Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower
This Baked General Tso's Cauliflower is every bit as delicious as the fried version. It's quick and easy to make and is a super delicious vegan + paleo meal.
The first time I told my handsome man we were having General Tso's Cauliflower for dinner, his response was, “That's it?” I watched his face turn from confused to desperate as I confirmed that dinner would be cauliflower and rice. No meat. No other veggies.
I turned down pleas to add some peppers or onions or A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. else to the pan. Not that some extra veggies are a bad idea, but this baby's all about the cauliflower.
What happened to his face after the first bite was nothing short of a transformation. He declared that it was the best cauliflower he'd ever eaten. He started talking about opening a restaurant that sells only General Tso's Cauliflower. He told me we (read: I) need to make this every week from now on.
The guy's got a point, this is some really good cauliflower.
I've been wanting to make General Tso's Cauliflower for a while, but I've only ever seen recipes that call for deep frying the cauliflower first. I don't have anything against deep frying veggies (have you tried Najib's Lebanese Cauliflower yet?) but I wanted something a little healthier.
Rather than pulling out a pot of oil I used a little trick to make the cauliflower taste like it's been deep fried when really it's baked …
By coating the cauliflower in a little corn starch before you bake it, you'll get cauliflower that is a little crispy and very much like the deep fried version.
It tastes sinfully delicious without piles of calorie heavy oil.
And then there's the sauce. We need to go here for a minute, or ten. The other thing I heard from my handsome man, between mouthfuls of General Tso's Cauliflower, is that we need to bottle this sauce and put it on everything. The guy's got a point.
It's sweet with the tiniest bit of tangy and it practically begs you to lick every last drop of it off of your plate. It also winds its way around each piece of cauliflower and sticks in all the grooves. With each bite of cauliflower, you'll taste a delicious spoonful of the sauce, too.
This meatless Monday dinner is 1000x better than any Chinese takeout, and almost just as easy. You will love it!
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FAVORITE ASIAN RECIPES
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame and Ginger
- Spicy Kung Pao Chicken
- Sweet and Spicy Asian Eggplant
- Spicy Kung Pao Chicken
- 5-Ingredient Honey Teriyaki Salmon
Baked General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, or tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce, paleo if needed
- 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup for vegan
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or coco aminos
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch, or tapioca starch
- If you're making rice, start that first.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl and toss with the grapeseed oil, then the cornstarch. Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway.1 large cauliflower, 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the sauce. Add the grapeseed oil to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring them to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thick.1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon chili flakes, ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- Once the cauliflower has browned, remove it from the oven and place it in a large bowl. Pour over the sesame seeds, green onions and the sauce and toss to coat well. Serve immediately.1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 4 green onions
This was fantastic!!!! Unfortunately I missed the ginger when I made my shopping list and thought I had garlic in the fridge but didn’t ….so I used ground ginger and garlic powder…It was still amazing so I am sure the next time I make it with fresh it will be even better. Thanks for the great recipe!
Delicious- It took me a little longer to make it the first time. However if I used a precut bag of cauliflower and ready minced ginger and garlic – it would have been very fast. Finally next time I will drizzle the sauce so I keep that crispy baked texture. Over all OUTSTANDING flavor. Thanks for sharing.
Exactly what we were looking for! This was great and will now be a part of our rotation.
Thank you for this fabulous recipe. It was just as good as the deep fried version and so much healthier., I made it with jasmine rice and followed the advice of one person here to only use half the amount of honey. My husband and I finished the entire dish, and he is not the biggest vegetable fan. I can’t wait to make it again.
The sauce is delicious! I used a bit less oil and honey to cut sugar and calories, but should have followed the amounts listed to fully coat the cauliflower. This is simple, and super flavorful!
Sauce should be doubled to really cover all cauliflower.
Did not like the texture and taste of the cauliflower itself.
This is a top five recipe, for sure! I cook for our extended family of nine every night and it is extremely rare to find a recipe everyone flips over. Well, this was it! I quadrupled the recipe, and they devoured it all. I love making Asian inspired meals, and though yummy, most of them come out tasting like home cooking. Everyone said this recipe tasted like authentic Chinese takeout. Thank you for sharing this outstanding recipe !
You’re very welcome!
Delicious / easy to make and flavorful!
Outrageously amazingly off-the-charts spectacular.
Will rate it later. Making it now. You had me at “If you’re making rice, start that first.”
This recipe was soo delicious! made it tonight and will be making it again tomorrow =) This recipes is also really easy to adjust for sweetness and spiciness.
Absolutely delicious. So beautifully tasty. Thank you
Thank you for letting us know you loved the recipe!
This is divine. I will definitely make it again
That is so great to hear! Hooray!!
We loved it!!
That is so wonderful to hear! Thanks, Lisa!
Just tried this for the first time and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for coming back to let us know that the recipe was a hit, Maggie!
My husband and I made this recipe this evening, served it with jasmine rice and loved it! Will definitely be making this one again.
I’m so happy to hear you liked the recipe!
Delicious!! Next time I make it I think I’ll zest some orange peel over it as I serve it.
That’s a great idea!
I made this a few weeks ago for a meal with a friend. I ate one serving and she finished off the rest, aka 2+ servings. I did not have scallions, but did have chives for close to a green onion color and flavor. The flavor was good although I would use more garlic and ginger next time to amp up the spiciness.
Happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe.
Yum, yum. My new love!
That makes me so happy to hear! Hooray!
That sauce would be good with a lot of things.
Thanks for a great wee pie with cauliflower!
You’re so welcome!!
My husband and I LOVE this recipe. It is one of our go to recipes during the weeknight when we crave an Asian dish! It is simple and has so much flavor (the sauce is incredible!). Thank you for this ingenious cauliflower transformation recipe! 🙂
I’m so happy to hear you guys like the recipe!!
Wow, terrific — my husband and I devoured it in minutes, and he doesn’t usually like cauliflower. My only changes:
A little less than 1 tablespoon honey instead of 2 — it was still plenty sweet to me.
Instead of scallions, I washed and sliced the stalks and greens from around the cauliflower, and stir-fried them along with a thinly sliced onion, then set them aside .and added them at the end. (I also threw in a few shrimp; I’m not a vegetarian.)
Also, when the cauliflower was done, I poured it into the bowl with the sauce, then tossed it, rather than pouring the sauce over the cauliflower as in the recipe.
Can’t wait to try this again! I’m thinking of stirring in some sliced water chestnuts next time for crunch, and maybe some toasted slivered almonds.
I’m so happy you liked the recipe! And great call on using the cauliflower stalks and greens. That’s brilliant!
I love your ideas, Pat! I’m going to cut the honey and use the cauliflower stalks and onions as a side veggie instead of making broccoli also. I’m also going to add chicken for a higher protein dish.
This was great! My husband and I loved it!
I had to make do with what I had – substituted with flour, olive oil, and just a general stirfry sauce instead of hoison (similar ingredients)
I’m so happy to hear you liked it!!
A bit too sweet for my taste but that’s easily enough fixed next time, and there WILL be a next time.
Happy you liked it! And yep, changing the sweetness level will be very easy. 🙂
Fixed this last night for dinner using 2 heads of cauliflower …. and it completely disappeared. Everyone loved it!!! I go through 3-4 heads of cauliflower a week because it’s one of my favorite veggies. Nice to find a new way to prepare it. The cornstarch didn’t add any crispiness, so next time I’ll just roast the cauliflower with coconut oil. Definitely going in my regular rotation. The sauce is to die for!!!
Again, this is NOT vegan. Please know your facts before publishing things online. People will believe what you publish.
How so, K? The only ingredient in here that some people who are vegan don’t eat is honey, and if you read the notes you’ll see that it can be substituted with maple syrup or cane sugar. 🙂
Made this tonight FABULOUS!!! Easy and absolutely delicious. Only substitute was vegetable oil instead of grapeseed oil because that’s what we had on hand. Adding to the rotation!!. Hubby was right the sauce is to die for. Thanks so much❤
I’m so happy to hear you love it like I do!
Why grapeseed oil? Could another be used? Excited to try this recipe!
I always use grapeseed oil because of its neutral flavour. You can use any oil as long as the flavour is neutral!
oh my gosh! just had this for dinner tonight & it was amazing. now looking for more vegan inspiration on your blog. thanks for a fab recipe!
I’m so happy to hear you like the recipe! I’ve got lots of vegan recipes on the blog. You can find vegan dinner recipes here: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/diet/vegan/ and vegan desserts here: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/diet/vegan-desserts/ 🙂
Whoa! Can I just applaud you, Kristen, for this AWESOME recipe!!!! This is the first recipe that I’ve ever made (in the several years I’ve been following recipes) where I’ve tasted it and said WHOA! Who is this lady?!
Just spectacular. It is soooo good. Extra bonus points since it is healthy and doesn’t involve meat. That is pretty hard to do. Thanks so much.
What a compliment! Thank you!!
need this in my life, seriously! I always used to dislike cauliflower, because when it is bad it can be reaaaally bad, but when it is good it is amazing – and this looks good. Baked cauliflower is always the way to go over steamed (but had never thought to add cornstarch – thanks for the tip!), and I love the sound of the sauce <3
Me too! The only way I used to eat it is is it was covered in cheese sauce. It’s so boring when it’s steamed! This cauliflower is totally not boring, though. I think you’ll love it!
I love this lighter vegetarian version, I’ve been eating less meat and this looks like a must try dish.
This is a great meat-free dish. I also like to eat less meat so am always looking for vegetarian dishes. 🙂
Kristen, I made this for my family last night and we all loved it. I actually used broccoli instead and powdered ginger and garlic because I forgot to buy fresh, and it worked perfectly. Thank you!
Great idea to use broccoli. I’m going to try that next time, too!
I don’t know what’s the thing between men and cauliflower, but I’ve noticed that this is the most neglected vegetable by them (maybe because resembles flowers, so it’s too girly?!) Anyway, I love baked cauliflower, and when I decide to make this recipe, with what could I replace a hoisin sauce?
Ha ha it’s so true!
If you don’t have hoisin you could make your own pretty easily. Here’s a link to a recipe that looks good to me: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/hoisin-sauce-substitute-52415261
Oh, cool… will do just that! ;).
I didn’t think I was hungry before I read your post, but I am now! I love cauliflower, but I think I am behind the game, because I didn’t know that there was a deep fried general’s version. I can’t wait to try this. I hate deep frying.
The deep fried version is so good, but definitely WAY more work!
This looks so, so tasty! I love that it’s baked instead of fried, so totally guilt free too 😉
It’s totally guilt-free! I love when I can go back for seconds and feel good about it. 🙂
Ah-mazing!!! The only foods I’ve been eating lately it seems are Asian and spicy! And you know, a lot of that is together 😉
Me too! You will love this one. 🙂
Oh my gosh this looks delicious! I wanna make this ASAP.
Thanks, Mel! It really is crazy delicious. 🙂
cauliflower for the win! this looks amazing! cant wait to try
I’ve been so obsessed with cauliflower lately. I could seriously eat it everyday!