This cauliflower nuggets recipe is an easy guide to toasty, well-seasoned finger food that’s done in 30 minutes.
These veggie nuggets are crunchy in every bite but aren’t loaded with cholesterol, unlike store-bought ones. In fact, your tablemates will be astonished at the fact that they’re made of cauliflower instead of chicken!
Are Cauliflower Nuggets Healthy?
Yes, we believe they are.
Raw cauliflower is high in fiber, essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins B and C. One cup of it provides 77% of the RDA for vitamin C. Consuming cauliflower regularly also helps reduce inflammation and keep your digestive system well-functioned.
Each serving of these cauliflower nuggets contains 251 calories, leaving room for your main dish.. They’re the healthier alternative to chicken nuggets — our beloved finger food every Super Bowl season.
A mentioned serving also provides only 2 grams of saturated fat and no more than 300 milligrams of sodium. These numbers all lie within the daily limit intakes suggested in the current USDA’s Dietary Guideline and are, therefore, safe to incorporate into a normal, balanced diet.
Cauliflower Nuggets Ingredients
- Cauliflower: These nuggets are made with raw fresh cauliflower that’s roughly chopped or broken off into big florets. Find ones that are firm, white, with compact green leaves, and free of blemishes.
- The breading and coating add incredible flavors and crisp texture to the cauliflower florets.
The tasty outer skin of our nuggets is made out of a simple coating mixture of spices: all-purpose flour, salt, cornstarch, and water. As we wanted a little heat and tang, we used paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
It’s easy to align it with your diet, as there is plenty of room for tweaks in the ingredients. For gluten-free dieters, you can substitute breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free cereal, and all-purpose flour for almond flour.
Likewise, you can also substitute the egg for a vegan egg binder replacement if preferred.
How to Prepare the Cauliflower Florets
Cauliflower florets are the smaller pieces that are removed from a cauliflower head. It is much easier to cook the florets than the entire cauliflower, encouraging creativity with a range of dishes.
For today’s recipe, we’re going to use cauliflower florets to mimic the shape and texture of chicken nuggets, so the florets will need to be kept whole. Here are the brief steps to properly handle this cruciferous vegetable for this dish:
- Purchase a fresh and nice-looking cauliflower with big, white florets.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower.
- On the cutting board, place the cauliflower head with the stem facing up. Hold the knife in your dominant hand, and the cauliflower with the other hand. Hold the knife at a 45º angle and slice into the stems around the cauliflower in a circular motion. Reserve the stem to make stock later if preferred.
- Place the florets into a colander and wash them under running water.
- Cut off any blemishes and dark spots (if there are any).
- If the cauliflower florets are too large, you’ll need to halve them into bite-size pieces.
- Proceed with the remaining steps of cooking as the recipe requires. They’re right at the next section!
How to Make Cauliflower Nuggets
These healthy nuggets are packed with flavors and ready to serve as an appetizer or a tasty side dish anytime you’re craving fried foods. Only 7 steps are needed!
Make the coating mixture.
Dip and toss the cauliflower florets in the coating mixture.
Bread the cauliflower florets in the breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry the cauliflower florets until crispy golden.
Fish the nuggets out and drain excess oil.
Make the dipping sauce.
Garnish the nuggets with parsley and serve hot with the dipping sauce.
How to Store And Reheat the Leftovers
Leftover cauliflower nuggets can keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer periods of storing, consider transferring the portions to the freezer so they can last for up to 3 months.
To ensure the best quality and taste is retained after reheating, always store these nuggets properly in airtight containers.
Cauliflower nuggets can be reheated easily in the microwave until warmed through. To crisp them up, do a quick fry on the stovetop or in the air fryer.
Cauliflower Nuggets Recipe
- Make the coating: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp cornstarch. Whisk until well combined.
- Dip 20 oz cauliflower florets in the coating mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Bread the cauliflower florets in 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs. Use your fingers to gently press the florets when tossing to help the breadcrumbs bind to them as best as possible.
- Heat 1 cup canola oil (*) in a cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Deep-fry the cauliflower florets until crispy golden (no more than 5 minutes).
- Fish the nuggets out. Transfer them to a mesh sieve lined with a paper towel and set over a large bowl to drain excess oil.
- Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk 3 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise, 2 tbsp whole milk, 1 tbsp sour cream, and 2 tbsp chopped coriander together.
- Garnish the nuggets with 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley and serve hot with the mayo dipping sauce.