• Crispy gluten-free cauliflower nuggets with easy barbecue sauce (Loving Gluten Free)Source: Loving Gluten Free

Crispy cauliflower vegetarian nuggets served with a homemade BBQ sauce, perfect for entertaining and that won't have you missing chicken!






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (436 votes)


  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets 
  • coconut, avocado or macadamia oil or oil spray, for coating 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 100 g (1 cup) almond meal 
  • 2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 750 ml (3 cups) coconut cream 
  • 120 g (1 cup) arrowroot or tapioca flour 

Easy barbecue sauce

  • 3 tbsp hulled tahini 
  • 75 g tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder 
  • 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1½ tsp molasses 
  • 3 drops liquid smoke, or to taste (see note)
  • sea salt, to taste 
  • ½ tsp chilli powder, optional 
  • 3 tbsp filtered water, plus extra if needed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper. 

2. For the crumb, combine the almond meal, chilli powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and turmeric in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together the coconut cream and arrowroot or tapioca flour to make a thick batter. 

3. Working one at a time, dip a cauliflower floret briefly in the coconut cream batter to coat evenly, knock off any excess batter, then toss it in the almond meal mixture. Transfer to a prepared tray and repeat with the remaining florets. 

4. When all the florets are ready, drizzle or spray with a little oil. Bake for 15-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking and drizzling or re-spraying with oil if you wish, until golden brown and crisp. 

5. Meanwhile, for the barbecue sauce, blitz together all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender until really smooth. If the sauce is a little thick, add an extra splash of water.

6. Remove the crispy cauliflower nuggets from the oven and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside the barbecue sauce. 



• Liquid smoke can be found in specialty food stores and barbecue stores. It is made from hickory, applewood or mesquite wood that is burned inside a chamber. As the smoke rises it is captured in a condenser and this cooled liquid smoke is then collected and filtered. Adding very small amounts of it to recipes gives them a wonderful smoky flavour, but be warned, a little goes a long way - the difference between using a little bit of it and going overboard is the difference between a sunny barbecue and a face full of smoke as the wind shifts.


Catch Helen Tzouganatos whipping up lush gluten-free meals alongside guests in the brand new first series of Loving Gluten Free on SBS and SBS On Demand.