Are you confused about what kind of rice can be eaten while following a keto diet? You’re not alone.
In this article, we’ll explore the best keto-friendly substitutes for rice that you can include in your meals.
Get ready to learn about delicious, nutritious alternatives that will make your keto journey easier and more enjoyable.
Is Any Rice Allowed on Keto?
Is any rice allowed on the keto diet? It’s a good question and many people have a hard time figuring out if this staple ingredient of so many traditional dishes can fit into the high-fat, low-carb eating pattern.
The answer is complex, but in general, the type of carbohydrates found in most varieties of rice are not ideal for this particular diet due to their inability to efficiently convert into energy within the body.
However, there are some types of low-carb rice – such as cauliflower “rice” or shirataki Miracle Rice – that can be used sparingly with keto-friendly recipes.
If you enjoy adding a bit of extra flavor and texture to your meals, these alternative options may work well for you.
Shiraiki Miracle Rice has a firm texture and mild flavor, perfect for use it as a side in place of white or brown rice.
Cauliflower “rice” has a slightly firmer texture than traditional white rice and is great for making pilafs or casseroles without depriving yourself from your favorite flavors.
What kind of rice can I eat on keto?
The ketogenic diet (often shortened to “keto”) is a very low-carb, high-fat eating plan that restricts carbohydrates to only 20 grams per day.
This can make it tricky when it comes to finding satisfying meals without breaking your macro goals.
Rice has long been a staple food, but because it is made primarily of complex carbohydrates, people on the keto diet must find alternative options.
Which rice is lowest in carbs?
When it comes to choosing a grain that can fit into a low-carb or keto diet, rice might not immediately come to mind — after all, one cup of cooked long-grain white rice contains around 45 grams of carbs.
However, there are some varieties of rice that are lower in carbs and may be suitable for the ketogenic diet.
It’s important to note, though, that even the lowest carb rices should still be used sparingly for those on a very strict low-carb diet plan.
The best options for those on the keto diet are typically “riced” cauliflower, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables like mushrooms and zucchini.
These can all provide similar textures as rice without packing in as many carbs per serving.
The 5 Best Keto Rice Substitutes to Consider
With the increasing popularity of the ketogenic diet, numerous substitutions for common carbohydrate-rich foods need to be explored.
Rice is a staple carb in many diets and can be difficult to cut out entirely.
Fortunately, there are five excellent Keto-friendly substitutes for rice that can be used in place of traditional grain-based carbohydrates.
1 – Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is one of the most popular alternatives to grain-based rice.
While cauliflower doesn’t taste exactly like white or brown rice, its mild flavor makes it a great base for stir-fries, salads and sides.
To make cauliflower rice, you can grate whole cauliflowers in a food processor or buy it pre-riced in the frozen section of your grocery store.
Cauliflower also contains several essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Magnesium, making this low-calorie option more nutritious than white or brown rice.
When choosing canned cauliflower rice at the store, be sure to read labels for added sugars and seasonings that may contain carbs hidden in not so obvious ingredients.
2 – Shirataki Rice
Shirataki rice is a Japanese staple made from yams or a konjac plant, which can also be used as a rice substitute.
High in dietary fiber and low in carbs, Shirataki rice is an ideal choice for those on the Keto diet.
This “rice” is also virtually calorie-free and fat-free, making it a great low-calorie substitute that fits your Keto diet plan.
Shirataki rice has almost no taste of its own, so when cooking with it you’ll need to add more of your favorite spices to create flavor.
Try adding Mexican spices into your Shirataki dishes for a filling meal that satisfies your cravings.
3 – Mushroom Rice
Mushroom rice is a great alternative to try for those looking for a flavorful and nourishing substitute for traditional white or brown rice.
It’s made by cooking mushrooms until they are soft and then pulsing them into a “rice-like” texture.
The texture of the mushrooms gives off the same earthy flavor of real rice, making it a great choice for those trying to watch their carbohydrate intake while still maintaining some variety in their diet.
Mushroom Rice is also high in antioxidants, which have been known to have positive effects on our overall health.
To make mushroom rice:
- Start by finely chopping several cups of mushrooms.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped mushrooms to the pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other neutral-flavored oil (e.g., avocado, sunflower, etc.).
- Sauté the mushrooms on medium heat until they become soft (about 10 minutes).
- Then, using either an immersion blender or food processor, pulse the sautéed mushrooms until you reach your desired texture for “rice” (for about 30 seconds).
- Finally, serve your cooked “rice” with your favorite dishes.
4 – Lentils
Lentils are a great addition to any low-carb diet because they are high in dietary fiber and protein.
Not only are lentils a good replacement for rice, but they can also help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
When it comes to following a ketogenic diet, lentils can be eaten in moderation and still be part of your meal plan.
Lentils have eight grams of carbohydrates per cup, but seven grams of that comes from fiber, which makes them suitable for those following the ketogenic diet.
This means you’ll get fewer calories from carbs if you include lentils as part of your diet plan.
You can use lentils to create healthy soups and stews or even use them as an accompaniment to meat dishes.
5 – Wild Rice
Wild rice has the lowest carbohydrate content of all types of rice, making it ideal for those following a low-carb or keto diet.
Wild rice is actually the seeds of an aquatic grass and not a true grain; it’s rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.
Cooked wild rice will have 1.7g net carbs per 1/2 cup; one cup cooked wild rice is equal to one serving of vegetables and counts in your daily vegetable allowance.
Wild rice can be combined with other ingredients such as mushrooms, garlic and onions to create flavorful dishes that are rich in nutrients.
Its mild flavor also makes it a good choice for veggie-based dishes or dishes that require a milder grain-based component.
Wild rice’s nutty flavor and firm texture also make an excellent base for salads or even as a side for lean proteins like beef or fish.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that while rice is not part of a typical Keto Diet, it can be included as part of a healthy balanced diet.
If you do decide to incorporate rice into your Keto lifestyle, there are several substitutions available.
By using cauliflower “rice”, zucchini “rice”, shirataki rice, vegetable stir-fries and other low-carb options in place of traditional white or brown rice, you can enjoy the taste and texture of rice while still sticking to the limits recommended by the Keto Diet.
The keto diet is very restrictive but when done properly with nutrient-dense foods and plenty of water can be an incredibly beneficial lifestyle choice for many people.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!