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Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets?

Howdy, chocolate truffles!

Yesterday, I tried to make healthy chocolate brownies.

Emphasis on the word tried. Luckily, dinner made up for it:

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I am in love with this: Bread-Free Vegan Stuffing.

I make it at least twice a month, and I’ve even started cooking a double batch now (to yield four large servings instead of two). I bought a giant pan just for that recipe.

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Along with the stuffing: whole-wheat toast and roast cauliflower with bbq sauce.

Lately I cannot keep my hands away from roasted cauliflower. It’s just so good, especially dipped in the barbecue sauce! Reminds me of chicken nuggets, which is weird because I never really liked those. I just liked the barbecue sauce.

Cauliflower Nuggets

(easiest recipe ever)

  • raw cauliflower
  • roasting pan
  • optional: barbecue sauce

Whatcha do: Cut the cauliflower and spread out on the roasting pan. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees (no need to pre-heat) and stick the pan in there for 30-50 minutes. Then set the oven to “high broil” and broil 2-3 more minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. (I usually turn the oven completely off after this and leave the cauliflower inside for another 20 or so minutes.) Serve with your favorite bbq sauce or ranch dressing, for dipping.

Really good with Crazy-Good Ranch Dressing.

Published on January 25, 2011

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Albizia says

    Every chef fails sometimes. But nobody’s perfect and we all must learn from our mistakes. I bet the brownies will be even better than you wanted to make them when you finally succeed 🙂 .

    I eat a lot of things that make can make me feel bad afterwards but most of the time it’s worth the risk 😛 .

  2. Aimee says

    Yes! Cold things. I KNOW I’m gonna feel cold after eating ice cream, but I still do it in the winter (which I might have mentioned in one of your previous posts) because it tastes so good and is worth feeling cold!

  3. Mia says

    Ooo yum! I’m trying the roasted cauli today. I just bought a head of it yesterday and was wondering what I’d do with it!

  4. Holly @ couchpotatoathlete says

    Anytime I am about to eat a sugary dessert — I tell myself that I am going to feel ill later on, but for some reason I always decide the pain is worth it!!!

    Same with the sugary, syrupy drinks at Starbucks — they make my stomach CHURN while drinking them, but I still get them once in a while because they taste so good! I need to stick to tea when I’m there!

  5. Jenny says

    I usually overeat when I sit down to a plate of food that has clearly too much on it… I’m trying to gain weight so I tell myself I have to clean the plate every time! I’ve only recently been reminded that listening to your body is just as important. 🙂

    I overeat… spinach! (Seriously!) Popeye and I would be great friends. (Although maybe not so much… He always ate canned spinach. Fresh is best!)

    So simple but… it sounds so delicious, that recipe! I’ll definitely have to give it a try!

  6. Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) says

    That meal looks delicious! I love roasted cauliflower. I can easily over do cabbage, but I do it anyway. It is just so darn good. Sorry about the brownies. I tried to make a crockpot veggie pasta sauce that was clearly never going to make it to that status…so veggie soup it was. Tasty, but not what I needed it to be.

  7. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner says

    Thomas Edison stated that when he was trying to make the light bulb, that he hadn’t failed 2000 times — he had found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb. Even though it seemed hopeless, he kept trying, and he achieved!! Never give up girl! I know you can do it. 🙂

  8. Meagan says

    Your fudge from yesterday looks awesome! I guess now I have no excuse not to buy Coconut butter.

    I always overeat frozen green grapes… they are so good I can eat a whole bag at once!

  9. Lauren @ WWoB says

    I try not to eat things I know will make me feel bad later because its just so not worth it. Occasionally though I do have far too much ice cream (I can handle small portions, but more and I sometimes get sick due to the dairy) or veggies (same problem as you!).

    The cauli nuggets look bomb!

  10. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel says

    “cauliflicken nuggets”! hehe now thats something i never thought about. i sometimes chop cauliflower up in tiny little bits to roast with some nutritional yeast, then pretend im eating popcorn 🙂 I’m liking the chicken nugget analogy a lot better tho! and with a side of butternut squash fries, i don’t think one could find a healthier meal!

    oh and the cookie dough ball post is up 🙂

    xoxo <3

  11. Raychel says

    I have definitely overdone it with roasted brussels sprouts, roasted caulfilower, butternut squash or fresh grapes! but they’re sooooo good its hard not to!

  12. Disturbed says

    This all looks so good.
    I am sorry if I make a disappearance from your blog-well commenting on it. My school found my blog, and immediately contacted my parents. I am now on medical leave from school and working with a psychologist. So-I might not be as active here.

  13. Sabine @ thefruitpursuit says

    aww so sorry to hear about your brownies! but I envy you and all the others for just going out there (in the kitchen ;)) and experiment even if it means a flop or two along the way! I want to be able to do that too but I have stage fright… but it IS one of my new years resolutions, so…
    x sabine

  14. Sabine @ thefruitpursuit says

    OHHHH and my stomach always seems to act up when I make big green smoothies or veg smoothies. it’s like my body says WHAT WUT? WHERE’S THE CHOCOLATE?? (I am not kidding either, the other day I drank a veg smoothie halfway and got intense stomach pains AND a killer choc craving hahaaha. I’m weird like that)

  15. Heather Eats Almond Butter says

    You know I’ve been there with the cauliflower. Ouch! 🙁

    I am missing all thing cruciferous right now – they bother the babe’s stomach. Hope to try your roasted cauli BBQ recipe someday. So easy and sounds delicious! 🙂

  16. Alyson says

    Yummy! And I have the same problem with eating a huge serving of veggies. I’ve been trying to be better about overeating veggies because it seems that I always live to regret it later! Especially when dessert cravings roll around, yet there is no room in my tummy for anything sweet. 🙁 That’s always a sad day!
    The protein fudge seems like a great idea! Can’t wait until you get those brownies cookin’! 🙂

  17. Camille says

    I definitely overeat broccoli. Once I ate 4 heads in one sitting and I had a fiber bellyache for a good 24 hours afterward!

  18. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) says

    Raw nuts make me feel really icky! It’s awful because I LOVE them. I think it could be related to the fact that I used to be allergic to nuts. In fact, four months ago I had peanut butter for the first time in about 12 years. Luckily, peanut butter doesn’t make me sick any more, but I think I would still eat it even if it did 😉

  19. Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA says

    I love roasted cauliflower, too! I’ve eaten it covered in BBQ sauce and nooch and it’s amazing.

    I get a stomach ache every time I eat brussels sprouts – probably because I can’t contain myself so I eat a bunch of them – but I do it anyway because they are so freaking delicious.

  20. Kelly says

    I make the same sort of recipe with my cauliflower, but I cut mine into thin strips (it’s actually really time consuming to try to cut the little buggers), I’m going to try your way. Love your easy to make recipes. BTW, is there an easy way to find the recipes on your blog that are not under the recipes tab? Your old blog (chocolate covered vegan) used to have a list down the right side that made it easier to find.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      LOL I have way way too many recipes now to list them all on the side. But if you’re looking for a particular one, or a particular ingredient, you can always use the search bar and search in quotations. (For example: “collard greens”) Or you can leave a comment and I’ll try to find the link for you. I really wish there were an easier way to organize them all; my most recent ones aren’t even under the recipe tab yet :-?.

  21. Amy says

    I love the cauliflower idea! I will definitely be putting this in the meal plan. We have done breaded and fried cauliflower, the only way I eat cauliflower and it is soooooo good, but so not healthy. I am trying to go gluten free and dairy free so this is a great alternative to the fried breaded way!

  22. Claire says

    Oh my word, I always have way too much of a dish I make which is essentially cooking garlic, carrots, zucchini, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, lentils (and anything else that’s lonely in the fridge) in a lemon juice. It’s just so good!

    Good luck with the fudge, you’ll get there!

  23. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey says

    I always overdo it on the veggies, that’s for sure! Whenever I have a large plate of veggies, I always try to make sure and pair it with a carb so my stomach doesn’t hate me.

    I love roasted cauliflower!!

  24. Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) says

    I HAVE to try that stuffing of yours! It looks SO good! 😀

    I am a cookie monster! When I make vegan cookies, I just know I’m gonna eat too many and feel sick afterwards! Worth it though! 😛

    Overdoing it on the veggies is something I never regret! 🙂

  25. Sarah A says

    Oh good lord, I love the cauliflower idea! I’ve had it roasted a few nights in a row – sautéed in garlic and smoked paprika before throwing it in it in the oven – maybe tomorrow I’ll have a smidgeon left to try the BBQ sauce idea!

  26. Namaste Gurl says

    Does eating too many coconut melties and roasted veggies count? If so, then yes, I’ve definitely been there with my tummy not being a happy camper. There’s only so much coconut butter the tummy can handle, quite unfortunately! 🙂

  27. Serena says

    Ah I definitely DO eat beyond full sometimes (a lot! lol). Usually veggies, so yummy!
    but then I do feel bad sometimes, cause I know it isn’t great for my tummy…

    but anyway your fudge looks amazing! coconut butter is the best 😀 oh so yummy

  28. Maryann says

    I love roasted cauliflower! Usually its sweets..I KNOW they dont make me feel good, but usually at the time I have a huge craving and would rather pay for it with a tummy ache later!

  29. Lauren @ says

    I LOVE cauliflour…I’ll have to try this! Yes I get like that with sugar…once I start I can’t stop! Which is why I try to limit it as much as possible.

    • Lyza says

      Made the recipe exactly :). 50 minutes, broiled on high 3 min, left in oven for 15. Then dipped in some homemade BBQ sauce I threw together in the vitamix. Delicious!!

  30. Ilana says

    I really don’t know if I like cauliflower or not, but this post made me pick some up at the grocery. I’m gonna try it your way, anything in bbq sauce is my friend!

  31. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says

    Roasted cauli is so good! But I agree, roasted veggies allow you eat more, more easily than raw ones, but whether it’s raw or roasted or sauteed, fiber is….filling!

    And cruciferous veggies like cauli, brock, kale, brus sprouts, etc. are even extra filling for me!

    Things that taste good going down but I know I will feel bad later…hot mustard! Omg i love!!!!! it! But between the sodium and the heat, my tummy isnt always as thrilled as my taste buds were.

    Have noticed you making your rounds more the past few days, btw 🙂

  32. Little Bookworm says

    Definitely trying that fudge with almond butter (rather than peanut) soon! Sorry your brownies did not turn out right – annoying when that happens. 🙁

  33. Katherine: Unemployed says

    sheer genius here
    PS: do you blog ahead of time and then schedule your posts? I think I remember you mentioning this once

  34. Breaking Free says

    I ALWAYS O.D. on veggies but like you I love em!! Everyone at work always laughs at me because out of all of the things we have in our kitchen that we serve (espresso chip ice cream, french fries, grilled cheese sammies, you get my drift) I choose to take a big ole’ bowl and pile it high with mushrooms and cauliflower. Every day. No kidding. I get so many weird looks but hey, I like what I like 🙂

  35. Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

    Loads of veggies will do the same for me sometime but I just can’t seem to *not* eat a hige bowl of them! A little discomfort’s worth the deliciousness if you ask me. And those vitamins of course!

    Other than that, milk and soy milk give me tummy troubles. :/ I can only handle a certain type of milk and in small doses with cereal- never straight up.

  36. Jillian says

    Hi Katie! Thanks so much for the cauli-niggets recipe! I made them tonight for dinner, and they were so yummy! I’m allergic to gluten and don’t eat meat so I haven’t had real chicken nuggets in years, and even though I don’t miss them per se, these were definately satisfying! And I love that its a great way to get another serving of veg!

  37. Gill (snaxandthecity) says

    definitely veggies for me too – i WANT to eat them but i can’t!! and sometimes oatmeal, too, if it’s my second bowl of the day 😉

  38. Lisa says

    i hear ya on the veggies! just the other night i had a TON of broccoli with my dinner. it was sooo good- steamed perfectly, with a little butter on it. mmm! But I felt so uncomfortable after- not fair! veggies are good for us and it makes me not want to eat a whole bunch of them in one sitting haha

  39. Anonymous says

    Hi Katie,
    I really really want to try this recipe! Please excuse my ignorance, but what does the broil setting do? I am in the UK and my oven doesn’t seem to have one.


    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hmmm… broiling it makes the tops extra-crispy. So it won’t be the same without a broiler, but it will still be uber-delicious, just in a different way! Maybe try setting your oven as high as it goes for the last 5 minutes of baking, to get it crispy? (But watch that it doesn’t burn!)

  40. Anonymous says

    Thanks Katie- I’ll try that next time! I just baked it without broiling and it was pretty yummy, if a little soft in the middle still (:


  41. Kit-Kat says

    I can relate with the veggie-fix. I eat so many veggies, my family has to serve themselves out first and set aside leftovers for my dad’s work lunch BEFORE I serve myself out (this is if the veggies were made for the entire family, rather than just for moi-self). I usually fill half of my plate with veggies (and it’s stacked waaaaaaaaaaay high). If it’s a veggie that contains lotsa water (zuchini, cauliflower, brocollie), then I will get “full” faster, but inside I really am still hungry, so I keep on eating the yummy flavored vegs. I can’t help myself! I’m just one veg-nut!

  42. stephanie says

    Let me just tell you, I have been obsessed over the cauliflower nuggets and have been eating them by the boat load (usually with BBQ sauce). Well, I made the ‘crazy goood ranch dressing’ yesterday. And roasted some cauliflower. Today I packed the cold cauliflower and a serving of the dressing to snack on at work and… O.M.G!!! I am in heaven. The nuggets are awesome anyway and the butternut fries with blueberry ketchp are good, but this combo? Just…YUM! Im going to have to make this stuff by the metric ton. Thank you, CCK!

  43. Trish says

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower! It’s seriously like a treat for me to eat it at dinner. I like to steam mine for about 60 seconds and then toss it around in salt, pepper, olive oil, and a good tandoori masala, then roast it and dip it in a homemade ranch dressing. I am trying to cut out dairy all together, so I’m thinking of trying your vegan ranch with this…and that vegan stuffing sounds phenomenal! Thanks for all the amazing vegan ideas. I’ve never eaten a lot of meat outside of seafood, which my body still requires a few times per week, but I was also heavily reliant on eggs and dairy to fill that void. Your blog is helping me a lot! I’ve had some challenging health issues as of late and have to really rethink what is going into my body. If only I could have chocolate all day long…

  44. Samantha says

    I bought cauliflower specifically to try them roasted and dipped in bbq sauce (I usually hate cauliflower.) I will definitely be buying a lot more cauliflower in the future!!! SO yummy!

  45. ani says

    Wow, such a simple recipe, yet it’s something I’ve never even thought to try before. I actually have cauliflower right now and I’ll be making this for dinner, so thanks!

    P.S. I’ve dry roasted broccoli before and it turns out delicious. I also like to lightly steam it and serve with ketchup. I know, it sounds weird, but I can’t recommend it enough. Just try a little, you might really like it!

  46. Elizabeth says

    Is there any way you could add a search feature to your blog? The only bad thing about so many yummy recipes is when I go back to try and find one particular recipe – I get lost! (Though getting lost on this blog doesn’t seem to be a bad thing unless I am pressed for time (; ) Thanks!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Good news! I already have one :).

      It’s in the upper-right corner, near the foodbuzz ads. Depending on your browser, it might be pretty small… but it says “search” and under it there’s a thin rectangular box where you can put in whatever term/terms you want and hopefully find the result you’re looking for.

  47. Jade says

    I would never have thought to roast cauliflower! I’ve just made this to go with your lentil curry, I roasted a whole cauliflower head intending to have half now and save half for tomorrow’s lunch but I’ve just eaten it all! I shall have to go and buy more cauliflower tomorrow…this stuff is addictive!

  48. Amber says

    Thanks for this recipe! I just made it and they actually do taste like chicken nuggets. Please keep the non-dessert recipes coming too! 🙂

  49. Lauriene says

    I just made this for dinner and–oh my gosh, they’re so much better than chicken nuggets ever were! Such a great recipe. Your website makes it way easier to think of new, interesting and exciting ways to cook healthy vegan meals! Thank you!

  50. Hayley says

    Love it! I first got this idea from my friend Jess, but I like to sprinkle mine with some herbs like basil and thyme before sticking it in the oven. Honestly, I would never have thought of eating it with BBQ sauce… And so I’m glad I found this post! Awesome idea, and very tasty.

  51. Christy says

    i overeat before bed! i have a tiny tummy and i only get hungry every 6 hours and i can never eat very much at meal time. but the thing is i just cant go to bed without something deep, rich, and chocolatey first. so i usually eat your raw cookie or raw recipies or suuuuper dark since theyre calorie dense (to get in those extra colories for my tiny tummy) and still super yummy yet healthy. but then i always feel stuffed lol

  52. Jennifer says

    I made these nuggets for the first time tonight. I dipped them in a mango curry BBQ sauce and they were delicious!

  53. Bette Lebens says

    Katie, please give your mother an extra hug in thanksgiving for being partly responsible for you and your fantastic recipes! My current love is the cashew cream – wow! I made an alfredo sauce and put it over roasted cauliflower, carrots & broccoli. I just made some more and I am going to make ranch dressing – so excited! Thanks so much!

  54. yasmine says

    Omgeee, my mom used to make these growing up but she’d fry them along with potatoes or cook them with spiced rice and eggplant/carrots. I always thought that you can only fry the cauliflower to get them that crispy, I’m totally going to try this! I’ve had it with lemon juice and salt and its TDF 🙂 thank you for posting!

  55. one female canuck says

    I grew up with a variation of this – a Middle Easter variation.
    Instead of the dipping sauce you mention, try (after cooking) squeezing some fresh lemon onto the cauliflower, and generously dusting them with cumin and a little bit of salt to taste. It is such a yummy and healthy bite!

  56. Jenni W. says

    I’ve recently gone mostly vegetarian and my husband has been going nuts. I roasted cauliflower as described and tossed them with a buffalo sauce I made (hot sauce such as franks or Pete’s and I used earth balance soy free “butter” spread, melt butter and combine…bam! Buffalo sauce!) and they turned out sooooo good. One of my husband’s favorite past times was going out for wings with the boys every week and they are his favorite food by far, even he loved these and wanted more. so in addition to a nugget substitute, they make a great/healthy alternative to wings.Thanks once again for the inspiration 🙂

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