Thai Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls – Real Food Whole Life Print

Thai Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls


Fresh Thai flavors combine in Thai Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls, a simple, gluten- and grain-free weeknight recipe.



For the Beef

2 teaspoons coconut oil

4 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated

1 pound lean ground beef, grass-fed if possible

2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)

1 teaspoon raw honey

3 teaspoons fish sauce

1 cup loosely packed basil

For the Cauliflower Rice

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 head medium cauliflower, riced*

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Zest and juice of 1 lime

For the Quick Pickled Carrots

2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)

1 teaspoon raw honey

¼ teaspoon salt

2 carrots, shredded or grated

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently until lightly golden brown.
  2. Add the beef, stirring to break into chunks. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and just cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Turn the heat to low, then add 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey and the fish sauce, stirring to combine. Turn off the heat, then add the basil and stir again. Remove from beef mixture from the pan and set aside.
  3. To the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, ¼ teaspoon salt, and lime zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and lightly  browned, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, add 2 tablespoons lime juice, then stir to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce for the Pickled Carrots by whisking together 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add the carrots and green onions, tossing to combine.
  5. To make assemble, divide the cauliflower rice between 4 bowls. Top with the beef and Pickled Carrots. Top with hot sauce if you like.


*Make the cauliflower rice by cutting the cauliflower into large pieces. Pulse the pieces in a food processor into very small pieces, about the size of rice. Alternatively, grate the cauliflower using the large holes on a box grater.

If you don’t feel like making the cauliflower rice, substitute cooked brown or white rice, or quinoa.

Look for fish sauce on the Asian or ethnic foods aisle of your grocery store, near the soy sauce. It adds a very distinctive Thai flavor, but if you don’t want to buy a bottle, use 2-3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari in its place.

If you’re feeding resistant eaters, pull aside some of the cooked ground beef prior to adding the fish sauce, honey, lime juice and basil, and serve it plain on the side of the cauliflower rice or regular rice.

Freshly grated carrots do a much better job of soaking up the quick pickling marinade, but if you don’t have time, pre-crated carrots will also work.

Inspired by Shutterbean Thai Beef with Basil.