This orange cauliflower recipe is a vegan version of a takeout classic (orange chicken). It's made with baked, crispy cauliflower and a sweet, sticky orange sauce. The sauce is the best part of this recipe — you'll want to put it on everything!
This is also an easy, 30 minute way to make orange cauliflower. The cauliflower is tossed in cornstarch (not breaded) and baked (not fried). It's then tossed in the thick, sweet orange sauce and ready to eat. It's simple, delicious, and even better than the takeout version!
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe. The full recipe card and ingredient list can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Olive oil
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice (or bottled, from concentrate)
- Soy sauce
- Coconut sugar (or brown sugar, maple syrup)
- Orange zest
- Fresh ginger
- Rice vinegar
Here's some of the most popular substitutions and additions for this recipe:
- Cornstarch: arrowroot flour or tapioca flour can be used instead
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice - fresh orange juice will give the most flavor to this recipe, but you can also use bottled/from concentrate juice. I usually end up using a mix of the two.
- Soy sauce: swap this out for Tamari sauce or coconut aminos to make this recipe gluten free
- Coconut sugar: brown sugar or maple syrup can be substituted
- Fresh ginger: use ¼ teaspoon ground ginger if you prefer
- Sesame oil: sesame oil will give the best flavor, but you can substitute avocado oil or olive oil in a pinch
Here's how to make this recipe in 6 simple steps:
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the cauliflower: remove any leaves from the cauliflower and chop into bite-sized florets. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil. Then toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Bake the cauliflower: place the cauliflower in one layer on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 5 - 10 minutes more, until the cauliflower is browned and cooked through.
- Make the sauce: as the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
- Cook the sauce: add the sauce to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes. The sauce should bubble, thicken and reduce.
- Serve: add the cauliflower to the skillet and gently toss in the sauce. Serve immediately, optionally with a side of white rice and topped with green onions & sesame seeds.
Tip: to test the cauliflower for doneness, pierce a thick piece with a fork. The fork should go all the way through without much resistance. The cauliflower will likely be dark brown in some places as it cooks.
- In the fridge: cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 - 3 days. Note: once refrigerated, the cauliflower will become less crispy.
- In the freezer: it's not recommended to freeze this recipe.
The orange sauce will thicken as it simmers. It should be bubbly (but not boiling over) and stirred frequently (to prevent burning). For an even thicker sauce, let it simmer for a couple minutes longer.
More Takeout-Inspired Recipes
If you like this recipe, you’ll love these other plant-based, takeout-inspired favorites!Print