Easy Italian Cauliflower Fritters Recipe are fluffy and crispy. These fritters are delicious just cooked up or even at room temperature. A nostalgic dish from my Sicilian childhood. They are so delicious! Serve with lemon wedges. A great snack, appetizer or side dish.
We are taking a trip down memory lane with these cauliflower fritters or crispeddi di broccoli. You may even have heard them called zeppole di cavolfiore. Ahhhh...Sicily! If you're family is Sicilian, you've probably at some point seen your nonna, mamma, zia or your dad fry these up!
They are enjoyed as an appetizer, snack, or even a side dish. They are vegetarian, but could be made gluten-free (using your favorite gluten-free 1-1 flour).
Why you'll love this recipe for Sicilian Cauliflower Fritters:
- Quick and easy: The recipe comes together in a no-fuss batter and spices with minimal ingredients.
- Versatile: A simple vegetarian recipe that makes a great appetizer, side dish, or snack.
- Great texture + flavor: The crispy texture and savory flavor of the fritters will leave you wanting more.
- Flavorful: Satisfying side dish with plenty of tasty flavor. They're fried until golden and crispy!
- Budget friendly: If you're looking for an economical Italian recipe to make for a get together, this is really budget-friendly.
- Why you'll love this recipe for Sicilian Cauliflower Fritters:
- What ingredients are in Sicilian crispeddi di broccoli?
- How do you make the batter for Italian fried cauliflower?
- How to make cauliflower fritters recipe?
- Expert tips for cauliflower patties:
- Variations for crispy cauliflower recipe:
- What to serve with Sicilian cauliflower fritters?
- How to store Italian fritters:
- Some other Sicilian recipes to enjoy:
- Easy Italian Cauliflower Fritters Recipe
This is a very nostalgic recipe. It's a recipe my dear Sicilian father used to make all the time when we were growing up. It wasn't Natale (Christmas)if dad didn't fry up a batch of these delicious Sicilian cauliflower fritters. He was always so proud of his dish and he would decorate the plate with fresh rosemary right from his garden.
The kids would rush up to the plate and grab one or two to start off with. He usually also had a plate of his Sicilian eggplant appetizer dish. He would use every fruit and herb from his garden to decorate the plate with this dish and his Christmas ham.
The fritters could be baked, but they truly are better fried up. They get super crispy! Since they are pre-cooked by boiling them, it does not take too much time to fry them. Once they have a dark golden color, they are ready!
This recipe reminds me of Christmas time, since that's when my dad would make it. But you could make these fritters any time. It is so easy to put together. If you aren't interested in frying, you could try my roasted cauliflower (also so delicious!) or my Sicilian pasta with cauliflower (amazing!).
What ingredients are in Sicilian crispeddi di broccoli?
Full printable recipe is below for these cauliflower fritters.
- Cauliflower: The main ingredient for this recipe, providing a delicious and nutritious base for the fritters.
- Eggs: Used to bind the ingredients together and add moisture to the batter.
- All-purpose flour: Helps give the fritters a crispy texture when fried.
- Baking powder: Adds extra fluffiness and lift to the batter.
- Sea salt: Enhances the flavor of the fritters and helps bring out the natural flavors of the cauliflower.
- Vegetable oil or canola oil: Used for frying the fritters to a crispy, golden perfection. Can also use other types of high heat cooking oils.
- Paprika: A little paprika gets added to the batter and gets sprinkled on top after it's fried up. You could do sweet or spicy. If you like it hot, use the spicy paprika.
How do you make the batter for Italian fried cauliflower?
This is a really simple batter to put together. It's made with all-purpose flour, eggs, baking powder, paprika, and salt. Water is added and it all gets whisked together and turns out like a pancake batter.
The cauliflower florets are boiled in water beforehand to pre-cook them, so it doesn't take too long to fry them up. Before you know it they are a nice and golden brown. I can't tell you how many times my dad would make these even at the last minute for the holidays.
My Calabrian mother-in-law makes her batter in no time and she fries up every thing that she grows! She makes them sometimes even last minute for all the kids to enjoy as a snack.
How to make cauliflower fritters recipe?
Here is all you need to do to make this delicious Sicilian recipe. Full printable recipe is below.
Gather up your ingredients. There aren't that many, so make sure you're prepped.
First thing to do is prep the cauliflower by cutting it into florets.
It doesn't have to be perfect pieces and you can even break florets off with your hands as you cut off the bigger sections.
As you prep all your florets, place them on a baking tray or a large platter.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you wait for water to boil, prep your quick batter.
When water comes to a boil, add in the cauliflower florets.
Once the cauliflower pre-cooked, drain them. Toss them in 2 tablespoons flour seasoned with some salt (and pepper, if you like).
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Test one floret by dipping in the batter and frying. The oil should be hot and sizzling. Remove it when it is golden and crispy.
Next, start adding batches of florets to the batter. Best to work with 6. Coat them evenly. Start to fry them up in batches. Drain the fried florets on paper towel lined baking tray.
When you've fried them all up, place them on a serving plate and sprinkle on a little paprika. Test and see if they need any salt and sprinkle some on. Could serve like my dad did with lemon wedges and some chopped fresh Italian parsley.
Expert tips for cauliflower patties:
- Use fresh cauliflower for the best flavor and texture.
- Make sure to cook the cauliflower in boiling water before adding it to the batter.
- For a healthier option, you can bake these fritters in the oven instead of frying them.
- Feel free to add your favorite herbs and spices to the batter for added flavor.
- Serve with a dipping sauce, such as marinara or ranch, for extra flavor.
- These fritters can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven for a quick snack or side dish.
- Experiment with different types of flour, such as almond or chickpea flour, to make this recipe gluten-free.
- A touch of cheese could be added to the batter with some grated cheese.
- For a more crispy texture, use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular flour in the batter.
Variations for crispy cauliflower recipe:
- Instead of all-purpose flour, you can use alternative flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, or gluten-free flour.
- More flavor could be added into the batter with different spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or cumin into the batter.
- For a healthier option, you can bake the cauliflower fritters in the oven instead of frying them. Simply place the batter-coated florets on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
What to serve with Sicilian cauliflower fritters?
- Garlic Aioli: A quick garlic aioli is so easy to make. All you do is mix together mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, and salt for a really flavorful dipping sauce.
- Green Salad: The flavorful fritters go really nicely with a fresh green salad. Use any combination of greens and top with a light vinaigrette dressing.
- Roasted Vegetables: Serve the fritters alongside some roasted vegetables for a more filling meal. Try roasting carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini to add color and flavor to your plate.
- Chicken: Would go really nicely with our best oven baked chicken legs.
- Steak: A nice side dish to enjoy our Italian garlic rosemary steak.
- Ham: Goes very well for the holidays with our spiral ham.
How to store Italian fritters:
- To refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. They are best enjoyed just as they're cooked up.
- To freeze: Freeze well wrapped in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. They can be placed from frozen in a 350 degrees F preheated oven until completely warmed through.
- To reheat: Heat up any leftovers the next day in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, or until they're heated through. Depending on your oven could be more or less than 10 minutes.
Yes, you can use broccoli or carrots, broccoli, potatoes. Potatoes will need to be cooked longer.
Yes, cauliflower is good for you. It is a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B, C and K.
Yes, they do for sure. The leaves need to be cut off and cauliflower cut into florets. Rinse them very well.
If you're eating raw cauliflower, it is very crunchy and needs sauces. Cooked cauliflower is a little nutty slightly sweet.
Yes, the batter can be prepped ahead of time. Prep it one night in advance and store it in the fridge in air tight container until you are ready to cook.
Yes, you can use your favorite gluten-free 1 to 1 flour. You'll have to crips them up in the oven after frying them. I have tested it and it is best crisped up for a bit.
There are so many different names for fritters. Depends on which region you are in. They may be called pettole, fritti, pittule, pettule, crispeddi, zeppole, popizze, crispelle. I told you, there are so many different ways to call fritters in Italy!
I can just see my sweet dad's smiling face walking in with a dish of his crispeddi for Natale saying: Buon Natale! I hope this dish brings back some memories for you! You can see some other Sicilian recipes here on my #projectsicilia section.
Some other Sicilian recipes to enjoy:
- Sicilian Scacciata with Cauliflower
- Pasta con le Sarde
- Sicilian Fennel and Orange Salad
- Sicilian S Cookies
- Busiate with Trapanese Pesto
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Easy Italian Cauliflower Fritters Recipe
- 1 large head cauliflower washed trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 3 cups)
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour seasoned with sea salt and pepper, to coat the florets before adding to the batter.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup water filtered and room temperature
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons paprika sweet or smokey
- vegtable or canola oil for frying
- 2 lemons slices or in wedges
- fresh Italian parsley chopped, for serving
- Prep the cauliflower: Prep the cauliflower by cutting into bite-sized florets and washing.
- Boil water: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in the florets and cook for about 7-8 minutes (until fork tender). Drain, and set aside.
- Coat florets: Coat the florets with the 2 Tablespoons of seasoned flour. Toss it all around to make sure they're all coated. Set aside while you heat the oil and prep the batter.
- Prep the batter: In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the flour, water, salt, and paprika (omit the paprika if you don't have any). Stir to combine it all together until it's consistency of pancake batter. Set aside while you heat the oil.
- Heat oil: Heat 2 inches of oil in a high sided pan. You could use a frying pan or a cast iron pan. The oil should reach 325F. When the oil is sizzling, test one of the florets.
- Coat florets in batter: Coat a floret in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off. Place the floret in the oil to test if it's ready to fry the rest. If the oil is hot enough, it will sizzle and the floret will get nice in puffy. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Fry in batches: Place 6 florets in the batter at a time and fry in batches.
- Drain on paper towels: Carefully remove the first batch onto a paper towel lined baking sheet or large platter. Sprinkle on some sea salt while they're still hot (not when they're cooled).
- Fry rest of florets: Continue battering and frying the rest of the florets until you've finished. They should all be nicely golden and crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined baking sheet or platter.
- Serve: Transfer to your serving plate while they're still hot with lemon wedges or slices and some chopped Italian parsley. Sprinkle on some paprika, if you like. ENJOY!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Use whatever oil you like to fry with. Vegetable or canola. Whichever oil you prefer.
Important to test one floret in the oil to make sure the oil is hot enough.
- The oil should be sizzling and 325F. If the first test floret fries up nice and golden, it's hot enough to start adding the florets in batches.
- Salt the florets as soon as you remove them from the oil. You shouldn't salt them while they're cooled down.
- They're best enjoyed nice and hot!
- If you like lemon flavor, squeeze on some lemon juice or serve with lemon slices or wedges.