Crispy Cauliflower Cheese Bites

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Cheesy Cauliflower Bites are a snack sized, craveable surprise! They’re crunchy on the outside but ooey gooey on the inside, and absolutely bursting with flavor. 

cheesy baked cauliflower bites on plate with marinara for dipping

These scrumptious cheesy cauliflower fritters get their flavor from Italian herbs and spices, bits of crispy garlic and a kick of spicy heat.

The bread crumbs bring the crunch in full force! This much deliciousness can be served as a healthy appetizer, snack, or even a meal in itself!!

Fritters are such a fantastic low-effort meal. You can throw in all sorts of leftovers and ingredients you have rolling around in your refrigerator for snack-sized, flavor-packed bites! 

Baked cauliflower fritters are even better. Why, you may ask? Well, because they don’t need to sit and fry in a whole lot of oil to get a crunchy crust!

Baking is healthier — not to mention easy to prepare and clean up!

measured ingredients for cheesy cauliflower bites

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

These easy fritters are a modern Italian-inspired delight! There’s nothing like mozzarella cheese, oregano, garlic, and parsley to add wholesome, comforting flavors to your home cooked meals.

I just love using cauliflower. It’s healthy, takes on seasonings so well, and plays well with so many other ingredients.

Enjoy on its own crisped up in the air fryer, or alongside potatoes in this satisfying mash!

mixed ingredients for cheesy cauliflower bites in glass bowl

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cauliflower – Super versatile, super tasty, and super healthy! You can buy the premade cauliflower rice packs. Frozen is a-okay!

    Just be sure to let them thaw completely and be sure to squeeze out all of the water.
  • Mozzarella Cheese – For ooey gooey goodness! This cheese is my go-to, but sprinkling in some parmesan or Pepper Jack adds more dimension and layers of flavor.
  • Bread Crumbs – Italian style crumbs are awesome because the seasonings are built in!

    Of course, any bread crumb will do, but you might want to compensate with an extra sprinkling of garlic powder, pepper, and the other herbs we use in this recipe.
  • Oregano, Red Chili Flakes, and Parsley – Fresh herbs are usually a great substitute, but go ahead and use dried ones this time! Extra moisture can make cauliflower rice fritters fall apart.
scooped cauliflower bites in sheet pan

Tips for Perfectly Baked Cauliflower Fritters

Use a muffin tin.

A lot of people make fritters in muffin tins. You don’t need to measure them, and they pop right out.

If you do this, then be sure to generously spray the tin with cooking oil to keep these puppies from sticking. An even better idea is to use a silicone pan!

Get creative with fillings.

Cheesy cauliflower bites are crazy customizable. Try dicing up some broccoli or zucchini for some more veggie goodness.

You can also add diced pepperoni, sausage, or bacon if you’d like to throw in some protein!

Be sure to chill the batter.

Fritters hold together much better if the ingredients are cold. If you have the time, let the mixture sit in the fridge for an hour or so before forming the cauliflower bites!

cheesy cauliflower bites on plate with dipping sauce

Storing and Reheating Cauliflower Bites

The batter keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. If possible, only make as many fritters as you’re going to eat at one time, and store the rest of the batter in the fridge for later.

Baked foods are never as crisp as when they’re fresh out of the oven, so I really recommend enjoying these right away! 

If you manage to have leftovers, you can reheat cheesy cauliflower bites in the air fryer to get them nice and crispy again. 

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites FAQ

Why are my baked cauliflower bites falling apart?

You may be using too much batter, or it could also be that your cauliflower is still a bit wet.

To prevent this from happening again, you can salt it after grating, then set it aside for a while to allow more of the moisture to seep out. 

What sauces go well with cauliflower?

Go straight up Italiano with some marinara sauce on the side! The tomato flavor pairs really well with the flavors in crispy cauliflower fritters.

I also swear by alfredo sauce (for extra cheesiness) or roasted tomato sauce! Even basic ketchup makes a great dipping sauce!

Can I pan fry them instead of baking?

You can, but I prefer not to. I think baking is easier and less messy. Plus, you don’t use as much oil.

If you’d like to, you can make flat, pancake-like fritters, rather than balls. Then, pan fry them for 5 minutes or so per side.

close up of cheesy cauliflower bites

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cheesy cauliflower bites dipped in marinara

Other Easy Healthy Recipes

cheesy baked cauliflower bites with marinara

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

Donna Elick
Cheesy Cauliflower Bites are a crispy, cheesy and healthy snack! This baked cauliflower fritters recipe takes just 45 minutes to make!
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 small head cauliflower, (10 ounces)
  • 3 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

Instructions
 

  • Cut cauliflower into small florets and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the water; use a paper towel to pat the florets dry.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Use a food processor or box grater to finely grate the mozzarella and cauliflower.
  • Add grated mixture to a large mixing bowl; add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. If you feel the mixture is a little sticky, add more breadcrumbs to adjust the consistency.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a scoop or your hands to shape similar-sized balls from the mixture, then transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 192cal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 890mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
cheesy baked cauliflower bites dipped in marinara

Originally published July 2022

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4 Comments

    1. Hi A,
      The recipe is located at the bottom of this post if you scroll down. Hope this helps.
      TSRI team member,
      Holli

    1. Hello K. The recipe makes 4 servings, so the serving size is roughly 1/4 head of cauliflower, or the total number of bites, divided by 4. Hope this helps!

      TSRI Team member,
      Becca

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