Sweet Fire Cauliflower (Vegan + GF)

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

This recipe for Sweet Fire Cauliflower has been floating around in my head for ages. I’ve been wanting to make something like this but could never really settle on how I wanted it to be. I considered using tofu at first but then I decided to go the cauli route and I’m glad I did.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

It all came about because I had the strangest craving for that sweet fire chicken from Panda Express. Yes, yes, I know that’s not real Chinese food and sometimes it’s actually just not that good. But every once in a while I would get a hankering for it and it happened a while ago.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

My mom has also made a sort of similar recipe in the crockpot with the pineapple and bell pepper aspect of it but hers didn’t have the spicy bit to it. I just decided to take elements for all of those recipes and create my own.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

You could even just use the sweet red chili sauce on it’s own and it would be good but I wanted to amp up each part of it with the addition of something spicy and something sweet.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

I had never used that kind of sauce before so I wasn’t even sure if this was going to come out like I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised and it did. It made a great little stir-fry and it was ridiculously easy to make.

This is also a great meal to make on a Sunday and have for lunch throughout the week. You could serve it with a side of green beans and have a nice little lunch that will make your life easier for a few days not having to worry about what to eat. Or you can make it for a few people and share the goodness. Either way I think you guys are going to love this recipe.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower

If you do try this or any other recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #modernlittlevictories on Instagram! I’d love to hear what you think and see.

Vegan Sweet Fire Cauliflower
5 from 5 votes

Sweet Fire Cauliflower (Vegan + GF)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3
Author Modern Little Victories


  • 1 cup rice or sub quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 oz cauliflower florets
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red pepper cut strips
  • ½ cup pineapple diced
  • 2-3 scallions sliced (reserve greens for topping)
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds optional for topping
  • Sauce
  • ¼ cup sweet red chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp agave or honey if not vegan
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Start your rice by adding rice and water and a pinch of salt into a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to low and let cook until water is all gone. Once water is gone remove from heat and let steam for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix ingedients for sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. While the rice is cooking add cauliflower and chickpeas into a large skillet. Sautee until they start to brown and get tender. About 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once they are cooked add in bell pepper, pineapple, scallions, and top with sauce.
  5. Mix everything together and allow to cook in sauce for another 5-10 minutes or until all veggies reach desired tenderness.
  6. Plate over rice and top with the greens from the scallion and sesame seeds. Drizzle extra sweet fire sauce over top if you want.

Recipe Notes

Click Here for the Sweet Red Chili Sauce I used.





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  1. Your photography is beautiful! Also, this is at least the sixth or seventh recipe I’ve come across this week that talks about Panda Express. Is Panda Express still around?! This blows my mind. I haven’t seen one since my middle school mall hangout days.

    1. Thank you so much! Lol is it really? That’s so funny I guess it’s on everyone’s brain lately. It is still around! It’s pretty popular where I live in Texas but we didn’t get our first one until 5 years ago and now they pop up all over the place here!

    1. It’s a good sauce for egg rolls but the cauliflower does soak up this sauce really well and it’s a bit sticky and it’s just good! Hope you enjoy if you try it!

  2. I have been craving chinese food lately and this looks absolutely delicious. I love the sweet fire you have going on in here! And i love the chickpeas, pineapple and cauliflower. What an amazing dish! Must try soon!

  3. Looks like a wonderful combination of flavors and textures in this dish! I’m a spice wimp and would probably stick with the sweet chili sauce but I like how easy it is to customize the heat in this dish to one’s taste. Beautiful dish!

  4. I have never eaten at Panda Express, but I do love copycat type recipes. Isn’t it nice when you can make things at home…that usually taste better than takeout. This would make a great main or side dish. Chickpeas are such a great addition…perfect way to boost nutrition.

  5. This dish is just lovely, even people who swear they could not live without meat would easily fall in love with it. I really like a bit of fire in my food, and the combination of vegetables is just fantastic.

  6. This dish looks very similar to my sweet and sour chickpeas with pepper dish! They say great minds think alike. 🙂 Now I want to go back and make my dish all over again and add cauliflower this time. Looks delicious!

    1. I rarely use pineapple in savory things but I think it’s an absolute must in this dish! It just compliments the flavors so well.

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