Crispy and crunchy cauliflower bites coved in a Parmesan breading. A delicious new way to eat cauliflower and a versatile side dish. These Cheesy Cauliflower Nuggets are baked, not fried and they are ready in under 30 minutes. Dip in your favourite sauce and enjoy as a snack too. They also make a nice light starter.
We aren't going to try to convince you that these are just like chicken nuggets, because they are not! For a start they are made with cauliflower and not chicken, so they have a totally different texture and flavour. However, if you are looking for a new way to serve cauliflower or a new side dish to try then this is it!
If you are looking for some other ways to use cauliflower, then why not try our Easy Cauliflower Cheese, Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower, Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup or Cauliflower and Potato Curry.
Why you will love it
- Easy to make - These are so easy to make - you just coat them in mayo and then dip them in the breading mixture and bake.
- Delicious breading - We used panko breadcrumbs to get these cauliflower nuggets extra crispy and then added Parmesan to make them feel a little more indulgent. Parmesan also adds lots of flavour and helps to crisp them up too.
- Baked not fried - These is no need to fry these cauliflower nuggets to get them crispy, as they get a nice crunch from being baked in the oven.
- A delicious way to enjoy cauliflower - If you like cauliflower, but are bored of serving it the same way then give this a try.
- Cauliflower - The star of cauliflower nuggets. You could use a mixture of cauliflower and broccoli if cauliflower by itself isn't your favourite.
- Mayonnaise - This is what helps to coat the cauliflower and gets the breadcrumbs to stick to it.
- Breadcrumbs - We used panko breadcrumbs to get them extra crispy, but you can use regular breadcrumbs if you prefer.
- Parmesan - This is optional, but it adds lots of flavour and helps the nuggets to crisp up. You could use nutritional yeast if you prefer.
- Seasoning - We used an Italian seasoning mix. However you could swap it for Mexican or Cajun if you wanted a kick of heat.
- Oil - This helps it to crisp up. We mixed olive oil in with the breadcrumbs, but you could spray that nuggets with oil before they go in the oven.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Cauliflower Nuggets - Step by step
One: Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the cauliflower florets into a mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise. Mix so that the florets are coated.
Two: In a separate bowl, combine the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and oil. Mix well.
Three: Add the breadcrumb mix to the cauliflower and mix so that the florets are coated in the seasoned breadcrumb. Transfer to a lined baking tray.
Four: Cook for 25 minutes. When cooked, serve with more Parmesan.
Health benefits of cauliflower
Cauliflower is low in calories, and also a good source of vitamins C, K and B6. It is also a good source of fibre, and there are 3 grams of fibre in one cup of cauliflower, which is important for digestive health and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. Cauliflower is also a good source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals and inflammation.
Cauliflower is also high in choline, which is an essential nutrient that many people are deficient in. Choline is also involved in brain development and the production of neurotransmitters that are necessary for a healthy nervous system.
How to cut cauliflower
You might just think that you can randomly hack in to it, but you would not be getting the most out of the cauliflower. There is actually a correct way to cut it.
Put the stem and leaves to the side. You don't have to throw these, they can be used in a stir fry or added to our roasted cauliflower soup. So, to cut a cauliflower, take a good chefs knife and put the stem flat on the chopping board. From the top of the cauliflower, slice down in half to the core.
Take a cauliflower half and using your knife, cut at an angle alongside the core in an upside-down V shape. The cauliflower florets should separate by themselves, but you can use your knife if needed to remove any additional core that is holding them together. Halve or quarter any remaining large florets.
What to serve with cauliflower nuggets
We love these as a snack and they definitely need something to dip in to. You can't go wrong with hot sauce right? We love buffalo sauce which goes so well with the creaminess of the Parmesan and cauliflower. You could also try our Healthy BBQ Sauce or Homemade Ketchup recipes. Oh - Healthy Ranch Dressing is also amazing with these cauliflower nuggets!
This is such a versatile side dish and is a great way to try and eat more vegetables. There are so many of our main meals that you can serve these up with. Why not try one of these:
- Oven Cooked Sausages
- Vegetable Pasta Bake
- Baked Lamb Chops
- Oven Egg and Chips
- Slow Cooker Bourguignon
- Sausage and Mash Pie
Store: You can keep any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: We wouldn't recommend freezing these, as the texture is a little off after defrosting and they don't get crispy again.
Reheat: We love reheating these in the air fryer for 5 minutes until they are crispy again. You can also heat them in the oven for about 7 minutes. We wouldn't recommend microwaving them because they will have a different texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our recipe isn't vegan because of the Parmesan and mayo. However, you could use a plant based mayo and swap the Parmesan for nutritional yeast to keep this vegan.
If you use gluten free breadcrumbs and make sure there is no cross contamination, then these can be gluten free.
You can bread them in advance and then keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. You might need to cook them a little long if they are cold from the fridge.
Yes, as long as you have a baking dish big enough for them all to fit in.
These take 25 minutes in the oven, but every oven is different so check them after 20 minutes.
They should be crispy on the outside and still light and fluffy in side.
• Don't overcrowd the pan, otherwise it will all start to steam, rather than roast and it won't get crispy which is what we are aiming for.
• You can leave the Parmesan out if you prefer, but the nuggets won't be as crispy.
• You could do a mixture of cauliflower and broccoli if you wanted something different.
• Panko breadcrumbs can be swapped for regular breadcrumbs.
More side dish recipes
If you’ve tried these cauliflower nuggets, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Cheesy Cauliflower Nuggets
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Cauliflower - cut into bite sized florets
- 4 tablespoon Light mayonnaise
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - finely grated
- 50 g (0.74 cups) Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Put florets of 300 g Cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add 4 tablespoon Light mayonnaise. Mix so that the florets are coated.
- In a separate bowl, combine 20 g Parmesan, 50 g Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper and 1 tablespoon Olive oil. Mix well.
- Add the breadcrumb mix to the cauliflower and mix so that the florets are coated in the seasoned breadcrumb.
- Transfer to a lined baking tray and cook for 25 minutes. When cooked, serve with more Parmesan.
- Don't overcrowd the pan, otherwise it will all start to steam, rather than roast and it won't get crispy which is what we are aiming for.
- You can leave the Parmesan out if you prefer, but the nuggets won't be as crispy.
- You could do a mixture of cauliflower and broccoli if you wanted something different.
- Panko breadcrumbs can be swapped for regular breadcrumbs.
Well, if these won't get people to eat their vegetables, nothing will! They look so good!
I bet these are delicious! I need to try this recipe asap. :)
I am definitely making these. I just love the combination of cauliflower and cheese and it's great they are baked too.
Such a tasty way to eat cauliflower! Looks so good.
Oh yes please Dannii, I'd happily eat those for breakfast right now.
I could not stop eating this cauliflower bites! Absolutely delicious!
These turned out so good and all of those seasonings made them even better! Nice and crunchy and delicious.
Oooh, you had me at Parmesan breading. Such a wonderful way of preparing cauliflower and I love how you got that texture with the oven.
I coud eat a ton of these and still feel no guilt. Love how delicious these nuggets look!
All I can say is good things about this recipe, my husband hated cauliflower until I tried making this recipe, and it's a winner!