Cauliflower Fritters with Garlic Dill Aioli - an easy, healthy cauliflower pancake recipe that works for breakfast, brunch, as a side dish, or afternoon snack. You're going to LOVE this new way to eat cauliflower!
Have you jumped onto this whole EVERYTHING CAULIFLOWER train yet? You know, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower "mashed potatoes," cauliflower tots, cauliflower grits, cauliflower ice cream... just kidding about that one. Although I bet it exists?? (Edited to add: cauliflower ice cream DOES exist! Craziness, right?)
It's OK if you haven't jumped onto the cauliflower bandwagon. I would like to say that I haven't either because I've been making cauliflower everything since before it was trendy, but I guess you won't believe me, since I have roasted cauliflower, cauliflower tots and cauliflower grits recipes on my blog. (By the way, if you want to see all my cauliflower recipes, you can find them in one place here: Cauliflower Recipes)
But back to these cauliflower fritters:
They are awesome because they are healthy, delicious, and pretty easy to make. You can seriously eat a half dozen of these easily. They are super addicting with a drizzle of the garlic dill aioli on top, or if you're feeling lazy with good old ranch dressing or sour cream. And it's okay to eat a bunch of them in one sitting because you are eating vegetables!
By the way, if you're looking for other easy veggie fritters and tots recipes, try these three:
How to make cauliflower fritters:
To start, you'll need cauliflower rice. The recipe below walks you through a few options for making cooked cauliflower rice, whether you're starting with a whole head of cauliflower or taking a shortcut and buying riced cauliflower at the store.
Then you mix the cauliflower rice with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. The amount of flour will vary depending on how much water is in your cauliflower . Start with 3/4 cups flour, and if the batter is too drippy and goopy, stir in another 1/4 cup. It will still be very wet and sticky (see image above) but don't worry, it will all work out when it cooks. If you want, make a test fritter in the skillet, and if it falls apart after it cooks then you know you need more flour. These cauliflower pancakes should hold together nicely after they are cooked:
To form these cauliflower pancakes, plop down about 1/4 cup of the batter into a hot skillet to make the fritters. No need to get messy and form them by hand. The easiest way to do this is to use an ice cream scoop with a squeeze-release mechanism (such as this one), but you can also use a 1/4 cup measure and a spoon to scoop the batter right into that skillet. Just listen to that sizzle as they cook and get crispy!
While the cauliflower fritters are cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the Garlic Dill Aioli. It is such a tasty, zesty flavorful sauce that goes so well with these fritters, but is also great on roasted vegetables or my cheesy cauliflower tots.
I realize it's not a totally authentic aioli, but it is absolutely delicious. If you're trying to eat a little healthier or if you are anti-mayo, swap out the mayo for plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. You can also use lime or lemon juice or any fresh herbs for this sauce. Just don't skip the garlic!
The aioli will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in a closed container. If you use sour cream or yogurt, just give it a stir if it separates in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat leftover cauliflower fritters:
I wouldn't recommend reheating these in a microwave because they will lose their crispiness. Instead, reheat these in a skillet with a few drops of oil, or put them on an oil-sprayed baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes at 350F.
What you'll need for this cauliflower pancakes recipe:
Aside from the obvious such as the ingredients, here are a few tips for what you will need:
- Get fresh herbs if you can. I recommend dill, but any fresh herb would work well here.
- Use fresh lemon or lime juice for the aioli, it tastes so much fresher than the stuff out of the bottle! This citrus squeezer rocks.
- Use garlic powder for the cauliflower fritters batter because it will get dispersed in the batter better (say THAT 10 times fast!), but use fresh minced or grated garlic for the aioli sauce for maximum flavor. This zester or this garlic press makes it super easy to use fresh garlic without having to spend time mincing it with a knife. I've had both of these for YEARS and they are still going strong.
- You'll need a large non-stick skillet. I am in LOVE with my new non-stick ceramic skillet. It's such an awesome upgrade over my old skillet and it's an absolute joy to cook with. A 12 inch skillet can fit 5-6 of these fritters without crowding them, and they are super easy to flip in a non-stick skillet.
- A 1/4 cup ice cream scoop with a release trigger (such as this simple one) is the easiest way to form these pancakes. Just release the batter into the skillet and flatten it into a round pancake shape. No need to get messy and get your hands involved. I use this thing in my kitchen ALL THE TIME for making pancakes and fritters, I don't think I've ever actually used it as an ice cream scoop!
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Cauliflower Fritters with Garlic Dill Aioli
Garlic Dill Aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt instead)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1 large garlic clove , finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill , finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
- Make riced cauliflower by grating the cauliflower or pulsing it in a food processor several times. If using a food processor, you might need to do this in a few batches. You will need about 5 cups of riced cauliflower for this recipe. It is OK if you only have 4 cups or have a little more than 5 cups.
- Pre-cook the riced cauliflower: (This step is optional, but will give the cauliflower fritters a nicer texture and will help them stay together.) Place the cauliflower into a large microwaveable bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, just so the cauliflower softens a bit. It will reduce in volume to about 4 cups. Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket for 3-5 minutes.
- While the riced cauliflower rice is cooking, prepare the Garlic Dill Aioli: combine all the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine the pre-cooked riced cauliflower, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder, and 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs. Mix well. If the mixture seems too wet, add another 1/4 cup flour and mix well. It is OK if the mixture is wet
- In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scoop 1/4 cup of the cauliflower fritter mixture into the skillet and press down to form a round fritter (this is easiest to do with an ice cream scoop with a squeeze-release mechanism). Add 5-6 fritters to the skillet (do not crowd them!) and cook for 3-5 minutes per side over medium/high heat. Flip each fritter, and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the extra oil. Add more oil and repeat this step until all the cauliflower fritters are cooked.
- Serve warm with garlic dill aioli.
- If you are starting with cauliflower rice instead of a whole head of cauliflower, microwave the cauliflower rice for 2-3 minutes, so that it softens a little.
- You can use lemon or lime juice for the aioli.
- You can try different herbs instead of just dill for this recipe, both in the cauliflower fritters and the aioli.