Kirbie's Cravings

Bang Bang Cauliflower

a close-up photo of crispy bang bang cauliflower on a white plate
Crispy baked cauliflower bites are drizzled with an addictive and easy bang bang sauce.

I’ve recently become obsessed with bang bang sauce, a creamy sweet and spicy chili sauce that is easy to make. It tastes great for dipping chicken, seafood, vegetables, just about anything really. So I decided to apply it to cauliflower.

I’ve got a couple healthier recipe ideas to share and then we’re moving onto sweets, baked goods, chocolate and more chocolate.
a pair of chopsticks holding a piece of bang bang cauliflower
The other day, Mr. K and I were in the car when Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” song came on the radio for the billionth time (you know the one with the chorus of “maybe we found love right where we are.”) For those unfamiliar, the song is about a potential love lasting until they are old. Mr. K commented that it was one of his favorite songs and then he started singing out loud and sang this lyric:

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 17

So until this moment, I haven’t really paid attention to this song, but I immediately knew that lyric made no sense. What kind of everlasting love only has him loving her until she’s 17? The actual line is “And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70.” (Which actually still seems a little short to me. Is he going to dump her after 70?) After I pointed out the correct lyric to Mr. K, he acknowledged that made much more sense. Now I can’t listen to that song without laughing.
a process photo collage showing the ingredients needed to make the bang bang sauce and what the sauce looks like mixed in a bowla close-up photo of crispy cauliflower drizzled with bang bang sauce
This story really has nothing to do with the bang bang sauce other than that I was really eager to share both with you today. If you like sweet chili sauces, I encourage you to try this.

Feel free to play around with the ratios and even try out different hot sauce variations. I used sriracha but you can try others. I also used low-fat mayonnaise but you can use regular mayonnaise. I think I’m going to whip up a batch this Sunday to use for a general dipping sauce for all the fried foods we are having.

If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to check out my Bang Bang Zucchini, Keto Low Carb Bang Bang Cauliflower, Skinny Bang Bang Cauliflower, Bang Bang Pasta, and Skinny Bang Bang Zucchini Noodles.


Bang Bang Cauliflower

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Asian
Bang bang sauce is a creamy sweet and spicy chili sauce that is easy to make. I use it in a lot of recipes for dipping chicken, seafood, vegetables, just about anything really. In this recipe, I drizzle it over some crispy baked cauliflower for an easy main dish or appetizer.
5 from 2 votes


  • 1/2 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets
  • cups panko bread crumbs Kikkoman brand preferred for even baking
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped (optional, for garnish)

For the Bang Bang Sauce

  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce I bought mine from an Asian grocery store. Make sure to buy the kind that is just sauce without chili seeds
  • 2 tsp hot sauce I used sriracha
  • 1/4 cup light/low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Dip cauliflower pieces in egg and then roll in panko until fully coated and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You will need to use your fingers to press on the coating to help it to stick to the cauliflower bites. Repeat until all cauliflower is coated.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until coating is a dark golden brown and crunchy. 
  • While cauliflower is cooking, make the bang bang sauce. Add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until uniform and no mayonnaise lumps remain. Drizzle over finished cauliflower, reserving additional for dipping. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.


Serving: 0.5of recipe, Calories: 446kcal, Carbohydrates: 65.3g, Protein: 15.9g, Fat: 11.8g, Saturated Fat: 2.7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 127.2mg, Sodium: 910.5mg, Fiber: 5.3g, Sugar: 16.7g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Vitamin C: 71mg, Calcium: 180mg, Iron: 4.7mg, Net Carbs: 60g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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72 comments on “Bang Bang Cauliflower”

  1. I love that you’ve combined two totally underrated things to this recipe: cauliflower and bang bang sauce. I definitely want to try these! I will laugh when I hear this song next time!

    • Im surprised I haven’t seen bang bang on cauliflower. I keep seeing it on shrimp and chicken, but it’s so good for just about anything!

  2. I hear that song all the time (thanks to a teen in the house), but I haven’t really *listened* to the lyrics because I thought he says 17 too! Back to the sauce – what brand of sweet chili sauce do you use?

    • haha, that will make Mr. K feel better. Good question–so I went to ranch 99 and basically bought the cheapest bottle. I made sure to buy the one that looks like ketchup rather than the one with seeds in it which would make the sauce look lumpy. I just updated the post with a photo, hope that helps. No English name written for the brand.

  3. This looks amazing, Kirbie! No one will ever skip veggies like these! 

  4. YUM! I love the idea of doing this with cauliflower vs. meat. Send me soooomeeee

  5. I love bang bang shrimp.. and chicken too  – so what a delicious idea to make a cauliflower version. These look so addictive, crisp and moorish!

  6. I was dying laughing when I read this post b/c I SWEAR *I* thought the guy said 17 in the song too!! I made BF listen to it several times and he even thought the guy said 17. It was only recent that I took the time to relisten to the entire song and heard 70. I love that song!

    I am such a fan of your cauliflower recipes. Do you think it’s possible to sub the panko for crushed parm cheese for the coating?

    • that’s funny so many people hear 17. when i heard Mr. K sing it, I was like “that can’t be right!” But i think it makes him feel a little better knowing that others hear it that way.

      A just cheese coating likely won’t work very well. the cheese will overcook and become dry before the cauliflower is done. also the texture won’t be as crunchy

  7. I made this for dinner tonight and it was soooo good!! I would not have expected so simple a recipe to be so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I am in love with that song and my husband finds it super boring!! Men, I tell ya!! hehe anyways your’s atleast tries to sing it though!! These bites with that sauce are just the perfect weekend munchies I needed!! Yumm.

    • they do make a great munchie, don’t they? My husband actually likes a lot of of the slower, love songs, sometimes even more than me! haha.

  9. It’s not really vegetarian because of the egg. Is there an egg substitute I can use?  Eggs are from mammals,  it’s not vegetarian. 

    • I didn’t claim the recipe was vegetarian. also many vegetarians eat eggs. If you dont eat eggs then leave it out and just make roasted cauliflower

    • Chia seeds soaked in water for a bit are egg substitute they have recipe on package too

      • thanks! I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it’s good to know there are potential options out there for people to test

  10. The cauliflower pieces should be raw before dipping in egg? Or shoul they be boiled before?
    thank you

  11. OMG you brought back the funniest memory. My husband hums and sings a lot. He has an affinity for Christmas Carols. About 15 years ago he was singing We Wish you a Merry Christmas…..”now bring us some piggy pudding, now bring us some piggy pudding” I stopped him and I could barely get out “did you say, snort snort, Piggy Pudding”. He said “yes”. I said, now I am getting that crazed kind of laughing where you can hardly speak…”it’s actually Figgy Pudding” He just kind of looked at me for a minute and said “well, that’s ridiculous, that doesn’t even make sense”. Honestly I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even speak. Trying to recount the story for my co-workers the next day, I had to leave the room, I couldn’t even get the story out. Ahhhh, good times, good times. 

  12. I can’t wait to try this. It’s gonna be the main dish with stir fried veggies!

  13. Hey.. A friend pinned your recipe.. Of course it caught my eye.. Due to the Kirbie’s Cravings.. Our last name is spelled the same, which I don’t see often.. Hum ..we may be distantly related!!  Good job. Gonna try these!!

    • hi Rhonda- that is so awesome that your last name is Kirbie. Kirbie actually isn’t my last name–it’s more of an online nickname/username my friends came up with in high school for me. I’ve never met anyone with the last name with that spelling though, so that is pretty cool!

  14. I referenced your recipe in my latest poast. 
    It looks amazing. I am going to put this on everything!!!!

  15. Thanks for sharing this! I subbed out some ingredients for vegan-friendly options (vegan mayo, flax meal/water for eggs), and it was FANTASTIC! It’s the first vegan meal I’ve had since starting an allergist-appointed diet that I was totally happy with. Thanks again!

  16. The only thing wrong with this recipe is that you will discover that one head of cauliflower is not enough!  I wanted to eat the whole thing myself!  This is simple, easy, and delicious!     I’ve also thought of a dozen different ways that I want to use the Bang Bang sauce too!

  17. hi. i was just wondering. can i deep fried the cauliflower instead of baking it? it’s hard to bake when you don’t have an oven and i really want to try this recipe! lots of love. x

    • The breading is very loose so I don’t recommend frying it. If you fry it, the breading will just all come off into your pot of oil. If you want to do frying, I suggest a different coating batter for your cauliflower, or maybe trying it with chicken

  18. Just had this tonight and my son said that I’ve got to make it again! We are meat eaters and he thought it had a ‘meat like’ texture and taste. I didn’t have pancho breadcrumbs, I just whizzed up some wholemeal seeded bread and dried it in a low temp oven. Loved it!

  19. Thank you so much for this! My hubs and I love it so much 🙂 We have chickens who aren’t laying any eggs so I appreciate the flax seed/water substitute I read above. We’ll be bringing this to a friends house for Superbowl! Making 2 whole heads haha!

  20. I was actually having a very “feeling down” moment when I read your post & I really wanted you to know that your lil husband story made me laugh so hard! I really appreciate that …along with the great recipe!! It’s funny how you never know where/when someone can make you smile…when you really needed it!
    The beauty of social media & strangers I guess????

    • Aww, I’m so glad my post was able to cheer you up. I never really realize people are reading until they comment and every once in a while I get a beautiful comment like yours as it makes me really happy. Your comment totally made my day! Thank you for taking the time to write it!

  21. Sooo delicious!! Made this yesterday and it’s a new favourite for us, LOVE it, thank you for sharing!

  22. Want to do this for a party but not sure how far in advance I can bread the cauliflower?
    Can I hold in the frig, till I put in the oven?
    Any thoughts?

    • Hmm, I haven’t tried it, but I think if you’re just putting it in the fridge for a few hours before putting it in the oven, it should be okay!

  23. I goner try it thanks for that story

  24. This is to “Marsha” of the date of March 17, 2015; eggs are NOT from mammals! Since when do chickens, ducks, geese, quail, or any other bird, have teats with which to suckle their young??? And Kirbie did NOT claim anywhere in the recipe that it was “vegetarian;” just a sort of, but not really, hint that you need to read and research some things before commenting.

  25. Why do I want the recipe to read “skinny skinny bang bang?”  Also, when my father was little he thought “’round yon Virgin” meant the halo behind her!  

  26. My daughter and I ADORE Ed Sheerin and this song is one of my faves too.  I swear I’ve always thought it was 17 too but I assumed he meant like he did when they were 17.  Speaking of the daughter, she is 14 and has found a recent affection for cauliflower so we will for sure be trying this recipe.

    • I have a lot of cauliflower recipes! I hope you try them out with your daughter soon. It’s funny how many people hear 17. My husband is happy to know he’s not the only one!

  27. I am a little late coming to the conversation but I had to share. This recipe is amazing and I’m so excited to take it to 2 different Christmas parties and wow my friends with it. Lol I also enjoyed the story about the lyric and I can completely relate. It reminds me of a commercial full of incorrect lyrics one in which a young girl singing The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride says she’s “got a chicken to ride”. Lmbo

  28. How many servings does this make? It looks great and am excited to make it for Christmas.

    • the recipes uses half a head of cauliflower so about 2-3. If you are serving it with other things, maybe four. You could always double the recipe if you need it to serve more.

  29. These are the bomb! 

  30. We made this last night ….YUM…it was delicious. Thanks so much . Definitely a keeper recipe.

  31. these sound amazing can you make ahead and freeze

  32. Can frozen cauliflower be used?

    • Frozen cauliflower will be difficult to work with because it is hard to keep the surface dry to coat properly

  33. Just made this and it’s fabulous! Thanks for the recipe!

  34. We LOVED THIS!!!
    It turned out soo great! I did add some Parmesan cheese to the coating.
    I added a little buttermilk to the egg coating, too!
    Thanks this will be one of our special treats!

  35. Made these for an apple…fantastic!  We go to a brew pub that makes a similar dish but it is deep fried. I do have a question – how do I get a better result with the coating? I did house my hand to press into the cauliflower but they did’t turn out as beautifully coated as yours….any tips?

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