These sweet and spicy Baked Cauliflower Bites make the best light, healthy game day snack that will wow everyone. They are a wonderful vegetarian option to chicken wings, are so simple and easy to make, and are loaded with incredible flavor.
These sweet and spicy baked cauliflower bites are so good AND are one of my favorite crispy, delicious snacks. Almost as good as chicken wings but just a healthier vegetarian version that will blow all of your friends away.
Cauliflower is not my favorite vegetable but put these crispy cauliflower bites in front of me and I will likely eat the entire plate, they are that good! Just like this air fryer cauliflower that I could eat every day.
There are several variations of cauliflower wings that you could make like these buffalo cauliflower wings. Still, I think you will really love the sweet and spicy flavor combination in this recipe.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfectly crispy baked cauliflower is just amazing.
- Easily made gluten-free.
- Simple cauliflower recipe that everyone will love.
- The best light and healthy game day snack ever!
- An easily customizable recipe, toss them in any sauce you like!
I could go on but I will stop there and get onto the good stuff.
Ingredients you will need
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower is an amazingly healthy, low-carb veggie that is loaded with fiber and is so versatile. It works great in this baked cauliflower recipe. You can buy a whole cauliflower and cut it into florets yourself or buy pre-cut florets at the grocery store.
- Eggs – the eggs act as a binder to help the breading stick to the cauliflower and add a little extra protein to this recipe.
- Flour + breadcrumbs – Used as the crispy coating, and it is delicious. You can sub 1:1 gluten-free flour and gluten free breadcrumbs, if needed.
- Brown sugar and maple syrup – give the sauce a nice sweetness to cut through the spicy notes.
- Garlic paste, ginger paste, chili paste – amazing ingredients that give these cauliflower bites the best flavor!
- Olive oil – this helps the breaded cauliflower get nice and crispy when it bakes. You can use olive oil or olive oil spray.
- Soy sauce – used in the sauce for that nice umami flavor. You could also use tamari or coconut aminos.
- Salt and pepper – used to enhance all of the flavors.
- Chives + sesame seeds – to garnish the cauliflower bites for serving.
How to make baked cauliflower bites
- Combine the breadcrumbs, flour, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, crack and whisk the eggs and season them with salt and pepper.
4. Dip each piece of cauliflower fully in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure each is fully coated. Then place each piece of breaded cauliflower onto the wire-rack lined baking sheet. Continue until you have coated all of the cauliflower.
6. Bake in the middle rack of your oven at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
While the cauliflower is baking, you can whip up the crazy good sauce.
7. To make the sauce: Add the maple syrup or honey, brown sugar, garlic paste, ginger paste, chili paste, and soy sauce to a small pot and bring to a boil while whisking. Then reduce to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk a few times to allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
8. Once the cauliflower is done, add it to a large bowl and pour the sauce all over it. Shake the bowl a little to make sure all of the cauliflower wings are covered in the sauce.
9. Pour onto a platter and top with diced chives and sesame seeds.
These baked cauliflower bites are wonderful, crispy, sticky sweet on the outside, and tender on the inside. Just like a chicken wing but without the meat so you can eat way more. Love that!
Tips for making the best-baked cauliflower bites
- Choose a medium-size cauliflower that is even in size. This will ensure the florets are all relatively the same size and will yield a good amount of wings.
- To easily cut the cauliflower: Remove as many leaves as possible, flip the cauliflower onto its head, run a sharp kitchen knife around the center of the core, and pull it out. Some florets will naturally just fall off and you can easily pull or cut up the rest. You can also buy pre-cut cauliflower florets at most grocery stores.
- Serving: These are best if eaten right away, nice and warm since they will lose their crispiness if they sit for too long or are reheated.
Substitutions and variations
- For the sauce: I used pastes for the garlic, ginger, and chili flavors but you could also use 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of minced ginger, and 1 teaspoon of minced chili peppers if you cannot find the paste. Coconut sugar also works well in place of brown sugar if you want to keep this recipe refined sugar-free.
- You could also skip the sweet and spicy sauce and toss the cauliflower in buffalo sauce instead for buffalo cauliflower bites.
- For the breadcrumbs: I used a combo of gluten-free seasoned breadcrumbs and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs that I slightly crushed with my hands. You could also use regular breadcrumbs if you don’t need to make this recipe gluten-free.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites
To make these cauliflower bites in the air fryer, follow the recipe steps for preparing and coating the cauliflower. Then cook the cauliflower bites in a preheated air fryer at 370 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until golden and tender. Mix up the sweet and spicy sauce and toss them in the sauce. So good!
Storing and reheating baked cauliflower wings
This baked cauliflower wings recipe is best if eaten right away but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them right in the oven at 400 degrees F for a few minutes until the cauliflower bites are crispy and warmed through. They won’t be as crispy as they are when you first make them but they will still be delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find that the cauliflower comes out mushy then you may need to cook it a little bit longer and possibly increase the temperature of your oven since oven times and temperature can vary.
I love to serve these baked cauliflower wings with carrot sticks, celery, and more dipping sauces like honey mustard, or your favorite veggie dip! They also go great with egg rolls.
I think the spicy flavors are pretty subtle and really go nicely with the hint of sweet and salty but you can just leave out the chili paste if you prefer.
These baked cauliflower bites have the most amazing delicious balance of sweet and spicy that is everything! The umami flavors mixed with the crispy baked cauliflower really do make for a fun and healthy vegetarian game-day appetizer that everyone will go crazy for.
More Healthy Appetizers
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Zucchini Fritters
- Deviled Eggs
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- Oven Roasted Chickpeas
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Did you make this baked cauliflower bites recipe? If you did, then please leave a comment and rating below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print