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Baked till crispy and coated with a sticky glaze, these Sesame Cauliflower Wings add some veggie action to your game day snacks. These tasty little bites make great vegan and gluten free appetizers, but you can also enjoy them as an easy vegetable side dish for your favorite Asian-style meals!
Easy Glazed Cauliflower Wings
My husband is hardcore about college football. We don’t watch a lot of pro football, but he has to watch his alma mater every Saturday in the fall, and oftentimes he has to watch the adjacent teams. You know, those they will play, those they already played. Those playing the teams they are going to play.
That means we are hardcore about game day snacks. Since he is an uber-carnivore, I’m usually making Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos or BBQ Turkey Meatballs or a big pot of Beef Chili. But sometimes I have to balance that out with some veggies like these Sesame Cauliflower Wings.
OK, they aren’t technically wings, but they pack a punch of bold deliciousness with the Asian flavors and sticky-sweet caramelization that develops. I have to admit, although I’m always happy when I get him eating veggies (and he loved these), I was a bit disappointed since I wanted to devour the entire plate.
In fact, they are so good that we don’t save them for game day. You’ll often find them on the table when I make stir fry for dinner!
The simple ingredients give these veggie bites some seriously sweet and savory Asian-inspired flavor. Just be sure to use the gluten free or vegan options as needed.
For the sauce:
- Soy sauce. Use gluten free soy sauce or tamari, if needed.
- Honey. You can also use agave or maple syrup to make it strict vegan
- Rice vinegar. Be sure it is unseasoned and gluten free.
- Sesame oil.
- Fresh ginger. Grated. Or you can substitute about a half-teaspoon
- Scallions. You can save some for garnish, if you like.
- Sesame seeds. Again, additional can be used for garnish.
For the cauliflower wings:
- Cauliflower. One large head, washed and thoroughly dried, then cut into florets.
- Unsweetened almond milk. Regular dairy milk or another non-dairy milk can be substituted.
- Brown rice flour. If you are not gluten free, all-purpose flour can be used.
- Garlic powder.
How to Make Sesame Cauliflower Wings
When you are ready to get started, preheat your oven to 450°F and coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or a thin layer of oil.
Make the glaze. Combine the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and scallions in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Coat the cauliflower. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, rice flour, and garlic powder to make the batter. Add the cauliflower and use a spatula to toss it around until it is thoroughly coated with the batter.
Bake the cauliflower wings. Spread the cauliflower florets into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 450°F until they are golden but slightly less done than you want them.
Glaze the cauliflower. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Return it to the oven for another 5 minutes, toss again, and then finish in the oven until the cauliflower is glazed and cooked to the desired doneness.
Serve. Transfer the cauliflower bites to a plate and garnish with more scallions and sesame seeds if you like. If there is excess sauce on the baking sheet, you can pour it into a bowl and use it for dipping.
Tips for Success
Cut to your desired size. Smaller florets will get more tender on the inside as they crisp up on the outside. Larger ones will stay crisp-tender all the way through or will need to bake a little longer.
You can use parchment. If you are worried about sticking, you can line your pan, but I think a thin coating of oil or cooking spray does just fine and allows for more crispness and caramelization to develop.
Save some glaze. If you are worried about the coating getting too soggy, don’t use all of the glaze. You can always reserve some as a sauce for dipping the cauliflower bites.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
You can keep any leftover cauliflower wings in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. However, the coating will start to get a little soggy. They reheat just fine in the microwave if you don’t mind them being softer. But you can also pop them back in the oven or air fryer at 400°F for a few minutes to get them hot and crisp them up a bit.
These Sesame Cauliflower Wings make a great appetizer to serve with your spread of game days snacks like Gluten Free Air Fryer Pizza Rolls or Gluten Free Ham and Cheese Sliders.
But they are also delicious as a side dish for Maple Sesame Glazed Salmon or Gluten Free Bao Buns. Or try it with some of these other meals:
Things You’ll Need
Sheet pans. I always rave about my Nordicware baking sheets for making cookies, roasting vegetables, and more. And baking cauliflower wings just one more use for them.
Whisk. Using a whisk makes the batter come together nice and smooth. You’ll also want a small one for the sauce.
Microplane. My favorite tool for grating ginger so you don’t end up with large chunks.
Baked Sesame Cauliflower Wings
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1/4 cup honey or agave or maple syrup for vegan
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 sliced scallions, plus additional for garnish, (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, plus additional for garnish, (optional)
For the cauliflower:
- one large head cauliflower, washed and thoroughly dried
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour or all-purpose flour (if not gluten free)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the sauce:
- Combine the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and scallions in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
For the cauliflower:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F, and spray a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook and softer they will get.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, rice flour, and garlic powder. Add the cauliflower to the batter and toss until it is thoroughly coated.
- Arrange the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 450°F for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly less done than you want them.
- Remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the cauliflower, tossing to coat (see Note). Return to oven for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and gently flip and toss the cauliflower in the sauce on the sheet. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until crisp and glazed on the outside, and tender inside.
- Place the cauliflower on a serving plate or bowl, and if desired, sprinkle with some additional scallion and/or sesame seeds.
- If desired, pour any remaining sauce off of the baking sheet into a bowl for dipping.
you have to make a bit more of the batter for the cauliflower especially if it’s a bit bigger. and I suggest making it thin too
Has anyone else actually tried these? I just made them and my husband and I both agree that this is a terrible recipe ;( The batter is way too heavy and does not crisp up like expected. In addition the sauce recipe tastes pretty funky and never reduced.
This was a big disapointment.
Sorry you had troubles with it. I’ve made these multiple times. The batter crisps up initially, but then gets sticky with the glaze on it. Perhaps you had a smaller head of cauliflower which made the batter thicker because there was less cauliflower to coat.
I printed this recipe awhile ago, and just now got around to making these yummy pieces of delish. Thanks for sharing – we loved them!
Oh boy, yay!
I love cauliflower, this recipe makes me want to eat it even more!
I can’t stop eating glazed cauliflower when I make it.
I made this recipe tonight for dinner, and it was….delicious! I was skeptical because the sauce seemed very thin, but it seemed to thicken up a bit during the last 5 minutes of roasting. The only thing I would change next time is that I would probably soak the cauliflower in the sauce in a small bowl for a minute or so, before the final 5 minutes of baking.
I made a new version, and I did try to really toss it to let the sauce soak in before the last 5 minutes.
I added some Sriracha for spice and warmed the sauce on the stove with a little cornstarch to thicken it. I tossed the “wings” in the sauce and put it back on the tray to dry so to speak. I also put the sauce on steamed broccoli and it was delish. Great recipes for someone trying to eat and enjoy cauliflower. Thanks!!
Great ideas! I’ll have to try the sauce on other veggies!
Do you think that I could skip the batter part and just roast the cauliflower? Then coat with the sauce and put back into the oven for a few minutes? I figured that would keep the calories down but wasn’t sure if it would work.
I think that would be a tasty option! I do like the brown rice flour because it is a whole grain and not a ton of calories in the whole batch, but I think just glazing roasted cauliflower would be yummy too!
I was so excited to make this last night and it turned out to be kind of a disaster. I followed the recipe to the tee and while it tasted great, the batter didn’t stick to the cauliflower. Then the batter pooled and got stuck on the bottom of the greased pan. I was in it this far, so I kept on going and tried to toss the pieces and then poured on the sauce, which turned the batter that slipped off the cauliflower into a booger-like consistency. I followed the 1:1 ratio of the milk and batter and it was very liquidy. I will say that it was really delicious, just really ugly. What did I do wrong?
Hmmmm, I’ve never had the batter slip off. Was you cauliflower still damp from washing it? Or maybe try some smaller pieces so there is more area for it to stick to and it can “soak in” to the florets more? Perhaps you could try tossing the cauliflower in a bit or dry flour before the batter? The sauce does soften the coating a bit, but I imagine it did more so because of how yours slipped off the cauliflower. So sorry items isn’t work out for you. We have had it several times and I’ve heard from others who have made it.
Do you think letting the florets marinate a while in the batter would help?
Oh, and should the batter be really watery or more like pancake batter?
Sorry for the delayed response. Things got really crazy before the holidays. My batter is fairly watery, though perhaps you could try adding a bit more flour. Did you use rice flour or wheat flour? I sometimes leave them in the batter for a few minutes, but not very long. I;m sure letting it soak in to the florets a little more couldn’t hurt.
Thank you for a wondeful recipe. We enjoyed it for days as a side dish. It was wonderful served warm and cold!
Oh yay, thanks!!
These “wings” look very tasty! I’m definitely going to have to try out this recipe. 🙂
I am so glad I accidently stumbled onto this recipe today! I was already planning on making buffalo cauliflower bites (which I made for the first time last week) tonight, but when I saw these and realized I already had all the ingredients on hand, I knew I had to try them. My husband and I both declared these our favorite way to prepare cauliflower! Going to try the baked cauli-tots next! Thanks!
So glad you liked them!! And I am sure you’ll love the Cauli-Tots!
These look absolutely amazing. I came across your blog via Oh My Veggies. So happy to have found you!
I made these this week and they were SO GOOD. I just wish I had doubled the recipe. 😉
Thanks! And thanks for linking to me and featuring my recipe in your weekly roundup!!
I made these last night and they tasted amazing. However they didn’t get the crunchiness I was expecting, especially since there was a batter. Was pretty much like a cauliflower stirfry, maybe even softer. Any tips on upping the crunchiness but keeping them somewhat healthy?
No, they don’t come out really crunchy. Baking them longer might make the outside crunchier, but the cauliflower itself will get softer, I would think. But maybe use less of the glaze, put it on sooner, and bake it a little longer after you pour it on?
I am drooling over these! So excited to make them!
I made this tonight, and it was delicious! New favorite cauliflower recipe! I will be making this way too often! Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it! I have some ideas for some more versions, too!
G’day! Love the versatility of cauliflower, true!
This recipe for an entertaining party will be on my list to do!
Viewed as part of Your Best Recipes Sept
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy these little bites.
I’m not into football but I am into food.Your “wings” sound fantastic! Thanks for being a part of the YBR:)
Thanks for hosting! I just got back to blogging recently after a maternity leave, and have missed being part of YBR for the few months I was off.
What a great idea! I’m going to have to make these, thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂 Oh, and I’m also now following your blog (I found you via Premeditated Leftovers)
Thanks so much! It was a fun recipe to create!
*delish* (not delay) autocorrect—ugh!
Ooh, hope you enjoy! We certainly do!
Can’t wait to try these, Brianne! Looks delay!
This looks amazing!! I love it!!
I would love to invite you to link it up at our new party Lovely Ladies Linky where you link up once and get seen on 6 blogs!!
Link up starts Wednesdays!
Hope to see you there 🙂
Parrish @ Life With The Crust Cut Off
LOVE this snack idea, Brianne!! Perfect for watching the game! Thanks for sharing!
~Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy
I adore this recipe. Love that you used cauliflower but still kept all the great flavor. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures. These are a feature.
Holey socks! That looks AMAZING!!! I need to try these “wings”
Haha! Thanks Conni! We love ’em!
Did I read this right? 1/2 Cup of Soy sauce? That seems a little much compared to the other ingredients. I have made my first attempt and would like to know if it sauce is supposed to be so runny. My first batch is in the oven now..so I am crossing my fingers. Thanks
Yes, as I mentioned it does make some extra sauce. It will reduce down in the oven or you can hold some back for dipping. That is why I toss it in the middle of baking – to coat it in the glaze as it thickens.
I mean I am eating these now they were good but I did find them VERY salty like we ate the with Ranch salty. My larger pieces were better after sitting a bit.
Hubby and I both thought they had promise will be trying again with less soy and maybe cooking down in a sauce pan before pouring on top of the of the cauliflower mixture.
Yes, the soy does bring in some saltiness. I do tend to use reduced sodium soy sauce, so that may help a bit. I have a balsamic version, perhaps you’ll like those – https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/balsamic-glazed-cauliflower-wings/
Amazing!! Pinned. Must serve at our next football party!
I keep trying to like cauliflower but no matter what I try I just can’t fall in love with it. Cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower fried rice, nothing seems to work for me. But THIS…now this I think I can do. I am actually finding myself drooling over cauliflower!
Oh, try it this way! So much flavor!
Oh my gosh, these look so decadent and outstanding…and they’re CAULIFLOWER? This is a magic trick you’ve just done.
Haha, thanks, they do look pretty decadent!
haha.. Your hubbie sounds like mine. Gotta love it when they start yelling at the ref and telling them why the call the made was wrong. Like their going to them check the call? Love how you “healthified” wings. These look and sound delicious. Pinning and can’t wait to try.
These crazy guys! Thanks, hope you enjoy them!
Great way to use cauliflower!
I keep looking for that one perfect cauliflower recipe that will convert my husband. Definitely giving it a shot!
Try it! It might work! My hubby is OK with cauliflower, but he LOVES this.
I was interested in the recipe -then I started reading about your hubby & college football . I just had to laugh, I think our hubbies are twins, except mine is for Michigan. He thinks the louder he yells, they will hear him (when loosing). It would be funny if it weren’t so annoying! Anyway, go Lions (I’m from PA). And , yes your recipe looks great, can’t wait to try it.
Thanks! Oh gosh, can you imagine our hubbies in the same room when Penn State is playing Michigan?! Crazy!!
What an awesome and fun recipe. Roasted cauliflower is my favorite, but I never considered elevating cauliflower into something like this. Looks delicious!
I love roasted cauliflower, too, but it was fun to change it up!
The same happens here with soccer, guys talk about ‘us’ when it comes to their team, jaja! This recipe is amazing, what a glorious way to eat cauliflower!
Yea, my hubby always talks about how bad or good “we” are playing! Thanks!
Your house sounds a lot like mine! Especially this part, “they aren’t winning enough or they aren’t winning the right way.” I can’t complain though, I’m just as crazy as the hubby on this one! I’m so intrigued by this recipe. If it can get the Mr. to eat cauliflower, it’ll be a miracle!
Haha, I am happy to know my hubby isn’t the only crazy one 🙂
Wow, I know a bunch of people who would go for this
Brilliant!!!!!!! I’ll be making this ASAP!
These look so saucy and delicious! Can’t believe they are cauliflower but what a great idea!
Thanks, the sauce is fantastic!
Oh, Rutgers. I didn’t go, but I went to a lot of parties there. These “wings” look amazing. And since they’re veggies, I can eat the whole plate, right?
Haha, yes always lots of parties going on at RU!
I can’t believe how much these look just like wings! I’ve been searching for some vegetarian football foods. These are just the ticket!
I know, they really do! I may not be vegetarian, but I thought vegetarians need some fun foods too!!
Oh my this is super creative!
What a great idea for cauliflower, I think this would be wonderful year round!
Thanks, I agree!
But, but, but…I don’t wanna share!!!
That is usually my reaction!
Very smart subsitution for the meat!
Seriously loving this recipe. From the sauce to using cauliflower which I could eat every single day.
Cauliflower is so versatile that you can add so many delicious flavors!
I absolutely love this idea! Cauliflower is so versatile. I would not be able to stop eating these. If I lived in your house, I’d have to take mine in the other room to watch other TV. I’m okay with professional football, though I’d prefer to watch something else, but college football puts me to sleep.
Haha, when I get bored after awhile, I just half watch and get on the computer 🙂
I can relate–cooking something delicious for the hubby, then needing to cook some meat to go with it! I know he’ll love these–even if he just considers them a side!
Haha, these meaty men 🙂
I saw this last night as I was going to bed and couldn’t stop thinking about it. This is something I need to try soon. I just love everything about this, especially how healthy but full of flavor it is!
Thanks Nicole! The only wings where you can eat the whole plate and call it healthy.
I am ready for some football and for these delicious wings! What a brilliant idea.
Thanks Isabel! We are ready for football too!!
This is genius and I love love love the idea. I am so going to make these!
Thanks! Sorta took the idea from Buffo cauliflower I’ve seen and made, but wanted a new flavor.
I could not wait to check these out when I saw the title. I’ve been on a cauliflower kick lately and these sound delish!
I love transforming cauliflower! So versatile!
Love it!!! What a healthy and great idea! Now I know what I am going to do the next time I have cauliflower!!
Thanks! Hope you love them!
Haha your son reminds me of my nephew. He used to cry when the Gators lost. Luckily we had a good season that year and I think he only cried one or two times, but he would be so upset and no one could talk to him (he was about 5 lol) I can’t wait to try these healthy wings 🙂
Thanks for hosting! Actually it is my hubby who yells and cries. My son has just gotten used to it. He’d rather watch Toy Story 🙂
Rutgers is my alma mater, too! Those games were always so much fun. I love this recipe, it sounds delicious and is such a good alternative for those of us who aren’t meat eaters.
RU Rah Rah! Yes, tailgates can be so meaty, and while I like it, I thought this would be a fun alternative.
Oh my goodness, Brianne. I can see why both carnivores and veggie lovers would be diving for this dish. I’ve saved this recipe and definitely want to give it a go. To avoid spillage in the oven, I’m thinking to put the florets in a baking dish so when I add sauce, no dripping occurs. Or do you paint on the sauce like egg yolk on scones? What do you think?
A baking dish would work, but for a whole head you may need two. I guess the technical term for what I used is “jelly roll pan”. It is a baking sheet or cookie sheet with about half inch high sides. No spillage using that with this amount of sauce.