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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.

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |

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.

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |


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.

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |

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?

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |

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.

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |

Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Here are a few to try:

Crispy Cheese Poblano Avocado Burrito

25 Minute Chili Oil Egg Ramen

Pesto Potato Burrata Pizza with Spicy Arugula

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4
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.

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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.
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Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower |

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  1. These were delicious! I made them for my monthly library cookbook club gathering this week. Theme was recipes from your cookbooks. Reviews were enthusiastic. I just bought another cauliflower from local farm stand to make them again. I found it took closer to 25-30 minutes baking them at 425 F in my oven to cook. Had 2 sheet pans and ended up not broiling them at all as already browned. I did take tip from one of reviewers and lightly toasted panko in a saucepan with some oil before I dredged the cauliflower florets in the bread crumbs. Came out crispy. Used a local wildflower honey in the sauce. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Thinking of making it to bring to Thanksgiving at friends’ house.

    1. Hey Emily,
      Happy Friday!👻 Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try and sharing your review! I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xT

    1. Hey Amber,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  2. 4 stars
    Made this tonight & the flavor was very good. I just wish there was a way to make it more crispy. These would be incredible if they had some crunch to it. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Regardless, this recipe is still a keeper! Thanks T.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Happy Wednesday! I love to hear that this recipe was tasty, thanks for making it! Cauliflower is never really going to get really crunchy. xxT

  3. This recipe is tagged under Vegan but has 3 eggs in it ? Do you have recommendations on what to substitute the eggs for?

    1. Hi Sam,
      You could use buttermilk in place of the eggs. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  4. I followed the recipe but wondered why the cauliflower was not cooked after 15 minutes. Then I watched the video and see you drizzled with oil before baking. Not mentioned inthe recipe above.

    1. Hi Pamela,
      The olive oil would not have caused the cauliflower not to cook, my guess is your chunks were too big, I would make them smaller next time. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Another great HBH cauliflower recipe! The cauliflower crisped to perfection. Loved the spicy orange sauce.

    1. Hi Djienne!
      Happy Friday!!? I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xxT

    1. Hey Kennedy,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks for sharing your review and making this recipe, I am so glad it was a winner! xxTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight for my parents — it was such a hit! First words out of my moms mouth “oh that chicken looks so crispy and amazing!”….. it’s payback time mom (sneak attack with vegetables)! My dad who is not a cauliflower lover had 2 helpings — so needless to say will be making this again since my “grown kids” enjoyed it so much! Thank you!!

    1. Hey Kate,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing your review and making this recipe. Love to hear that it was a winner! xxT

  7. 5 stars
    I am so happy you are younger than me. Hopefully you will keep the recipes coming for me for years to come Thank you so much . Just in case I better buy some of your recipe books. This one has to be my favorite. I always for get to double it. Sarah

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Thanks for your kind message! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

  8. This is by far my favorite thing to make right now!!! It’s so fresh and high quality tasting. Definitely do not miss take out with this!

    1. Hey Mekenzie,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  9. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, used regular bread crumbs because I was out of panko and they weren’t that crispy. Will definitely get panko next time. I will double the sauce because its soooo good!

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  10. 4 stars
    Very tasty! To make the cauliflower really crispy, sauté the breadcrumbs with oil on the stove top until they are browned then use them to bread the cauliflower once cooled. Also bake it on a rack set into a cookie sheet for better air flow.

  11. Tried this recipe today, although I subbed in grapefruit juice as I didn’t have any orange juice or oranges on hand. Turned out pretty good though next time I would use less ginger (felt it was a bit overpowering), and increase the amount of the sauce so I have some to pour over while serving with rice. The cauliflower didn’t get as crisp as I thought it would, but still tasted good and definitely a quick & easy recipe I’d try again! Thanks Tieghan, love your recipes 🙂

    1. Hi Lianne,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for making it! xxT