Buffalo Cauliflower has the flavor of classic buffalo chicken wings, only with a plant-based twist! Serve it with blue cheese dressing or vegan ranch dressing for a satisfying appetizer.
Why You’ll Love It
It’s easy to make. Just stir together a quick batter, toss the raw cauliflower until it’s coated, and roast it to crispy perfection. You’ll toss it in a quick buffalo sauce and pop it back in the oven just before serving!
It’s allergy-friendly. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and egg-free. I like to add a drizzle of honey to the buffalo sauce to help balance the spice, but you can use maple syrup instead, to keep this recipe vegan-friendly.
It’s delicious. If you love regular buffalo chicken wings, you’ll love these buffalo cauliflower bites just as much! They are flavorful, and pack extra nutrients in each bite.
It’s a crowd pleaser. This game day snack will be a hit at your next party! It is a great appetizer that is easy to serve to your guests. Serve it with carrots and celery sticks for the full effect.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in this buffalo cauliflower recipe?
- Head of cauliflower
- Garlic Powder
- Hot Sauce
To keep this recipe gluten-free, use buckwheat, chickpea, or a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend for the best results. You can also use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, if you don’t need this recipe to be gluten-free.
You can use any hot sauce that you love, but this recipe was tested with Frank’s hot sauce, as it seems to be consistently available at most grocery stores.
How to Make Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
1. Prepare the batter.
Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and water. Mix well, until the batter is smooth.
2. Coat the cauliflower.
Cut the cauliflower into small florets (about 1 1/2 inch pieces) and add it to the bowl of batter. Stir well, to coat the cauliflower evenly.
It will look a little gooey and messy, like you just tossed the cauliflower in pancake batter.
Transfer the coated cauliflower florets to the prepared baking sheet, and bake at 450ºF for 20 minutes. The cauliflower should feel dry and slightly crispy to the touch.
4. Toss in the hot sauce.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and honey (or use maple syrup for a vegan option.) The added sweetener helps to balance out the spicy sauce, so it won’t burn your mouth. But beware, this addition also makes it hard to stop eating these!
Stir the buffalo wing sauce well, then toss the baked cauliflower in the bowl, coating the pieces evenly.
Return the coated cauliflower back to the lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until the cauliflower looks more dry and golden around the edges.
Serve the cauliflower buffalo wings with your favorite dipping sauce, like vegan ranch dressing or healthy blue cheese dressing.
Common Questions & Substitutions
How can I make the cauliflower crispy?
The key to making good buffalo cauliflower is to NOT crowd the baking sheet. Be sure to use two pans when baking this amount of cauliflower, so the veggies won’t steam each other by baking too close together.
Can I use a different type of flour to coat the cauliflower?
This recipe should work well with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, or chickpea flour. I don’t recommend using almond flour, coconut flour, or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free blend, as it doesn’t bake as well on the cauliflower.
Can I use an air fryer to make these?
Yes! You can air fry the battered cauliflower at 360ºF for 10 minutes. Then toss with the hot sauce, return it to the air fryer basket, and cook for another 10 minutes. The air fryer does a better job of circulating the hot air compared to a standard oven, so the air fryer buffalo cauliflower should be done faster.
Do I have to use olive oil?
You can use melted butter for the hot sauce mixture, if you prefer. The added fat helps the sauce “stick” to the battered cauliflower better than just using the hot sauce on its own.
Buffalo Cauliflower is an easy vegetarian appetizer that has all the flavor you love! You can make it with gluten-free flour, and serve it with blue cheese dressing or vegan ranch as a dip.
- ¾ cup buckwheat flour (see notes)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ pounds cauliflower , cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or melted butter)
- 1/4 cup Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup; optional)
Preheat the oven to 450°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. (Use two half sheet pans, if possible.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until smooth and well combined.
Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl, and stir well. It will look like you are stirring the cauliflower in pancake batter, but keep stirring until the cauliflower is evenly coated.
Arrange the cauliflower florets about an inch apart from each other, in a single layer. Use two pans, so the cauliflower won’t crowd the pan. (Otherwise, you’ll end up with softer, soggy cauliflower.) Place the two pans in the oven and bake at 450ºF for 20 minutes.
Rinse & dry the large mixing bowl, then use it to stir together the hot sauce, olive oil, and honey (if using). When the cauliflower is done baking, transfer it to the large mixing bowl and stir well, until it’s coated in the hot sauce mixture. Return the cauliflower to the lined baking sheets, and bake again until the cauliflower looks relatively dry, about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch closely at the end of the cook time, as the edges may start to burn after 15 minutes.
Serve the baked cauliflower pieces warm, with your favorite dipping sauce, like blue cheese dressing or vegan ranch. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Nutrition information is for a quarter of the batch, assuming you use buckwheat flour. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
- For a vegan recipe, use maple syrup instead of honey for the hot sauce mixture. It will help balance out the spicy flavor!
- Buckwheat flour keeps this recipe gluten-free, but you can also use chickpea flour, or a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill brand. Do not use almond flour or coconut flour. If you don’t need a gluten-free recipe, all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour will also work!
- This recipe is adapted from Simple Green Meals, by Jen Hansard
Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 1035mg, Potassium: 683mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 271IU, Vitamin C: 93mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 2mg
If you try these Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them.