This baked vegan orange cauliflower is flavourful, chewy, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. You only need simple ingredients and around 40 minutes for this ‘fakeaway’ weeknight dinner. Gluten-free and oil-free.
One of my favourite cooking endeavours is making vegetables taste delicious. Or, hiding vegetables in comforting recipes that don’t feel veggie-based at all. One of the best things to do that with is cauliflower for sure. It’s famous for its ability to transform into pretty much any dish.
So as someone who loves sweet and sour orange flavours and cauliflower, it made sense to develop and share an orange cauliflower recipe. Trust me, you’re gonna wanna give this one a go! If you do, remember to leave a star rating with your feedback :).
Baked vegan orange cauliflower
If you want to recreate Chinese takeaway at home, orange cauliflower is a great plant based alternative to orange chicken – and this one requires no fancy ingredients/fake meats. Just simple ingredients and a very straightforward preparation method. Serve it over a bed of rice, and you’re good to go.
As you will see, I did not use breadcrumbs for this recipe. The reason for that is me wanting to keep this recipe gluten-free and the difficulty of finding gluten-free breadcrumbs. I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever seen them in one major supermarket. But fear not, because the batter is still super flavourful and crispy. And of course, if you want to dip the florets in breadcrumbs, feel free to do so.
The orange sauce is sticky and rich, without an overwhelming orange flavour. It compliments the battered cauliflower perfectly!
Tips for the best baked cauliflower
- Make sure to dip each floret in the batter generously! This will allow it to turn into a thick crust.
- Bake the cauliflower for long enough – otherwise, you won’t achieve that ideal softness on the inside.
- But at the same time, be careful not to burn it! The batter on the outside should be golden, but definitely not charred.
- Don’t start making the sauce too soon. It’s best served warm and fresh.
- Feel free to add any other vegetables of your choice! Just stir-fry them in the frying pan before heating up the sauce.
Ingredients you’ll need
- All-purpose gluten-free flour.
- Chickpea flour. Don’t worry, after baking it will lose its distinctive flavour!
- Plant based milk of your choice.
- A large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Orange zest.
- Tomato paste.
- Minced garlic cloves.
- Optional black sesame seeds for serving.
Step-by-step to amazing vegan orange cauliflower
First, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 F.
Prepare the batter by whisking together the gluten-free flour, chickpea flour, cumin, and plant based milk. Dip each cauliflower floret in the batter, making sure it’s evenly and thoroughly coated. Lay out the florets on a sheet of baking paper over a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, tamari, orange zest, tomato paste, water, garlic cloves and cornstarch.
When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it into a bowl. Pour the sauce into a frying pan and stir for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, until it starts to bubble and thicken up. At this stage add the cauliflower and stir until the sauce is fully thickened and the cauliflower is evenly coated.
Storing and freezing orange cauliflower
This recipe tastes best when eaten on the same day, however you could keep it in the fridge for up to around 2 days in an airtight container. I would not recommend freezing this dish.
You’ll love this easy recipe!
Vegan orange cauliflower is one of my favourite dinners because it’s…
- Made from simple ingredients.
- Sticky, rich, and full of flavour.
- On point in terms of the sweet/sour ratio.
- A perfect homemade takeout alternative.
Other vegan recipes with cauliflower
- Tahini cauliflower steak.
- Cauliflower wings with almond dip.
- Red lentil cauliflower Dahl.
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite way to cook with cauliflower? If you give this baked vegan orange cauliflower recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below.
Baked Vegan Orange Cauliflower (Gluten-free & Oil-free)
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Conventional oven
- Frying pan
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup plant based milk
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
- 1.5 cups orange juice (around 2 large oranges)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp black sesame seeds to serve (optional)
- First, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 F.
- Prepare the batter by whisking together the chickpea flour, gluten-free flour, cumin, and plant based milk.
- Dip each cauliflower floret in the batter, making sure it's evenly and thoroughly coated. Lay out the florets on a sheet of baking paper over a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, tamari, orange zest, tomato paste, water, garlic cloves and cornstarch.
- When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it into a bowl. Pour the sauce into a frying pan and stir for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, until it starts to bubble and thicken up.
- At this stage add the cauliflower and stir until the sauce is fully thickened and the cauliflower is evenly coated. Serve with sesame seeds over a bed of rice or noodles of your choice.