Copycat Chick-fil-A Fried Cauliflower Sandwich


Tender cauliflower steaks replace the chicken in this flavorful replica of Chick-fil-A's sandwich. Marinating the cauliflower in buttermilk and pickle juice adds subtle tang while also tenderizing it before it gets pan-fried and baked. An easy sauce made from a combination of mayo, mustard and barbecue sauce tops this healthy cauliflower sandwich.

a recipe photo of the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich served on a plate
Photo: Sara Baurley
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 55 mins


  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

  • 4 cups low-fat buttermilk

  • 8 kosher "hamburger" dill pickle chips plus 1/2 cup pickle juice from the jar, divided

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 1 ½ teaspoons barbecue sauce

  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey

  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split


  1. Trim outer leaves from cauliflower head. Cut the head in half lengthwise; cut 2 (2¾-inch- to 1-inch-thick) steaks from each cauliflower half, trimming the stem if needed. Place the steaks in a large shallow baking dish. Reserve the remaining cauliflower for another use.

  2. Whisk buttermilk, pickle juice and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Pour over the cauliflower steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or up to overnight.

  3. Remove the cauliflower from the marinade and place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to allow excess marinade to drip off. Reserve 1 cup marinade (discard remaining marinade).

  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread cornstarch in a shallow dish. Whisk the reserved marinade and egg together in another shallow dish. Stir together flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a third shallow dish. Dredge 1 cauliflower steak in the cornstarch; shake off excess. Dip in the egg mixture; dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Return to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower steaks. Discard the remaining cornstarch, egg mixture and flour mixture.

  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add the cauliflower steaks; cook until golden and browned in spots on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  6. Meanwhile, stir mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce, honey and lemon juice together in a small bowl.

  7. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on each top bun half. Place 2 pickle chips on each bottom bun half. Place a cauliflower steak on top of the pickles; top with top bun, sauce-side down.

To make ahead

Marinate cauliflower steaks (Steps 1-2) for 8 hours or up to overnight.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

380 Calories
17g Fat
49g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 380
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 12g
Added Sugars 3g 6%
Protein 12g 24%
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Vitamin A 114IU 2%
Vitamin C 102mg 113%
Vitamin D 11IU 3%
Vitamin E 3mg 18%
Folate 171mcg 43%
Vitamin K 53mcg 44%
Sodium 792mg 34%
Calcium 140mg 11%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 78mg 19%
Potassium 834mg 18%
Zinc 2mg 18%
Omega 3 1g

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles