Crispy Cauliflower-Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli

Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli
For a few years, I worked as a periodicals clerk at a public library. It was a pretty sweet job because I essentially got paid to sit at a desk and read magazines. My actual job was to retrieve magazines for patrons who asked for them because we kept all of our magazines in a back room, but since that didn’t happen very often, most of the time I got to do whatever I wanted. And I wanted to read magazines! At the time, I had just moved in with Chris and I was just learning how to really cook, so the cooking magazines were my favorites. Ever since then, I have been a total Cooking Light fangirl. No, it’s not strictly vegetarian! But it has lots of inventive vegetarian recipes.

I was looking for dinner ideas a few weeks ago and came upon a recipe for Crispy Broccoli-Carrot Fritters with Yogurt Dill Sauce in a recent issue of Cooking Light and thought I would try making the fritters with cauliflower instead of broccoli. And the sauce? I replaced that with a cashew-cream based Smoky Garlic Aioli. I love me some cashew cream! If you don’t have a mayo-aversion like I do, you can use mayo instead and make a more traditional aioli.

Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli
The smoky aioli is perfect with the cheesy, crispy fritters. And these come together super quickly too—from start to finish, they’re done in about 30 minutes. While the batter might seem like it’s not going to hold together, have faith because it will! Use your spatula to press each patty into shape on the skillet and then flip them over carefully.

Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 fritters

Serving Size: 2 fritters

Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli

Crispy little veggie fritters served with a cashew cream-based Smoky Garlic Aioli. Adapted from Cooking Light's Crispy Broccoli-Carrot Fritters with Yogurt-Dill Sauce.


    Crispy Cauliflower-Carrot Fritters
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Smoky Garlic Aioli
  • 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for 4 to 8 hours
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    Crispy Cauliflower-Carrot Fritters
  1. Combine the water, cauliflower, and carrots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain well. Place the cauliflower and carrots on a few layers of paper towels and pat dry. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.
  2. Place the chopped veggies in a large bowl; add flour and stir to coat. Fold in the cheese, salt, pepper, green onions, and egg.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat. Put the fritter mixture into the skillet 1/4 cup at a time, using a spatula to flatten each fritter into shape. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then carefully flip over and cook for about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil if needed.
  4. Smoky Garlic Aioli
  5. Drain and rinse the cashews. Combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and 1/4 cup of water in a blender and blend until smooth. If needed, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the fritters.


This recipe makes a little extra aioli. Use it on burgers and sandwiches or as a dip for veggies. It will last in the fridge for a few days.

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, daughter and 4 (yes 4!) cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    Love how you improved the original recipe! Cauliflower seems like a more appropriate choice for fritters than broccoli to me, and I’ve never liked traditional aioli much either… Reading cooking magazines all day sounds like a dream job :)

  2. Dianna says

    These look and sound delicious! I don’t eat cheese though. Do you think the batter would be too runny if I left it out? If so, is there anything you would suggest adding to thicken it up? Bread crumbs possibly?

    • Kiersten Frase says

      No, the batter wouldn’t be runny (it’s not a wet batter at all); I would just omit it, but I can’t say for sure that it would work out since I haven’t tested it!

    • Leslie says

      Is there any way to make this dish vegan? Perhaps use flax meal and water for the egg and omitting the cheese? I’m not a big fan of Daiya which tastes nothing like cheese imo. Thanks! :-)

      • Kiersten Frase says

        I think it would be difficult. The veggie mixture is pretty crumbly without the the egg. You could try using a flax egg, but I’m not sure it would be enough to bind the mixture together, particularly if you’re omitting the cheese as well.

      • suzi says

        i made these tonite and they were outstanding!! yes did them vegan and subbed chia gel for the egg and used garbanzo bean flour for the flour. really great little fritter! served it on jasmine rice with my quick sauce from vegan mayo mixed with the garlic and smoked paprika. will definitely make again!!

  3. says

    These look fabulous! The carrots and cauliflower together? yes, please! I love me some Cooking Light, too. Between your site and Mark Bittman’s column in Cooking Light, I feel like I’m learning a lot more about vegetarian cooking, which is a very good thing!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I love his column too! And the whole vegan before 6 thing. I have pretty much been doing that for years now, but I didn’t have a name for it until that book. :)

  4. says

    ooh! This looks sooooo good. My husband can’t stand cauliflower, but he’s going out of town this week, which means I’m gonna eat this. For sure.

  5. Rebecca says

    Do you think I could make up the fritter batter in advance, then put it in the fridge and fry them later? We have company coming for dinner and I don’t want to be doing a million things when they arrive. Or would it be better to cook them all at once and try heating them back up ? I just made the aioli and it is absolutely delicious!!!

  6. says

    Hi Kiersten! In the ingredients, it says 2 cups cauliflower florets and 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. For step one, should the carrots and cauliflower be in whole form (like not matchstick but a whole carrot)? Add then chopped finely after boiling? I’m a little confused :) Thanks so much – really looking forward to making these for dinner tmrw.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      No, the instructions are correct–you start with matchstick carrots (I actually just bought a bag of them at the grocery store, which is much easier than cutting them myself!), and then you chop them smaller later. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. Janet says

    Hi Kiersten! I really love fritters but i can’t eat them since i am a vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs. What can i substitute the egg with to make the fritters? Thanks

    • suzi says

      try this for your egg replacer in this recipe. works perfectly!! mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons warm water and let sit ten minutes to gel. there’s your egg!!

  8. M says

    oh my goodness. I had to get on here immediately. I just made these for dinner and I have to say they’re probably one of the tastiest things I have ever made! thank you so much for your recipes!!!

  9. says

    This recipe worked out perfectly. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil (as I am notorious for over heating oil), and your heat recommendation was perfect too. A delicious texture and flavor, and satisfying! (We had them for dinner with a green salad).

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’d stick with raw. The raw cashews blend into a creamy consistency that can be substituted for dairy; I haven’t tried it with roasted cashews, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work out quite the same.

  10. suzi says

    next time i make these i am gonna stuff em in a healthy pita and put sauce and greens and tomato i think. these were just delicious and oh so simple! made enough batter for tomorrow , as i only cooked up four for tonite. used safflower oil instead of olive oil and subbed garbanzo bean flour and chia gel for the egg. a tasty vegan veggie fritter for sure! so grateful you shared!! thanks : )

  11. Mimi says

    Cauliflower Fritters with Cashew Aioli were amazing! Come from a French background where you don’t mess with aioli. This is an amazing substitute and healthy, too! YUM!

  12. Megan says

    I see that there is green ingredient in the fritters, but I don’t see anything like basil or parsley in the ingredient list. Is there some type of leafed herb ?

  13. Holly says

    I have made these a few times and they are amazing. Usually as I take them out of the pan, they get eaten by the family in the house. They are great hot or cold. I have fried them in both avocado and olive oil and they still come out great. yum!

  14. Chelsea SanClemente says

    These came out tasty and I’m excited to try them again, but I had a really tough time not burning them. The recipe says to cook them 4 minutes on each side, but I took them out after 1 because they were smoking and well beyond golden brown. I don’t mind my food a little on the blackened side, but I would love not to burn them next time. I was using a cast iron skillet at medium-high heat, with a little extra olive oil. I don’t know what about this combo made them get burned, do you have any ideas?

  15. Sam says

    Hi! Could these be baked in the oven instead of fried for a healthier version? My mom bakes salmon patties in the oven instead of frying them an she says it’s still delicious. Wondering if these would still be fine too?

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’ve never made them that way, but I think it would work – you’ll want to brush or spray them with at least some oil to get them nicely browned and crisp on the outside. I’d try 400ºF.

  16. says

    Has anyone ever successfully frozen the cashew sauce? It would be so wonderful to have some stocked in the freezer for when you don’t have that 4 hour pre-soaking time on your schedule.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I haven’t tried freezing it, but I don’t think it would freeze well – my guess is that it would effect the texture. If you don’t have time to pre-soak, I’ve found that soaking the cashews in hot water while doing the rest of the prep work will work in a pinch. :)

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