Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower…a healthier approach to the classic Asian fried chicken. I’ve swapped the chicken for nutrient-packed cauliflower, then oven-baked it until crisp. The cauliflower is tossed in a yummy sesame orange sauce with fresh orange juice and chili flakes. It’s a little sweet and a little spicy with such great flavor. This is best served over steamed rice for a wholesome vegetarian dinner. A fun healthier take on a popular takeout dish.
I’ve really been into finding wholesome ways to create some of our favorite foods. I’ve done popcorn chicken, baked buffalo cauliflower, vegetable filled mac and cheese, and my list of possible recipes to create is still a mile long.
I guess it’s just the time of year. I’m still looking for those warming cozy recipes we all love, but made in a little lighter way. Plus, why not try to nourish our bodies with the flavors we love, just in a wholesome way, you know?
If we can do it, we should! And honestly, I couldn’t love this baked version of orange chicken more. Whether you use chicken or cauliflower, it’s all about the sauce, and it’s delicious. You know we love our sauces around here.
The beginning of the recipe is very similar to my buffalo cauliflower. Except I’m using Panko bread crumbs for a little crunch.
Start off by breaking the cauliflower up into florets. Then whisk up a few eggs in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower right into the whisked eggs, then simply toss to coat.
Now dredge the cauliflower through the crumbs, then bake! It’s so simple and what I love most is that by baking the cauliflower you’re really able to taste the sweet, spicy, orange sauce instead of just a fried piece of cauliflower.
For the sauce, the key is to use fresh orange juice. This is perfect since we’re currently in winter citrus season. It takes a little more effort because you have to squeeze out all the juice, but the final results are worth it.
I add plenty of garlic to my sauce, then ginger, and chili flakes for a nice little kick.
The thing about orange sauce is that it’s really simple to make. Just orange juice, soy sauce, and a little something to make it sweet. Most recipes use sugar, but I love to use honey for something that’s more natural and even more delicious. It also adds a little flavor too.
Cook the sauce on the stove, then just toss in the cauliflower. See quicker than take out, right?
Steamed rice and toasted sesame seeds are a definite must for serving. The rice really helps to make this more of a complete meal.
I have to say, this is truly a recipe that everyone really loves…even if they don’t enjoy cauliflower. I was shocked when my picky-eater brothers gave this a try. Granted I also had chicken in the same sauce too, but everyone all agreed, this was the best dish of the night.
So, that should tell you right there…this is a recipe worth trying. When the brothers actually choose a vegetable-based dish, something about it must be REALLY GOOD.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower
Calories Per Serving: 346 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/2-1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 cup fresh orange juice + 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/3 cup tamari/soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- green onions, for serving
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the cauliflower and toss well to coat. In a separate bowl add the Panko. 3. Dredge the cauliflower through the crumbs, covering fully. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Bake for 15 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil until crisp, 2-3 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, whisk together the corn starch and 2 tablespoons water.5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Bring to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Toss the cauliflower with the sauce. 6. Serve the cauliflower and sauce over steamed rice with sesame seeds and green onions.