General Tso-style cauliflower bowls offer a vegetarian version of your favorite take-out dinner. Sweet, spicy, and full of Asian flavor, it’s a meat-free option for those nights when you want something much better than leftovers.

2 white bowls of General-Tso style cauliflower bowls with chopsticks, a jar of extra sauce with spoon and a plate of cauliflower.

Adapted from Cassy Joy Garcia | Cook Once Dinner Fix | Simon & Schuster, 2021

This dinner will leave you with a love-of-cauliflower vow renewal. You won’t be bored by this dish, and I bet you’ll find yourself craving it often.–Cassy Joy Garcia


General Zuo Zongtang (romanized to Tso Tsung-T’ang, among others) was a Chinese military leader in the 1800s. Who, oddly, had nothing to do with the dish named after him and probably never ate anything like it. That aside, the dish is incredibly popular, no matter how you pronounce it.

There are quite a few stories about the origin of the dish and we don’t have an answer for where it really really, originated. What General Tso means traditionally, in relation to food, is this–breaded chicken in a sauce of rice wine, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chiles, and garlic. The sauce is known to be sweet and not super-spicy, this version is just slathered on cauliflower instead of chicken.

General Tso-Style Cauliflower Bowls

2 white bowls of General-Tso style cauliflower bowls with chopsticks, a jar of extra sauce with spoon and a plate of cauliflower.

Simply roasted cauliflower florets are transformed into a craveable, nourishing General Tso’s take on cauliflower. The bold flavors of the sauce and the way we quickly re-crisp the cauliflower creates the magic.

Cassy Joy Garcia

Prep 20 mins

Cook 50 mins

Total 1 hr 10 mins

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (205ºC).

  • Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, then divide between two rimmed baking sheets, arranging in an even layer, sprinkle with salt. Roast until tops of florets start to brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook rice according to package instructions.

  • In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, warm remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add honey, vinegar, soy sauce, chile garlic sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, cornstarch, and broth and whisk until well combined and smooth. Simmer until sauce thickens, 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Add roasted cauliflower to the skillet with the sauce. Toss to combine, then remove from heat.

  • Serve cauliflower over rice, garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 1255kcal (63%)Carbohydrates: 200g (67%)Protein: 23g (46%)Fat: 44g (68%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 28gSodium: 2434mg (106%)Potassium: 2016mg (58%)Fiber: 15g (63%)Sugar: 62g (69%)Vitamin A: 376IU (8%)Vitamin C: 281mg (341%)Calcium: 228mg (23%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

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Originally published September 25, 2021

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