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Switching up the average weeknight with these saucy Crispy BBQ Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets…beer batter coated cauliflower “nuggets”, pan-fried or oven-baked, and tossed with spicy/sweet BBQ sauce. Served these saucy “nuggets” with an addicting creamy, sweet, and tangy honey mustard sauce. Enjoy as a fun summer snack, or make them into a family meal with oven-roasted french fries and veggies. Each oven-baked nugget is delicious, peppery, and full of flavor. These extra saucy BBQ cauliflower nuggets are sure to be loved by all.

overhead photo of Crispy Beer Battered BBQ Cauliflower Nuggets

Growing up in Cleveland, a lot of my time during the summer was spent at the pool soaking up the lazy summer days without a care in the world. And the best part about pool days?

The pool snack bar…lots of chicken nuggets, french fries, and ice cream bars. Anyone else? What’s your favorite pool bar snack?

To be very honest, I don’t remember ordering from the pool snack bar all that much. Mostly because we never “belonged” to the pool and were always someone’s guest. That said, I do have memories of eating chicken nuggets by the pool with my cousins. And even though the memory is a little vague, it’s fun to think back to those times.

overhead photo of Crispy Beer Battered BBQ Cauliflower Nuggets on baking sheet after baking

(above: oven baked nuggets)

As I’ve been mentioning all week, I have all things summertime on my mind. Yes, this means plenty of sweet fruit recipes and plates of pasta filled with zucchini and tomatoes will all be coming your way soon. But for me personally, it’s a time to enjoy some of our favorite kid foods as well.

Of course, with an adult-like twist! Enter these BBQ beer battered cauliflower nuggets. They’re kind of like the chicken nuggets we all loved as kids…just made the vegetarian way.

And most importantly, they’re so delicious. Think extra saucy, tangy, sweet, and spicy.

And served with a creamy honey mustard that’s flavored with BBQ seasonings…SO GOOD.

overhead photo of Crispy Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets before adding BBQ sauce

(above: fried nuggets)

Let’s all make some cauliflower nuggets…

I thought long about whether I wanted to deep fry these nuggets or oven bake them. And in the end? I couldn’t make up my mind, so I’m sharing BOTH fried and oven baked variations. Both the fried and oven-fried variations are delicious, though the fried is just a bit crispier, as you’d probably imagine.

Regardless, this recipe is about the sauces and seasonings, so either way you end up cooking these nuggets, they’re going to be GOOD.

Start with the beer batter. It is very simple. Gather my favorite blend of seasonings…smoky paprika and spicy cayenne, plus flour, and a little bit of beer. The beer creates a light and airy batter that I’ve found to fry/bake up better in the oven. It’s perfect.

And easy.

For Baking: you’ll want to bake the nuggets on a sheet pan until just tender. It’s important not to overcook the cauliflower. If you over bake them, they will end up on the soggy side, so twenty minutes, flipping the nuggets halfway through cooking, is really all you need.

For Frying: frying is actually easier than you’d think, and for this recipe, I prefer this method of cooking. It yields a nugget with an extra crispy exterior, and perfectly cooked pieces of cauliflower in the center. To fry, you simply heat a couple inches of oil in a deep skillet. Then fry for a few minutes until crispy, and drain on a wire rack. Surprisingly, this very little time.

overhead photo of Crispy Beer Battered BBQ Cauliflower Nuggets after adding sauce

While the nuggets cook, make some sauce.

I love to make my own BBQ sauce. It looks like a long ingredients list, but in reality, it comes together in five minutes and with zero cooking involved. I promise it’s EASY. I’m sharing the recipe just below the cauliflower nugget recipe. If you have the time, I highly recommend making this, it’s my favorite BBQ sauce. A little tangy, a little sweet, and perfectly spicy. Very similar to Sweet Baby Ray’s, but much healthier.

In addition to BBQ sauce, I also like to make a quick honey mustard. Yes, double sauces here. It’s just how I like to do it.

This sauce is hands down a favorite. For one, it’s EASY. Just mix, stir, and done. It’s made using creamy yogurt, honey, mustard, more BBQ seasoning, and just a touch of lemon. It’s extra creamy, a touch sweet, and a touch spicy. So perfect as a side with this cauliflower. The creaminess in the sauce makes everything heartier, but the sweetness balances out the spice.

overhead photo of Crispy Beer Battered BBQ Cauliflower Nuggets being drizzled with BBQ sauce

Finish it up…

When the cauliflower nuggets are done baking, simply serve them up either drizzled or dipped in BBQ sauce. Then add the creamy honey mustard on the side for an additional dip. I love serving these alongside homemade french fries, but the nuggets would be delicious with a side of rice too.

Important Note: I don’t recommend covering the nuggets in BBQ sauce as the sauce can make the nuggets soggy over time. I find it best to just drizzle or dip the nuggets in the BBQ sauce (either homemade or store-bought – though I prefer homemade).

And for a vegetable, I ‘d do a big salad for a refreshing, crunchy bite.

Perfect lite summertime dinner or fun appetizer to make any day of the week.

overhead close up photo of Crispy Beer Battered BBQ Cauliflower Nuggets

Looking for other cauliflower recipe ideas? Some favorites… 

Lebanese Chicken with Charred Lemon Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower.

Lastly, if you make these Crispy BBQ Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets, 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!

Crispy BBQ Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 288 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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Creamy Honey Mustard


  • 1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Add the beer, mixing until just combined. Add the cauliflower and toss well to evenly coat all the florets.
    2. To Fry: Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the cauliflower in batches for 4-5 minutes or until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove and drain on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. This will keep the cauliflower crisp.
    3. To Bake: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Rub a baking sheet with olive oil. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until just tender, flipping halfway through cooking. Don't over bake. The cauliflower should still have a bite to it.
    4. Meanwhile, make the honey mustard sauce. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake or whisk until smooth and creamy. 
    5. Serve the nuggets drizzled or dipped with BBQ sauce. Add honey mustard for dipping. Enjoy!


Honey Mustard: I use sour cream or yogurt, but for a more classic, less tangy taste, use mayo. 
Homemade BBQ Seasoning: mix 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Makes 3/4 cup. 

Spicy and Tangy Honey BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

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. Mix all ingredients in a glass measuring cup or jar until combined. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

overhead photo of Crispy BBQ Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets |

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    1. Hey Amanda,
      Gluten free flour should work just fine for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Teighan – was beer supposed to go into the cauliflower mixture? Just put it in the oven and realized!

  2. 5 stars
    I didn’t think it was possible to love cauliflower more, but THIS recipe is incredible! It’s my new go-to. I can’t believe how perfectly crispy the batter gets in the oven pand how well it holds up to sauce.

  3. 5 stars
    Perfect tots! I’ve made these twice already and definitely see them becoming a regular side! The flavor and texture is perfect, I have been cooking them in the air fryer. I also love how much healthier and lighter they feel than any restaurant’s tots.

  4. Perfect! Whole family loved it! Easy, too. I could see this method working with other veggies, like string beans, broccoli, etc.Sauce was delicious, too. You have such great dips on your site, you should have a special searchable category for them Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

  5. 5 stars
    I air fried these at 35o for 15 minutes and they turn out fantastic. Me and my husband loved them so much we have printed recipe to be added to weekly menu options!

  6. I love your recipes but at the same time they drive me mad with everything in cups. Means nothing to us in Europe. The above recipe even has mustard in cupd whereas a tbsp would make much more sense. I wish you had a metric option on your recipies!!

    1. Hi Julie! I will try to get a metric system for my recipes. Sadly, it always seemed to be off the last time I had it, so I want to make sure it is completely accurate! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Best receipe ever! Now this cauliflower is our go-to film night snack. Absolutely wonderful, crispy, full of flavour – and yet quite healthy. We always bake it with a tiny drizzle of olive oil, no need to deepfry it. It tastes delicious with chili mayo (mayo, a bit of yogurt for lighter consistency, sriracha) and topped with finely cut spring onions.

  8. 5 stars
    These are genius. So good. I hope you don’t mind but I linked to your recipe on my (very small) blog called Because this batter is a revelation and this recipe made my rather disappointing home-grown cauliflowers taste way more amazing than they should’ve. Thank you!

    1. Aw that is so sweet of you, Stefanie!! Your site is so cool, I love that you are growing plants like that… I never even thought about that! Thank you for sharing! xTieghan

  9. Made this and husband that IS NEVER excited about his veggies couldn’t stop eating eat. Honey mustard sauce was a hit too, much preferred to fancy store-bought BBQ sauce. You are Amazing, Tieghan, everything i cook from your site is an instant hit!

  10. 5 stars
    Hello Tieghan, thanks so much for the wonderful recipe – it was amazing. I found I had to parboil the cauliflower quickly first!

  11. 5 stars
    Everything on your website is incredible! Such delicious recipes each and every time! Thank you.
    The cauliflower will now be a family favourite. Easy and tasty.

  12. Absolutely amazing!!! I didn’t make my own BBQ sauce bc I am obsessed with Stubb’s Original! Well done (and I hate cauliflower)!

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe was so simple and SO DELICIOUS! I did the baked version and they still have a perfect bite. So flavorful! And the honey mustard sauce with your bbq seasoning is *chefs kiss*!

  14. 5 stars
    Hey fellow grew-up-in-Cleveland-er! I made this recipe for my roommates and I for a summer snack/lunch and it was Perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. Hi Tieghan – thanks for your work on this! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and often make at least one of your recipes weekly. Your chipotle cheddar cauliflower black bean enchiladas are now our go-to enchiladas! I think this is the first recipe I’ve made of yours that just really didn’t click with me – like to the point of being a little grossed out honestly. Maybe it was the beer I used – a Cigar City Guyabara (which I really like!). Thinking maybe I should’ve used something much lighter? Anyway, I’m sure it was just me as my husband loved them and we both liked the honey mustard sauce. Maybe I just don’t like cooking with beer?

    1. Hi Katie,
      So sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe. I am not familiar with that beer, but I do enjoy using something light like a Pacifico or even a Coors. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  16. Just made these tonight and they were delicious. I didn’t have beer to use but used seltzer. Can’t wait to try it with beer. Also might try it next time in the air fryer.

  17. 5 stars
    My family loved these! Which is no surprise, as we have loved every recipe we have made of yours! The honey mustard was SO good and will definitely be a staple!

  18. 5 stars
    Made this for my family and it was a huge hit! Followed the recipe and chose the frying method- used half olive oil half vegetable oil since that was what I had and turned out crispy and delicious! A huge hit with the dipping sauces that was a fast weeknight dinner that we will definitely make again!

  19. 5 stars
    These were so amazing. My husband is anti- cauliflower so i did 3 of your cauli recipes back to back over 3 nights, the other 2 were the falafel made with blitzed carrot, cauli + chickpeas and the quesadillas filled with pinapple+chilli+cauli. He loved them all. Your recipes are so fantastic, I bought your 2 books within a week of each other and cook nearly every night using them. How on earth you think of so many great new recipes for your website i do not know. Please keep on your excellent work!! Love from Staffordshire, UK.

    1. WOW that is so great! I love when you can get someone to change their mind about a certain food! Thank you Chloe! xTieghan

  20. Hi!! Just made these but I’m wondering where the 3/4 bbq sauce comes in? It’s on the list of ingredients but I don’t see it in any of the steps.
    Please let me know!!!
    Thank you!!!

  21. I will definitely try this recipe, a healthier substitute for chicken nuggets. Thank you for sharing!

  22. My first HBH fail! All my error I am 100% sure. When I put them in the oil to fry all of the batter just fell off. They never looked very coated to begin with. Any suggestions for next time because their will be a next time!! Every other recipe of yours that i have made has been AMAZING!!

    1. Hi Amy,
      So sorry about that! Next time make sure the cauliflower is super dry before coating and then be sure to let any extra coating drip off. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  23. Loved this recipe! However, the cauliflower didn’t stay crispy for long. Do you have any recommendations? It was nice and fried at first, and them 10 minutes later when we finally sat down to eat, it was a bit soft. Like the moisture from the cauliflower had effected it.

    1. Hi Mickey,
      Thanks for trying the recipe. So sorry that the cauliflower did not stay crispy. Next time I would make sure to pat your cauliflower dry before coating and baking. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  24. 4 stars
    Just made these and my husband gave them the thumbs up! I baked them. The flavor and texture were excellent. Unfortunately, I didn’t let the sauce drip off the nuggets before lining them up on my sheet tray. The excess sauce just burned. I will make a note of that because I will definitely make them again. We aren’t bbq fans but I modified your honey mustard dressing to add chili lime seasoning and that was delicious and tangy. We ate them so fast that I forgot to get a picture. Next time! Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Ooo wow that sounds amazing! I am really glad this turned out so well for the both of you, Martie! Thank you so much! xTieghan

  25. I’m a bit confused. You mention “3/4 cup of BBQ sauce ‘and then more for serving”, but the recipe indicates that it is just for drizzling. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi,
      I use it from drizzling and then dipping on the side. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  26. Hello! Thank you for this amazing looking recipe, I’m really excited to try it! Any thoughts on adding cornstarch to the baked version to ensure extra crispiness? Also, do you have a recommended type of beer to use (lager, pilsner, etc.?) Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Reene,
      The baked version comes out pretty crispy as is soI don’t feel there is a need for the cornstarch component. As for the beer, I like to use something light. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  27. 5 stars
    I made the deep fried version of these today and I have to say they’re the best cauliflower wing/nugget I’ve made to date. I tossed mine in hot sauce instead of BBQ and they were amazing.

  28. 4 stars
    These tastes delicious! However, They turned out a bit soggy and when I flipped halfway the battery was falling off or burnt. will try again.

  29. 5 stars
    SO delicious! I was looking for new ways to make cauliflower, and this is great for a little indulgence! The batter was spicy (in the best way!) and I could still taste just the right amount of beer. The honey mustard was a great compliment! I will definitely be putting this into my regular rotation as a side or a snack. Thanks, Tieghan!

    1. Hi Sneh,
      I would recommend Cup4cup gf flour. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I do not own an air fryer so I haven’t tested this, but some other readers have said it works well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  30. 5 stars
    So after making the honey mustard now with Greek yogurt and with mayo which one do you think tastes better?

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      I prefer Greek yogurt! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Heather,
      I do not have an air fryer so I haven’t tested this method. But, I have had other readers who say that this works well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  31. 5 stars
    SO good! These are definitely my new favorite cauliflower recipie! I used almond flour in place of the regular flour to make gluten free. The topping was a bit crumbly, but that’s typical with almond flour. I chose a hard cider for the beer… Ohhh so, so tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

    1. Hi Erin,
      So sorry but I haven’t tested these on the grill, so I cannot say how they would turn out. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan