Better Than Takeout: A Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Recipe

This dish will satisfy your craving for Asian food without sacrificing your clean eating habits.

Asian takeout is so darn tasty. If it weren’t for the less-than-stellar ingredient list, I’d probably eat it every night. Takeout is often synonymous with fried, sugary, and super salty foods, as well as undesirable flavor-amping additives. Fortunately, I have a takeout craving solution that won’t negate the hard training you’ve been doing.

My sweet and sour cauliflower recipe combines all the best flavors and will satisfy any takeout craving. This recipe brings the sweetness with farm-fresh honey and creates salty, sour goodness with a gluten-free soy sauce called tamari combined with nutrient-rich apple cider vinegar. This flavor combination will convince your kids or veggie-averse athlete friends that cauliflower really is delicious.

The breading is a rice flour mixture that helps keep the cauliflower soft on the inside but slightly crisp on the outside to hold the sauce. This breading can be omitted if you’re following a grain-free eating style.

This cauliflower makes an awesome veggie side dish, or you can serve it over julienned greens for a light lunch salad. You can also skewer the individual florets for a healthy appetizer presentation.

Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 1-2


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce (or coconut aminos for grain-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, white parts minced, green parts chopped for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine rice flour, Cajun seasoning, and water in a small bowl.
  3. Toss cauliflower in rice flour batter and mix until completely coated.
  4. Arrange cauliflower on a lightly greased baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake cauliflower 20 minutes, turning once during baking.
  6. While cauliflower is baking, mix together all other ingredients except the green parts of the green onion and the sesame seeds in a medium bowl.
  7. When cauliflower has baked 20 minutes, use tongs to remove from pan and toss in the sauce mixture to coat.
  8. Place cauliflower back onto baking pan and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until sauce is sticky.
  9. Serve hot.

Note: If you’re longing for buffalo wings, try using the same breading as above. Follow the same directions, but toss in a buffalo sauce instead of the sweet and sour sauce.

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