These Cauliflower Fritters are a firm family favourite and are my go-to fritter recipe when entertaining. They are like a potato fritter but made with cauliflower (soft on the inside and crispy on the outside) and can be served as they are or with toppings. A fantastic finger food or snack and if made bigger, a great breakfast fritter! I’m always asked for this easy recipe….read on to see just how easy they are. I am sure it will be a fritter you will make again and again.
I have been making these Cauliflower Fritters for years and they are always popular with adults and children alike. They are simple to make and delicious to eat. Serve them as they are, or add your favourite toppings – they are so versatile and can also be made gluten-free.
The batter for these fritters is made using only a few readily available ingredients – cauliflower that is cooked until just soft, parmesan cheese, parsley, self-raising flour, eggs, garlic (optional), salt and pepper. Once the cauliflower is cooked and drained, all the other ingredients are added to the pot and mixed through. That’s it, the fritter batter is made and ready to cook!
Why I love this recipe:
I just love how easy and quick these fritters are to prepare, and that they can be served in many different ways. As small bite sized fritters they are perfect for entertaining or you can make them bigger and serve as a breakfast fritter.
The batter can also be made a day or two in advance making this recipe ideal for entertaining! Simply refrigerate the batter until ready to pan fry into fritters. I often make the batter the day before, cook what I need for entertaining, then pop the rest of the batter back into the fridge and make breakfast fritters the next morning.
Ingredients to make these fritters:
- Cauliflower – you need to use fresh cauliflower for this recipe, not frozen. You’ll need a medium sized cauliflower to get approximately 600g of cauliflower florets. Make sure they are all broken or cut into fairly even sized small florets (see photo) so they all cook through at the same time. Boil them until they are just soft and a fork goes through them easily. You want them cooked through but not mushy.
- Self Raising Flour – use white self-raising flour or gluten-free self raising flour.
- Parmesan Cheese – finely grated parmesan cheese is used.
- Parsley – Italian flat leaf parsley is used. Please use fresh, not dried.
- Garlic – crushed garlic (optional). I only add garlic if serving these as they are. If I am topping them with smoked salmon (or other toppings) I will not add garlic.
- Eggs – I use large or extra large eggs. If using smaller eggs then add an extra one. The eggs are lightly beaten before adding to the other ingredients.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking liquid – I recommend you save 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid just in case you need to use some of it to loosen the batter a little if it is too thick.
- Olive Oil – for frying.
Step by step Instructions:
- The ingredients you need to make these fritters.
- Chop or break the cauliflower into small sized florets that are all a similar size. Measure out approximately 600g. Put them in a saucepan large enough to hold them comfortably. Cover with water and add a teaspoon of fine sea salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until cauliflower is cooked through and a fork pierces it easily. You want the cauliflower cooked but not mushy.
- Drain away the cooking liquid but reserve 1/4 cup. Leave the cauliflower in the pot with the lid off to cool slightly (20 minutes). Add the self raising flour, parmesan, parsley and garlic (if using) and using a large spoon, gently mix everything together. Try not to break up the cauliflower too much.
- You can see here that the cauliflower has broken up a little but there are still chunky pieces throughout the mixture which will still be fairly dry.
- Add the beaten eggs and again mix gently until a batter forms. The cauliflower will break up more at this point and that’s ok. There will still be some little pieces still there.
- and 7. You can see the consistency – it is a thick batter that holds when lifted with a spoon. If you are finding it too dry, you can now add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to achieve a thick batter like in the photos. Season with approximately 1/4 tsp sea salt (to taste) and freshly ground black pepper. To test for seasoning, I always fry one fritter first, taste it and add more seasoning if required, before cooking the rest. At this point you can refrigerate the batter for use the following day.
- 8. and 9. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium/high heat. Add heaped teaspoons (or larger if making bigger fritters) of batter into the pan allowing space between each and cook for approximately 2 minutes each side or until nicely golden. Reduce the heat to medium if browning too quickly. Remove to a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature if adding toppings.
Tips and Tricks for Success:
This is a very forgiving recipe.
The biggest tip I can give you is to check your seasoning by cooking off one fritter first and testing. Then add more seasoning if required before proceeding to cook the rest of the fritters. I do this when making any fritter recipe.
When boiling the cauliflower in salted water, it takes approximately 12 minutes but keep checking the cauliflower as you want it to be just soft – not crunchy but not mushy. Having said that I did overcook them once so ended up with a smoother batter and they were still tasty so all is not lost.
Once you have boiled, drained and cooled the cauliflower slightly, the rest of the batter comes together in minutes.
I really enjoy these fritters warm as they are – they have a lovely crunch to the batter when warm. However, if topping them you will need to let them come to room temperature.
The recipe makes approximately 40 bite-sized fritters ideal for canapes/finger food, or 15 larger size fritters ideal for breakfast fritters. Any remaining batter can be refrigerated and cooked the following day so you don’t need to use all the batter at one time.
Cooked and cooled fritters freeze well too.
- Medium to Large Saucepan
- Large Frying Pan
- 1 medium cauliflower broken into 600g of cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 225 g self raising flour (1 1/2 cups)
- 125 g parmesan cheese finely grated
- 4 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley leaves chopped
- 1 garlic clove (optional) crushed
- 3 large or XL eggs lightly beaten
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (approximately 1/4 tsp salt)
- 80 ml olive oil (4 tbsp) for frying the fritters
- Break or chop the cauliflower into small even sized florets – you want approximately 600g florets. Place the florets into a saucepan that will hold them comfortably and fill with water to cover. Add the teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Cook until the cauliflower is just soft and a fork will pierce it easily. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want the cauliflower to overcook and be mushy. Drain the liquid, setting aside 1/4 cup which you may need to use later. Leave the drained cauliflower in the pot with the lid off to cool for 20 minutes.
- Add the self-raising flour, grated parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic (if using – see notes) to the cauliflower in the pot and using a large spoon, mix and fold through gently until well combined. Try not to break up the cauliflower too much.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix through until it forms a thick batter. At this stage the cauliflower will have broken up more but you will still have pieces of cauliflower throughout the batter (see photos in 'step by step instructions ructions'). The batter should be thick but not dry. If it's too dry, you can add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help loosen it a little. The batter should hold its shape on a spoon (see photos). Add salt and pepper to season (I add just under 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper). To test for seasoning, cook off one fritter and add more salt if required. At this stage, you can refrigerate the batter to use the next day or continue as follows:
- Heat 80ml olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add spoonfuls of batter (a heaped teaspoon for bite sized fritters, or you can make larger ones) to the pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until nicely golden. Allow space between each fritter. Reduce the heat to medium if browning too quickly. Once cooked, place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Repeat in batches with remaining batter.Serve warm or at room temperature.Makes approximately 40 bite sized fritters or 15-20 larger fritters.
- Delicious served warm as they are, or cool to room temperature and add your preferred toppings.