Crispy baked cauliflower drenched in a sweet Hawaiian huli huli sauce, these tasty vegan cauliflower bites are the PERFECT appetizer or side dish!
What is Huli Huli Sauce?
Huli huli sauce is common in Hawaiian cuisine and is typically used for chicken dishes. The sauce is sweet and tangy and tastes like a pineapple teriyaki sauce. The sauce tastes amazing on cauliflower for a plant-based version of this chicken dish!
You can purchase huli huli sauce premade or make it following the recipe below!
It’s so simple to make and is well worth it, my friends.
How to make huli huli sauce
Mix coconut sugar, tamari, pineapple juice, ketchup, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and flour together in a mixing bowl.
Transfer to a small saucepan and heat covered on low-medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat and whisk frequently. This helps make the sauce nice and thick!
How to make baked cauliflower
This method is far healthier than frying and the flour mixture gives the cauliflower a batter texture.
Mix cauliflower with milk and flour and bake in the oven. Once cooked, mix with some of the sauce and let cook for a few more minutes. This helps the sauce really set in.
Tip: For extra crispy cauliflower bites, broil for 2-3 minutes!
Cauliflower should have a nice golden-brown color when done! FYI, I broiled the cauliflower you see above.
Next, is time to mix with the remaining sauce.
Pour remaining sauce on the cooked cauliflower and mix well.
If you’re like me, you’re drooling just looking at these pictures of the saucy baked cauliflower!
Garnish with pineapple chunks and cilantro to complete the recipe.
These vegan cauliflower bites are seriously a kick-ass appetizer or side dish. Try making this recipe for game days, potlucks, Superbowl parties, or weeknight dinner.
They are way healthier (and lower carb) option than chicken and it’s a delicious way to get an extra serving of veggies into your day.
Variations of vegan cauliflower bites
- Use a GF flour blend instead of whole wheat flour for a gluten-free cauliflower bite recipe
- Pile cauliflower on a bowl of rice and roasted veggies for a wholesome vegan meal
- Add Sriracha to the huli huli sauce for a delicious spice kick
If you tried these huli huli vegan cauliflower bites, 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!
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Vegan Huli Huli Cauliflower BitesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Huli Huli Sauce:
- 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice use all the juice from can (about 1/2 cup) and reserve pineapple chunks
- 1/4 cup tamari can substitute with low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar can substitute with brown sugar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and minced (about 1-inch piece)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pinch red chili flakes or to taste (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour can substitute with cornstarch
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk can substitute with another plant-based milk
- 1 cup whole wheat flour can substitute with all-purpose flour or a gluten-free blend
- fresh cilantro chopped
- pineapple chunks
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Transfer to a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a bubble on low-medium heat. Reduce heat and whisk frequently until the sauce is thick (about 30 minutes)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond milk and flour. Whisk to combine. Add cauliflower and mix with a rubber spatula until cauliflower is evenly coated.
- Spread on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes.
- Flip cauliflower and add 2/3 cup of sauce. Mix to coat. Let bake for an additional 5 minutes. Note, if you want the cauliflower more crispy, broil for 2-3 minutes after the 5 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully to prevent burning!
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl and mix with remaining sauce. Top with chopped cilantro, pineapple chunks. Serve warm.
Huli huli sauce was adapted from Pineneedles in my Salad
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