Baked Orange Cauliflower

15 comments
baked orange cauliflower

These delicious baked orange cauliflower “chicken” bites may just be my favorite cauliflower recipe yet! Cauliflower thats baked and battered in a simple gluten-free coating, and tossed in a sweet citrus glaze, with a subtle kick of spice.

They’re sure to be a winner with the whole family!

Baked Orange Cauliflower

My husband and I love to buy the “chickenless orange bites” from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. I always keep a bag around for a quick dinner, and serve it over brown rice with veggies.

This sweet orange sauce is so similar to the store-bought one, but has much less sugar, and is gluten-free friendly! I sweetened mine with honey, but you can sub agave to make it vegan! It has the perfect kick of ginger, and a sweet citrus flavor.

Your can pair it with your cauliflower, tofu, or even chicken! This sauce is definitely going to be on repeat around here.

These bites have the perfect soft center, and are coated with a simple gluten-free batter. They come together in just 5 easy steps!

How to make baked orange cauliflower

  1. Prep you batter– whisk together a 1:1 gluten-free flour with non-dairy milk and some spices to form the batter
  2. Coat the cauliflower: toss your florets into the batter to evenly coat them
  3. Bake the cauliflower: place your cauliflower on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake them in the while you prep your sauce
  4. Make the sauce: cook the sauce ingredients in a skillet, and let it simmer while your cauliflower cooks
  5. Mix the cauliflower into the sauce: remove the baked cauliflower from the oven, and cook it in with the sauce for a few minutes until they’re evenly coated

Serve your orange cauliflower over brown rice with your favorite protein + side of veggies! I love to top mine with red pepper flakes and scallions for added flavor.

Baked Orange Cauliflower

Can I prep the baked cauliflower and sauce ahead of time?

If you wanted to save time during dinner prep, I suggest coating and baking the cauliflower in advance, prepping the sauce separately, and combining them only right before you plan to serve them.

Other ways to use this Orange Sauce

The good thing about making healthier sauces from scratch is that you can use them on pretty much anything!

  • Swap the cauliflower for chicken to make healthier orange chicken
  • Use it as a marinade for salmon and serve it over brown rice with veggies
  • Serve it over baked tofu and swap the honey for maple syrup for a protein-packed vegan meal!
Baked Orange Cauliflower

You guys are going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Be sure to leave a rating and review if you tried it, they’re so appreciated!

Be sure to check out my other cauliflower wing recipes from the blog!

Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower

Sweet & Spicy Cauliflower Wings

BBQ Cauliflower Poppers

Baked Orange Cauliflower

5 from 5 votes
Course: Sides
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes
Total time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower

  • 3/4 cup 1:1 gluten-free baking flour, or regular flour

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Olive oil

  • Orange Sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos, or sub low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 tbsp orange juice

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey, or sub maple syrup or agave to keep it vegan

  • Zest from 1 orange

  • 1 1/2 tsp tapioca flour whisked together with 1 tbsp water, or sub arrowroot, cornstarch or regular flour

  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

  • Kosher salt

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 F
  • Cut your cauliflower into florets and rinse well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, and spices until a batter forms.
  • Pour your cauliflower into the batter and mix well until they’re evenly coated.
  • Layer the battered cauliflower onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes while you prep your sauce.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium/low heat. Add in the sesame oil, garlic and ginger and stir together until fragrant, for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in all remaining sauce ingredients except for the tapioca flour and mix well over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the tapioca flour and a pinch of salt and whisk it into the sauce to break up any clumps.
  • Pour in the baked cauliflower and cook over a low heat while mixing to make sure all the florets are coated evenly. Let the cauliflower cook in the sauce for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
  • Serve fresh with chopped scallions.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!

15 Comments

  1. Really good! I paired this for dinner with rice and chicken, will definitely be adding to my dinner rotation thank you ❤️

  2. Meredith

    I just made these tonight and they were A-MAZING! Too big thumbs up from me and my husband. I even split up the recipe, cooking the cauliflower one night and then mixing it with the sauce tonight. I’m sure it would have been crispier if I made it all the same day, but it was still delicious!!!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Meredith! I love the idea of prepping the cauliflower ahead to time.

  3. This is absolutely delicious! I made it for my family for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. I made cauliflower and chicken with this preparation, served it with lots of veggies and brown rice. I’ll definitely make it again soon. I can’t wait to try other recipes 🙂

  4. Dianna Smith

    This was amazing! My husband, who isn’t really a fan of orange flavored sauces and my 3 year old who has been boycotting seemingly all vegetables lately both really enjoyed this as a side dish and I thought it was superb. This would definitely make an incredible, healthier orange chicken as well. My son even ate what was leftover the next day cold, right out of the refrigerator!
    Thank you for helping me to “sneak” some cauliflower into his diet!

    • Amazing! I actually made this into an orange chicken the other night for my husband and it was a huge hit!

  5. Unfortunately this did not turn out well for me, both with the batter nor the sauce. The sauce really didn’t mesh well. I did use maple syrup instead of honey and cornstarch instead of tapioca flour so not sure if that was the problem.

    • Hey Amy, I’m sorry to hear this recipe didn’t turn out well for you. The maple syrup shouldn’t make much of a difference, thought. What went wrong with the batter? Maybe I can help troubleshoot.

  6. Kristina

    do you think these would work in an air fryer?

    • That might work! The batter is a little wet so I would suggest adding a piece of parchment paper to the bottom. Let me know how they turn out!

  7. Yum!! This was SO good. Sometimes I go for store-bought sauces because I’m too lazy to make them but this was a super easy sauce to make and I had all of the ingredients on hand. The batter was also super easy and I liked how it baked up so I want to try it with different sauces too. Definitely adding this recipe to my rotation!

    • I’m so happy to hear that, Sammi! I actually use the same batter to make my buffalo cauliflower wings, which are also on the blog! The batter would also work really well with a protein source 🙂

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