Crispy Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Bites

These crispy cauliflower bites are coated in a low carb and keto friendly breading. They can be fried, baked or cooked in an air fryer. The breading comes out super crispy, just like a traditional flour or breadcrumbs breading.

overhead photo of a pile of Crispy Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Bites

I’ve been working on trying to find a good low carb keto breading. Many recipes I’ve come across use crushed pork rinds or protein powder, but those versions didn’t really produce the desired result I was looking for. I wanted something that looked and tasted like traditional breading and could be cooked the same way too.

These crispy cauliflower bites are everything I wanted them to be. The breading is super crispy and holds up well. I deep fried them, baked them and also cooked them in my new air fryer. All the versions worked, though my favorite two are deep fried and air fryer.
close-up photo of cauliflower bites

Low Carb Keto Breading

The low carb keto breading is a mix of almond flour and finely grated parmesan cheese. The breading sticks on fairly well and works like breadcrumbs. They become a deep golden brown when fried.

The parmesan cheese needs to be finely grated until it resembles grains of sand.
photo of spoonful of finely grated parmesan cheese
I also recommend using superfine blanched almond flour. I recently starting buying Kirkland brand almond flour from Costco. The price is reasonable and the almond flour is superfine and blanched.

When the two are mixed together, the two should be almost indistinguishable because they will roughly be the same color and size.

Egg Wash

Normally when I bread cauliflower or chicken, I follow the traditional method of moistening in egg and then dredging in breadcrumbs. However, for these cauliflower bites I whisked the egg with heavy cream. Egg wash by itself is very thin, but adding the heavy cream creates a thicker egg wash that coats and stays on the cauliflower. If you don’t have heavy cream, buttermilk may also work.

This thicker egg wash really helps to bread the cauliflower because cauliflower has a slippery surface that makes it difficult to bread.

How to Bread Cauliflower

Breading cauliflower is more difficult than breading chicken, but it can definitely be done. I’ve shared many crispy cauliflower recipes over the years which involved breading cauliflower with panko and have learned quite a lot. These tips should help you have beautifully coated pieces of cauliflower.

  • My working station consists of a bowl with the breading and a spoon, a medium baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper, a paper towel, and small bowl that contains the egg wash.
  • Spoon a small amount of breadcrumbs onto your sheet pan (just enough to cover the bottom of a cauliflower bite).
  • Dip a piece of cauliflower in the egg wash. After it is fully coating, shake it a few times, making sure to shake off any excess egg drippings back into the egg bowl before adding it to the breading. The reason for doing this is that you don’t want the egg drippings going into the breading. The moisture will cause the breading to clump and they will no longer stick to the cauliflower.
  • Place the cauliflower piece onto the small mound of bread crumbs, applying a little pressure so those breading sticks to the bottom of the cauliflower.
  • Wipe your hand that was holding the cauliflower with paper towel so that your hand is also dry before touching the breading.
  • Spoon a small amount of breading over the cauliflower and then use your fingers to press the breading onto the cauliflower until it is fully coated. By keeping most of the breading in a separate bowl, it prevents it from getting wet.
  • Carefully set the cauliflower aside onto a clean part of your baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

Double Breading Tips

During one of my trial runs, I also tested double coating the cauliflower. As expected, the coating is thicker and even crunchier. I loved it! But it also more work, more time and more breading. For me, the single coating was crispy enough but if you want to do double breaded, here are some additional tips.

  • Double the amount of egg wash and breading.
  • Follow the process I outlined above in How to Bread Cauliflower.
  • Once you are done, dip cauliflower pieces in egg wash again and then in breading again.
  • Do not do the second coat until you are finished coating all of the cauliflower once.
  • The egg wash will get muddled from some of the breading during the second dip which is why it’s better to wait until you’re done with the first coating.
  • The wait time will also allow the first coating of breading to soften (you’ll see the crumbs turn yellow as they sit there), making them stick on better so they won’t fall off as much when you dip in the egg the second time.

How to Deep Fry the Cauliflower

To deep fry the cauliflower, pour 1 1/2 inches of cooking oil into a pot. When the oil reaches 350F, add a few pieces of breaded cauliflower. You may need to stir the cauliflower a few times to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook a few minutes until a deep golden brown. Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

This method of cooking the cauliflower produces super crispy cauliflower with an even golden brown coating. The cauliflower also stays crispy longer than the other methods, so this would be best if you were planning to making this for a party.

All the photos in this post are of the deep fried version.

close-up photo of cauliflower bites

How to Air Fry the Cauliflower

Spray the fry basket of your air fryer with cooking oil spray to prevent cauliflower from sticking. Place cauliflower in a single layer into basket, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. You may need to cook the cauliflower in more than one batch.

Spray the surface of the cauliflower before closing your air fryer. Coating the outside in oil will help the breading crisp up and brown.

Set your air fryer to 375F. Cook for about 12 minutes or until crispy.

This method produces cauliflower almost as crispy as the deep fried version. It’s also healthier than deep frying and less messy. The only real downside is that the coating doesn’t brown as evenly. If I’m just making this for myself, I would use this method.

How to Bake the Cauliflower

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower pieces on baking sheet in a single layer, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. Spray surface of cauliflower with cooking oil spray. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower coating is crispy.

Crispy Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Bites

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Cauliflower bites are coated in a low carb keto breading. These can be baked, fried or cooked in an air fryer. The breading tastes just as good as flour or breadcrumb breading!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces (about 1/2 a large head of cauliflower)
  • cooking oil for frying

Egg Wash

  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

Breading

  • 1 cup superfine blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese use fresh and not shelf stable kind
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional if you like a little spice in your breading

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with heavy cream. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cheese, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

  3. Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon a small amount of breading onto your sheet pan (just enough to cover the bottom of a cauliflower bite).

  4. Dip a piece of cauliflower in the egg wash. After it is fully coated, shake it a few times, making sure to shake off any excess egg drippings back into the egg bowl before adding it to the breading. The reason for doing this is that you don't want the egg drippings going into the breading. The moisture will cause the breading to clump and they will no longer stick to the cauliflower.

  5. Place the cauliflower piece onto the small mound of bread crumbs, applying a little pressure so those breading sticks to the bottom of the cauliflower.

  6. Wipe your hand that was holding the cauliflower so that your hand is also dry before touching the breading. Spoon a small amount of breading over the cauliflower and then use your fingers to press the breading onto the cauliflower until it is fully coated. It is important to keep the breading in a separate bowl, to prevent it from getting wet.

  7. Carefully set the cauliflower aside onto a clean part of your baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

Deep Fry

  1. To deep fry the cauliflower, pour 1 1/2 inches of cooking oil into a pot. When the oil reaches 350F, add a few pieces of breaded cauliflower. You may need to stir the cauliflower a few times to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook a few minutes until a deep golden brown. Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

Air Fry

  1. Spray the basket of your air fryer with cooking oil spray to prevent cauliflower from sticking. Place cauliflower in a single layer into basket, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. You may need to split the cauliflower in more than one batch. Spray the surface of the cauliflower before closing your air fryer. Coating the outside in oil will help the breading crisp up and brown. Set your air fryer to 375F. Cook for about 12 minutes or until crispy.

Bake

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower pieces on baking sheet in a single layer, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. Spray surface of cauliflower with cooking oil spray. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower coating is crispy.

Notes:

  • The finely grated parmesan cheese should be the size of grains of sand.
  • You can grate with a cheese grater. Or you can take shredded parmesan cheese and place into a food processor and pulse until it becomes the size of grains of sand.
  • I don't recommend using the shelf-stable grated parmesan cheese.
  • For an even thicker, crunchier coating, you can double bread the cauliflower. I have provided tips and how to double bread in the post.
  • Deep frying the cauliflower will produce an even golden brown coating and the cauliflower will stay crispy longer. The photos in this post are of the deep fried version.
  • Air frying is also crispy but the breading will not brown as evenly.
  • Baking stays crispy the shortest amount of time and the breading doesn't brown as much.
  • Nutritional information does not include oil for frying or cooking oil spray. Nutrition facts assume all of the egg wash and breading is used, but in actuality, you will not use all the breading so the carb count is slightly less.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories 378 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 137mg46%
Sodium 451mg20%
Potassium 333mg10%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 590IU12%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 375mg38%
Iron 2.1mg12%
Net Carbs 7g14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

2 comments on “Crispy Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Bites”

  1. 5 stars
    Omg! Just made these and I am beyond happy with them! I used the deep fry method. I planned to share them but that didn’t happen as they were too good! Maybe the next time I make them I will share…. maybe. 

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