Last updated on October 10th, 2019.
This recipe for Crispy Pan Fried Cauliflower Florets is a family favorite, and one of the best ways to eat cauliflower! These bite-sized florets make a great snack or side dish.
My mom made this cauliflower recipe often when we were growing up. I am excited to share with you our family recipe!
I remember waiting impatiently in the kitchen as she was finishing cooking the cauliflower, so that we can sit down with freshly made, delicious, crispy pan fried cauliflower florets.
The funny thing is that nowadays Aldo is the one hanging around the kitchen, impatiently waiting for me to finish cooking this cauliflower so that he can grab a bite.
This recipe is super simple and delicious. If you like cauliflower, then this recipe is perfect. The flavor of the cauliflower really comes through because the cauliflower is not drenched with heavy batter. Just a light, crisp dusting of flour.
By the way, if you want to see all my cauliflower recipes, you can find them in one place here: Cauliflower Recipes
How to make crispy pan fried cauliflower:
This recipe is very quick to prepare. You’ll start by boiling or steaming the cauliflower so that it is cooked to your liking. If you decide to boil the cauliflower, 7-10 minutes is all it takes, depending on how cooked you like your vegetables.
Here’s a quick tip: you can boil the cauliflower in advance, rinse it under cool water to stop the cooking, and set it aside until almost ready to eat. Then it only takes only 20 minutes to pan fry the cauliflower.
After rinsing the cauliflower in cool water to stop the cooking, chop it up roughly into florets. The more flat sides it has, the easier it will be to fry.
The next step is to dip the cauliflower into the egg mixture and then dredge it in the flour mixture.
It won’t be perfect, and that’s okay.
After that, just heat the oil in a large skillet and fry for 3-5 minutes per side, until the cauliflower turns golden brown on each side.
How to serve this pan fried cauliflower:
This cauliflower tastes best fresh – it is crispy, warm, tender, and oh so good. You can dip it into your favorite dressing – Ranch works great. Or try it with this Lemony Zesty Yogurt Dip from my other cauliflower recipe. Or just serve it with dinner next to your favorite chicken or fish recipe.
There have been times I actually sat down and ate half of the cauliflower for dinner – it is so good, and once you start you really don’t want to stop.
It’s actually a pretty balanced dish. The cauliflower, eggs, and flour make a very well rounded snack.
And since this cauliflower is pan fried and not deep fried, it is not loaded with fat.
Here is a recipe video for how to fry cauliflower florets!
Pan Fried Cauliflower Florets
- 1 small cauliflower
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk (any kind, I used 1%)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- optional: pinch of powdered cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
- Boil or steam the whole cauliflower (do not separate it into florets yet) to your desired doneness - I prefer mine fork-tender and boil it for 7-10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and allow to cool. Separate the cauliflower into florets, cut the larger florets in half.
- Prepare 2 small containers for the batter. In one, whisk together the eggs and milk. In the other, mix together the flour, salt, and black pepper. If you want, add some spice with a pinch of cayenne or chipotle powder.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg mixture (really mix it around in there), and then dip it into the flour mixture, making sure to coat each side in a light layer of flour. Set aside until ready to fry.
- Pan fry the battered cauliflower in batches: heat about 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and make sure the oil thinly coats the bottom of the skillet. You might need more or less oil, depending on the size of the skillet. Place the cauliflower pieces flat-side down into the hot oil (if there is a flat side), and fry without disturbing them for about 3 minutes, or until the underside is a nice golden brown. I was able to get 8-10 pieces in a large skillet at a time without crowding the cauliflower.
- Use tongs to gently flip each cauliflower piece, and cook until the other side is nicely browned. The cauliflower florets are obviously not flat on each side, so try to cook each floret on at least three sides. The heat of the skillet will cook all the delicious batter that is inside the cauliflower floret.
- Set the cooked cauliflower florets on a paper towel while you finish cooking. Serve warm, and dip into sour cream or this Greek yogurt sauce.