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A white plate full of Kung Pao Cauliflower against a white background.

Kung Pao Cauliflower

Kung Pao Cauliflower is a quick meatless dinner option that is packed with flavor! The cauliflower is bathed in a saucy soy sauce/sesame/ginger based sauce then tossed with chiles that add some subtle heat. Add roasted peanuts and green onions overtop for some crunch and you've just made one of the best meals ever! By the way, this is a sheet-pan meal, so clean up is a breeze!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 409kcal



  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets (5-6 cups worth, see notes).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 8 chiles de arbol (these are the dried chiles)
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts chopped
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • cooked rice for serving


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  • Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper overtop and toss to coat. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sherry vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, and ginger.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Add the chiles to the baking sheet and pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower into an even layer and roast for another 15-20 minutes, tossing the cauliflower every 8 minutes or so. The sauce will thicken as it bakes and then cools. 
  • Remove from the oven and add the peanuts and green onions. Serve over cooked rice. 


Depending on the size of cauliflower you buy, you may need 2 small cauliflower heads. You don’t want to use TOO much cauliflower because you want the sauce to cover all of the florets!


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1006mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg