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Crispy Cauliflower Bites

Dig into crispy cauliflower bites, a delicious vegetarian alternative to classic chicken wings! Make the tasty side dish or appetizer with tender cauliflower florets coated in a flavorful breading and tossed in zesty buffalo sauce. For another plant-based option, try savory quinoa balls.

A plate of crispy cauliflower bites.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Whether you need a quick and easy snack for your next party or want something to nibble on during a lazy afternoon, crispy cauliflower bites are a must-try! The bite-size treat will become a favorite in your rotation.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cauliflower: Break down a cauliflower head into florets or purchase a bag of pre-cut cauliflower. Whatever you use, I recommend trimming the stems and cutting them into bite-size pieces for even cooking. 
  • Cornstarch: Toss the cauliflower florets in cornstarch to help them become crispy and create a base for the egg wash to adhere.
  • Egg: Eggs bind the breading to the cauliflower for a crispy texture.
  • Breading: Coat the crispy cauliflower bites in panko bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
  • Buffalo Sauce: I use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, but you can toss them in whatever sauce you prefer.

Additions and Substitutions

Coat the cauliflower bites in buffalo sauce, or leave it off entirely. Instead of Buffalo sauce, try Mike’s Hot Honey, BBQ sauce, homemade garlic parmesan (use the homemade sauce from my air fryer garlic parmesan wings), honey Sriracha sauce, or Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce.

How to Make Crispy Cauliflower Bites

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.

Then, cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces, pat them dry, and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.

Cauliflower florets in a bowl.

Step 2: Sprinkle the cornstarch over the cauliflower pieces and toss to combine.

Step 3:Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Then, combine panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on a shallow to complete your dredging station.

A dredging station of eggs and the panko mixture.

Step 4: Dip the cauliflower into the egg mixture and shake off any excess. Transfer it to the panko mixture and press the cauliflower on all sides to coat.

Set it onto the wire rack and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.

Cauliflower florets on a wire rack.

Step 5: Bake for 20-25 minutes until the florets turn golden brown and crispy.

Cauliflower florets on a wire rack.

Step 6: Remove the bites from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a mixing bowl and toss them with buffalo sauce to serve.

Cauliflower bites tossed with buffalo sauce.

Crispy Cauliflower Bites in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Arrange the coated cauliflower florets (see instructions for coating in the recipe card below) in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.  
  3. Cook for 15 minutes, tossing them halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Expert Tips

  • Cut the cauliflower florets the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Use one hand for the egg mixture and one for the panko to avoid build-up on your hands.
  • Serve the crispy cauliflower bites immediately after cooking for the best texture and flavor.
  • The panko coating will absorb some of the buffalo sauce, so I recommend lightly tossing them in the sauce, or for extra-crispy bites, consider serving the sauce on the side.

Serving Suggestions

The buffalo cauliflower wings, or bites, are an easy-to-make appetizer you can pair with tangy bleu cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or sos czosnkowy, a Polish garlic sauce.

More Dipping Sauces:

What about serving them as a main dish? Use the crispy cauliflower bites as a filling for wraps, corn tortillas, or a warm pita. You can also use them to top fresh salads or protein bowls. 

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Can I prepare this recipe in advance? The cauliflower is best served fresh, but if you decide to prepare it before a big party or event, reserve the sauce and cauliflower separately until you are ready to serve.
  • Refrigerate: If you intend on having leftovers, I recommend leaving the sauce off the cauliflower bites. Store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers in a microwave or air fryer for 5 minutes at 375°F (190°C) to keep them crispy.

More Vegetables Side Dishes:

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A plate of crispy cauliflower bites.

Crispy Cauliflower Bites

Tressa Jamil
Crispy cauliflower bites are a tasty alternative to wings. The bite-sized snack features breaded cauliflower coated in sauce for a delicious appetizer. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 124 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Franks Red Hot buffalo sauce
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack. Then, cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces, pat them dry, and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle the cornstarch over the cauliflower pieces and toss to combine.
  • Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Then, combine panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on a shallow to complete your dredging station.
  • Dip the cauliflower into the egg mixture and shake off any excess. Transfer it to the panko mixture and press the cauliflower on all sides to coat. Set it onto the wire rack and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the florets turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the bites from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a mixing bowl and toss them with buffalo sauce to serve.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Cut the cauliflower florets the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Use one hand for the egg mixture and one for the panko to avoid build-up on your hands.
  • Serve the crispy cauliflower bites immediately after cooking for the best texture and flavor.
  • The panko coating will absorb some of the buffalo sauce, so I recommend lightly tossing them in the sauce, or for extra-crispy bites, consider serving the sauce on the side.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 124 kcal | Carbohydrates: 21 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0.01 g | Cholesterol: 41 mg | Sodium: 751 mg | Potassium: 495 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 62 IU | Vitamin C: 69 mg | Calcium: 70 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating