Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower

Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower

Sometimes authenticity is the heart of a recipe. Sometimes you’ve got to work with what you’ve got and that, friends, is how our Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower came to be. Sweet, spicy, and plant-based with enough shortcuts to get it on the table in about 45 minutes.

Why do this in the oven? Because roasting the cauliflower removes excess liquid while maintaining a hearty texture so you won’t have a soupy mess of leftovers the next day. There’s a thing you know now.

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Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower

Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower

Shortcut Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4



For the Vegetables

  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into small florets, about 4 packed cups
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinches of salt and ground black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp Lakanto Golden Sweetener
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar (paleo)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Anthony’s Arrowroot Flour plus 1 tbsp cool water, reserved
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce (mild) or 1 tsp (hot)

For Serving

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, measured then roughly chopped and toasted


  1. Set oven rack to top position and oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat* mat and set aside. Toss the cauliflower florets in the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. 
  2. While cauliflower is roasting, heat a small dry skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the cashews and toss. Gently stir for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Toss again after 30 seconds and set aside in the skillet until ready to use. 
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients except arrowroot flour and water in a small, heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. While the sauce is heating add the arrowroot flour to a small measuring cup or mug. Add the water and stir immediately to form a smooth slurry. 
  4. By now, the cauliflower time should be up. Remove from oven and set aside. Add half of the slurry to the sauce while whisking constantly. The sauce should thicken immediately. If it doesn’t, add just a bit more slurry at a time. The sauce will become quite thick, and you may feel like swearing at us. Don’t worry, it will thin out in the oven. Pour the sauce onto the center of the cauliflower pan and use a silicone spatula to scrape any remaining sauce from the pan, then fold the cauliflower into the sauce. Keep folding in toward the center of the pan to get sauce on all the cauliflower. 
  5. Return to oven for 10 minutes, then remove, add the bell pepper, and toss again. The sauce will have thinned quite a bit and will coat easily. Roast for a final 5 minutes, then remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish or divide between four bowls. Use a silicone spatula to scrape every drop of sauce from the Silpat mat. Sprinkle with cashews and sliced green onions. Serve immediately.


Refrigerate leftovers in a glass airtight container up to four days. Sauce will thin as the peppers release liquid but will thicken slightly if reheated in a hot pan. 

*Sauce will be more prone to burning with parchment paper, so a mat really is the best option. If using parchment, watch closely.

Nutrition Estimate Per Serving (1/4 RECIPE) – Calories: 144, Fat: 7.6, Saturated Fat: 3.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3.7g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 471.8mg, Potassium: 436.2mg, Carbohydrates:15.5g total/10.6g net, Fiber: 4.9 Sugar: 9.9, Protein: 4.1g, Vitamin A: 18.7%, Vitamin C: 225.3%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 4.7% (based on 2,000 calorie diet).

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Entrée, Weeknight Meals
  • Method: Oven Roasting, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Asian, Plant-Based
  • Diet: Vegan



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