Cauliflower Bites with Sticky Sauce

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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!

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4.67 from 18 votes

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Bites

Sweet, spicy, baked cauliflower bites topped with an amazing Asian-inspired sticky sauce!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

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

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.

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39 Comments

  1. Margeb says:

    Has anyone tried this recipe but using an air fryer to cook the cauliflower?

  2. Kim says:

    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.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  3. Stephanie says:

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

    1. Katerina says:

      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.

  4. Vicky says:

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

  5. Roxi says:

    What if I have no cornstarch?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      You can use all-purpose flour.

  6. Jessica says:

    Do I have to use the chili sauce or will omitting make it fast bad? Is there a substitute?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      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.

  7. Michelle says:

    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. 🙂

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very happy you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  8. ken says:

    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)?

  9. Chickpea Express says:

    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!

  10. Wanda says:

    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. lisa says:

      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…