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Crispy Deep Fried Cauliflower

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

deep fried cauliflower recipe

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 cauliflower, then you will love these Air Fryer Crispy Cauliflower, baked bang bang cauliflower , these tacos made with them or Cauliflower Wraps recipe.

More cauliflower recipes :

Tandoori Cauliflower Recipe

Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower and Cashews

Creamy Instant Pot Thai Curry Cauliflower Soup

How to make deep 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!!!

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

a blue plate with crispy deep fried cauliflower garnished with cilantro

Tips and tricks in making buttermilk fried cauliflower: 

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 bites

Serving suggestions:

  • 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:) 

Expert tips:

Eat them HOT – The high moisture content in cooked cauliflower tends to soften the crust over time. So, this fried cauliflower recipe is best eaten hot.

Marinade if possible – Letting the cauliflower soak up some of spicy buttermilk marinade makes them more delicious.

Adjust spiciness – Adjust cayenne based on family’s spice level.

Storage instructions:

Unfortunately, this deep fried cauliflower needs to be enjoyed hot for that incredible crispy texture. However, leftover cauliflower can be stored at room temperature for a few hours.

Few reader feedbacks:

“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 .”

“It is so good!! Even my nieces liked it (though it was a bit spicy for their liking-but they don’t like any spice)”

“Soo good, you almost forget that its cauliflower. Definitely making this again!”

“These came out really good. My new favorite way to eat cauliflower, the leftovers heated well in my air fryer. I most definitely recommend this recipe.”

“SO GOOD. I let the cauliflower marinate in the buttermilk a lot longer than 15 minutes and it was great.”

“Absolutely incredible!”

“This cauliflower recipe is good, will definitely make again”

More feedbacks at Pinterest

More 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
3.95 from 17 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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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Hi Maria!

I absolutely love this recipe! They come out delicious every time. What is the nutrition information?

Thanks! Maresa

Maria Doss

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Hi Maresa,

Our apologies for not having nutritional information for this recipe. This is one of earlier posts and we began adding nutrition information much later. Here is a link to calculate the nutrition that might be of some help -

Sorry again, Maria


Sunday 14th of March 2021

Do you think this recipe would work in an air fryer? Thanks Betty

Maria Doss

Monday 15th of March 2021

Sorry Betty, the answer is no! I did try this in air fryer but, the flour coating didn't seem to cook well. My apologies, Maria


Monday 18th of May 2020

Great recipe! Nice and crispy but I added a table spoon of cornstarch.

Maria Doss

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

That sounds like a wonderful idea :)


Saturday 28th of July 2018

Yum these look too good. I never know what to do with left over butter milk

Maria Doss

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Thank you, you will love this :)


Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

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 .