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4.87 stars (50 ratings)

Orange Cauliflower

Orange Cauliflower is a vegetarian version of the popular Chinese orange chicken! And honestly, you won't miss the meat at all. The sticky orange sauce is incredibly addicting, and the cauliflower is baked, not fried.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


Crispy Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup flour (see notes for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (see notes for gluten free)

Sticky Orange Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed preferred
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Optional, for Serving

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • chopped green onions
  • sesame seeds


Roasted Crispy Cauliflower

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  • In a large bowl, add water, flour, garlic powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. Place the breadcrumbs in a medium sized bowl and set it next to the wet batter bowl. Also place your baking sheet nearby.
  • Add the cauliflower to the bowl with the wet batter and toss to combine, coating all the pieces well.
  • One by one, remove a cauliflower piece, tapping any excess batter off, and roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other, or they will all get stuck together as they bake.
  • Bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Sticky Orange Sauce

  • In a large pan (large enough to fit the cauliflower and sauce), add all sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil, and cook for a minute or two.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to combine, and then add to the pot. Stir over medium-high heat constantly for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens.

To Finish

  • Once the cauliflower is done, add it to the pan with the orange sauce and stir to coat. There won't be a lot of extra sauce; if you want more double the sauce.
  • Serve over brown or white rice. Sprinkle with green onions and/or sesame seeds. Serve hot and enjoy!


  1. Gluten Free: Replace the flour with an all purpose gluten free flour mix, or even brown rice flour. Use gluten free panko breadcrumbs and tamari instead of soy sauce.
  2. For the sweetener, you could also use 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave. Coconut sugar would work as well.
  3. Fresh squeezed orange juice produces the best tasting sauce, but you could use orange juice from a bottle in a pinch.
  4. Air Fryer: You could make the crispy cauliflower in an air fryer. To do so, coat them with the flour/water mixture, then the breadcrumbs and place in a single layer in the air fryer. Air fry at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Remove, then mix with the sauce and serve.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg