I’m excited to announce the pre-order of my cookbook, SWEET POTATO SOUL. Purchase your copy today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indie Bound, or iBooks.It’s crispy, it’s tender, it’s full of flavor, and it’s vegan! This spicy fried cauliflower “chicken” is just as delicious as the real thing. No chickens were harmed, and it’s so much healthier. Cauliflower is a great replacement for chicken in this recipe because it’s juicy, hearty, and tender. The double batter guarantees a perfect crunch!
Becoming vegan has opened my eyes up to the many ways of preparing Southern staples without using animals. In every case, the vegan recipe is as delicious and fulfilling as the non-vegan alternative. So much of what we like about a traditional recipe is the seasoning, and technique. As you’ll see in this recipe, you can use classic fried chicken seasoning (which is accidentally vegan). The same technique of double battering and dredging cauliflower through seasoned flour is used. Just like my Nana does it!
Over 9 million chickens are killed each year for food in the United States alone. And before they’re slaughtered the vast majority of them live miserable lives stuffed in tiny cages without the ability to live according to their natural instincts and desires. Chickens are intelligent, communicative, and emotional beings [learn more here]. Though chickens raised for food have been bred to grow quickly and be “meaty” in the most unnatural of ways, they are still living creatures who possess consciousness, fear, and a variety of other emotions. It breaks my heart to consider that over 40 billion chickens are killed in the world for our greed each year.
I created this recipe and this Soul Food Sunday series to show that you do not need to take a life to enjoy a delicious meal 🙂
Spicy Fried Cauliflower "Chicken"
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 5 cups safflower oil or other frying oil
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into large florets
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the flour, arrowroot powder, salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Old Bay, and nutritional yeast.
- In another bowl combine the hot sauce, soy milk, and Dijon mustard and whisk until creamy.
- Heat the frying oil in a large dutch oven or fryer. It should be around 350°.
- Use one hand to carefully dip a cauliflower floret into the wet mixture, then drop it into the flour mixture. Use your other hand (it should be dry) to coat it completely. Dip it back into the hot sauce mixture, and again into the dry mixture, keeping one hand devoted to wet and one to dry.
- Carefully lower the twice coated cauliflower into the hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until you can’t fit any more into the pot. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the pieces are golden.
- Transfer fried cauliflower to a large plate covered with two sheets of paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Continue to cook the remaining cauliflower.
- Serve hot.
Alishea / March 31, 2023 at 10:48 pm /
oh my goodness this is just delicious. I have made it before and love it every time!
Gopi / March 22, 2023 at 12:47 pm /
I have ALWAYS disliked cauliflower. Always. I made this recipe today and, my oh my, I can’t stop eating the florets. I mean really. So very, very good. Thank you>
Judy / July 3, 2022 at 9:39 pm /
Had today and they were awesome!!! We like spicy over here. The only thing I’ll do different is double up on the wet dip. Thank you for this recipe.
Kathy / February 2, 2022 at 12:40 pm /
I realized today it losses it’s crunch when re-heating in the microwave.
I baked at 425 F for 30 minutes spraying parchment paper and tops of florets with cooking spray as I don’t have an air fryer and wanted to reduce calories by eliminating the oil. It was delicious! The next day I tried reheating in the microwave but it didn’t stay crispy. Then I tried to reheat in the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes spraying tops with cooking spray. They were crispy on the bottom but not on the top. Next time I will turn them over at 7 minutes.
I made this a low carb version primarily by using CarbQuick which is a low carb flour that measures 1:1 with regular flour.
Liz / January 26, 2022 at 3:19 pm /
Made these in the air fryer, and they were fantastic! Crispy & spicy. We had them with mashed potatoes & some frozen peas I sauteed in a pan. Great weekend dinner.
Beth Almaraz / January 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm /
Did you omit the oil?
Mary / December 31, 2021 at 4:54 pm /
If you need to bake these, break into smaller pieces
Mary / December 31, 2021 at 4:11 pm /
I can’t have fried foods, I baked it.
Beth / January 21, 2023 at 1:01 pm /
What temperature? How long?
Annie / December 13, 2021 at 9:02 pm /
We are not vegan, but I have decided to move gradually into a plant based lifestyle. This was my first recipe to make toward that end. I made these into tacos with tri-colored slaw, cilantro, and a sauce I made with avocado, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice, some vegan Mayo, a little hot sauce, and rice vinegar. My kids devoured them. My 9 year old picky eater went back for seconds. My husband went for thirds. Before I started cooking, he asked, “What kind of vegan hell are you making tonight?” (We’ve eaten some truly bad vegan food in the past.) After dinner, he said, “Thank you, Sweet Potato Soul. That was really good.” I don’t think you can get higher praise than that.
Ellie / July 26, 2021 at 3:28 pm /
These are incredible! I made them in the air fryer, and they turned out super crispy & delicious. I agree with some other commenters that there was not enough of the liquid batter for the amount of cauliflower it calls for, but we made plenty enough for 2 servings. Next time I’ll know to make more of the liquid.
Pamela Allen / June 5, 2021 at 2:23 pm /
My husband and I just started a WFPB diet about 6 weeks ago, I am 63 years old and he is 64. As you get older it is harder to lose the weight, I workout about 2-3 times a week and prior to that 5 days/wk. The weight is melting off so far since we have been on it; we both have lost almost 10 pounds each with the diet, but we wanted to expand our horizons to try some of your recipes even thought this has oil; you have to have a little fun. Tried this and he loved it…he loves spicy. I think it’s great only a little too spicy for me. I will make a few adjustments to the recipe so that my forehead and upper lip is not sweating. I just ordered your cookbook and it should be here Monday. So glad I stumbled across your YouTube videos and can’t wait to try all of your recipes. With still trying to keep as true to our WFPB diet, your recipes will be given as cheat/treat days if they go outside of the WFPB realm. You are an excellent cook and presenter. Thank you for helping us along our journey of health and fitness.
Jenne / June 6, 2021 at 10:52 pm /
Thanks for sharing and for your kind words. I’m rooting for you! Hope you like all of the recipes!
Brittany Long / October 12, 2019 at 2:37 pm /
I’m guessing I can do the same recipe and cook in my air fryer????
Jennifer Brennan Thao / June 12, 2019 at 9:21 pm /
Tried this today for lunch. It was so delicious. I’m so glad I found your blog and youtube channel.
Andrea Eisenberg / May 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm /
We’ve been vegan for many years, and the one thing my husband still sort of misses is fried chicken so I like making different subs for it. This turned out super delicious. But I have to say, the amount of dipping liquid is a fraction of what’s needed. I blended what the recipe called for with about a cup of whipped aquafaba which worked nicely. Definitely will make this again, maybe Buffalo style.
Paris Crayton III / April 9, 2019 at 11:43 pm /
Made this tonight and it was EXCELLENT! I’m pescatarian now but slowly becoming vegan. With recipes like this, my transition will be easy! Thank you!
Courtney Warren / February 22, 2019 at 10:14 pm /
Has anyone tried this great recipe with a air fryer?
Deneile Cesar / February 13, 2019 at 7:20 am /
So amazing! My BF loved them and he is definitely not vegan. These are a great treat!
Philippe / January 1, 2019 at 9:33 am /
I made a platter of this ‘fried cauliflower chicken’ for my early evening New Year’s Eve gathering buffet table and watched as guests devoured every delicious piece and wondered if I had more. This is the very first time I have made it so I was very pleased when some of my carnivore guests said ‘what IS this? – it’s great’ and were surprised & pleased to learn that it was cauliflower!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / January 22, 2019 at 12:27 am /
That is so cool!!! Happy New Year!
susan sobon / December 15, 2018 at 3:35 am /
Is it possible to bake this? Sorry to ask. Hrm. Maybe I do need an air fryer??
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / December 18, 2018 at 5:01 pm /
Possible, but not recommended. An air fryer would do better. The issue with baking is the consistency of the batter.
Kyle / November 27, 2018 at 4:02 am /
This is the first time I’ve ever tried deep frying something breaded and I can’t believe how amazing these turned out…
I had a couple issues along the way… I didnt have a thermometer so I was guessing with temperature. At first I had the oil too cold, then I crowded the pot too much, but when I figured out the right temperature and amount to put in… Amazing!
I can’t believe how good the breading is.. so curly and crispy and tasty…. drool…
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / December 1, 2018 at 12:16 am /
Yay!! I’m glad it worked out for you. One way I like to test the oil temperature is to stick a wooden spoon in there. If bubbles form around the spoon then it’s probably hot enough 🙂
Kyle / December 1, 2018 at 9:23 pm /
Oh that’s good to know! The only other trick I was able to find involved bread and I didn’t have any ahah. Now I will be more prepared for next time 🙂
Megan Hood / September 2, 2018 at 5:56 am /
Finally! I was able to satisfy my (years long) fried chicken craving through this amazing recipe, thank you so much and God Bless!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / January 27, 2018 at 1:49 am /
Amazing! I am sooooo happy to hear that, Dre 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / January 16, 2018 at 1:22 am /
Fantastic!! I’m so glad you’ll have something to enjoy too!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / January 16, 2018 at 1:19 am /
Sorry for the delay! Yes, that pot could work fine. Have you tried it yet?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / January 16, 2018 at 1:11 am /
So happy to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂
Carmen / January 12, 2018 at 6:36 am /
I just made this. And used seitan instead of cauliflower, just for the heck of it. It turned out well.
Carmen / January 12, 2018 at 6:34 am /
I tried this recipe tonight with deigns instead of cauliflower. It was great! Thank you.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / December 18, 2017 at 12:03 am /
Hi!! It’s not going to be the same baked, but you could do a pan fry with about 1 inch of oil.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / November 22, 2017 at 2:05 am /
Got to do it for the SEO so folks can find what they are looking for 🙂
mich / November 16, 2017 at 3:38 am /
This recipe is highly recommended. My husband who has no intention of being vegan loved it. Thank you girl
about2flip / November 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm /
Can I just use Lawry’s for seasoning?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / November 16, 2017 at 4:12 am /
Mrs. Wright / November 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm /
What can you be used in place of the hot sauce to make the wings NOT spicy?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / November 4, 2017 at 1:44 am /
Try using soy milk plus about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Or you can use this recipe and just replace the mushrooms with cauliflower: https://sweetpotatosoul.com/2017/09/vegan-chicken-and-waffles.html
Muslimah Rasheed / October 15, 2017 at 6:04 pm /
Thank you Jenne for your vegan recipes I just became vegan and I’m enjoying eaten this way so your recipes have made it more exciting
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / October 15, 2017 at 6:55 pm /
Thank you! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the recipes 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / October 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm /
So awesome! Thank you very much 🙂
Pat / October 1, 2017 at 1:42 am /
I made this dish tonight and it was so good. I was craving hot wings and this satisfied me. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / October 2, 2017 at 3:51 am /
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm /
Hi Ashley! That’s wonderful. I’m excited for you 🙂
Let me know how you like the recipe!!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm /
Not required 🙂
Daisy Dinkle / September 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm /
I just want to thank you for all of your amazing recipes.
My husband and I have been vegan for about 3 months now, and I’m pretty sure that 80% of the recipes I have used have been yours and we have loved them all!
Your recipes are delicious, filled with flavor and they are also not overly complex which is really helpful when making such a huge dietary change.
Last night I made the Spicy Fried Cauliflower Chicken and wow it was awesome!
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes and for making it a whole lot easier to transition to a vegan diet!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 16, 2017 at 4:10 pm /
Thank you so much for trusting my recipes!! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying them 🙂
My cookbook is coming out soon. I think you’ll like it. Available for preorder now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. Thank you so much!!!
Farren Davis / September 12, 2017 at 4:27 am /
Hi Jenne, made this recipe tonight! What a hit! Don’t know which i liked better, the fried cauliflower or the roasted sweet potatoe and beet side dish! Been plant based for just over 6 months and hit the boredom wall! Happy that i found your site! Am going to try the chickpea salad sandwich tomorrow! Plan on livin’ forever, so far so good!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm /
Hi Farren!! That is sooooooo wonderful! I’m glad you’ve moved beyond the boredom wall. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you lots of delicious food, inspiration, and joy on your vegan journey!! xo
Donna Jordan / September 4, 2017 at 1:22 am /
I Stumbled on your videos and am seriously making my shopping list. I want to go vegan…your channel and your friends channel has given me the confidence to get started now. Thanks for the inspiration.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 6, 2017 at 4:48 am /
I love to hear that!! Thank you so much, Donna!
Saskia Marjolijn / August 20, 2017 at 9:25 pm /
Hi Jenné, I made this recipe today and it was GREAT! I made a pretty weird couple of side dishes, which worked out great. I made Quinoa, the whitish variety. Put in round little bowls to shape it then on the plate and covered in Callaloo (Jamaican Spinach) with a soy/sesame sauce. Great combination! Thanks a lot for the great Recipe.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am /
Fabulous!! That makes me so happy to hear 🙂
Erica / August 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm /
I can’t even stop licking my fingers long enough to type out my review! This was GOOOOOOOD!!!! Fried chicken cravings? Mischief managed!! Thanks for a great recipe, it will forever stay in my rotation.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / August 21, 2017 at 4:01 am /
YAS!!!! I’m soooo happy you liked it!!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / August 14, 2017 at 5:14 am /
Hi! I know some people have tried it with the airfryer and had pretty good results. I’ve not tried it myself though.
Kee Jones / August 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm /
trying in air fryer today. purpose of me googling recipe 🙂 keep you posted
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm /
Nice!!! How did it come out? I haven’t tried an air fryer yet.
Kee Jones / September 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm /
Should’ve dip in wet mix again after flour dip. “Wings” were flavorful & crispy but flour coated. Took those out & redipped then used grease method. Perfect.
Dee / August 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm /
how can i keep this warm if im unable to serve immediately? i want that crispiness to remain but avoid making the cauliflower mushy on the inside
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / August 14, 2017 at 5:12 am /
You can try keeping it crisp in the oven. After frying it place it in the oven on a baking sheet at 250 or 300° until you’re ready to serve. I imagine you probably don’t want to keep it in there longer than 30-60 minutes though. I haven’t tried it, but this is how I usually keep things warm before serving.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / August 3, 2017 at 4:28 am /
Not really. But you can skip it in this recipe and still have great results.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 29, 2017 at 10:13 pm /
Awesome!! That’s so good to hear. And I love my fellow GA Peaches 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm /
Love it! I’m so glad you tried 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm /
Nice!! I l want to try that 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / June 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm /
Odette! That is so great to hear. I’m glad you found my channel and blog. So happy to help you eat great vegan food 🙂
Monica / June 11, 2017 at 3:20 am /
Hello…..I tried this recipe and followed it as printed burn I used whole grain oat flour instead of all-purpose flour…..all of the batter fell off….do u think it’s because I didn’t use all-purpose flour?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / June 11, 2017 at 4:11 am /
Hi Monica. If you did everything else the same, then I think it was the flour swap. It’s probably because of the bran & germ that’s still in the whole grain flour that is having a harder time sticking. If you want to try it again with a more wholesome flour, I would recommend trying whole wheat pastry flour. Thank you & good luck!
Monica / June 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm /
Yes….the outcome was very greasy and the batter didn’t stick….I will try this again with the whole wheat pasty flour as recommended and let you know the outcome….thanks
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / June 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm /
Thank you so much!! I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lekan 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / June 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm /
Hi Deborah! I hope you enjoyed it. I removed the flax. Made a note in the description 🙂 Thank you!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 29, 2017 at 1:54 am /
Thank you Jill!! Yes, I updated the recipe and took out the flax. Enjoy!!
Shanelle Bynoe / June 7, 2017 at 11:25 pm /
I tried the old recipe and it came out GREAT! Why did you remove the flax?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / June 11, 2017 at 4:13 am /
Thanks, Shanelle!! I thought it was great too, but I removed it because I thought it gave a bit of a slimier texture. So subtle, but I got rid of it using the arrowroot. Also, with flax it doesn’t stay crispy as long as with the arrowroot. I still think both are good though 🙂
Lena Tee / May 20, 2017 at 9:54 pm /
I love this recipe but I hate the taste of hot sauce are there any substitutes for that?
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm /
Hi Lena! You can sub hot sauce for soy milk, and add 1-2 teaspoons vinegar, and increase the salt in the flour to 1 teaspoon.
Tracey ODonnell / July 11, 2017 at 4:59 am /
Just discovered your channel and love the variety and ease of your recipes and ideas. New to plant based/vegan lifestyle and in the learning/absorbing “stage”. Ive printed this recipe out to try but will try w/o the hot sauce…the question I have is;
what type of vinegar do you recommend? white, red wine, white wine, apple cider, etc?? Also, would a coconut milk work instead of soy milk? Thanks a bunch and looking forward to learning from you.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm /
Hi! Thanks so much 🙂
For vinegar use white or apple cider. I think coconut milk would be too thick…unless you use the drinking kind (not culinary).
Good luck to you!!
dasha / May 1, 2017 at 4:31 pm /
this recipe is definitely one to pair with greens and potato salad for a Sunday family dinner! I can’t wait to introduce this amazing dish to my omnivore friends! You are awesome Jenne’!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 11, 2017 at 5:58 pm /
Thanks, Dasha 🙂 Enjoy!!