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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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Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, using more or less to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite beer, or use sparkling water
  • oil for frying (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, plus more for serving

Creamy Honey Mustard

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

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. 
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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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Ingredients

Instructions

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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