Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

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This air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe is crispy and crunchy and cooked to perfection. It’s the perfect game day appetizer or vegan snack that is delicious paired with your favorite creamy dip.

I’ve already shared a recipe for buffalo cauliflower wings made in the oven, but we’re taking it to the next level today with an air fryer version! I love how hands off this recipe is and how perfectly crispy every bite of cauliflower turns out! If you love buffalo wings (cauliflower or chicken!), you need to try this recipe.

An overhead photo looking at a plate with air fryer buffalo cauliflower, celery sticks and a bowl of ranch for dipping.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A delicious appetizer or snack that comes together in less than 20 minutes!
  • Get perfectly crispy bites, every time thanks to the air fryer.
  • This is a vegan recipe that can be easily made gluten-free to account for different dietary needs.
Ingredients measured out to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower: cauliflower, garlic powder, paprika, flour, buffalo sauce, salt and pepper.

Ingredients Needed

  • cauliflower – you can use pre-chopped cauliflower florets to save time or 1 large head. You’ll need about 4 cups of florets total.
  • all purpose flour – this gives the cauliflower a nice coating, which makes them crisp up. A gluten free 1:1 flour blend will work if you need a gluten-free substitute.
  • water – you’ll create a batter with water, flour and spices to coat the cauliflower.
  • garlic powder – adds a robust, savory flavor to the breading.
  • paprika – another spice to add flavor to the breading! I love adding flavor and depth to this recipe by seasoning each layer.
  • sea salt and black pepper – brings the flavors together and seasons the recipe.
  • buffalo-style wing sauce – be sure to look for buffalo sauce and not just hot sauce! I like Primal Kitchen’s buffalo sauce!
Collage of five photos showing how to make buffalo cauliflower wings in the air fryer: mixing the batter, tossing the cauliflower, frying it in the air fryer basket and then tossing with more sauce.

How to Air Fry Buffalo Cauliflower

Prep your cauliflower by washing and chopping it into small-to-medium sized florets. You want all of the florets to be about the same size so they cook evenly in the air fryer. Pat dry and set aside.

Whisk together flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets to the flour mixture and toss to coat.

Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF if needed and add the coated cauliflower to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is crisp, flipping halfway. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer – make sure you don’t overcrowd the air fryer or your cauliflower won’t crisp up!

Remove the cauliflower and add back to the same mixing bowl. Pour the buffalo sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Add the cauliflower back to the air fryer in a single layer and cook another 5-7 minutes or until crisp.

Serve with ranch, blue cheese dressing or your favorite dipping sauce.

pro tip!
Make sure to cook the cauliflower in batches if needed. You don't want to overcrowd the air fryer or your cauliflower won't crisp up! 
A plate of air fryer buffalo cauliflower with a bowl of ranch and celery sticks. A fork has a piece of cauliflower dipped into the ranch.

Dips to Pair with Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

You can definitely get creative with what dips you pair with the buffalo cauliflower, but my two favorites are ranch and blue cheese!

Ranch – my vegan ranch dressing or avocado ranch dressing are both great options. If you’re looking for a store-bought version, I recommend Primal Kitchen ranch – it’s allergen-friendly and made with really great ingredients.

Blue Cheese – another staple dip pairing! I don’t have a homemade blue cheese dressing recipe so grab your favorite store-bought version. I like the Bolthouse Farms chunky blue cheese.

Serve with celery sticks and or sliced carrots for the ultimate appetizer or snack.

An overhead photo looking at a plate with air fryer buffalo cauliflower, celery sticks and a bowl of ranch for dipping.

How to Serve Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo cauliflower can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. Here are some ways I like to serve them:

  • As an appetizer – Serve them the same way you would serve traditional chicken wings – on a plate or platter with celery, carrot sticks and ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. They’re perfect for game day!
  • Make tacos – Grab some tortillas, add the buffalo cauliflower as a base and top with shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro and a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing. These are sooo good!
  • In a wrap – Similar to tacos, you can make a wrap by adding lettuce, any extra veggies, buffalo cauliflower and ranch or blue cheese dressing into a wrap. Lunch on the go!
  • On a salad – Make my buffalo cauliflower salad, but use the air fryer buffalo cauliflower instead of what’s used in the recipe.
  • As a side dish – You can serve them up as a side dish. They’d pair great with my easy vegetarian chili or this black bean soup.

Game Day Appetizers

These buffalo cauliflower bites are the perfect appetizer for a game day spread. If you’re looking for more pairing suggestions, here are some of my favorites:

Need more ideas? Check out my full collection of healthy game day snacks.

A close up of air fryer buffalo cauliflower on a plate with a bowl of ranch and celery. A fork is dipping a piece of cauliflower into the ranch.

How to Store

You likely won’t have any leftovers, but if you do you can store them in the fridge. After cooling completely, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, pop the cauliflower in back in the air fryer for a few minutes so they crisp back up!

More Air Fryer Recipes to Try

Want More Cauliflower Recipes?

Be sure to check out all of the cauliflower recipes as well as my full collection of air fryer recipes.

4.79 from 47 votes

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower results in crispy and crunchy cauliflower bites every time. It's the perfect game day appetizer or snack!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into small-to-medium sized florets (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour, gluten free 1:1 flour will work too
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup buffalo-style wing sauce (I used Tessemae’s Buffalo sauce)

Instructions 

  • Wash and chop cauliflower into 1-inch florets. Try to make all the florets about the same size so that they cook evenly. Pat dry.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
    Cauliflower tossed in the seasoned flour mixture.
  • Preheat air fryer if required. Add coated cauliflower to air fryer basket in a single layer and cook on 400°F until crisp, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway. You might need to cook in batches depending on how big your air fryer basket is.
    Seasoned cauliflower florets in a air fryer basket.
  • Remove cauliflower florets from air fryer and add them back into the same large mixing bowl. Pour buffalo sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
    Seasoned and air fried cauliflower florets tossed in buffalo sauce in a mixing bowl.
  • Add cauliflower back to air fryer in a single layer and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until crisp, checking at the 5 minute mark.
    Seasoned cauliflower florets in an air fryer basket after being air fried.
  • Serve cauliflower wings with dipping sauce of choice (I prefer ranch or blue cheese) with a side of celery and/or carrot sticks.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1140mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Equipment

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer buffalo cauliflower
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About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was the first recipe that I made with my air fryer and I’ve made it two days in a row! Thank you!

    1. Yay!! So pumped to hear that you’ve loved this recipe, Lacey. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    Super tasty and worked great in my airfryer! Be sure to grease the bottom so the coating doesn’t stick. Carbs are a bit high, but you can always use less breading 🙂

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Rita! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for coming back to leave a review + comment. I appreciate it.

    1. 1 star
      I agree with Kayla’s comment. the cauliflower did not crisp up at all. Extremely dry and saugy with a weird soft coating on top. I recommended looking for a different recipe.

      1. I am so sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you, Kaylee. Did you happen to change anything about the recipe?

    1. Yay! I am glad that you are loving this recipe, Nicole. Thank you for your review & star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Ah yay! I am so glad that you are loving this revise, Stacie. Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    Initially tried these in the convection oven and they were mushy, so I finished them for ten more minutes in the air fryer and they were perfect. If yours are coming out mushy I suggest cooking them longer. They crisp nicely.

    1. Yay! I am so glad you are loving this recipe and it turned out great for you. Thanks for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, it means so much to me!