Bite sized pieces of cauliflower are coated with panko breadcrumbs, everything bagel seasoning and parmesan cheese, then spend a few minutes on the stovetop to become golden nuggets of deliciousness!
Cauliflower has really shot to the top of culinary world the last few years. It seems there’s cauliflower alternatives for everything. For this recipe though, we’re not really replacing anything, but rather making a delicious treat with cauliflower as the star attraction. And the “everything bagel” seasoning… oh my goodness! It’s SO perfect for a recipe such as this.
These treats are great as a snack, nosh or treat anytime. Great during the big game, great at parties, great as appetizers. I think you’re really gonna love these!
What are Cauliflower Parmesan Bites?
We take bite sized pieces of cauliflower, add a breading mix and fry them in a little oil in a pan on the stovetop. The result are beautiful, golden nuggets which have an awesome crunch on the outside with flavors you’ll absolutely love. You can also dip them in your favorite sauces.
Frozen or Fresh Cauliflower?
Frozen cauliflower florets are ideal for this recipe. They most often come in 1lb bags which are the perfect amount. Let them thaw on the kitchen counter for an hour or you can defrost them in the microwave. They are ideal because they’ll be moist from being frozen which will help the breading to stick more evenly. They’ll also be a little softer than fresh cauliflower so it won’t require any cooking prior to frying.
We’ll use approximately 4 cups of thawed cauliflower florets which is about 1lb. If any of the florets are very large, simply cut them in half.
For the breading we’ll use panko breadcrumbs which are lighter and flakier then regular breadcrumbs. To that we’ll add some grated parmesan cheese and some Everything Bagel Seasoning. If you’re not familiar with Everything Bagel Seasoning, it’s a seasoning mix which includes sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic and salt. It is, of course, named for the popular bagel flavor “everything”. I LOVE everything bagels and am super excited that the seasoning mix has become as popular as it is. You can find it at most supermarkets now.
We’ll also need some flour and coconut oil. I’m a big fan of coconut oil for this recipe. It has the perfect smoke point and leave a light and delicious golden crisp. Look for “refined” coconut oil. You can also use regular vegetable oil or olive oil.
It’s time to setup a breading station. This will consist of 3 bowls: bowl 1 will have the flour. Bowl 2 will have the eggs, beaten. Bowl 3 will have the panko, parmesan, seasoning mix. Then we’ll need a plate to place our breaded cauliflower before frying.
Since we’re using frozen cauliflower that’s been thawed, the florets will be moist and perfect for the first step of dredging through the flour. Next, it gets dipped into the beaten eggs before getting coated with the breadcrumb mixture.
During this process, you’re certain to get of the breading some caked up on your fingers. Give your hands a rinse after every few pieces have been breaded. Set the breaded cauliflower on a plate while we heat up the oil.
Place ½ cup refined coconut oil in a large sauté or frying pan and heat over medium heat until shimmering, about 5 minutes.
Fry on all Sides
Now our breaded cauliflower is ready for a quick fry. It won’t actually take very long – just a minute or two on each side. Carefully use tongs and place the cauliflower into the oil. After a couple of minutes, turn all the pieces and continue to brown on each side. You can also place most of the breaded florets on their heads to get the tops crisped as well.
When all the sides are golden brown, carefully remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Be sure not to overcrowd the pan when frying. Do two batches if necessary.
Ready to Serve!
Your Parmesan Cauliflower Bites are now ready to serve! Just like any other type of fried vegetable or meat, you can serve with your favorite dipping sauces. Ranch dressing is always a favorite. BBQ sauce, honey mustard, or even Buffalo dipping sauce are all excellent choices.