Warm, salty and “breaded” cauliflower poppers are baked to crispy perfection and dipped in a cool and creamy vegan garlic cilantro lime sauce.  Instead of using traditional frying/breading methods, this recipe is oven-baked and uses ground-up pea crisps which provide a bit of plant-based protein in every bite.  You’re going to love this veggie-forward appetizer that is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free. 

Crispy Cauliflower Poppers Close Up Shot

These vegan and gluten-free baked crispy cauliflower poppers are healthier than your average appetizer.  I always love a flavorful plant-based recipe that is perfect for serving on game day or at any party.  It always surprises people when they realize they are enjoying something delicious AND nutritious. 

Crispy Cauliflower Poppers

The cauliflower florets crisp up perfectly in the oven when coated with the ground-up pea crisps.

Harvest Snaps Pea Crisps 

They are highly addictive (especially with the sauce) where each bite somehow leads to the next.  You might want to double or triple the recipe depending on your crowd.

Vegan Crispy Cauliflower Poppers

All you need for these vegan and gluten-free baked crispy cauliflower poppers is:

  1. cauliflower
  2. Harvest Snaps Green Pea Snack Crisps – lightly salted variety (you can find them in the produce aisle at your local grocery store)
  3. arrowroot powder
  4. water
  5. flaky sea salt

The cauliflower florets are “breaded” with ground-up pea crisps after being dredged in a slurry made from arrowroot powder and water.  Once the cauliflower florets are fully coated, everything goes into the oven and out comes the crispiest little bite-sized appetizer.  I sprinkle the flaky sea salt on top and garnish with cilantro.  Then I dip each warm and crispy cauliflower popper into this cool and flavorful Creamy Vegan Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce.  The combination is beyond delicious.  You will keep going back for more and more until suddenly the entire head of cauliflower is gone.  Or maybe that is just me!

Vegan Crispy Cauliflower Appetizer

What are the health benefits of cauliflower?

Raw Cauliflower Florets

Cauliflower is a powerhouse vegetable that is low in calories while offering dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid.  This recipe is a delicious way to get more cauliflower into your diet without it feeling like a chore.  Here, I used a head of white cauliflower but you could swap it for orange cauliflower, purple cauliflower or even romanesco.  

Crispy Cauliflower Poppers Plated

Crispy Cauliflower Poppers

Want more cauliflower recipes in your life?

Try these cauliflower recipes that I love:

Crispy Breaded Cauliflower Poppers

Let’s Make These Baked Crispy Cauliflower Poppers Happen!

This recipe has been my go-to game-day food and party appetizer. Everyone loves the warm, salty and crispy “breaded” cauliflower bites dipped in the cool and creamy lime cilantro sauce.  The entire situation is incredibly addictive.  I really can eat an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting when it is prepared this way.  I cannot wait for you to give this one a try!

Now, let’s get baking!

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Crispy Cauliflower Poppers Close Up Shot

Vegan and Gluten-Free Baked Crispy Cauliflower Poppers


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 7
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 37
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x

Description

Warm, salty and crispy “breaded” cauliflower bites dipped in a cool and creamy vegan garlic cilantro lime sauce.  Instead of using traditional frying/breading methods, this recipe is oven-baked and uses ground-up pea crisps which provide a bit of plant-based protein in every bite.  You’re going to love this veggie-forward appetizer that is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, core removed and cut into small florets
  • 1 bag Harvest Snaps Pea Crisps (I used the Lightly Salted variety but any variety/flavor will work)
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • flaky sea salt for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a completely dry food processor, pulse the pea crisps until fully pulverized.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together water and arrowroot powder.  Set aside.
  4. To “batter” the cauliflower florets, dip them one at a time, first into the water/arrowroot powder mixture and second into the ground-up pea crispy mixture until fully coated.  Place on the baking sheet and repeat until all florets have been fully coated.
  5. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes then flip each one 180 degrees and bake another 10 minutes, watching closely at the end to ensure they do not burn.  If you want to get them extra crispy you can broil them at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 minutes at the very end.
  6. Use tongs to transfer the crispy cauliflower poppers to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.  If desired you can also garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.  Serve immediately while hot with the cold