This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.

A quick Whole30 cauliflower risotto with chicken and asparagus, inspired by the best ever traditional risotto recipe. Easy and so creamy, this cauliflower risotto is super versatile! It’s also paleo, dairy free, and low carb.

This post has been sponsored by Cans Get You Cooking. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Quick creamy Whole30 cauliflower risotto with chicken and asparagus on a white plate with a gold fork, grey linen napkin next to the plate, and skillet with more risotto in the background

You know a recipe is damn good, or at least well loved, when it’s referred to as your recipe. As in,

“Mom, what do you want for your birthday dinner?”
“Ooh, your chicken thighs and definitely your risotto.”

As in Your Risotto. No other qualification needed.

So when I was creating a super simple Whole30 cauliflower risotto, I had to start with my beloved, tried-and-true risotto recipe.

And why is it so dang easy? Two things:

  • I made really good use of canned foods I had on hand in my pantry. Fact: a well-stocked pantry can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family and friends! for this recipe, I used flavorful chicken stock from Swanson, organic chicken breast from Valley Fresh, and picked-at-peak-freshness asparagus from Green Giant.
  • Cauliflower rice, hello! Cauliflower rice cuts down the time to make a rich and creamy risotto by like 500%. Since it doesn’t need constant stirring and watering with warm stock like a regular risotto, it’s way easier.

First, let’s talk about canned foods. I have people ask me all the time what I keep on hand, and the answer is pretty simple: a lot. Not only do canned foods help cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family friends (that’s important!), but kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.

Oh, and hey, it’s #NationalCannedFoodMonth, so there’s no better time to get in on the action. I’d suggest taking a peek at if you’re looking for more recipes and tips on using canned goods creatively. Use hashtag #CansGetYouCooking in any food photos you share!

Over the years, I’ve really identified my favorite canned foods and majorly stocked up on those. Examples are:

  • top-notch chicken stock, like this from Swanson
  • canned meat and seafood, like organic chicken breast, tuna, and wild-caught salmon
  • organic tomatoes in almost every form
  • legumes for those meatless meals
  • coconut milk and cream
  • veggies like mushrooms or asparagus.
Close up shot of quick Whole30 cauliflower risotto with chicken and asparagus

Canned foods = more creative meals, less food waste

What this allows me to do is whip up a delish meal with zero notice. Whether I’m just not craving what’s on the meal plan, we’re coming in from some travel and haven’t been to the store yet, or just don’t feel like doing the shopping on a lazy Sunday, it makes feeding my fam easier and I know the quality is there.

Not only that but this year, we’re focusing heavily on reducing our own food waste, and canned foods help us reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables we purchase and then throw away! We throw away way too many giant plastic tubs of greens with brownish liquid pooling on the bottom, you know what I mean? That makes canned foods a major player as part of our efforts to eat in a way that’s healthier for the planet, including reducing our food waste and integrating more meatless meals. Because of their long shelf life, you’re more likely to use only what you need, when you need it, and not only that, but cans are endlessly recyclable too!

Why this recipe is so good

  • It’s rich and creamy, inspired by my traditional risotto recipe, with gorgeous flavor from the saffron, cashew cream, and sautéd aromatics.
  • This Whole30 cauliflower risotto is super quick and easy, thanks to quick-cooking cauliflower rice and smart canned goods usage.
  • The recipe is dairy-free, Whole30-compliant, and paleo, making it suitable for just about anybody.
  • It’s low carb and even keto friendly, with only 8 net carbs.

Chef’s Tips

  • I use fresh cauliflower rice in this cauliflower risotto for one big reason: it absorbs liquid more than it produces. If you’ve ever made risotto, you know it’s all about enriching the rice with stock. And being able to do that to the cauliflower rice boosts the flavor and richness. Use fresh! You can find pre-riced fresh cauliflower in the produce section.
  • The saffron steeped in warm stock is a major part of the recipe, so I don’t really consider it optional. It adds a major element of richness and flavor!

Quick creamy Whole30 cauliflower risotto with chicken and asparagus on a white plate with a gold fork, grey linen napkin next to the plate


  • This Whole30 cauliflower risotto base recipe is so versatile. Try incorporating just about anything into it! Like canned or sautéed mushrooms, sautéed shrimp, artichoke hearts, etc. Or swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and leave out the chicken: voilà! Vegan cauliflower risotto.
  • If you’re on a Whole30, make absolutely sure that your chicken broth is compliant. It’s a common food that sees a lot of tricky, non-compliant ingredients, like caramel color!

How To Make Cauliflower Rice

There are a few ways to make cauliflower rice out of fresh cauliflower.

  1. Affix your food processor with the grater blade. Put cauliflower florets through the food processor while on. This is the easiest and fastest method in my opinion, and it’s the one I use.
  2. Chop cauliflower florets with a sharp knife into small pearls.
  3. Grate fresh cauliflower florets with a grater. It’s easier to use large chunks of cauliflower here.
  4. Place equally-sized cauliflower florets in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the regular blade. Then pulse until the cauliflower is chopped into small pearls or “rice.”
Fold in asparagus and chicken into the Whole30 cauliflower risotto

Other recipes you’ll love:

5 from 7 votes

Quick Creamy Cauliflower Risotto with Chicken and Asparagus (Whole30, Paleo, Dairy Free)

Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes
A quick Whole30 cauliflower risotto with chicken and asparagus, inspired by the best ever traditional risotto recipe. Easy and so creamy, paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, and low carb.
6 servings


  • 1 ½ cup + 1 tablespoon Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil see Note 1
  • ½ white or yellow onion chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium head cauliflower grated or riced, about 5-6 cups
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • A Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 2 cans Valley Fresh Organic Chicken Breast drained
  • 1 cup Green Giant Cut Spears Asparagus drained from a 14.5-ounce can


  • In a small saucepan, heat chicken broth over medium heat until hot. Do not let boil but keep the broth warm.
  • Place a pinch of saffron threads in a small bowl; pour 1 tablespoon hot chicken broth over and set aside.
  • Heat ghee or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring regularly, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add cauliflower rice to skillet and cook until softening; ladle 1/4 cup of hot chicken broth over to prevent sticking or drying out. Continue cooking until cauliflower rice is cooked through and tender, adding another 1/4 cup of chicken broth if necessary.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1 cup warm chicken broth with cashews and nutritional yeast in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour out any remaining broth in a saucepan then transfer cashew-broth mixture to pan. Place over medium heat and sprinkle tapioca starch over. Whisk until combined, then continue cooking, whisking constantly until just thickened.
  • When cauliflower is cooked, add cashew-broth mixture and saffron-broth mixture to cauliflower rice. Stir to coat and season with plenty of salt, to taste, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Stir in drained chicken breast pieces; stir until combined. Fold in asparagus pieces and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
Note 1 If you’re completely dairy-free, use olive oil. If you simply avoid lactose, you can use ghee, specifically 4th & Heart ghee, which is lactose-free.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Calories: 234calProtein: 21gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 979mgPotassium: 772mgTotal Carbs: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gNet Carbs: 8gVitamin A: 205IUVitamin C: 58.2mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @40aprons on Instagram and be sure to leave a review on the blog post!

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Great recipe. But I wish it didn’t taken forever to scroll to! There is so much unnecessary writing in this blog post that makes it seem difficult to make. It is such a simple recipe though! Don’t tell us why it’s easy for three paragraphs…. Just give us the recipe and we’ll see it for ourselves.5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. We apologize for the inconvenience! We do offer a “jump to recipe” button right below the title that will bring you directly to the section with the recipe. Hope that helps.

  2. Yum. I used chicken thighs and bacon for the protein. Very impressed with the cashew sauce!5 stars

    1. Avatar Amelia Camurati says:

      Happy to hear you enjoyed the sauce so much, Rayna!5 stars

  3. I actually used frozen riced cauliflower and it still turned out amazing!5 stars

  4. Thank you for this recipe. It turned out amazing. I didn’t have saffron on hand, and it was still excellent without it. I tripled the recipe, so we’d have plenty to eat all week.5 stars

  5. Avatar Heather Enslow says:

    We are tree nuts free so I used 1/2 cup of the cauliflower mixture with the nutrional yeast and broth, blended it up in a blender till smooth and continued with your directions. It was really good!

  6. Avatar Kathy Naylor says:

    The link to whole30 starter kit is no good. Still participating?

  7. Hi there I love the creamy cauliflower chicken recipe – ive never used cashews and nutritionsl yeast in s sauce before – it was very tasty ,- i did need to brighten the dish a bit more so in addition to thw lemon juice i sddded lemon zest – with asparagus. it wss anszing!5 stars

Where To Next?