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Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower Bites

sesame orange cauliflower bites vegan

Sesame orange cauliflower gives you all the delicious flavor memories of sesame orange chicken, but it’s plant-based and HEALTHY! Oh yes.

These baked sesame orange cauliflower bites are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, easy to make and delicious.

Whether you’re a plant-based eater or not, you’ll love these. The fresh garlic, ginger, and toasted sesame oil is perfection.

They’re crispy, tender and packed with fresh flavors!

These would be the perfect appetizer or addition to a rice and veggie dinner bowl. Throw ’em on a salad, get crazy. I do.

Veggie Prep: It’s Fun to Switch Things Up

It’s really nice to switch things up with a dish like this one. Roasted cauliflower is DELICIOUS, but with the addition of a light baked breading AND a flavorful orange sauce?! Next level!

My main goal in playing with this sesame orange cauliflower recipe was to bring the indulgent flavors of sesame orange chicken into the healthier plant-based world and it’s so possible!

ON MOST DAYS, I’m on autopilot with veggies. I simply steam or roast just about everything.

ROASTING VEGGIES 101: Cut similar cooking time veggies into bite size pieces, coat with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Spread seasoned veggies in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and bake until golden. 20 – 25 minutes. Done!

QUICK TIP: Ingredient Swap – Coconut Sugar

My favorite part of cooking plant-based is finding ways to make DELICIOUS, satisfying food that you feel great after eating. Simple ingredient swaps make all the difference.

One of my FAVORITE swaps, featured in this recipe is coconut sugar instead of white, granulated sugar. Swap it 1:1 in baking. Among other pros, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (35) compared to white sugar (65), which means it won’t spike your blood sugar as easily. Still use moderation, of course! 🙂

TIP: Reduce your use and consumption of highly processed, white granulated sugar; don’t keep it in your house. Don’t buy it. Pretend it doesn’t exist on the grocery shelves. It sneaks it’s way into a lot of processed foods, so check labels! Baby steps.

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Recipe Method Notes

This recipe uses simple ingredients that you’ll likely have on hand in your kitchen already. YAY! The only wildcards are arrowroot starch and a gluten free flour mix, I really like this one from King Arthur Flour.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is making the sesame orange sauce and even that is pretty simple, so don’t worry!

Making a sauce from scratch means that you know and can control exactly what ingredients go into it!

Make the sesame orange sauce ahead of time and store it it a ball jar in the fridge! You could definitely use this sauce for other dishes as well.

It’s really important to remove the excess batter before baking the cauliflower bites.

The first time I made it I battered the cauliflower and transferred them right to the pan with batter kind of pooling around the florets. It was still SO TASTY, but everything sort of stuck together and I knew it could be improved.

MEAG TIP: I batter the cauliflower in batches and set it on a cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath (to keep things neat). Give it a minute and they can head on over to the cookie sheet and into the oven to bake to perfection!

sesame orange cauliflower bites: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe

You could try using broccoli with this same method! I plan to. If you do, please let me know how it goes! Let’s dive into the recipe! Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

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sesame orange cauliflower bites vegan

Sesame Orange Cauliflower Bites

  • Author: Meag @wilddrivelife
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


These sesame orange cauliflower bites are the perfect savory appetizer to try next! They’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious.



Main & Topping

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 tbs. sesame seeds 


  • 2 tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I use better than bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs. tamari
  • 2 tbs. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbs. arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbs. cold water


  • 1 cup gluten free flour mix (or regular flour if the GF part isn’t crucial)
  • 1 tsp. arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (find one with limited ingredients, my favorite is WESTSOY brand — soybeans and water, that’s it!)


Prepare the Sauce:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet – med. high. Add garlic. Sauté for 2 mins.
  2. Add everything on this list except for the arrowroot and water to the skillet. Bring it to a simmer, stir occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes. Taste test — does it need anything? Add it now!
  3. Remove sauce from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. BLEND the sauce in a high speed blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Return sauce to the skillet and a medium high heat.
  6. While the sauce coming back to a boil, whisk together the arrowroot starch and water in a small bowl.
  7. Once the sauce comes to a boil, whisk in the arrowroot mixture. This will thicken the sauce up nicely. Cook for two more minutes at a simmer.
  8. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.

Next Prep Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare a cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath for easy cleanup. This setup helps to remove excess batter from the cauliflower before baking.
  3. Using a paper towel, grease a large cookie sheet for baking with 1 tbs. olive oil.
  4. Cut cauliflower into bite sized florets.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together all batter ingredients.

Batter & Bake

  1. Dredge the cauliflower florets in the batter bowl in a few batches to make it easier. I got in there with my hands, shook the initial excess batter off into the same bowl first and transferred them to sit on the cooling rack to remove a bit more excess batter. If you leave too much batter on it kind of glues the florets together and isn’t as pretty.
  2. Transfer the coated cauliflower from the cooling rack to the cookie sheet. Spread everything out evenly in a single layer.
  3. BAKE at 425 degrees for 25 minutes until golden and sizzly. Test a piece, depending on how thick the batter is, they may need a few more minutes.
  4. Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes.
  5. Toss the cauliflower with the tasty orange sauce to coat. I found it easier to do this in a large bowl vs. directly on the baking sheet. It’s up to you.
  6. Transfer the sauced wings to your serving dish/plate.
  7. Sprinkle with 1 tbs. SESAME SEEDS & minced fresh parsley if you want to be fancy!


Try this with broccoli!

Keywords: vegan, cauliflower, appetizer, savory

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