This recipe is a one-pan meal, which makes dinner super easy. I’ve prepared a free eBook of one-pan meals for you, so be sure to check out how to get your copy below!
Quick one pan meals are one of the best time-saving strategies for getting healthy meals on the table on busy weeknights. This quick one pan, Spanish style chicken with cauliflower rice is super easy and big on flavor.
This meal was inspired by a recipe that I found in a magazine while waiting in line at the supermarket. (Tell me I’m not the only one who leafs through food magazines while waiting in line.) But when I made the recipe at home, it wasn’t that tasty. Putting it nicely, it was pretty meh. It’s so disappointing when you try a new recipe and have high expectations, and it’s a loser.
No problem, I thought, maybe I can fix this. I tweaked it here and there and made it again. But this time, I went a little too heavy on the jalapeños. Like a five-alarm fire–hot. Please, get me another glass of water!
After making this dish three times, I humbly believe I’ve hit on a superb one pan, Spanish style chicken with cauliflower rice, and I’ve got to share it with you.
Tender juicy chicken is served over cauliflower rice that is tossed with sweet Spanish onions, sliced scallions and diced tomatoes. The cauliflower rice is seasoned with oregano, lots of garlic (you know that I love garlic), smoked paprika, and sliced green olives in a tomato sauce. It’s like a flavor party all in one pan.
Why did I choose to make cauliflower rice? Since rice is one of the few allowable grains on the gluten-free diet, we may tend to serve it up a lot as a side dish. Unfortunately, however, white rice doesn’t contain many nutrients and is rather high in starchy carbs.
Cauliflower, on the other hand, is considered a superfood as it’s rich in nutrients, vitamins (especially Vitamin C), minerals, and antioxidants. It’s said to help prevent cancer and boost heart health and brain health. More here.
If you’re following a paleo diet where rice is off-limits, cauliflower is the perfect replacement (and a much healthier choice too).
Here’s the quick and easy way to turn cauliflower into a rice substitute:
First, make sure to prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking because this dish comes together fast. Dice up the onion, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and garlic. Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer and season it with salt and pepper.
Once that’s done, pulse a few cauliflower florets at a time in your food processor until the cauliflower pieces are the size of rice. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
Now that the cauliflower is prepared, you’re ready to start cooking. First, sear the chicken breasts in oil. I like to use avocado oil because it has a very high smoke point. You could also use olive oil, but just be sure it doesn’t smoke. Once the chicken breasts are browned on one side transfer them to a dish.
Add some more oil and sauté the onion with a little salt in that same pan until tender. Then you’ll add your tomato sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper (I just couldn’t resist. If you don’t want heat, you can leave the cayenne out). Stir it around scraping up all those little brown bits. Mmm. You can just smell the wonderful combination of spices now.
Stir in the ground cauliflower incorporating the sauce and spices through and through.
Tuck the chicken breasts seared side up into the pan with the cauliflower. Pour the juices from the chicken into the pan, as well. Now reduce the flame to medium-low, cover, and cook about 10-12 minutes until the inside temperature of the chicken registers 160℉ with a meat thermometer.
Your chicken is perfectly juicy now and done. Transfer it to a cutting board and let it cool a little before slicing.
Finally, add your tomatoes, scallions, and olives to the cauliflower in the pan and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
Chicken breasts are a little thick so I like to slice them in half. I also drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on the chicken. (The best variety extra virgin olive oil to pair with this chicken is produced from the Picual olive. Here’s an organic gold award winner from Spain.) Serve the chicken over the cauliflower rice and garnish with cilantro. Here’s the bonus of this dish: it’s all made in one pan which makes clean up super easy.
Enjoy, friends! Have a happy and healthy weekend!
If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy my ebook One-Pan Meals that has many more easy and delicious recipes for you to try using just one pan so you won’t have to spend hours cleaning dishes.
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- ¾ pound cauliflower florets
- 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderized
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 cup diced Spanish onion
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- ½ cup gluten free marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
- 2 Roma
- ½ cup pitted Spanish green olives, sliced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Pulse a few cauliflower florets at a time in your food processor until the cauliflower pieces are the size of rice. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
- To tenderize chicken, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and use a mallet-type meat tenderizer to pound each piece. Dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on one side. Transfer them to a dish.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and sauté the onion with a teaspoon of salt in that same pan for 5 minutes.
- Add sauce, garlic, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper (optional). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir it around scraping up all those little brown bits.
- Stir in the ground cauliflower incorporating the sauce and spices throughout.
- Tuck the chicken breasts seared side up into the pan with the cauliflower. Pour the juices from the chicken into the pan, as well. Now reduce the flame to medium-low, cover, and cook about 10-12 minutes until the inside temperature of the chicken registers 160℉ with a meat thermometer.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it cool a little before slicing.
- Finally, add your tomatoes, scallions, and olives to the cauliflower in the pan and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
- Slice each chicken breast in half and serve over the cauliflower rice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with cilantro.
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