Crispy and Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Cauliflower

crispy fried cauliflower

Crispy Fried Cauliflower Recipe! Vegetarian version of the classic buttermilk fried chicken. Perfectly crispy and crunchy buttermilk fried cauliflower are so addictive that you can’t stop with just one. Oh yes, these are spicy too!!!

crispy fried cauliflower

When life gives you cauliflower, you deep fry ’em! 

Crispy, crunchy exterior with craggy bits of deep fried flour coating…Soft cooked cauliflower inside. 


There is something about deep fried foods thats just hard to beat. 

You know it’s not good for ya. But, you still crave! 

Like these Fried popcorn chicken <—- dangerously addictive. 

Why is this THE BEST Deep Fried Cauliflower recipe? 

  • Crispy and crunchy exterior
  • Soft cooked cauliflower inside
  • Spicy
  • Highly addictive
  • Golden brown perfection
  • Flavorful
  • D-E-L-I-S-H

If deep frying is not your thing or you wanna healthier crispy fried cauliflower, then you will love this Baked Bang Bang Cauliflower or these tacos made with them.

If you love cauliflower then here are few more recipes that you might like : Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower and Cashews or Creamy Instant Pot Thai Curry Cauliflower Soup.

How to make crispy fried cauliflower? 

Three step process : SOAK – DREDGE – FRY

Step-1Soak – Marinade cauliflower florets in a spicy buttermilk marinade for at least 15 minutes (refer picture above – left)

Step-2: Dredge – Dredge cauliflower florets in flour. Not just plain flour —-> Mix some spicy buttermilk marinade into the flour, until it becomes a textured flour (refer picture above – middle and right).

Step-3: Deep fry until golden brown in batches. 

Done and DONE!!!

These crispy cauliflower bites isn’t complicated, right? 

I certainly agree, this is not an easy buttermilk fried cauliflower recipe but, it is definitely the best Deep Fried Cauliflower!!!

crispy fried cauliflower

Tips and tricks in making crispy cauliflower bites: 

There is a secret technique!!

A technique that promises crispy cauliflower fries every time! 

Usual dredging methods for crispy cauliflower fried includes – coating cauliflower in a marinade, dredging in flour and deep frying <— Good. But we want GREAT! 

So, we go a step further and mix some of the spicy buttermilk marinade into the flour to make a textured flour and then coat marinated cauliflower in this coating. The bits of flour gets really crunchy when deep fried making this fried cauliflower really crispy. 

Best crispy cauliflower bites for the win!!!

crispy fried cauliflower

How to enjoy these amazing buttermilk fried cauliflower? 

  • Appetizer with Sriracha ranch or ketchup
  • Snack for your next game day
  • Forget chicken nuggets and serve these fried cauliflower nuggets to your little nuggets. You will be pleasantly surprised. 
  • Stuff them between hot dog buns with a spicy coleslaw and you have an awesome lunch —> spicy fried cauliflower sandwich. 
  • Make ’em into spicy fried cauliflower tacos – Serve over charred corn tortillas, spicy coleslaw, cilantro, shredded lettuce and top with a sliced jalapeño. 
  • Top ’em on your favorite salad. Show your salad some deep fried love:) 

More delicious appetizer/snack recipes:

Parmesan Bread Bites

Spicy Ginger Garlic Pita Chips

Oven Baked Beet Falafel

Parmesan Cheese Crackers

Salt and Pepper Cashews

Baked Barbecue Chicken Meatballs with avocado

Easy Baked Shrimp Rolls

or more snack recipes

crispy and crunchy buttermilk fried cauliflower
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Crispy and Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Cauliflower

Vegetarian version of the classic buttermilk fried chicken! Perfectly crispy and crunchy buttermilk fried cauliflower are so addictive that you can’t stop with just one. 
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk fried cauliflower, crispy caulifower bites, crispy fried cauliflower, deep fried cauliflower, deep fried cauliflower recipe
Author: Maria Doss


Buttermilk marinade

Additional ingredients


  • Stir all buttermilk marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, until combined. 
  • Add cauliflower florets, stir well to coat thoroughly (let every nook and cranny get coated), set aside for about 15 minutes (make it right away, if pressed for time).
  • Into a large dutch oven or a large saucepan, pour vegetable oil until about 1-inch height, heat over high heat until moderately hot (about 350 degrees in a deep fry thermometer).
  • While the oil is heating, place all purpose flour and cornstarch in a shallow bowl, add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons of the prepared buttermilk marinade (try to scoop from the bottom of the bowl). Mix with your fingertips, until thoroughly combined (this creates texture in the flour and guaranteed crispiness).  
  • Working with one floret at a time – remove from the buttermilk marinade, coat with flour (pressing on all sides for flour to adhere well) and place on a plate in a single layer.
  • Deep fry in three batches, until deep golden on all sides ( about 6 minutes per batch). Drain on a paper towel lined platter.
  • Serve hot for appetizer / snack / side dish with ketchup or ranch or Sriracha ranch.


These are best eaten hot. 
Due to the high moisture content in cauliflower, it softens when cold. 

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    1. I’m beginning to learn that there are quite a few cauliflower lovers out there. May be time to think of more cauliflower recipes?You have a
      great 3-day weekend friend!

        1. Hi Kristen, I sincerely apologize for the over sight. You add cornstarch along with the all purpose flour. I have made necessary corrections to the recipe. Apologies again:)

  1. i was just talking about battered and fried cauliflower yesterday with a friend! cauliflower has a really creamy texture, so that with the super crispy exterior (those craggy bits!!! i could stare at these all day long) sounds like a texture dream (:

  2. The picture really makes it look as if there are some sort of bread crumbs on these. It doesn’t seem like flour alone would give it this particle-like texture on the outside. I plan to make them tonight. Anyone else make these and have any feedback?

    Looks super tasty and I hope they turn out fabulous!

    1. Thanks for trying Allison. The trick is in mixing in 3 tablepoons of buttermilk mixture into the flour (rub it in with your fingertips until evenly distributed). This creates textured flour. Share your feed back please.

  3. I went exactly by the recipe it turned out wonderful all my guys are real happy and I’ll definitely use it again thank you so much .

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