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Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower "Cous Cous" | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”

Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous” is the perfect side dish to compliment pretty much any protein.

Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower "Cous Cous" | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Growing up as a kid, we always had some kind of grain or starch as a side dish. And while I don’t want you to be scared of carbs, I know that you’re here for a grain-free food experience.

Using recipe “swaps” like this can help you make cooking grain-free a little less painful.

Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice or cous cous. It continues to surprise me with how tasty it can be.

This dish came out creamy, with sweetness from the onions and a savory note for good measure. The only way I could adequately describe it was “comfort food”.

The inspiration for this Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous” came from an episode of 30 Minute Meals. Yes, I love me some Food Network shows!

I knew I wanted to make a Paleo version but have included options here for using ghee and / or heavy cream if they are foods you eat. Both are very low in the proteins that make dairy irritating to some folks and are essentially pure fat.

If not, Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous” works great with coconut oil and coconut milk. The anchovies add a layer of flavor to the dish that doesn’t taste of fish at all.

In fact, it adds a nutty and savory umami undertone, so don’t be afraid to put it in.

Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower "Cous Cous" | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Paleo, Veggies, Whole30
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 138 kcal

Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower "Cous Cous" is creamy, with sweetness from the onions and a savory note for good measure.



  • 1 head cauliflower pulsed down to cous cous sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste or 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 large sweet onion very thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1 handful parsley chopped


  1. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the cauliflower down into small bits about the size of cous cous. You don’t want big chunks, but you also don’t want it to become mush. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil and anchovies. If using fillets, break them up and allow them to basically melt into the oil.
  3. Add the onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat until the onions begin to caramelize but not get brown or burn. This process can take up to 20 minutes, so use that time to do some clean up or prepare some of the other components of your meal.
  4. After the onions are caramelized, stir in the cauliflower and coconut milk, and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is softened but not mushy.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 774mg32%
Potassium 491mg14%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 71mg86%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower "Cous Cous" | StupidEasyPaleo.com

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27 Responses

  1. This looks SOOOO good!
    I wonder if it would work to use Paleo Pot’s method on the Mexican Rice recipe to cook this in the crockpot? Might have to try precooking the onions and adding to the crockpot with the cauliflower “chunked” instead of “riced”.
    Any thoughts? :)

    1. It may…but I think you’d have to cook the onions ahead of time or they won’t caramelize.

  2. What a great idea, I can’t wait to try this. We are just going back to Low Carb (Paleo… ) because we know how much better we feel.

  3. What kind of food processor do you have? I’m in the middle of my whole 30 and I think I’m going to stick with paleo so I thought I would invest in a good one.

  4. Made this on Friday night & it was deeeelicious! This will definitely become a regular fixture on our meal plans. As new paleos, my partner & I are loving all the recipes & information on your site – thanks for all your great resources!

    1. Hi Liz, Thank you so much for letting me know. It truly does make my day to hear from folks like you :)

  5. I don’t remember how I found your website, but I had this recipe pin in my sane/paleo recipes, so I thought I would give it a try.
    My question is seafood doesn’t agree with me, so is there anything else you can use other than the anchovy paste? Being that it’s a small amount I would be fine with it, but in general I don’t cook with fish cause normally I can’t deal with it.

    1. Hi Matilda…you can try using something like coconut aminos to give that same savory flavor or else I think the recipe would be really tasty without it.

  6. I’m brand new to paleo and this looks great! Can’t wait to try!
    What area of the grocery store do you usually find anchovies? Anything I need to watch out for on the label?

    1. Hi Suzanne…usually you can find them with the canned fish…or near the Italian foods! The only ingredient should be anchovies or sometimes, salt. Glad you’re here!!

  7. You will have to excuse me because I’m pinning just about every single thing of yours after making your balsamic rosemary butternut squash tonight. This recipe looks very interesting and unique, anchovy paste is officially on the supermarket list for the week!

  8. Made for dinner tonight but have several vegans in my family so substituted seaweed for anchovies.. Still wonderful. Thanks

  9. This dish is absolutely dee-licious!! I grew up with caulflower with cheese sauce that my mom would make on special occasions – which I loved! But since going paleo I wanted to try some mew cauliflower dishes. without the cheese…Wow! loved it!! I put some avocado slices on bacon bits on top and devoured it!

  10. Do you know how many cups of cauliflower rice this is? I bought some already done at Trader Joes and want to use it.

    1. Sorry, I don’t Yvonne…this recipe was from my non-measuring days. I would say about a pound.

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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