Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower

Easy and healthy baked sweet & sour cauliflower is a delicious twist on classic sweet & sour chicken or pork and it’s baked instead of fried. You won’t miss meat in this lightened up classic!

Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower |

Let’s get the most important thing out on the table here: anything that is meatless and still pleases my husband is a WINNER WINNER chicken dinner. Minus the chicken part….. for obvious reasons…. okay just a winner dinner.

So what is this exactly? It’s cauliflower florets, tossed in a bit of oil and coated in corn starch and then baked to perfection. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. A lot like chicken, only more cauliflower-y. And all of that faux-fried cauliflower goodness is then tossed in a the best sweet and sour sauce. You will want to put this sauce on e-ver-y-thing. It’s incredibly easy to make and the flavor is spot-on.

Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower |

With New Years Resolutions commencing in a few days, this meatless dish is the perfect place to start your healthier eating goals. Or maybe your resolution is to try your hand at homemade takeout dishes, or even to try being okay with the idea of eating cauliflower where chicken and pork usually take the stage. Whatever your plans for 2017, I’m positive this baked sweet & sour cauliflower thing will fit in there somewhere.

Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower |

4.0 from 11 reviews
Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup corn starch
  • 3-4 cups steamed rice, for serving
  • thinly sliced green onions for garnish
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar (may sub white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt*
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoon cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Combine cauliflower and oil in a large ziplock bag. Seal and shake to coat cauliflower in the oil. Open the bag, add corn starch, seal bag and toss to coat again.
  2. Transfer coated cauliflower to greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower starts to brown on the bottoms. Switch oven to broil and cook on high for 3-4 minutes just until tops start to brown. (watch carefully so the cauliflower doesn't burn!)
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, prepare the sauce: Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt, and ketchup to a medium sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. In a small bowl whisk together the 1 tablespoon corn starch and cold water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened, then reduce to low heat.
  4. In a large heat-safe bowl combine roasted cauliflower and sauce. Serve with steamed rice and top with sliced green onions.

If you like this Baked Sweet & Sour Cauliflower, you’ll love these…

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Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken

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Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs

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Making this tonight, can’t wait! What is the *beside the onion salt for? I’m assuming its optional, or can use onion powder instead? Just wondering, couldn’t find it in the recipe anywhere. Also, what would be good to serve with this in the way of some sort of side and a bread??

This tasted GREAT when I first made it but I made it to prep lunches for the next two days and the day after I made it my lunch tasted chalky and like melted corn starch. 🙁 It was so tasty the night before! I couldn’t believe it.

Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have any recommendations for using this as a meal prep recipe?

    that’s way too much cornstarch. I’d add only 1 teaspoon. It’s just the thickening agent. try coconut flour or POTATO flakes.

Made this gluten free, and it was fantastic! It tasted like actual Chinese food! It even tasted good the next day, warmed up and cold! Will be making this again for sure!

Just tried the BAKED SWEET & SOUR CAULIFLOWER. This was easy and delicious with one exception. It may just be
my personal taste but the vinegar is a little strong. I think next time I will use a little less vinegar and maybe replace it with a little more ketchup. I am also diabetic so I used Splenda instead of sugar and it did not effect the taste.

This dish was so easy to make and so delicious!! It was even good left over, cold. Have already made this twice and it will be a weekly meal in our house!! Goes great with carrots!

This was a great dinner tonight, served over jasmine rice, with veggie spring rolls and broccoli. I think I would use a little less sugar next time, just for personal preference, and maybe add a few red chili flakes. Thanks for a great recipe!

Has anyone added tofu to this for extra protein?

    I haven’t yet, but that sounds like a great idea! I will do that tonight.

    The sauce would probably work really well over baked tofu too.
    But I just served the cauliflower with quinoa in place of rice for the sake of protein.

    I made it with tofu. I baked it separate from the cauliflower in case the bake time was different but they finished at the same time. Tastes great!

I recommend much less vinegar and sugar and more ketchup. This was way too sour for my taste.

I just made this. Couldn’t figure out how to coat the cauliflower properly, so it was all clumpy. Made the sauce exactly as described, after sitting a little bit it broke down and it was like the cauliflower was floating in a thin liquid.

The sauce looked and smelled amazing beforehand, not sure where it went wrong. My cauliflower ended up looking nothing like the picture. Will try again soon to see if I can match it. So far, not looking promising.

P.S. Need to include ziplock baggies in the ingredients, I don’t own these things. I had to fold the ingredients in a bowl instead.

I made this tonight and was so surprised by how awesome it tasted. I am curious as to why dip in cornstarch. it seems to me it would be great just roasted and less calories. Has anybody made this without dipping cauliflower.

    I wish that I had left out the cornstarch as well. I made less cauliflower than called for and didn’t think to cut the cornstarch in half! Ended up too starchy and gooey (my own fault) but next time I’m trying without for sure!

it was too sweet for me, however the kids loved it.

I’m very pleasantly Surprised by this sauce! I was pretty suspicious of it (“ketchup, really? Where are the pineapples, the peppers?”), but it turned out great, almost just like the red sweet-and-sour sauce at my favorite Chinese restaurants.
I’ll definitely be using that recipe again.

this is amazing!! I happened to have rice vinegar on hand so I used that instead of apple cider vinegar. the cauliflowers tho, from now on i shall be coating all things in oil and corn starch and throwing them in the oven instead of frying.

I enjoyed the recipe though it was a bit too sweet for my taste. I believe I would cut the sugar by half next time.