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Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower tastes better than the Chinese takeout we all know and love (but without the frying or meat!)

General Tso's cauliflower on a plate with rice and green onions

Longtime readers might recognize this oldie, but I just had to bring it back from the depths of the blog. Partially because it was deserving of some fresh new photos, and mostly because I was having some serious Chinese takeout cravings. Some reasons why this Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower is so excitement inducing:

Because it tastes JUST like Chinese takeout. You know, the sticky, flavor-packed American-style Chinese takeout (huge deal for us expats who are hankering for a taste of home)

And because even though it’s 100% cauliflower, the texture and flavor is 100% delicious. And because I couldn’t stop eating this until the tulip-man had no choice but to roll me out of the kitchen.

Oh, and because it’s not fried but baked (panko breadcrumbs + baking make it perfectly crisp)!

General Tso's cauliflower on a plate with rice and green onions

General Tso’s Cauliflower Ingredients

Cauliflower: Bite-sized cauliflower florets make up the base of this recipe, which cooks to tender perfection in the oven.

How to brea cauliflower in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs

Breading: To create a crispy coating without frying, we’ll bread the cauliflower in flour, then egg, then panko bread crumbs. This goes quickly if you have a second set of hands to help you out!

Baked cauliflower with crispy panko breading

General Tso’s Sauce: While the cauliflower cooks, we’ll whip up a quick sauce to coat the cauliflower. A combination of garlic, ginger, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and tomato paste, which we’ll thicken with a cornstarch slurry. Feel free to spice it up with a pinch of red chili flakes!

Ingredients to make General Tso's cauliflower in a bowl

How to make General Tso Cauliflower

Making this General Tso’s Cauliflower is so easy, friends, although I’ll admit it can take a little while to dredge the cauliflower. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Chop cauliflower into chunks
  2. Dredge the chunks in flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs
  3. Bake until crispy (in your oven or air fryer)
  4. Coat with General Tso’s sauce
  5. DEVOUR

This General Tso’s Cauliflower is best served over a pile of rice or quinoa. Pair it with something fresh, like these Vietnamese Spring Rolls!

General Tso's cauliflower on a plate with rice and green onions

If you loved this recipe, be sure to try out Sticky Garlic Cauliflower and Sticky Orange Cauliflower! The base of the recipe is almost the same, with different sauces that taste like your other Chinese takeout favorites!

General Tso's cauliflower on a plate with rice and green onions

Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower tastes exactly like the Chinese takeout we all know and love (but without the frying or meat!)
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: general tso cauliflower, general tso’s cauliflower
Diet: Dairy-Free, Vegetarian
Occasion: Game Day
Time: 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 420kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
3.88 from 8 votes

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • ½ cup flour 60g
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 50 g
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
General Tso's Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil 15 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½ cup vegetable broth 120 mL
  • ¼ cup soy sauce 60 mL
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar 60 mL
  • ¼ cup brown sugar 50 g
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste 30 g
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cold water 15 g

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C)*. Arrange workspace, placing flour, egg, and panko in separate bowls. Mix salt and pepper into panko. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • Dredge: Working in batches, coat the florets in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Sauce: Set a small saucepan over medium heat and add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant, then add remaining sauce ingredients except the cornstarch mixture. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. While whisking, slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture. It should thicken quite quickly; if not, continue simmering until thick.
  • Assemble: Drizzle sauce over the baked cauliflower and gently toss to evenly coat. Serve cauliflower over warm rice or quinoa.

NOTES

*To cook this recipe in your air fryer, add florets to your air fryer basket in a single layer and cook at 375°F (190°C) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crispy.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 1594mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 32.2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2.9mg
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This Baked General Tso's Cauliflower tastes exactly like the Chinese takeout we know and love (without the frying or meat!)
A photo form when I originally published this General Tso’s Cauliflower recipe!

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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Comments (14)

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  1. Susanne says:

    Loved it!!!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks, Susanne! 😀

  2. Karen says:

    hi.. wonder if you could use stevia instead of sugar?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Karen, I haven’t tried this substitute but I have a feeling using pure stevia instead would affect the texture. The sugar, when melted, brings a bit of stickiness to the sauce, which I’m not sure you would get with stevia. Perhaps you could try a brown sugar stevia blend? 🙂

  3. Namita says:

    Hi!

    I really want to try this, any idea what I could use as a substitute for eggs?

    Thank you 🙂5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Namita! Cream or plain yogurt would work, or for dairy-free you could try “flax eggs

  4. Ken says:

    Sorry, Sarah – but this one just didn’t deliver for us. A week ago we ordered an order of General Tso’s Cauliflower as an appetizer for our table of friends at a local brewpub, and it lasted about 5 minutes. Salty-sweet, crisp, hot and munchable. These were almost certainly deep-fried and probably not vegetarian. Also probably way more sugar than I’m shooting for in my diet. I ate them anyway, with gusto. So I was excited when I saw your post for a home-baked version (we don’t deep-fry anything in this house, ever.) Sadly, the comparison was not favorable. I fear that there’s something essential in the deep-frying process needed to caramelize the sugar in the glaze, for starters. I would love to be proven wrong in this! I may experiment with tweaking your recipe, starting with less tomato paste, more brown sugar, and less vinegar. I saw another recipe for G T ‘s sauce that insisted on using a certain Chinese dark vineger, and thankfully our Asian grocery down the street carries it. Wish me luck.2 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Sorry to hear, Ken! Thanks for your thoughtful review and I would love to know if you make any changes that put this recipe back in your favor! 😀

  5. Liz says:

    This was delicious! It’s sure to become a staple in my house 🙂5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Yay! So happy to hear, Liz! 😀

  6. GW says:

    This really is better than the original. Thanks

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear! Enjoy! 😀

  7. Hanna says:

    This was so delicious! Next time I’ll double the sauce though—or maybe my cauliflower head was a lot bigger. It didn’t fully coat them. But still worth it!

    1. Sarah Bond says:

      Good to know, thanks for the tip Hanna! 😀

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