Crispy Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites are a deliciously healthier option of a classic family favorite. These bites are ultra crispy and smothered in a sticky sweet orange sauce and topped with sesame seeds. Super easy to make and whipped together in under 45 minutes.
Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower Bites [Vegan]
For the Cauliflower:
- 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped in medium chunks
- 2 cups bread crumbs, GF if needed! (See Notes!)
- 1 cup fresh water
- 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
For the Sticky Orange Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons fresh water
- 1 cup juice of an orange (That's about 2 large oranges!)
- 3 tablespoons organic brown sugar (Vegan-approved!; See Notes!)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (See Notes!)
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (See Notes!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch + 3 tablespoons WARM water (See Notes!)
To Make the Cauliflower:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. **NOTE: Doing this step is a MUST to prevent sticking.**
- In a medium bowl, add water, flour, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside also.
- Now, dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and “crunchy” looking.
To Make Orange Sauce:
- In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, add all ingredients (except for the arrowroot starch) and bring to a slight boil whisking everything together.
- Once sauce thickens a bit, reduce heat and add arrowroot starch mixture, whisking it in until sauce begins to thicken more. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the cauliflower bites are done, remove them from the oven and carefully add them into the sauce immediately. Toss them carefully until fully coated and sauce is super sticky and stuck onto the bites. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- To serve, add cauliflower bites to a salad, atop pasta, as a topping on pizza, with quinoa or rice, or by themselves with dipping sauce.
- Bon Appetit!
Best if consumed within the same day. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in oven when ready to serve. Instead of brown sugar, you can always use maple syrup or agave as a sweetener. Instead of garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder as well. Just use 1 tsp of garlic powder. If you don’t have arrowroot starch, feel free to substitute with regular starch or all-purpose flour, which both act as a thickening agent. For a bolder flavor, you can add orange peels to sauce when bringing everything to a boil. Keep it in the sauce and remove them after tossing in cauliflower bites.