Damn Delicious

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Crisp, crunchy cauliflower bites that even the pickiest of eaters will love – perfect as an appetizer or after school snack!

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites - Crisp, crunchy cauliflower bites that even the pickiest of eaters will love. Perfect as an appetizer or snack!

When it comes to snacking, I’ll munch on anything – donuts, chips, almonds, cookies – you name it. And since I work from home and snack for pretty much every minute of every day, I just had to find a way to sneak in some veggie snacking, like these cauliflower bites.

Now I’m all for veggies but I can’t just snack on raw cauliflower. I could, but I’d really rather not. So instead, I did something bad. Like really, really, really bad.

I tossed them in a light Parmesan coating and deep fried them to absolute crisp perfection. And then I dipped them in Ranch. And then I devoured every last one of them. Seriously, even the pickiest of eaters will want to lick the plate clean!

At least I’m getting my daily serving of vegetables with these, right?

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Crisp, crunchy cauliflower bites that even the pickiest of eaters will love. Perfect as an appetizer or snack!

15 minutes10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Panko*
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Panko, Parmesan and Emeril’s Essence; set aside.
  3. Working in batches, dredge cauliflower in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
  4. Add cauliflower to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Serve immediately.


*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

Adapted from The Cozy Apron.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 256.8 Calories from Fat 107.1
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.9g 18%
Saturated Fat 2.5g 13%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Cholesterol 96.0mg 32%
Sodium 500.5mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 28.2g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10%
Sugars 2.8g
Protein 10.8g 22%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. Oh, that’s so yummy!!! I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was awesome! I had never deep fried in oil before so I was nervous. In fact, I burned the first pot of oil. Second time around worked better.

    I omitted the cheese and added onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the panko. I also sprinkled a bit of salt after they came out of the oil. I dipped in marinara to eat. So yummy! This is a keeper!

  3. I think I will try this in my air fryer to cut down on calories!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I just made these and baked at 400 for 40 minutes. They are amazing!  I also had to make my own Emerils Essence.  These will definitely not last long. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just made this for the 1st time. I did a shallow fry on half and baked half. Both are so good. My oldest daughter is so darn picky and she even liked it. We dipped them in a greek yogurt blue cheese dressing. This will be a monthly treat at my house.

  6. these are amazing!! They came out so delicious! I used olive oil because that was all I had at the moment, they were perfect crispy on the outside and soft enough on the inside but not too mushy.  I will try grape-seed oil next time!! 

  7. I love your rescipes, and will be making this amazing dish.  Yummy!

  8. Have you tried making with an air fryer?

  9. Love cauliflower receipts.  They’ve taken it to a new level.  I just got an air fryer.  Do you think this receipe would work in one and save on clean up and maybe a few calories?

  10. I haven’t tried the Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning – will have to pick some up!

  11. Is there a gluten free version of this recipe? 

  12. Hello!
    I am trying this tonight. Do you think it would also work with broccoli?

  13. I have made this several times and one time I was out of Panko, so keep this in mind because it really works in a pinch. 

  14. I would like to take this to my daughters house an hour a way. If you can’t reheat, would they be good room temperature?

  15. Not normally a parm fan but everyone else is family is. I gave this a shot really not sure how it would go over. While I’m not a parm fan I am a cauliflower fan while the rest of the fam isn’t. Made this with reservations, and everyone loved it!! SO delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  16. Great recipe .For sure a keeper .My husband is very picky .And for the most part will only eat a few veggies .He loved them. I made a few changes .I baked my at 350 used parchment paper and oil .Used Italian seasoned bread crumbs. (That all I had )garlic and cheese .flipped them when the bottoms got brown .I didn’t use fresh cheese .I didn’t have any on hand .But they still turned out wonderful .Cant wait to try the recipe with the Panko, Creole and fresh cheese .

  17. Do you think they would turn out without the egg. If not is there another alternative? My son has to be on a low protein diet. Trying to find recipes is very hard.

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  18. They look so Yummy that I just run to the shops and got all the ingredients. Just cant wait to make them. Hope they will work out as good as yours.

  19. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing! I love cauliflower, but never know what to do with it besides putting it on my salads or pan frying it with olive oil. This has opened up a whole new world for me!

  20. I love the idea of mixing the seasonings in the plastic bag to start with. I do this with my daughter because she does not like having to touch the raw chicken…not that anyone really does. 🙂

  21. These are delicious! Mine didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as yours though. I have yet to perfect the art of deep frying.

  22. Wondering if I can reheat these in an oven when I drive at the party I am attending. It is a 3 hour drive…. 

  23. Made way too many for 5 people! However we liked these. Next time need I will reduce amount of cauliflower. Very nice. A lovely change from normal cauliflower. Made the Creole seasoning from scratch. Cooked in the oven to reduce fat. Thanks for a lovely recipe.

  24. Could frozen cauliflower florets be used after it has thawed?

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise if using thawed frozen cauliflower florets will yield the same results. Please use your best judgment.

  25. I used rice flour instead of AP flour and substituted Old Bay Seasoning. The Panko gives them a nice crunch.

  26. Ever try using ranch dressing to tip them in instead of egg? OMG.. sooooo good..

  27. So does the cauliflower turn out soft/cooked or still raw after frying?

  28. Going to make these tonight, along with the Asparagus baked with panko/parmasan. I’m going to try baking them both. Sounds Divine!!! Thank you Chung-ha

  29. Would you be able to freeze this after baking or frying, if so what would be the best way to defrost. Thanks

    • Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

  30. i wonder how your recipe would taste with broccoli…think I’ll try both

  31. Emeril’s Essence
    2 1/2 T paprika 1 T onion powder
    2 T salt 1 T cayenne pepper
    2 T garlic powder 1T dried oregano
    1 T black pepper 1 T dried thyme
    Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
    Makes 2/3 cup

  32. This is an amazing recipe!! I love cauliflower anyway, but I absolutely love this! I have made this several times and one time I was out of Panko, so keep this in mind because it really works in a pinch. I keep several bags of different types of croutons on hand for times when I need to bread something and am out of Panko or just want to change something up.
    I made this for my friend when she came for dinner. She doesn’t cook much, since she’s a widow, but she raved about this recipe and even asked me for the recipe!
    Thanks so very much!

  33. Just made these & they were a huge hit! My husband loved them! Thanks for the recipe!

  34. Oh my goodness, these are at the absolute top of my cravings list, nothing better than a fried veggie!

  35. These look absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  36. a friend of mine is not a fan of cauliflower but I have a feeling after making it this way they won’t be able to resist! Thanks!

  37. Hi Chungah, thank you so much for this recipe! It is amazing. I have just put a link to it in my own blog post 🙂

  38. What would be a good dip?

  39. We really enjoyed these! I made them for New Years along with several others! Thanks for the inspiration. I added a link to your original recipe. If you would prefer that I didn’t, just let me know!

  40. I am making these right now. I absolutely love them! My only concern is how salty they are. I’m not sure if it’s just the ingredients I used, but they’re good!

    • The Parmesan cheese has a bit of salty kick to these. But if you prefer a less salty taste, I recommend reducing the amount of Parmesan.

  41. Oh, that’s so yummy!!! I can’t wait to try it.

    Happy New Year!!!

  42. Is the Emeril seasoning anything like “Old Bay?”

  43. I just tried this – frying it, it turns out really tasty, but have to be careful about the size of the cauliflower, but when I baked it at 400 for even 20 min the seasonings and cheese turned black and burnt – could be my oven, but tried again at 350 for 15 min and still turning black 😛

    • Correction – 350 for 35 min seemed to cook the cauliflower through, It is a bit burnt, but it tastes ok.. wondering if anyone has tried a lower heat to cook through ?

  44. what could I use instead of eggs?

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise an appropriate substitute that will not alter the overall taste/texture of the dish. It is always best to use the ingredients listed in the recipe to obtain the best results possible.

  45. The cheese mixture completely fell off as it cooked…any suggestions?

    • Holly, did you follow the recipe exactly as written using flour, eggs, and the Panko mixture? If you followed all 3 steps, nothing should be falling off!

  46. This might be a stupid question but what is Panko?? Could be that I might know it under a different name thanks


  47. Thank you for sharing 🙂 I love it #Vegilover haha

  48. I’m going to see if I can make a gluten-free version of these. They look awesome!

    • They have delicious “panko” crumbs that are gf and obviously, gluten free flour (like King Arthur) would be delicious I’m sure! Good luck. Eating gluten free has its challenges, I know.

  49. What else can you substitute Emeril’s Creole seasoning Or, Old Bay seasoning in place of, if you don’t have either?

    • Jo, it is best to use either of these two ingredients to obtain the best results possibles. You can certainly substitute something else but I cannot speak for how much this will change the overall taste/texture of the dish as further recipe testing is needed.

  50. Do you think whole wheat flour would work?

    • You can certainly substitute whole wheat flour but I cannot speak for how much this will change the overall taste/texture of the dish as further recipe testing is needed. It is always best to use the ingredients listed in the recipe to obtain the best results possible.

  51. Currently scarfing these down for lunch. OMG. I Love breaded cauli and it is so hard to find already prepared. I can stop looking now. This is going to be made often in my house. YUM Thank you so much for the recipe. 🙂 BTW, I don’t use Emeril’s seasoning. I make my own cajun mix, and it must have less salt than Emeril’s as I thought they needed a sprinkle of salt out of the oil. Just FYI if you sub something for Emeril’s. <3

  52. What could I use as a sub for seasoning if I can’t find Emeril’s?

  53. Thank you – nice recipe.

  54. Don’t know if this is a dumb question but is the cauliflower raw or cooked when you bread it? I feel like it would take longer to fry raw cauliflower but I’ve never done it so not sure…can’t wait to try this!

  55. Just made these, so good! I skipped frying and instead baked on my Silpat for 25 min at 425. I also used my nutribullet to blend the panko and parmesean cheese. This gave me a finer crumb/cheese mixture which stuck better (the last time I tried something with panko and parmesean as coating, it didn’t stick, so I was attempting a fix). I also used egg beaters b/c it’s what I had.

    They were fantastic!! I just wish I’d had some ranch. I can see this will become a staple at home b/c it’s quick, easy and fills my junkfood french fry craving. Thanks!

  56. Sounds delish, except for the frying part. I think I’ll try oven “frying”. It works beautifully for eggplant.

  57. I’m a newlywed wife and even though I have years of cooking experience, my husband and I definitely don’t eat enough veggies. We have all the other food groups…both of us love fruit…but unless mashed potatoes counts as a veggie, we are severely slacking on the vegetable group. But the deep fryer is our most used kitchen appliance 🙂 So I made these to go with dinner! I think they’re delicious (I was snacking while I fried!) and we’ll see what he thinks!

  58. Sinfully delicious – that’s what comes to mind after reading your post about doing something bad and making these little gems! Love this recipe, Chung-Ah! 🙂

  59. The perfect snack! Plus, it’s cauliflower, so it’s healthy right??!

  60. I have a cauliflower sitting in my fridge right now! Do you think it would turn out ok if I baked it instead of frying it?

    • Yes, baking it would be just fine!

      • 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees.. made this last night and it is FANTASTIC! My fiance and I could not get enough!!

        • Thank you for this Stephanie!! I was just going to ask if these could be baked like the asparagus with panko. Now, I will make them!!!!

    • Sylvia, I’m so glad you asked this about baking because I was going to and decided to read through the comments to see if anyone else addressed it. I’d love for anyone who has done so to comment on how they turned out.

  61. These are going on my list to make asap – they look soooo good!!

  62. What a delicious way to eat cauliflower. Love it.

  63. I love cauliflower, I would devour these bites!

  64. Dang! They look good! You are so good at capturing the beauty of food. Looks delicious. Pinned!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

  65. LOVES IT!! This is how I eat my veggies, too!! 😀

  66. This looks great, always looking for ways to get more veggies in. I am realizing just how many recipes I pin on Pinterest that are from your blog, and I just did one of those V-8 head slap moments and said, “I need to just follow this blog!” 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more of your recipes!

  67. Great recipe Chung-Ah!
    I going to substitute canola with cold pressed grape seed oil as it has a high smoke-point and a mild flavor and can be used for just about any fried dish. Try it, I think you will like it.

    • Read up a little more on grapeseed oil, it’s one of the worst oils you can consume. It shocked me how unhealthy it is.

      • That’s odd. I have read just the opposite. Grapeseed oil is supposed to be full of antioxidants. What have you heard?

        • Grapeseed vs. Rapeseed. Rapeseed is canola oil which is terrible to consume.

        • Grapeseed oil is absolutely fine; it’s rapeseed oil that is terrible, being a type of poisonous oil (it’s used in such things as machinery, it’s so inedible). It’s unfortunate the two names are so extremely close to each other in spelling.

          • Grapeseed Oil is not absolutely fine. Seriously, do your research. The only real “healthy” oils are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (unrefined), and butter.

      • I have been using Grapeseed Oil instead of Olive Oil because of the claims that it is healthy. Thank you for bring to my attention that I need to read up about it. It seems that Grapeseed Oil is not healthy, in fact it is very bad for you. Best oils are Olive Oil and Coconut Oil and of course butter. P.S. recipe looks wonderful, thanks for posting…

        • I also use Macadamia nut oil – very healthy and tastes great!

          • Avocado oil is great for frying and healthy. I use it when I want a neutral flavored oil. Regarding Canola oil, it has been bred since the 70’s to have much less erucic acid than the original rapeseed oil. In its current form, it’s not bad for you in itself, but most is GMO, like the soybean oil. So I avoid it. It looks like the only thing in grapeseed oil that is negative is more Omega 6 than other oils and it could affect inflammation. But it does have some positive things as well.

  68. Love your recipes, but wondering if you could include the Nutrition value in them…

  69. The good balances the bad, right? 😉 LOVE this recipe, Chung-Ah! Pure deliciousness. Thank you for sharing!

  70. You’re never going to believe this but today on my run, I was dreaming about….cauliflower recipes. I love the stuff. So much. But I thought what could I make with it that would be unique and baked cauli tots came into my head. Lightly breaded and then baked. Guess I won’t be making those now b/c there is nothing that could top your recipe!!! AMAZING!