Store-Bought Cauliflower Rice Is The Easy Way To Bulk Up Your Burgers

As almost any hamburger aficionado would agree, the secret to a great burger patty lies in the ground beef — or, more specifically, what you mix into the ground beef. There are countless ways to get creative with your meat's mix-ins, from kicking up the flavor with a touch of spice to doubling up the carnivorous content with bits of sausage or bacon. But if you're looking for an especially healthy way to elevate your beef patty, turn to cauliflower rice.

The cruciferous alternative to traditional rice will provide some starchy heft to the ground beef while allowing you to use less meat per patty, therefore creating an overall lighter burger without having to sacrifice its hearty bulk. Better yet, the bits of cauliflower will help you to sneak some veggies into your dish, or onto the plate of a fickle eater who typically turns up their nose at anything resembling a vegetable. 

Riced cauliflower is also a great choice for making better-for-you burgers due to its subtle flavoring, which takes a backseat to the more robust, meaty flavor of your beef or any spices and seasonings you may choose to incorporate into your patty (or on top of it). Due to its moisture content, a bit of cauliflower should also keep your beef patty nice and juicy, ensuring a moist, tender bite once it's hot off the grill. Healthy and delicious? Sounds like a burger win all around.

How to veg up your burger patties

To make the method as easy as possible, opt for store-bought cauliflower rice; making riced cauliflower from scratch can be quite the involved process, especially if you don't have a food processor. To save you a ton of time and energy, the frozen stuff will do just fine — if not better, in this case. Given the fact that it has a milder taste than fresh cauliflower, frozen cauliflower rice is also even more likely to go unnoticed in your burgers, making it the ideal choice for a sneaky veggie upgrade.

However, you won't want to mix it in while it's frozen. Before preparing your ground beef, allow the cauliflower to defrost, then remove any excess liquid from the batch. While the finely grated bits of cauliflower will add extra moisture to your meat, too much moisture may prevent your patties from holding their shape.

When the cauliflower rice is sufficiently defrosted and dried, you can simply pour it into your raw ground beef, along with any other herbs, seasonings, or mix-ins you're using. As Chef Ming Tsai demonstrates in a TikTok video, chopped onions are also a great accompaniment to the cauliflower if you're hoping to veg up your burgers. Once you've combined all your ingredients, use your hands to mix them into the meat, then shape the mixture into patties. Just pop 'em on the grill and you'll have hearty, healthy burgers that even the most vegetable-averse eater couldn't turn down.