Cauliflower is a nutrient-rich food packed with B vitamins and antioxidants but how do we get our little ones to enjoy this vegetable? My answer is to convert it to a delicious fritter perfect for little hands to hold and eat. Adding cooked chicken to the mix adds extra protein but leaving it vegetarian is also a tasty option. What I love most about these fritters, aside from my kids asking for more, is that they are baked and not fried which leaves for a quicker cooking time, less oil, and a cleaner kitchen.
Tell me about it:
We all love a good fritter but what about when simplifying the cooking process by baking instead of frying and adding a protein source? I say that is taking it to the next level. These cauliflower fritters are such fantastic kid-friendly food and are truly loved by the entire family. I often catch my husband snacking on a few when they just come out of the oven. Pair these fritters with a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or tzatziki for a fun dipping component to your meal.
What you will need:
- 1 medium cauliflower or half a large cauliflower head (about 5 cups). You can use frozen cauliflower.
- 1 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese (you can add a variety of hard cheese, but I enjoy the bold flavors of white cheddar).
- 1 cup of chicken breast cooked (leftover chicken such as rotisserie or BBQ chicken).
- 2 tablespoons of whole-wheat flour. Use all-purpose if you have that on hand.
- 2 eggs.
- Seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, and paprika.
How to make it:
- Begin by placing your cut and washed cauliflower florets in a pot of boiling water, this should take about 5 minutes. Blanch by rinsing your steamed cauliflower under cold water to stop the cooking process and strain water well.
- Add all your ingredients into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until well combined. This includes steamed cauliflower, eggs, flour, cooked chicken breast as well as grated cheddar cheese, and seasoning.
- Once well combined make patties and place on a baking tray and brush or spray with olive oil, and place in the oven. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes flipping halfway until golden brown.
Pro tips and tricks:
- If you do not have a food processor handy, chop steamed cauliflower florets on a cutting board and mix all ingredients into a bowl. The consistency will be slightly different (chunkier), but the taste will be just as delicious.
- Try to form cauliflower fritters of similar size so they cook evenly.
- You can fry the cauliflower fritters on medium-low heat for a few minutes on each side until golden brown, and use good quality vegetable oil instead of olive oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil.
- You can skip steaming the cauliflower florets if you have a food processor, just keep in mind it will take slightly longer to bake. Add your washed cauliflower florets into the food processor along with the other ingredients and pulse if this is the route you are taking.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a toaster oven for a few minutes and enjoy.
- Option to make these fritters vegetarian by removing the chicken.
- Freezing these either before baking or after is quite simple and something I often do.
- Freeze before baking: layout fritters on a tray lined with parchment paper and continue to layer. Place in the freezer for 3 hours. Once frozen, transfer frozen fritters into a freezer-safe bag for proper storage. Label your bag with the date and content. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook, remove from the freezer and place on a lined baking sheet, add oil, and bake from frozen adding a few extra minutes in the oven until fritters are golden brown.
- Freezing after baking: simply, make sure cauliflower fritters are fully cooled, and place them in freezer-safe Ziploc bags or freezer-safe containers (make sure to the label before placing them in the freezer). Should be consumed within one month. When you are ready to eat, place frozen pre-cooked fritters in a toaster oven and heat up.