Gluten free cauliflower pancakes make a wonderful appetizer, side dish, or vegetarian meal. Crispy on the outside and cheesy tender on the inside, you will love this easy riced cauliflower recipe.

Crispy cauliflower pancakes on a wooden serving platter.

If you have always wanted to try a recipe using riced cauliflower, but the thought of ricing a cauliflower was a bit overwhelming. You can now buy cauliflower already riced! It cuts the time to make cauliflower rice recipes in half! This cauliflower pancakes recipe is so good and very easy to make.

These crispy gluten free cauliflower pancakes are full of flavor and the melty cheese makes it even better! They are great to serve as appetizers or as a side dish. If you love cooking as much as we do…here are all of my delicious gluten free appetizer recipes in one place!

And you can even use riced cauliflower instead of rice in risotto, check out this recipe for Shiitake Cauliflower Rice Risotto!

Why Make This Recipe:

  1. Kids love them…even my picky eater loved this recipe, and she hates vegetables!
  2. They can be topped with sour cream, sriracha, salsa, and so many other ways to make the perfect appetizers!
  3. Pan-fry them easily, or make them in your air fryer to cut back on oil. If you use the air fryer.
  4. Using packaged riced cauliflower, like Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Rice, is a great time saver!

Ingredient Notes:

  • Cauliflower – Either use a head of cauliflower and rice it in your food processor or buy riced cauliflower at the store.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Use sharp or mild cheddar shredded cheese.
  • Leeks or Onions – I recommend leeks or yellow onions.
  • Egg – Use size large.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Shredded or grated.
  • Light Oil – See the FAQ for information on high-smoking point oils.
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – Any blend will work in this recipe.
  • Regular or Non-Dairy Milk – If you use plant-based milk, be sure to use an unflavored, unsweetened one.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Cauliflower Cheddar Pancake ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Step 1: Toss the cauliflower rice in a large mixing bowl with the cheddar, parmesan, leeks, egg, flour, and other ingredients. Mix well with a large spoon.

Step 2: Preheat your oil in a large cast iron skillet. You want the oil to be at least 1 1/2 inches deep.

Frying cheesy gluten free cauliflower pancakes in a cast iron skillet.

Step 3: Use a large cookie scoop or your hands to form pancake-shaped cauliflower patties.

Step 3: Carefully drop them into the hot oil. The riced cauliflower pancakes get so crispy and delicious. Use a metal spatula to flip the pancake over so both sides cook evenly. Try adding some cayenne for a spicy kick!

Try to cook these in a cast-iron skillet because the pan cooks at an even heat. You can get really crisp outside!

Air Fryer Directions:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400º F.
  • Make the cauliflower pancakes as directed.
  • Spray the rack in the air fryer with oil, add the pancakes, and then liberally spray them with oil.
  • Cook for 8 minutes, then flip them over and lightly spray more oil on that side. Cook for 5-7 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how large and thick your cauliflower pancakes are.
  • Serve these cheesy cauliflower pancakes hot.
Top view of Gluten Free Cauliflower Cheddar Pancakes on a wooden cutting board.

Try these tasty toppings!

  • Sour cream
  • Scallions
  • Chives
  • Bacon
  • Sriracha

Frequently Asked Questions:

What oil is best for frying?

When frying at high heat, you must use an oil that can hold up to the heat. Some oils, like olive oil, will get rancid at high heat. I use both avocado oil (my very favorite for savory dishes) and coconut oil (great for sweet fried recipes.) Be sure to read which oils are best for the air fryer.

How do you store cauliflower pancakes?

Store these cauliflower pancakes in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them in a zipper bag, but you will need to pan-fry again to re-crisp them.

More Gluten Free Cauliflower Recipes to Try:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Crispy cauliflower pancakes on a wooden serving platter.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Cheddar Pancakes

Sandi Gaertner
Easy riced cauliflower cheddar pancakes.
4.78 from 18 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Gluten Free Appetizer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 pancakes
Calories 111 kcal


  • 1 bag riced cauliflower or a head of cauliflower riced
  • ¾ cup Vermont cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour blend
  • ½ cup almond milk (or regular milk if you have it.)
  • **Optional 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • garnish with sour cream and scallion.


  • Start heating oil in a pan on medium high heat.
  • Add riced cauliflower, egg, cheese, salt, flour, leek and milk to a bowl and mix well.
  • Test oil temperature by dropping a drip of water into the pan. If it sizzles, it is ready.
  • Form patties.
  • Drop patties into the hot oil.
  • Cook until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove from heat and put each patty onto a plate covered in paper towels (to absorb extra oil)
  • Serve with sour cream and scallions


To test if your oil is hot enough, toss one drip of water into the hot oil. If it sizzles, your oil is hot enough.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 111kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 188mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

This post was updated from an old February 2016 post with more detailed instructions.


4.78 from 18 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I used cooked cauliflower a little well done, parmeson cheese and 2 lightly beaten eggs lots of seasoning , scallion, onion, garlic pwder, 1/4 cup almond flour, mashed everything together, used a ice cream scoop to drop the batter in the pan and flattened them with a spoon came out delicious. I’m sure any cheese wil be delicious

    1. Hi Geri, I tend to cook with my computer open. If you send your email, I can send a copy of this recipe to you…although I am not sure that would help if you can’t print? Please let me know.

    1. Hi Melissa, I have not tried either of the flours you ask about with this recipe. I would say definitely not to the almond flour as that wouldn’t help bind the ingredients. I am not sure about the coconut flour. It definitely absorbs a lot of moisture, but I haven’t tested it in this way. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

      1. Could I use regular flour with this recipe? Our family doesn’t need it to be gluten free.

      2. Hi Mandy, I haven’t used regular flour in over 10 years so I really can’t answer this question. In theory it should be fine but I have no way to test it.

    1. I hope you like it. Please report back and let us know how baking these work so others can try it too. Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. These sound awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out a new way to use cauliflower….and I’ve actually been craving zucchini fritters, but haven’t tried making them gluten free yet….so this should satisfy my craving 😉 Also, just to put it out there, if your food processor is in good shape, making cauliflower rice is super duper easy! I’ve been making a gluten free jambalaya which my husband didn’t realize the “rice” was cauliflower until I told him!

    1. Hi Nina, I love that your husband couldn’t tell it was cauliflower rice 🙂 I hope you like these, even my kids gobbled them up. I appreciate your taking the time to write. Have a great week.

  3. Well that didn’t work…and I added more flour and finally in desperation eggs and it still all fell apart!

    1. I am so sorry Maureen. Let me see if I can help you. Can I ask a few questions? Which gluten free flour blend did you use? If it didn’t contain xanthan gum, you would need to add 1/2 teaspoon. Also, how hot was the oil when you dropped in a spoonful? I make sure the oil is bubbly hot, then I drop the batter in, then lastly press it down a bit to make the shape.