These cauliflower fritters are super simple to make, versatile, and packed with fiber and plant-based protein. Perfect for serving as bite-sized fritters, medium patties, or large cauliflower burgers. Plus, they’re gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, low-fat, and can be pan-fried, baked, or air fried!
Gluten-free Vegan Cauliflower Fritters or Burgers
When it comes to vegetable fritters recipes, I’m obsessed! Along with hearty chickpea broccoli fritters, zucchini vegetable fritters, red lentil patties, and stuffed potato cakes, I adore these simple cauliflower fritters/ patties.
With a combination of chickpeas and cauliflower, these vegan fritters are packed with fiber and plant-based protein. The addition of flax seed also adds heart-healthy omega-fatty acids.
In fact, I love their versatility; change up the size from bite-sized fritters to large cauliflower patties, experiment with adding veggies and swapping out spices, etc., there’s plenty of space for experimentation with this cauliflower fritters recipe!
Even better, these fritters come together in minutes (boil the cauliflower, mash the ingredients, shape, and cook!), are meal prep friendly, and can be cooked in a skillet, the oven, or an air fryer. Once prepared, they are tender in the middle with a wonderfully crispy shell and can be enjoyed as a snack, side dish, or main!
Best of all, these vegan fritters are child-friendly and perfect for encouraging the entire family to eat more veggies. You might also enjoy these air fryer zucchini chips, eggplant pizza bites, buffalo cauliflower wings, or yuca fries!
This cauliflower fritters recipe contains just 9 pantry-friendly ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
- Cauliflower: I recommend using organic cauliflower when possible.
- Chickpeas: I used canned chickpeas, but white beans would also work. Use reduced-sodium beans if preferred, or even cook your own.
- Garlic: I prefer fresh garlic (adjust the amount to taste). Use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Parsley: Instead of fresh parsley, use other fresh herbs like scallions, chives, or cilantro.
- Oil: Use any neutral oil for pan-frying the cauliflower patties. I like to use coconut oil, but avocado oil or a light olive oil also works well.
- Chickpea flour: Also called gram flour. This is naturally gluten-free and packed with plant-based protein. Oat flour should also work, or even regular all-purpose flour (if you eat gluten).
- Ground flax seeds: Will help to bind the vegan cauliflower fritters. Ground chia seeds will also work.
- Spices: I used a simple combination of onion powder, cumin, and salt & black pepper.
- Vegan cheese: Add dairy-free cheese to the cauliflower cakes for even tastier patties. Nutritional yeast would also work to boost the cheesy, umami flavor.
- Other spices: There are several options for building depth of flavor in these cauliflower patties. You could also substitute the seasonings for other ones (like curry powder).
- Smoked paprika
- Red pepper flakes OR cayenne pepper
- Cinnamon (just a pinch)
You can experiment with combining all the above spices or just one or two to taste. The warming Middle Eastern spices really add something special to the cauliflower fritters.
- Vegetables: For heartier and more nutritionally dense cauliflower chickpea bites, you could mix in additional veggies, like
- Shredded kale or spinach
- Grated carrot
- Grated zucchini (excess liquid squeezed out)
- Bell pepper (finely chopped)
- Quinoa: A small amount of cooked quinoa will add extra protein and fiber and create heartier cauliflower burger patties.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How to Make Cauliflower Fritters?
Follow six simple steps to prepare this cauliflower patties recipe (check FAQs for alternative cooking methods).
- First, separate/chop the cauliflower into even-sized cauliflower florets and boil them in salted water until tender.
- Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.
- Pulse the wet ingredients (except the oil) in a food processor until well combined but still containing some texture (it shouldn’t be paste-like).
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix with your hands.
- Divide the batter into 8-10 patties, then fry them in a large skillet preheated with oil over medium heat.
Or make them smaller (like bite-sized pieces) or larger to your preference.
- Fry for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
How to Store?
Make ahead: You can form the fritters and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day, OR freeze them for 3 months.
Store: These cauliflower fritters are the crispiest straight from the pan/oven/air fryer. However, you can store any leftovers (fully cooled) in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Freeze: Allow them to cool and then flash freeze on a tray (not touching). Once solid, transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: For the crispiest results, reheat the cauliflower cakes in a skillet with a small amount of oil/cooking spray. You can also reheat them in an oven/ air fryer. A microwave is fine, but won’t be crispy at all.
Depending on the size you make them, you can enjoy these chickpea and cauliflower cakes as an appetizer, snack, or main. Here are a few pairings I enjoy.
- With a dipping sauce: I love to serve them with creamy sauces like vegan sour cream, tzatziki, Ranch, tahini dressing, lime yogurt sauce, etc. However, ketchup would also work.
- In a burger: I love making cauliflower burgers topped with all your favorite toppings. I.e., lettuce, tomato, avocado, pickles, red onions, vegan cheese, etc.
- In salad bowls: Enjoy these cauliflower patties with all sorts of salad bowls, buddha bowls, and platters.
- As a pita sandwich: You can enjoy bite-sized fritters in place of falafels in a pita with salad veggies and a creamy garlic sauce.
Can I use frozen cauliflower?
Fresh or frozen cauliflower will work, as we’re boiling the florets before using them. If the frozen cauliflower is wetter, add a little more flour to the patty mixture. You could also use cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen, cooked).
Can I make cauliflower fritters without a food processor?
Technically, you could use a potato masher or similar tool to break down the cauliflower and chickpeas. However, make sure to mince the garlic well. They will be ‘chunkier’ in texture, but should still work fine.
Can you bake the patties?
You could try baking the cauliflower burgers/ fritters at 360 °F/180 °C for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway. They should be golden brown when ready, but won’t be as crispy. For extra crispiness, broil them at the end of the baking time.
Can I air fry the cauliflower patties?
I haven’t tried with this recipe, though I’ve had success with other vegetable fritters recipes. I recommend spraying your basket with a little cooking spray and spreading the nuggets/fritters/patties in a single layer, with space between each one. Air fry them at 380 °F/190 °C for about 18 minutes.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- For even-sized fritters: Weigh the cauliflower chickpea mixture and divide it by weight.
- For stuffed patties: I like to make cheese-stuffed cauliflower patties by shaping and flattening half of a patty, adding the vegan cheese to the middle, then topping it with the remaining half of the patty and using my hands to seal the edges.
- Don’t over-process the mixture: The cauliflower should have a ‘riced’ consistency, with the chickpeas still holding some shape. Avoid processing it into a paste.
- If the mixture is too dry or wet: If it’s too dry, add a little of the chickpea liquid (from the can) to help bind the cauliflower fritters. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
More Vegan Cauliflower Recipes
- Creamy roasted cauliflower soup
- Curried cauliflower casserole
- Air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings
- Roasted cauliflower steaks
- Kung pao cauliflower
- Vegan alfredo sauce
If you try this vegan cauliflower fritters recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Cauliflower Patties Recipe
- Cook the cauliflower florets in salted water until tender (about 10-15 minutes), then discard the water.
- Meanwhile, combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
- Pulse all the wet ingredients (except the oil) in a food processor until combined (don't over-process, though. There should still be texture, not a paste).
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and combine with your hands.
- Form 8-10 patties and fry them with a little oil in a large skillet on both sides (about 5 minutes each) until golden brown.
- Flour: Oat flour should also work, or even regular all-purpose flour (if you eat gluten).
- If the mixture is too dry or wet: If it's too dry, add a little of the chickpea liquid (from the can) to help bind the cauliflower fritters. If it's too wet, add a little more flour.
- You can optionally add a little grated vegan cheese and some chopped veggies to the batter to make the patties even tastier.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically