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Cauliflower Bites with Sticky Sauce

Sweet, spicy, baked cauliflower bites topped with a fantastic Asian-inspired sticky sauce! Serve them as an appetizer or as the main course served over rice for a delicious vegetarian dinner.

Overhead shot of Cauliflower Bites tossed in a prepared sticky sauce and garnished with white sesame seeds and sliced green onions.

Deliciously Sticky Cauliflower Bites: The Perfect Vegetarian Alternative to Chicken Wings

Baked cauliflower bites, also known as “vegetarian wings,” are sticky, sweet, spicy, and healthy. They are the best veggie wings I’ve ever tried! Are you craving a savory and spicy dish but prefer a meatless option? These sticky bites are the perfect solution! This plant-based take on the classic chicken wing dish delivers the same satisfying crunch and tangy flavors without the meat.

These Cauliflower Bites are bathed in a sweet and spicy sauce that clings to the perfectly roasted cauliflower florets, creating an irresistible, sticky delight. They’re crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed full of flavors that will make your taste buds dance. 💃

Close up shot of Cauliflower florets tossed in a prepared sticky sauce and garnished with white sesame seeds.

The secret is in the sauce – a blend of tangy, sweet, and spicy ingredients that will allow you to forget all about traditional wings. And let’s not forget, these tasty bites are not only delicious but also a healthier alternative to fried foods.

P.S. Speaking of! After this recipe, you should also hop on over and try my Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.

How To Make Cauliflower Bites

Have you tried these guys yet? It’s sticky cauliflower, as in sticky chicken, but minus the chicken. It’s pretty darn good! You won’t even miss the meat, I promise.

Breaded Cauliflower florets in a ziploc bag.
  • You’re looking at cauliflower florets dipped in egg whites and covered in seasoned panko crumbs.
  • They are then transferred to a baking sheet for a little fun in the sun. Well, their sun… and our oven.
  • The idea here is to get them to crisp up in the oven before they meet their destiny with this damn good sauce and then our bellies.

Sweet Sticky Sauce

  • Our Sticky Sauce for the cauliflower bites delivers a sweet and savory kick. It begins with a teaspoon of sesame oil, setting the tone for the delicious experience ahead that includes honey and soy sauce. We will also stir in apple cider vinegar, garlic, and sriracha.
  • This delectable sauce drapes the Cauliflower Bites in an irresistibly sticky, flavor-packed coating, sure to be the highlight of this awesome appetizer or side dish.
A bowl with Cauliflower Bites tossed in a prepared sticky sauce and garnished with white sesame seeds.

We’re also adding sesame seeds for its nutty notes and crunchy texture.

Next time you’re tasked with bringing a dish to a party, or you’re just in the mood for a flavorful snack that won’t weigh you down, give these Sticky Cauliflower Bites a try. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian or simply looking to reduce your meat consumption, this delicious dish is sure to impress. Don’t just wing it with your next meal – reach for these Cauliflower “wings” instead! 🙃

Sidenote: About sticky chicken: pleeeeease try my Sticky Chicken Thighs. Holy Lord, they’re be.yond!

More Cauliflower Recipes

ENJOY!

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Bites - Sweet, spicy, baked cauliflower bites topped with an amazing Asian-inspired sticky sauce! Serve them as finger food appetizers or as the main course over rice for a delicious veggie dinner.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Bites

Katerina | Diethood
Sweet, spicy, baked cauliflower bites topped with an amazing Asian-inspired sticky sauce!
4.67 from 18 votes
Servings : 4 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 whole large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fine ground panko crumbs, or regular breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil or vegetable oil
  • cup honey
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce or sriracha
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • chopped green onions, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Add egg whites to a large ziploc bag; add cauliflower florets to the bag, close it, and shake it around until everything is well combined. 
  • In a separate ziploc bag combine the panko crumbs, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; add the cauliflower florets to the bag, close it, and shake it around until everything is well combined and coated.
  • Transfer the cauliflower florets to the prepared baking sheet; bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
  • In the meantime, prepare the sauce in a nonstick skillet set over medium heat; combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, and garlic and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • In a small mixing bowl combine cornstarch and water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the soy sauce mixture and whisk to combine; remove from heat.
  • Remove the cauliflower florets from the oven and either add them to the sauce OR pour the sauce over the florets. Mix and toss until well combined.
  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • Beat the egg whites until foamy; it will help with the breading.
  • For better adhesion, don’t use coarse breadcrumbs. Finely ground breadcrumbs work better in this recipe. Also, you can use regular breadcrumbs or panko rind crumbs.
  • If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the sriracha and use a mild/sweet sauce, if possible.
  • You can use agave instead of honey.
  • Serve as an appetizer or serve it over rice for a complete vegetarian meal.

Nutrition

Calories: 229 kcal | Carbohydrates: 46 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 892 mg | Potassium: 539 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 27 g | Vitamin A: 125 IU | Vitamin C: 70.7 mg | Calcium: 86 mg | Iron: 2.4 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Appetizer / Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: appetizer recipes, cauliflower recipe, side dish recipe
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39 comments on “Cauliflower Bites with Sticky Sauce”

  1. These were really good served over jasmine rice, but I wished for more sauce and the recipe took a few minutes longer – the cauliflower took longer to roast (not sure if it’s just my oven) and the sauce needed a couple minutes of heat after adding the cornstarch in order to thicken.

  2. I’d like to make this, but with roasted cauliflower instead. Who has made this that thinks this would work?

    1. Hi!
      Please forgive me if I misunderstood your question, but this recipe is for roasted cauliflower. The sauce is cooked in a skillet, but the cauliflower florets have to be roasted, first.

  3. For the people having trouble with the bread crumbs sticking, try beating your egg whites until foamy, they’ll stick better

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      No, you don’t have to use it, but it does add flavor to the overall taste. 🙂 Also, you can use any hot sauce you have on hand.

  4. Made this tonight – so good! used Agave since I didn’t have any honey. Sprinkling of green onion and sesame seeds made it fun. Next time I’ll throw on some chopped peanuts like California Pizza Kitchen does. 🙂

  5. I ground the panko in a mini-food processor and used 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, and a splash of water and crumbs stuck perfectly. Gave them a little oil spritz before going in the oven and they came out great I may swap cumin for ground ginger next time. Use dcoconut vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar which was good but sauce still had a bitter tone to it so I may play with that next time. Overall however a really terrific technique that can also be adapted in other ways (buffalo cauliflower anyone? General Gao’s)?

  6. Avatar photo
    Chickpea Express

    I made a healthy plant based version of these cauliflower bites using a sweet chilli heat sauce! I loved the idea of cooking the cauliflower with bread crumbs before coating in sauce to keep them nice and crisp!

  7. Loved this, but I also had a bit of trouble with the breading. My breadcrumbs were coarse so next time I’ll try it with finer ground crumbs. Great flavor and hubby loved them, too.

    1. I had the same issue. i used a heavy rolling pin on the zip lock bag which helped reduce the sized of the crumbs… better but not perfect. may try the whole egg and egg white someone else suggested…

  8. Yum! Definitely cook longer with the cornstarch (as mentioned in previous comments).

    I used the yolk in the eggs too and used 3 eggs for a sizeable cauliflower head. Didn’t have any problems with the panko sticking.

    I didn’t have enough sauce so I would double the recipe. I used half ACV and half rice vinegar.

    I made lettuce wraps with these! I wrapped the cauliflower, sauteed peppers/onions, chopped peanuts and green onions in butter lettuce and topped it with a bit more of the sauce. It was the best meal I’ve made in a long time! Soo delicious.

  9. Do you think I could roast these early, then reheat when I arrive to the house I will be serving them at? And how about the sauce, could I make that and reheat it when needed?

  10. Five minutes into simmering the sauce add the water and corn starch mixture and allow it to heat for the remaining 5 minutes steering occasionally. Used four egg whites not two, and that really made a world of difference in the panko sticking. Tossed them in a bowl with a spatula several times which ensured they were coated on egg then tossed them in small batches into panko crumbs in another bowl.

  11. The crumbs did not stick to the florets at all so I had piles of breadcrumbs and bare florets once I added the sauce…The sauce was heavenly in aroma and flavor, but as others mentioned- cook the mixture with the cornstarch for a few minutes to thicken. Actually, I thought it was a nicer sticky consistency without the water and cornstarch, so if I try it again I will double the sauce and not add the cornstarch mixture. Any suggestions for coating the cauliflower better with the crumbs? Maybe my cauliflower head was too big and it needed more egg white…? Perhaps a measurement of the cauliflower would be more useful than “one head”.

  12. My bread crumbs didn’t stick to my cauliflower either. But my sauce was great. I did cut the honey in half and added a few pinches of brown sugar.

  13. This recipe just did not work for me. I guess the Panko bread crumbs I used were too big because they did not stick to the cauliflower at all. The Apple cider vingar was really over powering and really ruined the sauce for me. If I try again I will coat the cauliflower in flower and will use rice vinegar instead of apple cider.

    1. Try either increasing the amount of cornstarch or reducing the water that the cornstarch dissolves in.

    2. Avatar photo
      Ariel Jaramillo

      I let it cook, stirring constantly, after adding the corn starch. I took it off and added it to my cauliflower after the sauce reached the thickness I wanted.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  14. This was absolutely delish!! My boyfriend was highly impressed that it tasted so good! Of course I had to tell him it was definitely not my creation and had found it on Pinterest, lol.. his words were, ” hats off to whoever came up with the recipe!” Will be doing this again soon!!

  15. Avatar photo
    Deborah @ The Harvest Kitchen

    I love these cauliflower bites (pinned on 3 boards)!!! Veggie Grill is a restaurant near home – and they make cauliflower bites (but I think they’re fried) and they’re completely addicting. I love the sound of these better! Can’t wait to make!!

  16. Avatar photo
    Maryanne | the little epicurean

    These look amazing! Lucky for me, I happen to have all the ingredients on hand!

  17. Avatar photo
    Milena | Craft Beering

    I am loving these bites! Everything about them is so tempting and tells me to open a Maibock or Dunkel. This is what I call an elegant appetizer for a girl’s cold beer:) (Who cares if I do lick my fingers at some point?)

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