This delicious and healthy Bang Bang Broccoli recipe is a spin of the restaurant version made healthier with a gluten free breading, baked not fried, and a refined sugar free bang bang sauce that’s dairy free! A perfect plant-based appetizer or side dish that’s spicy and sure to please!
Healthy Bang Bang Broccoli
When I was a kid I was not a fan of broccoli but as an adult I absolutely love it. There must be something about the taste and texture that makes kids turn their noses up to it. My own daughter (who’s almost 3 years old!) tends to avoid it like the plague if I put it on her plate, but we’ve made it a game to “eat the little trees” and that seems to work….most of the time.
I’m always trying to think of ways to amp up broccoli (even though I still love it plain raw or steamed!) so lately I’ve been roasting it with a delicious olive oil and dijon sauce or I’ll add it to a stir fry or curry. For today’s broccoli recipe I’ve added a little “bang bang” to it!! A delicious and simple gluten-free breading baked to a crisp in the oven then tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce makes healthy Bang Bang Broccoli!
What is “Bang Bang” Broccoli?
Traditionally “Bang Bang” is for Bang Bang Chicken or Shrimp, a dish made by street vendors in China. The dish has been brought to North America and is now a staple on some Chinese inspired restaurant menus. Lots of bloggers (and home cooks in general) have aimed to replicate this delicious dish and create variations on it. Bang bang can be enjoyed as a veggie version including Bang Bang Cauliflower, Bang Bang Broccoli, and Bang Bang Tofu or with chicken or shrimp.
The breaded version is usually made with Panko breading and buttermilk and deep fried then tossed in a sugary mayonnaise based sauce. It’s delicious but not the healthiest so my version keeps the flavour but brings it up a couple notches on the healthy chart!
How To Make Healthy Bang Bang Broccoli:
For my healthier version of this tasty dish I decided to use a homemade gluten free and dairy free breading batter and bake the broccoli in the oven to get the breading nice and crispy – no frying necessary! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Broccoli (fresh and raw)
- Gluten-free all purpose flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Lemon Juice
- Garlic Powder
How to Make Bang Bang Sauce:
For the sauce I decided to forgo on any refined sugar and swap in honey to mix with the other ingredients. The sauce I created is incredibly simple and very delicious! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chili garlic sauce (from the jar)
- Pure honey
- Mayonnaise (real, not miracle whip!)
- Lime juice
To garnish the broccoli I kept it simple with diced green onions and sesame seeds! This dish is perfect for a party appetizer (hello Super Bowl!), a side dish, or on top of rice with your choice of protein!
What Makes This Version Healthier?
Aside from the traditional breading typically being made with panko and buttermilk which isn’t gluten or dairy free, the dish is almost always deep fried and can get really high up there in the fat and calories. I mean, deep fried just isn’t healthy – it’s delicious don’t get me wrong – but not something to eat every day!
The sauce usually contains bottle sweet chili sauce which is incredibly high in refined sugar, think ketchup but spicy! My healthy version swaps out the panko for a gluten free option, buttermilk for dairy free almond milk, frying for baking, and the sauce for a naturally sweetened version that’s just as delicious!
When I made this Bang Bang Broccoli I paired it with baked chicken and rice for supper one evening with my parents and hubby and all were a big fan of it which says a lot because my mom almost always shies away from spicy food!
Have you ever tried traditional Bang Bang Chicken or Shrimp? Are you a big fan? If so, would you be willing to give my healthier version a go? Tell me about it in the comments section and be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later!
Have a lovely Sunday friends!