Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites – A spicy, healthy, vegetarian, delicious alternative to chicken wings, these cauliflower buffalo wings have been pinned over 600K times because they’re that good!
Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
I expected to like this buffalo cauliflower, but I didn’t fully expect it to be as good as it was.
I didn’t even think I liked cooked cauliflower, but I really liked this. I ate it, with nothing else, for dinner. They were that good.
Before I cut out most meat, I used to like boneless chicken wings and wanted to find a vegetarian alternative.
These cauliflower buffalo wings don’t taste like chicken, but the spicy buffalo flavor and crispy texture were pretty close to boneless wings.
What is Buffalo Cauliflower?
Buffalo cauliflower is a vegetarian alternative to chicken wings, made out of cauliflower. You get the same spicy flavor without the meat.
Why you’ll love this buffalo cauliflower bites recipe
Healthy option – This baked cauliflower is a great way to get the same flavors as hot wings in a healthier option.
Perfect appetizer – The next time you’re craving spicy buffalo sauce on game day or just with dinner, try this alternative to traditional buffalo wings.
Simple ingredients – You only need seven everyday ingredients that you likely have in your cupboard. Just grab a head of cauliflower.
Equipment you’ll need
- Mixing Bowls – You’ll need a large mixing bowl for the batter and a smaller one for the sauce.
- Baking Sheets – A large rimmed baking sheet so the cauliflower florets don’t roll off the pan.
- Whisk – For making the batter & the sauce.
- Pastry Brush – I feel like silicone pastry brushes are so much easier to clean than traditional brushes.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Cauliflower – One head of cauliflower. Now, sizes vary, so you may need to alter your batter to make more if you have a giant head.
- Flour – I’ve only tested this with all purpose white flour, but a reader said it worked well with almond flour too.
- Hot Sauce – I use Frank’s Wing Sauce or Frank’s Hot Sauce, but use your favorite in the batter. To make the sauce, I recommend Frank’s Wing Sauce.
- Garlic Salt – Garlic powder can be used if you’re watching salt content.
- Dried Onion – Onion powder will also work.
- Butter – I use melted butter for the sauce but if you a vegan option, melted coconut oil will work as well.
How to make Buffalo Cauliflower
- STEP ONE: First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, spray with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside. Wash the cauliflower and cut it into bite size pieces, somewhat similar in size. Pat it dry, if necessary.
- STEP TWO: Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water, hot sauce, garlic salt, and dried onion.
- STEP THREE: Then, dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter (use tongs to keep your fingers clean!) to fully coat it, let the excess drip off, then lay it onto the baking sheet you prepared. Bake for 15 minutes at 450°F until batter hardens.
- STEP FOUR: While it’s baking, make the sauce by whisking together the wing sauce, melted butter, and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Once the 15 minutes are up, brush the cauliflower with the sauce, making sure you evenly coat each piece, then put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes to crisp up.
Let cool slightly and then enjoy!
What to serve with them
Serve the cauliflower buffalo bites with your favorite dipping sauce like homemade ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing and carrot and celery sticks .
Tips & Suggestions
- Heads of cauliflower vary in size. I’ve seen some HUGE cauliflowers. I would say I used a medium size head for this recipe. Easily double the batter, if necessary.
- I like to use Frank’s WING sauce and not regular hot sauce. Others have reported success with various other barbecue sauces.
How to store leftovers
We never really have leftovers but if you do, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
How long will buffalo cauliflower last in the fridge?
Up to 5 days when covered in the fridge.
How to reheat it
For best results, I recommend warming leftovers in the air fryer for 5 minutes to crisp it back up.
Can you use frozen cauliflower to make buffalo cauliflower?
I have not tried to use frozen cauliflower in this recipe. I have a feeling it might end up mushy. I recommend sticking with fresh cauliflower.
How to make buffalo cauliflower crispy
If you follow the recipe, you’ll see that you bake the cauliflower with the batter on it, then add the sauce and put it back in the oven for 5-7 minutes to crisp it up. I’ve had very good results with this method every time.
Several readers have put them in the broiler for 2-3 minutes for extra crispiness.
Air Fryer Instructions
Prepare the cauliflower and batter as directed.
Spray your air fryer basket with non-stick spray and lay the battered cauliflower florets into a single layer (work in batches, if necessary).
Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, brush on the sauce, and then bake another 2-5 minutes or until crisp.
Need more cauliflower recipes? Try these:
Need more spicy buffalo recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of appetizer recipes.
Originally published April 11, 2013