Healthy baked cauliflower nuggets are crispy and toasty on the outside, and soft and tender inside. With a crispy and well-seasoned panko breadcrumb and Parmesan breading, these healthy cauliflower bites taste even better than they look. They're a delicious vegetarian alternative to traditional chicken nuggets, and you won't even miss the meat! Plus, they are baked in the oven for just 15 minutes, making them even healthier than a fried option. Serve cauliflower nuggets as an appetizer, snack or lunch dipped in your favourite sauce, or serve it for dinner as a delicious side dish.
Why You’ll Love Healthy Baked Cauliflower Nuggets
- Parmesan panko breading! Turn roasted cauliflower into healthy baked cauliflower nuggets by coating them with a Parmesan-panko breading. The breading adds incredible flavour and helps the exterior of the cauliflower become super crispy.
- Tastes and feels fried—but isn’t. By spraying these healthy baked cauliflower bites with cooking oil, you replicate an air fryer in your oven. The results are perfectly cooked breaded cauliflower bites that taste fried but are so much healthier!
- A delicious way to add cauliflower to your diet. Cauliflower is high in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. Because of this, some people consider cauliflower a superfood. Either way, it’s a veggie you want in your diet—and making healthy baked cauliflower nuggets is the perfect way to do just that.
To make these healthy baked cauliflower nuggets, you will need the following ingredients:
- cauliflower florets - you need 3 cups of small cauliflower florets which is what you will get from roughly one small head of cauliflower.
- Panko breadcrumbs - or you can make these cauliflower bites gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs or crush up a gluten-free cereal like Rice Chex or Corn Chex.
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- cooking oil spray
How to Make the Best Baked Cauliflower Nuggets
- Combine breadcrumb mixture. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, until evenly combined.
- Coat the cauliflower. Place beaten eggs into a small bowl. Dip the cauliflower florets in the eggs and then coat it with the breadcrumb mixture. You can gently press the crumbs into the cauliflower florets to adhere as much as possible to them. Transfer the breaded cauliflower to a large half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spray them evenly with cooking oil spray.
- Bake. Bake in a 400 F preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately with a side of your favourite dipping sauce such as ranch or BBQ sauce.
Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Healthy baked cauliflower nuggets will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container.
- How to reheat: Reheat cauliflower bites in a 300F preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave but their texture will be different as they won't be as crispy.
- How to make vegan cauliflower nuggets: You can make these dairy-free by omitting the Parmesan cheese. If you don’t want to lose out on the cheesy flavour, you can substitute it with vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast. To make them completely vegan, you can also substitute the egg with a vegan egg binder substitute.
- How to make gluten-free breaded cauliflower bites: You can make these cauliflower bites gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs or crush up a gluten-free cereal like Rice Chex or Corn Chex.
More Bite-Sized Appetizers
- Baked Coconut Shrimp
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Sweet Chili Chicken Bites
- Vegetarian Spring Rolls
- Homemade Tater Tots with Bacon
- Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
- Vegetarian Meatballs
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.