General Tso’s Cauliflower

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Bowls of General Tso's Cauliflower and chili garlic sauce

We shared a recipe for General Tso’s tofu stir-fry years ago and it’s become a fan-favorite. We wanted to try our hands at a cauliflower version and — spoiler alert — it worked extremely well!

Cauliflower florets are tossed in a spicy, gingery sauce then baked until crispy in the oven. Perfect for enjoying as a snack or side or serving with grains and veggies for a flavorful meal. Just 10 ingredients required and naturally vegan and gluten-free. Let us show you how it’s done!

Garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, avocado oil, tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, ginger, cornstarch, and cauliflower

Origins of General Tso’s Cauliflower

General Tso’s cauliflower is a plant-based adaptation of General Tso’s chicken, which is believed to have been created around the 1950s by a chef named Peng Chang-kuei. He was born in the Hunan province of China and later moved to Taiwan and cooked there.

Chef Pang claims the dish was inspired by flavors of Hunanese cuisine and named after a Hunanese general. Later, when he moved to New York and opened his first restaurant, he adapted it to cater to his new audience, and the dish quickly spread in popularity.

How to Make General Tso’s Cauliflower

This recipe starts with tossing chopped cauliflower with avocado oil and cornstarch for a crispy coating (the same method we like using for crispy tofu). A generous amount of salt adds flavor and helps draw out some of the moisture for crispy, caramelized edges.

Baking sheet of roasted cauliflower with a crispy coating

Next, we whisk up the ultra flavorful, gingery, spicy, 6-ingredient sauce. Tamari (or coconut aminos) creates the savory base, chili garlic sauce and optional red pepper flakes provide heat, maple syrup balances and adds sweetness, and garlic and ginger add additional spiciness and zing.

Making General Tso's sauce

Then we toss the roasted cauliflower in the sauce to coat it with all the goodness. You just may turn cauliflower haters into willing cauliflower eaters with this one!

Stirring roasted broccoli with General Tso's sauce

Then it goes back into the oven to allow the sauce to soak into and become one with the cauliflower. If you couldn’t see it, you might not even know it was cauliflower at this point.

Baking sheet of General Tsos's Cauliflower with a bowl of chili garlic sauce

We hope you LOVE this General Tso’s cauliflower! It’s:

Lightly crispy
& Satisfying!

It’s perfect for enjoying as a snack or side or as a meal served with grains and veggies (steamed broccoli, carrots, and snap peas would be especially delicious). It would also pair well with our Fresh Tofu Salad Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce, Quick Pickled Carrots, or Almond Butter Tofu Stir-Fry.

More Cauliflower Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Chopsticks resting on a bowl of General Tso's Cauliflower with grains and veggies

General Tso’s Cauliflower

Cauliflower florets baked with a spicy, General Tso’s-inspired sauce to crispy perfection. Gluten-free, plant-based, and just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of General Tso's Cauliflower with rice and broccoli
4.93 from 27 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 (side servings)
Course Entrée, Side
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3 Days



  • 8 cups chopped cauliflower, bite-sized florets (1 medium-large head cauliflower as recipe is written)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub in a mix of chili garlic sauce and maple syrup)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt*
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch*


  • 2-3 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbsp tamari (or 1/4 cup or 60 ml coconut aminos)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for more heat)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and get out 2 large baking sheets (use more baking sheets or work in batches if making a larger batch). Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or foil (parchment paper typically isn’t safe at high temperatures). If using foil, lightly grease with additional oil to prevent sticking.
  • Wash cauliflower and pat dry. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil and salt to coat. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss again to coat. Arrange the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet(s) in a single layer, allowing space between the florets to encourage crispiness. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly browned and slightly crispy on the edges. Wipe the bowl clean for later use.
  • Prepare the sauce in the same large mixing bowl. Whisk together the chili garlic sauce, tamari, maple syrup, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes (optional). Taste test and adjust as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce or red pepper flakes for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, or garlic or ginger for zing. We used the full amount of chili garlic sauce.
  • When the cauliflower is lightly browned, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Then transfer it to the mixing bowl of sauce and toss to coat thoroughly.
  • Spread the cauliflower out on the baking sheet again and reserve any extra marinade for serving. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until sizzling, golden brown on the edges, and tender (but not mushy).
  • Optionally, serve the cauliflower with rice or quinoa and steamed veggies, and garnish with green onion, sesame seeds, and any leftover marinade.
  • Best when fresh. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container up to 3 days and reheated in a 350°F (176 C) oven until warmed through. Not freezer friendly.



*To reduce sodium content, you can use low sodium tamari and/or reduce sea salt by up to half.
*If avoiding corn, you can omit cornstarch and it will still be flavorful, but it won’t be crispy.
*Adapted from our General Tso’s Tofu and Korean-Style Cauliflower Wings.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 side serving Calories: 151 Carbohydrates: 21.8 g Protein: 5.2 g Fat: 5.7 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1291 mg Potassium: 641 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 6.9 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 92 mg Calcium: 55 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Chris says

    Can I give it 7 stars? This recipe was super delicious. I thought it would be good, but it was irresistibly yummy. My changes: I was in a hurry so cooled on the convection roast setting at 425F and it took about half the time. I didn’t have any scallions, but imagine that it would be even more delish with some thinly sliced scallions. Next time!

    We ate this with some grilled chicken skewers that have a similar sauce . I abandoned the chicken in favor of the cauli, as did my husband.

    We love this and will make it many more times. Easier than chicken, too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Chris! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  2. May says

    We really liked this cauliflower side dish. I used arrowroot for cornstarch, and substituted honey for maple syrup. I did end up using a tad more honey. Can’t wait to try this recipe with broccoli!

  3. SM says

    I followed recipe almost exactly (swapped in soy as I didn’t have tamari). But it did not crisp up. The edges browned for sure, but definitely no crisp. :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as you were hoping! It’s normal for it to be lightly crispy, just on the outside and edges. It won’t be like deep fried cauliflower, which would be more crispy. You could try air frying for more crispiness!

  4. Danielle says

    Really tasty! I ended up adding tofu, which also turned out well. I added the chili garlic sauce separately so our toddler could enjoy it as well. I added it to brown rice and topped with cilantro and sesame seeds. I’ll definitely make this again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Danielle!

  5. Emily says

    I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made a ton of MB recipes and this one is easily in my top 3 favorites. So easy to make, simple ingredients, and tastes incredible! I added some air fried tofu for a little extra protein and served it with roasted broccoli and quinoa. Perfection. This is definitely going to be on regular rotation for dinner in my house!! Thank you so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad to hear it, Emily. That meal sounds incredible! Thank you for sharing! xo

  6. Jen says

    This was so good! Question though, the cauliflower is perfectly crispy before adding the sauce and no matter what i do it seems to get soggy once I bake again with the sauce. Should i just coat in sauce and not bake again?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jen! Hmm, we aren’t sure how it would turn out without baking again, but it might work. Or maybe try broiling at the end (watching closely to avoid burning)? Hope that helps!

  7. Coby says

    Deliciously spicy and garlicky! I love cauliflower in pretty much any form, and I love chili garlic sauce, so this recipe hit the spot. Even my husband, who gives all my veggie and vegan dishes major side-eye, took a bite and said, “This is the best way to eat cauliflower,” and proceeded to eat all the rest of it! This is definitely going in my rotation.

  8. Kelly says

    I LOVE this recipe!! I’ve made it about 6 times and it’s PERFECTION!! Maybe my fav MB recipe! Thank you!! P.s. I always make it when I’m dating someone I like and it impresses them every time ;) just sayin! Good if you have company over!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha, that’s brilliant, Kelly! We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe! Thank you for sharing! xo

  9. Margaret says

    I substituted arrowroot for the corn starch and it worked perfectly well. I used the three tsps. of chili garlic sauce and double the rest of the sauce ingredients and I found it a bit spicy, but I have become more sensitive to spice. My husband enjoyed it too. Will definitely make again with less garlic chili sauce. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Margaret! We’re glad you both enjoyed it overall! xo

  10. Morgan says

    This has become a go-to recipe for our family! We’ve made this at least a dozen times so far without modifications and love it!! Perfectly spicy, nice texture. We tend to double the recipe without issues!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you and your family enjoy it, Morgan! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  11. Diane Vigilante says

    This was phenomenal and my kids devoured it! Made it with the suggested coconut rice and my garlic lemon green beans. Who says veggie dishes are bland?! It was a crowd pleaser. Be sure to follow directions of spacing out cauliflower or it can get soggy instead of crispy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Diane, we’re so glad you all enjoyed!

  12. Alex says

    So so good!! Put the cauliflower in some fresh spring rolls with other veg, dipped in the spicy “Thai” peanut sauce, would definitely recommend!

  13. Jeff says

    This is the BOMB!!! Do they still say that? Anyway I made this tonight and the whole family loved it. I cook mine in a convection oven. The texture and the flavors are perfect. You should start a recipe blog!!! LOL!!!

    • Jeff says

      I did only use half of the garlic chili sauce and no extra red pepper flakes. Just the right amount of heat for me and my crew.

  14. Isabella says

    Hi Minimalist Baker, will this recipe still work without the rice vinegar? Or is there a substitute?


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Isabella, it’s pretty key for balance, but perhaps lime juice or another vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar) would work. Let us know if you try it!

  15. DJ says

    My carnivore husband liked it so much he went for seconds. We liked the sauce so much that next time I will double it to drizzle over rice. The tofu prepared this way gives it the consistency of meat and the flavors pack a punch.

  16. Stac says

    This is one of the best cauliflower recipes I’ve ever made. Didn’t change a thing. My kid doesn’t ordinarily like cauliflower but if I mince his portion and mix it in with the rice he loves it. Goes great with fresh summer rolls or a simple side of steamed/sauteed kale or broccoli. Highly recommend it.

  17. Valentina says

    This recipe was absolutely delicious!! The only thing I did differently was use soy sauce in place of tamari/aminos and it worked great. We ate it with green beans, edamame, and rice. I was impressed by how crispy it came out.

  18. Danielle says

    Absolutely loved this! Made it for dinner tonight and was blown away by the flavour!

    Thank you so much, your recipes make eating healthy and plant based so much easier by not missing out on deliciousness.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad to hear it, Danielle. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  19. Nicole says

    I’ve made this three times already and it’s officially my new favorite way to eat cauliflower. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Nicole. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

    • sarah says

      I’ve made this 3 times and agree – easy and delicious. Using 3 tsp chili garlic sauce is the right heat to sweet ratio for us. Only had leftovers once and they were great cold as an appetizer the next day!

  20. Patricia says

    Made this last night and it was a hit. My non vegetarian partner loved it, so will definitely be another of your go to recipes in our home. So easy and quick, despite having to bake the cauliflower twice. I used soy sauce as had run out of tamari, so it was a little too salty, but I hadn’t read your notes, so my mistake. Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Patricia! Thank you as always for sharing! xo

  21. Kira says

    I am a HUGE fan of the general tso’s tofu recipe on this site – a staple recipe that I have made over and over again. So when I saw this I was excited to try another version. It is delicious but I think I would still turn to the tofu version. This is a great option though for those that don’t like tofu/have allergies.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Kira. We’re happy you enjoy both recipes! xo

  22. Carole says

    Made this the other night and wow- loved how simple it was! I didn’t have fresh ginger so I substituted powdered. Once again, another recipe that’ll become a staple in our house!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed this one, Carole. Thank you for sharing! xo

  23. KYLEIGH says

    I don’t know if my cauliflower pieces were too large or I didn’t use enough salt or something, but baking it for 25 minutes up front made it super soggy/mushy. Normally when I make buffalo cauliflower, I only cook for 15 mintues and then another 8-10 after adding the sauce and it comes out perfect. The flavor was great though.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kyleigh, sorry to hear the texture didn’t turn out quite right! If they were too large, that could be the issue. Did they look similar to the photos?

  24. Anita says

    Fabulous! Simple and delicious, love it…yet again!! Enjoyed this with brown rice and steamed broccoli tonight!

  25. Nikki J Evans says

    I’m allergic to avocado. Is it best to sub in olive oil, canola oil or is there a different option? Thank you!

  26. Ana says

    Another easy and delicious recipe!! I didn’t have corn starch so I used potato starch and worked perfect! Definitely will be adding this to my favorite dinner recipes!! Thanks!

    • Renee says

      This was so delicious! I was pleased by how simple and hands off it was, yet so flavorful and satisfying. My only qualm is that in my personal opinion, with the recipe written as serving four, it’s not quite enough. Not a huge deal, but next time I just might 1.5 the recipe. Thank you for sharing this one!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thank you for the feedback, Renee! We’re glad you still enjoyed it overall! xo

  27. Ruth says

    This looks so delicious! I bought cauliflower tonight so I can make it this weekend. Do you think I can substitute red curry paste for the chili garlic sauce?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That might work! Or an alternative we’d recommend is more garlic and more red pepper flakes. Let us know how you like it!

      • Ruth says

        Well, I don’t know how the taste differs from the original recipe, but substituting red curry paste for the chili garlic sauce is a winner. I thought it tasted great! I served it with coconut rice (your recipe) and steamed broccoli. This is one of my new favorite recipes 👏👍🏼😋

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Amazing! Love that coconut rice idea too. Might have to include it in the recipe =) Thank you for sharing, Ruth! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patty, we don’t have much experience with an air fryer, so we’re not sure! If there’s a convection bake setting, perhaps try that. Let us know how it goes!

  28. Heather says

    Has anyone experimented or had ideas about substitutes for corn starch? Arrowroot powder, perhaps?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Heather, we’d suggest omitting it or perhaps potato starch? Let us know if you try it!

  29. Whitney says

    This looks delish! Does the cauliflower stay crispy after soaking it in the sauce and then back in the oven? Don’t want to ruin the crisp obtained with the cornstarch! Wondering if it would be better to put the sauce on at the very end.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Whitney, the cornstarch provides just a subtle crispiness (an air fryer might get it more crispy though!), while the sauce provides MEGA flavor and infuses into the cauliflower better with baking. So we wouldn’t recommend only adding at the end. Let us know how you like it!

  30. Ramae says

    This recipe looks wonderful, and I would love to try it. The chili garlic sauce in your link contains sodium bisulfite, which I avoid. Do you know of any more natural substitutions? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ramae, you could sub more garlic and red pepper flakes. Let us know how it goes!

  31. Sandy says

    Hi, thanks for this great looking recipe. Can’t wait to try it but would arrowroot work instead of cornflour please?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sandy, We think it would be better to omit it in this one vs. using arrowroot. Hope you love it!

      • Sandy says

        Thanks for your reply. Any chance Tapioca starch would work please. Just love the idea of the crispiness but don’t eat corn.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Sandy, it’s a subtle crispiness, which is why we think leaving it out would be fine. We think both tapioca and arrowroot would be prone to getting slimy because the cauliflower releases moisture. The next best alternative would probably be potato starch? Or using an air fryer or convection setting would help with crispiness too.

  32. Jenny says

    This sounds absolutely perfect! Do you think it will work with arrowrot starch instead of corn starch?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenny, We think it would be better to omit it in this one vs. using arrowroot.

      • Kat - the other 1 says

        I have used a mix of almond flour and a little rice flour or potato starch (or whatever else was on hand) successfully with the buffalo “wings” , I don’t see why that wouldn’t work here.

        Instead of just serving with broccoli & pea pods, cook them in the sauce too! I can’t eat this recipe, but I’ve done the same with my version of the buffalo wings and was shocked that the broccoli was even better than the cauliflower! O.O

      • Heena says

        This was an easy and flavorful recipe, I added a pinch of 5 spice powder along with salt with before baking the cauliflower. I love cauliflower and this recipe took it to a whole new flavor level