it up with roasted chicken, or any of your favorite mains.
Here are the questions I'm most asked about eating rice on a keto diet. Let me know if you have any further questions in the comments down below.
Unfortunately, brown rice isn't keto. In fact, no variety of rice is keto-friendly, including white rice, brown rice, and wild rice.
Instead, opt for a low-carb alternative made from cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli, cabbage, or konjac.
Cauliflower rice is definitely keto! Made from a low-carb vegetable, this rice is a widely used alternative in keto cooking.
Cauliflower rice has gained so much popularity that you can easily buy it pre-ground in the fresh or frozen aisle. While it's a little more expensive than processing the cauliflower on your own, sometimes the convenience is worth the price tag.
Technically, the keto diet doesn't recommend including any grains in your diet. Grains are high-carb foods that can affect your body's ability to reach ketosis.
With that said, popcorn is a bit of an exception.
One cup of cooked popcorn contains 5 grams of net carbs which could be fit into your daily carb allotment. The more common serving of popcorn, however, is 3 cups, and it's easy to get carried away!
For more information, read my post on "Is popcorn keto?"
Konjac rice comes closest to being a carb-free rice, with the majority of its carbohydrates coming from dietary fiber.
Nutritional information is unclear with carb counts varying between brands. For informed eating, always remember to read the macronutrients before purchasing.
Want more low-carb recipes? Try these!
If you're inspired by these low-carb rice alternatives, these keto recipes make the perfect pairing to cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, and more:
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are seasoned with Mexican spices and are best served on a bed of low-carb rice.
- Keto Sesame Chicken is sweet, sticky, and umami. Enjoy it with cauliflower and mushroom rice!
- Prawn Curry with Coconut Milk is creamy and delicious. Serve with keto rice to soak up and savor the curry broth.
- Keto Air Fryer Pork Belly Bites are quick and easy to make. When paired with veggie rice, they make for a nutritionally complete meal.
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin is filled with healthy fats for a macro-friendly meal. Serve it with cheesy broccoli rice.