This Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa recipe is a deliciously healthy option for the entire family. At first glance, these beauties truly remind you of classic orange chicken (and trust me, they taste just as good, if not better!), however, they aren’t! Just know that your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference either! Super easy to make and whipped together in under 45 minutes. Cauliflower wings + flavorsome quinoa make a perfect combo and crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone wanting more! Gluten-Free + Vegan option.
When it comes to this Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa recipe, I'm absolutely OBSESSED! They are just too good to not be, am I right? It's no secret that I love wings of all varieties. Y'all know I have so many chicken wing recipes, like these Spicy Orange Chicken Wings. But sometimes, you just want something a little lighter or want to be more inclusive to your vegetarian/vegan friends. That's why I took my favorite homemade orange sauce and made crispy cauliflower wings/bites and added it to my fave quinoa base!
The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients and easy steps, this meatless dish is the perfect weeknight dinner option when you crave a satisfying meal without the fuss. That's why I created the "Weeknight Meals" category—to bring you easy options that effortlessly combine convenience and deliciousness. Trust me; this crowd-pleaser won't disappoint.
And the best part? This cauliflower recipe is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from the perfect side dish to nourishing power bowls and pizzas. And if you love these vegetarian wings; you will definitely love these Sticky Coca-Cola Cauliflower Wings, Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, and Everything Bagel Cauliflower Bites.
Ah, cauliflower wings or bites! They're like little bites of veggie heaven, a twist on the classic chicken wings. Instead of using chicken, these delightful creations feature cauliflower as the star of the show. The cauliflower florets are transformed into crispy, flavorful bites that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Whether you coat them in tangy sauces, zesty spices, or even barbecue goodness, cauliflower wings are a fantastic vegetarian/vegan alternative. The perfect vegetarian side or bowl builder if you ask me!
The best part about this dish is the crispy coating that is formed on these cauliflower bites. And these cauliflower bites do not disappoint. I talk more about tips for making these cauliflower bites nice and crispy, but let’s talk about this delicious sauce. You’ll need:
OK, so I’ve heard so many people talk about not really being a huge fan of quinoa recipes because they have no taste or the taste is so bland. Honestly, the KEY is to build flavor for every component of your dish so that together, the flavor is EXPLODING, including with your quinoa. MY SECRET? Veggie stock or chicken stock (for non-vegan/vegetarian options). Yup. Instead of using water, I just substitute with some sort of stock, adding salt or whatever based on necessity. Trust me, your quinoa will NEVER BE THE SAME after this delicious trick.
If you have the time and opportunity, using fresh oranges for the sauce is definitely the way to go. There's something magical about squeezing those juicy oranges and infusing the sauce with that natural sweetness and zesty goodness. It'll take your Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower to a whole new level! But hey, life can be hectic, and sometimes we need shortcuts. If you're in a pinch, quality orange juice without any added sugars or weird stuff can still do the trick.
OK, so this is often the #1 question that I get asked. My bites are crispy because of the flour batter that they are dipped in first followed by the breadcrumbs. Be sure to always shake off excess batter and use parchment paper on your baking sheet. Once they are gently placed on your baking sheet, spray them lightly with oil spray before placing them in the oven and let them golden. They’ll crisp up very nicely! And finally, for EXTRA crispness, add ground cornflakes to breadcrumbs.
Cauliflower is a nutrient-rich vegetable that offers tonnes of health benefits which is one of the reasons I LOVE creating recipes with it!
Incorporating cauliflower into your diet is a great way to boost your nutrient intake and promote overall health and well-being, and what better way than in a crispy bite-sized snack?
Of course, both methods of making these orange cauliflower wings are effective. However, if you’re wondering whether you’d be able also to make these 'wings' in an air-fryer—-then yes! Absolutely!
Simply do all steps the same and cook them in your air-fryer for the amount of time needed and space them out. As you know, this recipe is for baked wings and honestly, they’re just as crispy as using them in the air fryer (especially when you use a wire rack), so the choice is yours!
These cauliflower wings + quinoa have a lot to love!
Honestly, these little bites are best consumed the same day. However, you can always store them in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat in the oven once ready to serve for best results.
Nope. It’s easy to substitute brown sugar. For instance, try pure maple syrup. Although brown sugar caramelizes nicely, adding maple syrup will help with the stickiness.
Absolutely! To ensure that this recipe is fully vegan, substitute honey with pure maple syrup or Agave as well as butter with vegan butter.
It’s important to thicken your orange sauce so it gets nice and sticky. Personally, I love using arrowroot starch. However, if you don’t have this on hand, using other subs like all-purpose flour, regular cornstarch, or tapioca flour work just fine. Just be sure to always stir your thickener with warm water until it becomes a ‘milky’ liquid before adding it to the sauce.
Absolutely! If you’re looking for an extreme burst of orange flavor, feel free to add orange peels into the sauce while it simmers. The fragrance and flavor of the orange peels will add more flavor. Just remove them before tossing in your bites if you don’t want them to stay in.
My gluten-sensitive friends, don't worry. I've got you! You can either buy gluten-free breadcrumbs or make your own gluten-free breadcrumbs with your fav GF bread of choice! It's that easy.
If you make this Baked Sticky Orange Cauliflower + Quinoa recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!