Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Published Jan 31, 2022, Updated Nov 07, 2023
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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.
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.
- 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!
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!
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.
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:
- Healthy Sweet Potato Skins
- Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos
- Healthy 7-Layer Dip
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Black Bean Dip
- Healthy Guacamole
Need more ideas? Check out my full collection of healthy game day snacks.
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
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Tofu
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Pasta Chips
- Air Fryer Chickpeas (5 Ways)
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Carrots
Want More Cauliflower Recipes?
- Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Cauliflower Grits with Blackened Shrimp
- Turkey Cauliflower Baked Ziti
- 6-Ingredient Healthy Mashed Cauliflower
- Low-Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Cauliflower Fried “Rice”
- Cauliflower Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Gratin
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve cauliflower wings with dipping sauce of choice (I prefer ranch or blue cheese) with a side of celery and/or carrot sticks.
- Don’t have an air fryer? Check out my baked buffalo cauliflower wings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.