The Best Deep Fried Cauliflower
Deep Fried Cauliflower is a delicious vegetarian substitute for traditional boneless chicken wings. This recipe calls for a southern-style double batter for crispy, golden cauliflower. Cauliflower Wings are perfect for game days, appetizer boards, or a great takeout meal at home.
Fried cauliflower wings are the first thing I’ll order when I see them on a menu. Here’s an easy southern fried version to make at home and better yet, they’re freezable so you can make a batch and save half for another day!
This recipe for Deep Fried Cauliflower is the perfect way to enjoy fried chicken, boneless wings or tenders without tofu or fake meat.
The seasoning is light so these fried cauliflower wings pair well with a variety of sauces. My favorite sauces are bbq and white gravy but ranch, buffalo, and honey mustard are good, too!
How To Make This Recipe:
- Set up a dredge station (1 for the wet batter and 1 for the dry mixture)
- Preheat vegetable oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep fryer or deep stockpot
- Chop fresh cauliflower into florets (or purchase pre-cut florets)
- Dip pieces into a milk + egg wash then into a seasoned flour dredge
- Repeat dredging to double-batter the cauliflower wings
- Deep fry in batches until golden brown and crispy
- Maintain oil temperature for even cooking
- Place the cooked cauliflower bites on a cooling rack over a sheet pan to keep them crispy + out of the oil as you fry in batches
Don’t be intimidated by the time– it’s hands on but very simple. And believe me, delicious fried cauliflower is worth a few minutes. The Best Deep Fried Cauliflower is better than any pre-frozen option out there and these make a great restaurant meal at home!
The Best Deep Fried Cauliflower
- deep stockpot
- candy/deep frying thermometer
- 2 large sheet pans and a cooling rack
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano
- vegetable oil, for frying (recommend 24 oz)
Prep Cauliflower and Dredge Mixtures:
- Cut cauliflower into medium-sized florets as uniform in size as possible. In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion, and oregano.
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with half of the spice mixture. Stir well to coat. Reserve remaining spice mixture.
- Dry Dredge: In a medium dish, combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Stir in remaining spice mixture to combine with flour.
- Milk Dredge: In a separate medium dish, whisk together the milk and beaten egg.
Make Fried Cauliflower:
- Heat vegetable oil to 375°F in a large, deep sided stock pot. Use enough oil to deep fry the cauliflower (24-32 ounces depending on size of pot). Meanwhile,
- Beginning with the milk dredge, dip cauliflower pieces to coat, then dip into flour mixture to lightly coat. Repeat with milk then flour mixture again to cover. Place prepared/battered cauliflower florets on a large sheet tray while finishing remaining pieces.
- Continue dredging method (wet, dry, wet, dry) until all florets are coated. This may require 2 sheet trays.
- When oil is ready at 375°, fry florets for 3½ to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Work in small batches of 5 to 7 pieces to avoid overcrowding the pot. Stir them occasionally to avoid sticking. Place fried pieces on a large sheet tray with a cooling rack to dry.
- Maintain oil temperature at 375° throughout cooking. Repeat frying until all florets are cooked.
- Enjoy hot with favorite sauce or freeze for later.
Freezing Fried Cauliflower:
- Spread fried cauliflower on a sheet tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Place in a freezer bag/container and keep for up to 1 month.
- Reheat frozen fried cauliflower on 425°F for 10 minutes until crispy and heated through.
- 1st batter coating is less important than 2nd batter
- For best results in coating, dredge by hand to fill gaps in cauliflower florets
- Maintain oil temperature for uniform cooking