crispy cauliflower with red peppers and herbs over white rice with chopsticks on grey plate

Super flavorful, extra crispy gluten free + vegan cauliflower bites! Say hello to your new favorite healthy alternative to take out!

crispy cauliflower with red peppers and herbs over white rice with chopsticks on grey plate
crispy cauliflower with red peppers and herbs over white rice with chopsticks on grey plate

This recipe is hands down, without a doubt, one of the recipes I am most proud of to date! As soon as i tried these crispy, sticky cauliflower bites i couldn’t wait to share them. They taste exactly like restaurant style fried cauliflower, but they are healthy, baked instead of fried, and made with nutritious ingredients. The flavor and texture is out of this world good! Not to toot my own horn, but seriously i can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe!

crispy cauliflower with red peppers and herbs over white rice with chopsticks on grey plate

I typically do like to keep my recipes super simple, and while this one is still really easy, it does have a couple crucial extra steps that are totally worth it. Again, it still isn’t a hard recipe by any means. The process essentially involves baking the cauliflower first in a healthy “breading” to crisp them up, before adding the secret sauce. However, the first bake time is the perfect amount of time to get the sauce made and clean up a little before they are ready to bake for the second round. I was ready to go for the 2nd step the minute the oven was beeping- love when that happens!

The crisp, crunchy texture is so satisfying in these little bites. The sweet and spicy sauce has a great kick, and the most addicting flavor.

Plus, they’re completely vegan and gluten free.

I love these in lettuce wraps or over a bed of rice- I add some extra veggies or crisp microgreens and green onions, and chicken if i have it on hand!

Tapioca flour and garbanzo flour are what create the breading for these bites. While you may not always have these ingredients on hand, I promise its worth making a trip to the store for! you will want to make these again and again. I chose these two flours to keep this recipe grain free, nut free, as well as more affordable. Nut flours can be pretty pricey- but these two types of flours are much more reasonably prices. i find these flours at whole foods, but you can search amazon if you don’t see them at your local grocery.

Add these bites to your next dinner plans- I promise you will be just as obsessed! Enjoy xx

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Gluten Free Crispy Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo


Perfectly crispy, deliciously saucy gluten free sweet and spicy cauliflower bites! The perfect healthy alternative to traditional take out!



For the crispy cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour (can sub arrowroot starch) 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt 
  • black pepper 
  • 1 cup room temp water

For the sweet + spicy sauce

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • scant 1/4 cup sriracha (leave out 12 tbsp if sensitive to spicy) – I prefer this one
  • 2 tbsp honey (coconut sugar, date syrup, or agave for totally vegan)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • few cracks of black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir all of the dry ingredients for the crispy cauliflower together (garbanzo bean flour, tapioca flour, and spices). Then stir in the water and whisk until smooth. If batter is not mixing well, add up to another 1/4 cup of water.
  3. Let batter sit for 1-2 minutes to slightly thicken, then add the cauliflower florets to the bowl to coat. Using a fork, remove the florets from the batter and place them on the parchment paper. Drizzle the batter on some of the pieces that look like they could use more batter.
  4. When oven is preheated, bake the battered cauliflower for 20 minutes. While baking, you will start making the sauce.
  5. Rinse out the bowl the batter was made in, then add all sweet and spicy sauce ingredients to the same bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Add sauce to a heated pan over medium heat. allow sauce to cook for 5-7 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside 3-4 tbsp of the sauce to keep for after baking.
  7. When cauliflower is done baking, return it to the large bowl and pour the sweet + spicy sauce (besides the 3-4 tbsp set aside) over the cauliflower. Use a spatula to make sure you get every last drop of the sauce! stir to coat, then return to parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Let cauliflower sit for at least 5 minutes. Use the extra sauce you set aside to drizzle over the cauliflower when serving.

Appetizers + Sides, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Lunch + Dinner, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian


Oct 28, 2019

Gluten Free Crispy Sweet + Spicy Cauliflower Bites

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Tori Hails says:

    I’ve made this once and loved it! The cooking/prep is a little more intense than Mia’s usual recipes, but TOTALLY worth it!

  2. Alejandra Yost says:

    Any substitutions for garbanzo flour? Do you think almond or oat flour work?

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      Hi ALejandra,

      Those flours aren’t exact substitutes so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out! I recommend sticking with the flours in the recipe for best results, but you can try a brown rice flour.

  3. Katherine says:

    OBSESSED with this recipe! It has always been good, but I love it even more now that I have an air fryer. It might be a little work on the front end but it’s very much worth it.

  4. Sandra says:

    I really like this, but I would stir fry the florets instead of baking it.

  5. Allie says:

    Could I use an air fryer for this?

  6. Georgie says:

    Hi Mia,

    Could you use quinoa flour like the buffalo cauliflower wings recipe? Or still not an exact substitute. Thanks!

  7. dana says:

    another amazing recipe by mía! this was super easy to follow and it turned out amazing! will def be making again!

  8. Haley says:

    Does just the basic all-purpose flour work as well?

  9. Kelly says:

    I use this recipe to make lettuce wraps almost weekly!! So good, it taste like take out!!

  10. Yamuna says:

    Hi, Mia! Cannot wait to try this recipe.
    Can you please tell me how many servings it makes?
    Thank you

  11. Charise says:

    My husband and I made this for dinner last night. I’m not sure where we went wrong, but it was a disaster. The batter was like water, so we added more chickpea flour. That was the ONLY thing we did different than the instructions. But the cauliflower never got crispy after baking- it remained soft. The coating was even on the soft side. Our sauce was not sticky at all like the sauce in the picture. It was also not sweet, at all. It was just spicy. We spent a lot of time, and a lot of ingredients, to make this and ended up extremely disappointed.

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.