Crispy baked cauliflower pieces smothered in a spicy, creamy bang bang sauce. A delicious vegetarian appetizer, lunch or party food!
I’ll show you how to make it in the oven, but I’ve also included instructions on how to fry it if you prefer.

Close up of Crispy Cauliflower with bang bang sauce on a dark plate, topped with chillies and spring onions

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The final part to my bang bang phase – after making Bang Bang sauce, Bang Bang Chicken and of course the copycat of the Bonefish Grill’s – Bang Bang Shrimp! We finally have a vegetarian version in the form of Bang Bang Cauliflower.

Cauliflower has come a long way these last few years – from boring, grey (and rather smelly) boiled cauliflower, to beautiful cauliflower ‘wings’ or even cauliflower steaks!!

I’ve got lots of other tasty cauliflower recipes later on in this post.

🔪 How to make Baked Bang Bang Caulflower

***Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.***

First the cauliflower is coated – by dipping in seasoned buttermilk mixture and then dredging in a seasoned panko mixture. Then it’s baked in the oven until crisp.
Because the cauliflower is being baked in the oven, I also like to add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the panko mixture, This means you don’t have to drizzle, brush or spray on oil before it goes in the oven.

Once the cauliflower is nice and tender in the middle and golden brown on the outside, it comes out of the oven and is drizzled with a really simple Bang Bang sauce – made of a mixture of mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, Sriracha and honey.

From this:

Ingredients for bang bang sauce on a wooden table

To this 😋:

Spoonful of bang bang sauce being lifted from a small dark bowl.

I love to sprinkle on some spring onions and freshly sliced chillies before serving.

Close up of panko-crusted cauliflower with bang bang sauce drizzled on and spring onions and chillies sprinkled on

👩‍🍳PRO TIP If you prefer to fry the cauliflower, simply leave the olive oil out of the panko coating. Coat the cauliflower as per the rest of the recipe, and shallow fry in about 1cm of oil in a large frying pan, until the cauliflower is tender.

🍽️ What to serve it with

Have you ever seen a better-looking piece of cauliflower?

Piece of bang bang cauliflower with a bite out of it being lifted by chopsticks from a plate of bang bang cauliflower

🍲 More fantastic Cauliflower recipes

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5 from 3 votes

Bang Bang Cauliflower

Crispy baked panko-coated caulifower pieces smothered in a spicy, creamy bang bang sauce. A great vegetarian starter or party food!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: American


Crispy Cauliflower

  • 1 medium cauliflower approx. 600g (1.3lbs) once the leaves are cut off
  • 120 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 g (3 cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Bang Bang Sauce:

To Serve

  • 4 spring onions scallions, sliced
  • 1 red chilli thinly slices


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F (fan).
  • Start by making the bang bang sauce. Place the mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha, and honey in a small bowl and mix together, then put to one side while you make the crispy cauliflower.
    120 ml (½ cup) mayonnaise, 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, 1 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce, 1 tsp honey
  • Place the 120ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine.
    120 ml (½ cup) buttermilk, 1 egg, 3/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp salt
  • Place the panko, paprika, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper, garlic salt, celery salt, white pepper, and olive oil in a second bowl and mix together until the olive oil is combined with the breadcrumbs evenly.
    150 g (3 cups) panko breadcrumbs, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp celery salt, ¼ tsp white pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dip the cauliflower pieces in the buttermilk mixture to coat, then dredge in the panko mixture.
    1 medium cauliflower
  • Place the coated cauliflower on a baking tray.
  • Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and the coating is golden.
  • Transfer the cooked crispy cauliflower to a serving bowl and drizzle over half the sauce.
  • Sprinkle over the spring onions and sliced chilli, then serve with the remaining bang bang sauce for dipping.
    4 spring onions, 1 red chilli


Can I make it ahead?
The bang bang sauce can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated for up to a week.
The crispy cauliflower tastes best when cooked and eaten right away. However you can make and cook the cauliflower ahead and reheat later if you prefer.
Cook the cauliflower as per the recipe, then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.
Reheat in the oven at 200c/400f on a baking tray, uncovered for 10-12 minutes, until piping hot throughout.
Want to fry the cauliflower instead of baking?
Coat the cauliflower in the same way EXCEPT you can leave the olive oil out of the panko coating.
Then shallow fry the cauliflower pieces (you’ll probably need to do this in two or three batches) in a large frying pan in about 1cm of hot oil, over a medium-to-high heat.
Turn a couple of times during cooking, and cook until golden . This should take about 5-6 minutes.
Nutritional information is approximate, per serving (serves 4). This includes using all of the sauce.


Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1957mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Super Easy Appetizers

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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    1. 5 stars
      I made this in the airfryer yesterday. 360° for 15 to 16 minutes. At the halfway point, I sprayed the florets with a little oil. It turned out perfectly. The cauliflower was “just right” in terms of tenderness.
      Lots of compliments from my “testers”.
      Loved the bang-bang sauce too. Just the right amount of

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this but substituted the cauli with chicken served on top of seasonal salad. It is delicious. The sauce really compliments both the salad and panko mix. Thanks.