Baked Orange Cauliflower

Crispy baked cauliflower pieces are coated in an orange sauce. It’s like orange chicken but with cauliflower instead!

Yes, I’m still making cauliflower recipes. I really love cauliflower-izing everything. I’ve made several variations on orange chicken in the past, but this is my first time replacing the chicken with cauliflower.

The addicting sauce, as you can imagine, works wonderfully with the crispy baked golden cauliflower pieces that are first coated in panko bread crumbs.


Since then I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ENOUGH! I think I’m eating this Sticky Sesame Cauliflower at least once a week. And you guys seem to be loving it, too! I’m enjoying seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for sharing! Since we loved the Sticky Sesame Cauliflower so much, I decided to make something similar – Orange Cauliflower.


I think you’re going to like this one as much as the Sticky Sesame Cauliflower. Sweet, tangy, super saucy, melt-in-your-mouth cauliflower wings with a crispy battered outside for a healthier take on the classic Chinese dish, Orange Chicken.


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I have also tried spraying the cauliflower with cooking spray before baking with great results. Or, if you want to try something even more exciting, follow these instructions to cook your cauliflower in the air fryer. I didn’t use an air fryer for this recipe because I wanted to make it more accessible to everyone, but I have had great results with air-fried cauliflower wings with that method.

Ingredients

Battered Cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
Orange Sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
Everything Else
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking the rice according to the rice package instructions. While rice is cooking, prepare your cauliflower. 
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F. In a shallow mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour and water, whisking together until thick and gooey. This will act as your binder between the cauliflower and flour mixture. In a separate shallow bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
  3. Pour 1 tbsp of cooking oil into a heavy bottom baking dish or large cast iron skillet. Dip each floret into the chickpea flour mixture until completely submerged, then dip it immediately into the flour mixture, coating thoroughly. Place the battered cauliflower in the baking dish and repeat until all the cauliflower is covered. 
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Pull out of the oven, flip cauliflower over and brush or spray the additional 1 tbsp of oil on the top of the florets. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. While cauliflower is baking, make your sauce. Begin by heating up sesame oil in a small pan. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Whisk in remaining ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch and water and simmer for 2 minutes. 
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Add to sauce ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes until sauce is thickened and cornstarch has completely dissolved. 
  7. Pour all but 2 tbsp of sauce over the battered cauliflower and bake for another 5-10 minutes until sauce is sticky and thick. 
  8. Serve immediately over cooked rice. Top with sesame seeds, green onion, and remaining sauce. 

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