Sesame Glazed Cauliflower Bites

4.5 from 11 votes
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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! 

Looking from the side at a pile of cauliflower wings with a dark brown glaze and sesame seeds on a plate.

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!

Cauliflower florets with a sesame glaze on a green plate on a placemat with a red cloth napkin.

Ingredients

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.

A bowl of the sesame glaze sauce on a tabletop next to a couple of whole scallions and a knob of fresh ginger.

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.

Glazed cauliflower on a dish resting on top of cloth napkins and placemats.

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.

Looking down at a bright green dish with glazed sesame cauliflower bites on top of a red cloth napkin and tan placemat.

Serving Suggestions

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:

A plate of sesame cauliflower wings garnished with sliced scallions on a green plate with a pair of turquoise chopsticks on the side of the dish.

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.

Looking down at a bright green dish with glazed cauliflower florets sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions.
4.5 from 11 votes

Baked Sesame Cauliflower Wings

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! 
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

This does make quite a bit of sauce. I like to pour it all over and let it cook down a bit in the oven, but you can pour over just enough to coat it, and save some for dipping.
Nutrition Facts
Baked Sesame Cauliflower Wings
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 160 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 1138mg47%
Potassium 390mg11%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 47mg57%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Categories:

More Asian Appetizers

109 Comments
  1. avigail

    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

  2. amber

    1 star
    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.

    1. 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.

  3. jen

    5 stars
    I printed this recipe awhile ago, and just now got around to making these yummy pieces of delish. Thanks for sharing – we loved them!

  4. Alex

    4 stars
    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.

  5. Selena M

    4 stars
    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!!

  6. Ali

    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.
    Thanks!

    1. 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!

  7. Michel

    5 stars
    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?

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

  8. Kelli Magrath

    5 stars
    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!

  9. natehk

    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?

    1. 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?

  10. Sarah Newell

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! New favorite cauliflower recipe! I will be making this way too often! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day! Love the versatility of cauliflower, true!
    This recipe for an entertaining party will be on my list to do!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Your Best Recipes Sept

  12. 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)

  13. Colissa

    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

    1. 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.

    2. myah

      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.

  14. Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite

    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!

  15. 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.

  16. Sarah

    I keep looking for that one perfect cauliflower recipe that will convert my husband. Definitely giving it a shot!

  17. Rhonda

    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.

  18. What an awesome and fun recipe. Roasted cauliflower is my favorite, but I never considered elevating cauliflower into something like this. Looks delicious!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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 🙂

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

    1. 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.

4.46 from 11 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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