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Sweet, spicy, and crispy, Nashville Hot Cauliflower Bites are a healthy alternative to traditional Nashville hot chicken and wings with none of the guilt! This recipe is easy to make and insanely delicious! They are a savory and healthy bite-sized snack, appetizer, or side.

Nashville Hot Cauliflower Bites


These cauliflower bites have what I like to call sneaky heat. It’s not hot when you first taste them. However, it sneaks up on you seconds later and builds. That’s not a bad thing. Simply beware, and don’t add more red pepper and/or hot sauce until you sit with it for a hot minute. 😅 get it?

These Nashville Hot Cauliflower Bites are great served with tzatziki, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or any cool, creamy sauce or dressing. Currently, I’m obsessed with tzatziki. Therefore, I have included that recipe for you.

cauliflower recipe

What is Nashville Hot Sauce?

Nashville Hot Sauce is a regional hot sauce developed by Prince’s restaurant in Nashville, TN. It’s made with cayenne pepper, spices, and brown sugar. Originally, Nashville Hot Chicken referred to chicken fried with cayenne pepper in both the batter and the sauce that covered it after it was fried. The chicken was served on slices of white bread with dill pickles.

For this recipe, I kept the components of the original Nashville Hot Chicken but replaced the chicken with cauliflower. As well, I baked it instead of frying it for an overall healthier dish. It’s just as lip-smackin’ good as the original!

baked cauliflower

How to choose a good head of cauliflower

  1. Cauliflower should be firm and tightly closed.
  2. White cauliflower should be pale with no soft or mushy parts and no dark spots.
  3. The head of cauliflower will feel heavy for its size.
  4. Ideally, the cauliflower heads will have a few green leaves attached.
  5. Overall, the cauliflower head should look fresh and vibrant.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

I don’t recommend using frozen cauliflower. It’s mushy and just doesn’t result in a good final product.

 Hot Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients you’ll need for Nashville Hot Sauce


  • Seasonings. Salt,  garlic powder, paprika, black pepper
  • Hot sauce. Optional if you want it spicier.
  • Milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Corn starch


I covered the cauliflower florets with batter and baked them for 20 minutes. Next, I pulled them out and tossed them in the Nashville Hot Sauce, put them back in the oven, and baked them for another 5 minutes. Make note that the batter gets crispy. However, the Nashville Hot Sauce will not get crispy because of the liquid in it. If you want crispy cauliflower, I recommend serving this hot sauce as a dipping sauce and not coating the cauliflower with it.


  1. Cut your cauliflower in uniform sizes so that they cook at the same time.
  2. Pat the cauliflower dry after washing or allow enough time to air dry. The batter will adhere much better to dry cauliflower.
  3. I  highly recommend covering your sheet tray with foil or parchment paper for easier clean-up.
  4. Pierce the cauliflower with a fork to test for doneness. If they pierce easily, the cauliflower is cooked, if not allow it to cook another 5 minutes.
cauliflower recipe

You’ll enjoy these healthy cauliflower recipes too!

  1. Firecracker Salmon
  2. Scalloped Mascarpone Cauliflower
  3. Panko Baked Cauliflower Bites
  4. Baked Breaded Cauliflower Bites with Sriracha Peanut Butter Sauce
  5. Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
  6. Cheddar Bacon Cauliflower Casserole 
Cauliflower Bites


A healthy alternative to traditional Nashville hot chicken and wings with none of the guilt.
Author: Paula
5 from 36 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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  • ½ head cauliflower cut into florets (about 4 cups)

For the Batter

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • cup milk almond or soy milk for vegan
  • optional, add 1/ teaspoon hot sauce if you want it spicier

Nashville style hot chicken sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 and ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  • 5 ounces Greek yogurt plain, unflavored
  • ½ large cucumber cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 medium lemon zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon dry dill
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Line a sheet pan or baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure the pan is large enough that the cauliflower is spread in a single layer and not touching. Use two pan if necessary.

For the Batter

  • Whisk the salt, garlic, paprika, pepper, flour, baking powder, and cornstarch together.
  • Add the milk and whisk until combined.
  • Drop the cauliflower into the batter and stir to coat all the cauliflower.
  • Pour the cauliflower onto the parchment-lined sheet pan and spread it into a single layer. If there is any batter left in the bowl, pour it over the cauliflower.
  • Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes.

Nashville style hot chicken sauce

  • Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the Nashville hot sauce. That's the olive oil, hot sauce, agave, vinegar, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
  • THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS FOR THE HOT SAUCE. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss in the Nashville hot sauce. Return to the oven for 5 minutes
    If you want the cauliflower to stay super crispy, leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes, then serve the Nashville Hot Sauce as a dipping sauce, and don't pour it over the cauliflower bites.


  • You can make the Tzatziki sauce 2 to 3 hours in advance and refrigerate it.
  • Squeeze most of the juice out of the cucumber before mixing it with the remaining ingredients.
  • Combine all ingredients for the Tzatziki sauce into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer sauce into a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 641mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Oh, I love Nashville Hot Chicken so I know I’ll love these cauliflower bites, too! I’ll definitely be making these soon!

5 from 36 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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