Cauliflower Ranch-Parmesan Baked Bites
This recipe is amazingly delicious, easy and so versatile that you can pretty much use any flavor that you want or desire. After testing several different coatings or flavors, my family liked this one the best. I don’t know, maybe because they love ranch, or because they love the taste of parmesan-herb breadcrumbs.
I hope you all like this one because my family ate a whole head of cauliflower before you could count to 20. I actually made about 3 heads of cauliflower, and I must say that I am a bit proud to say that every bit of it was eaten.
CAULIFLOWER RANCH-PARMESAN BAKED BITES
Simple and delicious side dish, snack or appetizer.
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets (about 1 to 1 1/2 lb)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Chili Flakes
- Drizzle Olive Oil
- 1 cup Ranch Dressing vegan or non-vegan
- 1 cup Parmesan with Herbs panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Wash and separate cauliflower into bite-size florets. It's ok if some are smaller and some bigger. Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl.
Add a teaspoon of salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes, toss and drizzle with olive oil, toss again.
Pour over ranch dressing and toss it very well so the cauliflower florets could get coated completely.
In a separate bowl, add breadcrumbs. READ NOTES*
Working in batches, dip the cauliflower florets into the breadcrumbs, making sure that each piece gets completely coated. Place the coated pieces onto the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
I tested this several times with different flavors, so what I would like to suggest is do not put bread crumbs over the cauliflower, right after you mixed ranch or any other sauce that you'd like to use it. Instead, dip each cauliflower floret in the breadcrumbs and try to coat it well before baking. If you add all the breadcrumbs on top of ranch coated cauliflower, then the breadcrumbs going to separate completely.
You can prepare cauliflower florets ahead, and before baking just coat them with breadcrumbs.
You could toast breadcrumbs before dipping the cauliflower florets in just by adding a bit of olive oil in the pan and heating it, then toasting breadcrumbs just for 20-30 seconds, take it off on the paper towel before they get a deeper color. You don't want to burn it, just lightly toast. This brings even deeper flavor and amazingly crunchy cauliflower. I did not do that for this recipe, but I have done it in the past.