Bright and tangy sweet and sour cauliflower is a delicious vegan dinner recipe that’s easy to make in about an hour. It features tender cauliflower florets, flavorful pineapple and bell peppers, and a bold homemade sweet and sour sauce you’ll want to eat on anything and everything!
It is so easy to make restaurant-quality vegan sweet and sour cauliflower at home. Including a great combo of pantry staples and fresh ingredients, this Asian-inspired meal really POPS with all of the tangy, bold and bright flavors you really crave in a classic sweet and sour recipe.
My vegan-friendly version features tender, healthier and super yummy cauliflower florets as the main star. Otherwise, much of this recipe stays true to a traditional sweet and sour dish. Try it next time you’re in the mood for a taste of take-out without actually leaving the house!
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
The focus of this sweet and sour cauliflower recipe is cauliflower – which is probably pretty obvious by now. It’s dredged in a simple plant-based batter and then baked to perfection for the most tender, slightly crispy cauliflower florets. The baked florets are sautéed with pineapple and bell peppers, then everything gets coated with a delicious homemade sweet and sour sauce.
To make the oven fried vegan cauliflower florets you need:
- All-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- Almond milk
For the best homemade sweet and sour sauce you need:
- Tomato paste
- Liquid aminos
- Coconut sugar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Juice from a can of pineapple chunks
To complete the vegan sweet and sour cauliflower recipe you need:
- Oil for sautéing
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow bell pepper
- Yellow onion
- Pineapple chunks
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SWEET AND SOUR CAULIFLOWER
This delicious homemade sweet and sour cauliflower recipe is better than anything you’ve ever gotten from take-out. And start to finish, it takes close to the same amount of time to place an order and wait for it to arrive vs. making a yummy batch from scratch that’s guaranteed to be hot and yummy.
Follow my easy steps below, and you’ll have a mouthwatering vegan-friendly dinner ready in about an hour.
Step #1: Make the Cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and place a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prep the cauliflower by cleaning and chopping into florets.
Combine the remaining ingredients for making the oven-fried cauliflower in a large bowl, and whisk to create a thick, pourable batter. Toss the cauliflower florets into the bowl so that each piece is coated in the batter.
Transfer the coated cauliflower florets to the cooling rack, and allow the excess batter to drip onto the parchment paper below.
Then, discard the parchment paper and grease the baking sheet. Place the cauliflower on the sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the edges.
Step #2: Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce
In a saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk together tomato paste, liquid aminos, coconut sugar, rice wine vinegar, and pineapple juice. Bring to a low boil whisking frequently.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch to create a slurry and add it to the pot.
Constantly whisk the sauce until it’s thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step #3: Make the Veggies
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add the cooked cauliflower to the pan and add the sauce. Mix together and cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through and cauliflower is coated in the sauce.
Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Serving Suggestions
This saucy dish is fabulous to enjoy over white rice or brown rice. Top with sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an extra bit of fresh flavor.
How to Store Leftovers
Vegan sweet and sour cauliflower is great to enjoy for several days after it’s made! Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 6 days in the fridge. I recommend making fresh rice, if you can – but if not, store the rice separately from the cauliflower and veggies for the best taste when reheated.
Easily reheat leftovers in a microwave or cook for just a few minutes on the stovetop until warm.
Can You Freeze Sweet and Sour Cauliflower?
Yes, this vegan dish freezes very well! Once the leftovers are cooled, transfer to a sealed container and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can microwave to heat from frozen, or allow to defrost in the fridge overnight before microwaving or reheating on the stovetop. Just be sure to not overcook when you reheat, or the veggies will get a bit mushy.
If you tried this vegan sweet and sour cauliflower recipe, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Here are More Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes You’ll Love:
- Vegan Ramen in a Mason Jar
- Bibimbap (Korean Bowls)
- Vegan Beef and Broccoli
- Peanut Tofu Quinoa Bowls
- Vegan Thai Green Curry
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1+1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons oil olive, canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil are all good choices
- 1 red bell pepper cut into large squares
- 1 yellow bell pepper cut into large squares
- 1 yellow onion cut into large squares
- white rice
- green onions chopped
- sesame seeds
Make the Cauliflower:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with a cooling rack. Set aside.
- Cut the cauliflower: Remove the green leaves from the bottom and trim the stump. Turn the cauliflower right-side-up and cut into quarters. From each quarter, trim the center by making a cut diagonally. Using hands, break cauliflower into florets.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and almond milk. Whisk until smooth. The mixture should be thick and pourable like a cake batter.
- Add cauliflower florets to the mixing bowl and using tongs, coat evenly. Place cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and allow the excess batter to drip from the cooling rack to the parchment paper.
- Discard the parchment paper and grease the baking sheet. Transfer the cauliflower from the cooling rack to the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
Make the Sauce:
- In a saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk together tomato paste, liquid aminos, coconut sugar, rice wine vinegar, and pineapple juice. Bring to a low boil whisking frequently.
- Whisk together the water and cornstarch to create a slurry and add it to the pot.
- Constantly whisk the sauce until thickened (about 10 minutes).
Make the Veggies:
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the cooked cauliflower to the pan and add the sauce. Mix together and cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through and cauliflower is coated in the sauce.
- Serve the sweet and sour cauliflower with rice. Top with green onions and sesame seeds!
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