Sweet and spicy crispy cauliflower nuggets

One of the most delicious vegetable dishes ever!

Not being a huge fan of cheese sauce, for years I avoided cauliflower because it just seemed to look so boring on a plate. Now that cauliflower’s had a bit of a renaissance, I’ve learned there are lots of delicious ways to prepare it that can make it look as attractive as it is delicious and nutritious. Some of my favourites include this Moroccan-spiced cauliflower, crunchy curried cauliflower pickles and this fragrant rice with cauliflower. In this case, the sweet and spicy sauce is what makes the cauliflower shine. Don’t be surprised to find kids devouring these as fast as the adults!



  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper

Sweet and spicy sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) very finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Optional garnishes: toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut cauliflower into bite-sizes pieces (about 1 – 1 1/2 inches or 2.5 – 3.5 cm).
  • Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat until frothy. Put Panko in a second bowl.
  • Dip cauliflower pieces in egg then roll them in the Panko until evenly coated; place coated pieces onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until bites are turning golden brown on the outside.
  • While cauliflower cooks, prepare sauce by putting oil, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan placed over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 – 3 minutes until softened. Add chili sauce, soy sauce and lime juice and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Drizzle sauce over cooked cauliflower then add garnishes if desired and serve hot.

Serves 2 – 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

7 thoughts

  1. Hi Paula
    I made these cauliflower nuggets for supper. It was a hit! I didn’t have Panko bread crumbs but I made my own. We all agreed that it tasted like we were eating chicken! I want to try that upside down rhubarb cake next.

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