Cauliflower Poppers

It’s football season and you know what that means… we need some kinda game food.  Let’s face it, even if you’re not into football, snacks and appetizers are always fun to eat, like these cauliflower poppers.

10Cauliflower Poppers

Let me start by saying that these poppers do not have cheese in them (in case you are like my husband who thinks poppers = veggies and cheese).

On to the business at hand.  Cauliflower.  I bought a head of cauliflower, having no particular recipe to use it in.  Since it’s one of my favorite veggies I knew I’d come up with some way to eat it (even if that meant eating it raw with some ranch dressing) and I needed to make sure I did so before it got scary in the back of the fridge.

I searched my pantry to see what I had on hand and realized I had recently bought Chipotle flavored panko crumbs.  Yes, folks, I said Chipotle.  Crazy, right?  Now I was on to something.  Pretty sure we were walking by it and my husband who loves pretty much anything chipotle saw them and put them in the cart.

01Cauliflower Poppers

I whipped up these bad boys in a jiffy and that meant that we had an awesome snack to munch on while we watched a game.  Go Pats!

02Cauliflower Poppers

The panko crumbs create a lovely crust on the outside.  It almost acts like a barrier for the cauliflower, which gets nice and tender.  Take that, fryer!  No need for you!  The chipotle flavored panko crumbs really does add some heat to this party.  How awesome is that?  You don’t have to add other seasonings to it to give it a kick.  By the way, you can certainly use plain panko crumbs instead if you’re not into spicy food or you are preparing them for kids.

06Cauliflower Poppers

Warning, these are addictive!  My husband and I polished off this entire batch in an afternoon.  (P.S., ranch dressing goes awesome with these poppers.)   I don’t feel the least bit guilty.  I’d say that these are pretty healthy, especially in comparison to the calorie laden nachos and other fried foods that are notorious while watching the game.

03Cauliflower Poppers

Like I said before, this is not strictly food for sports fans.  Holiday entertaining season will be upon us soon and I know that I’ll be making these awesome cauliflower poppers again as an appetizer.

09Cauliflower Poppers

Cauliflower Poppers Recipe
(for 2 or more)


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs (I used Chipotle seasoned panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lay down parchment paper, tin foil, or a silicon mat on a baking sheet and set it aside.
  3. Cut the cauliflower to make small florets.  Wash them and pat them dry.  I discarded the harder bits of stem but you definitely don’t have to.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Put about 1/2 a cup of the panko crumbs into another small bowl.  As it runs low, add more crumbs about 1/2 cup at a time.  The panko crumbs stick to the cauliflower best when the crumbs are still nice and dry.  The crumbs tend to get wet from the egg coating as you go.
  6. In an assembly line fashion, dunk each floret in the egg mixture, and then into the panko crumbs and then move them to the baking sheet.
  7. Bake them for 30 to 35 minutes or until the panko crumbs have browned.

Source:  Tina’s Chic Corner



5 Hats


Here are some other great game day foods.

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

06Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

Jalapeno and Sweet Corn Hummus

04Jalapeno and Sweet Corn Hummus

Crispy Baked Onion Rings

04Crispy Baked Onion Rings



  1. Such perfect football food, and I love that they are on the light side! I feel like football food usually = tons of calories and fat! These look so light and delicious!

    1. Tina says:

      I agree…game food usually means a ticket to unhealthy food. It’s ok in moderation but I feel good having healthy options too. 🙂

  2. LOVE these!!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you SO much!

  3. Tina, I am slowly coming around to cauliflower and these poppers are pretty much putting me over the edge–they look fabulous!

    1. Tina says:


  4. Ashley says:

    Chipotle seasoned panko?? I have never seen that before!

    These poppers sound soooo good. I am such a huge fan of cauliflower so I know I would love these! And go pats! Maybe I should whip up a batch for tonight’s game… 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I hope you did make these Monday night because they might have been the only good thing going on since the Pats lost. 🙁

  5. Victoria Cooke says:

    Wow, I guess I have to look more closely on the panto shelf…chipotle seasoned panko! I love cauliflower, also. It looks easy to make and the boring plain cauliflower. Thank you….keep it coming.

    1. Tina says:

      You are so sweet! Keep stopping by. 🙂

  6. Danielle says:

    It’s always good to have something light like these to snack on during games too! Love how crispy these look!

    1. Tina says:

      I agree! Thanks so much. 🙂

  7. I have really been into cauliflower lately and I would probably polish off this batch myself!! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Totally addictive!

  8. Yay for healthy game food! Too yummy 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Yay indeed. 🙂

  9. What a great idea. I’d kind of forgotten about cauliflower when it comes to ‘game food’ too. You could probably go nuts with all types of flavors huh. Like’n this little number.

    1. Tina says:

      I’m thinking that no one thinks of cauliflower for game food…hehe…not until now. 🙂

  10. Yum… I’ve seriously been eating so much cauliflower lately. That stuff is amazing. And this looks super delicious!

    1. Tina says:

      Cauliflower rocks! 🙂

  11. Joanne says:

    So I need chipotle panko AND a big batch of these poppers in my life!

    1. Tina says:


  12. These cauliflower poppers sound absolutely perfect for game days! I love making snacks for my husband to munch on, so this is definitely something that we would both enjoy. Such a fun snack!

    1. Tina says:

      I love making snacks for my hubby too. 🙂

  13. I love making these. It’s the only way I can get my husband to eat cauliflower haha

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe… hey, if it works then it’s a good thing. 🙂

  14. Hey these look great! What a neat way to spice up one of the more boring vegetables out there, and a fantastic way to get the boys to eat cauliflower and enjoy it!! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Yes, I’m always looking to make veggies more exciting. 🙂

  15. These look really spectacular – I love cauliflower no matter what you do with it, and spicy cauliflower is especially wonderful – thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  16. Ooooo, I love these. And I’m particularly loving the chipotle panko! I love that they are baked too – so healthy and given that cauliflower is one of my favorites, I’m totally adding these to my recipe collection. Pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Wahoo! Thank you so much. 🙂

  17. GiGi Eats says:

    I ADORE Cauliflower – ADORE IT! It doesn’t even need the bread crumbs in order for it to achieve crispy consistency!

    1. Tina says:

      I agree! Just raw or roasted with a little olive oil is amazing. Panko is just another great way to enjoy one of my favorite veggies. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *