Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Published Sep 02, 2021, Updated Feb 03, 2023
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These buffalo cauliflower wings are baked instead of fried! They’re perfectly crunchy and delicious dipped in ranch dressing.
Fall is knocking on our door and that means football season is right around the corner. I’m not a big football watcher but I am all about game day parties and snacks galore.
Some of my favorite game day snacks are chips and guac (my healthy guacamole is the best), cheesy cauliflower nachos, sweet potato skins and black bean dip, but everyone else seems to love wings.
I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of chicken wings, but as soon as I saw the idea for buffalo cauliflower “wings” I knew I had to try them. Anything that involves cauliflower? Count me in!
They’re just as good as I imagined and way more appealing to me than regular chicken wings. I loved them but had to make a batch for Isaac and his brother to taste test too. Rest assured, the guys ate these without hesitation and gave them a solid two thumbs up!
Are Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Healthy?
Definitely! These cauliflower wings are a healthy vegan alternative to traditional buffalo wings. They’re baked instead of fried, low-carb and there’s no added sugar. To keep them vegan I used a clean buffalo sauce from Primal Kitchen, which is dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and Whole30 approved. I also have an air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe if you want to use your air fryer!
I hope you love these clean eating buffalo cauliflower wings as much as we do!
- cauliflower – a large head of cauliflower cut into small-to-medium sized florets. Think of cutting them into pieces that are half the size of regular chicken wings. I like to buy a whole head of cauliflower and chop it into florets, but you can buy pre-chopped if you’re running short on time.
- all purpose flour – for the crispy breading. You can also use gluten-free all purpose flour to make these gluten-free.
- garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and pepper – you’ll combine these seasonings with your flour and water to make a little sauce to coat the cauliflower florets in before baking. This helps to achieve that extra crispy texture!
- buffalo style wing sauce – I used Primal Kitchen’s Buffalo Sauce, which is vegan, sugar-free and made with super clean ingredients! If you want to try a homemade version, this one is vegan and looks great. If you’re in a pinch, Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce also works and is still vegan, just not as clean.
- celery – for serving of course!
- ranch dressing – I’m sharing a recipe for making your own vegan ranch dressing to use as a dip, but you can use store-bought as well. I like Primal Kitchen’s Ranch.
tip! Make sure to cut your cauliflower into small-to-medium sized florets. If the pieces are too small they could turn out mushy and if they're too large they won't crisp up as nicely.
How to Make
If you think these cauliflower buffalo wings look intimidating to make, think again! They only require a few simple steps and are super easy to whip up.
- Chop and rinse: Start by chopping your head of cauliflower into small-to-medium sized florets. Think of them as being about half the size of a regular chicken wing. Once chopped, rinse your cauliflower and pat it dry. You’ll want to make sure you get most of the water off your florets to help ensure that your baked cauliflower doesn’t turn out soggy.
- Make batter: The batter is equal parts flour and water mixed with spices. I used garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, but feel free to use whatever spices you prefer. The batter consistency will be pretty thick and almost like a paste.
- Coat: Toss your cauliflower florets in the batter until each floret is coated.
- Bake: Once all of your cauliflower wings are fully coated, it’s time to bake! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss your coated cauliflower onto the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing at the halfway mark until lightly brown and crispy.
- Toss: When the cauliflower comes out of the oven, transfer them to a bowl and toss them in the buffalo sauce. Return to the baking pan and bake again for about 12 more minutes and then broil for 2-3 minutes or until they’re nice and crispy. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn!
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Besides the actual buffalo cauliflower wings, you have to have a dipping sauce, amiright?! The vegan ranch dressing I’m sharing below is crazy delicious and super simple to throw together!
The most important thing is to soak your cashews for at least 3-4 hours or overnight – this ensures a super creamy dressing. Then you just blend with water and dried spices (dill, garlic and onion powder with salt and pepper). Voila! You have the creamiest, most delicious homemade ranch you’ve ever tasted.
How to Serve
These buffalo cauliflower wings can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. Here are some ways to serve them:
- As an appetizer – Serve them the same way you would serve wings – with celery, carrot and ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- On a salad – Make my buffalo cauliflower salad!
- In a wrap – Make a wrap by adding lettuce, any extra veggies, buffalo cauliflower and ranch or blue cheese. Lunch on the go!
How to Store
Leftover buffalo cauliflower stores really well! After cooling completely, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, pop the cauliflower in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes so they crisp back up!
More Healthy Appetizers to Try
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- Lima Bean Hummus
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Baked Pita Chips
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Vegetarian Mezze Platter
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Healthy 7-Layer Dip
- Easy Shrimp Cocktail
- Whipped Feta Dip
More Cauliflower Recipes
- Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice
- Kung Pao Tofu with Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Brownie Baked Oatmeal
Be sure to check out all of the cauliflower recipes and the full collection of appetizers on EBF!
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into small-to-medium sized florets
- 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
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup buffalo-style wing sauce, (I used Primal Kitchen's Buffalo sauce)
- celery, chopped for serving
Cashew Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours or overnight
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Cut cauliflower into small-to-medium florets and rinse if you haven't already. Pat to dry.
- Add flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with a cooking spray. Don't skip this step or the cauliflower will stick.
- Spread coated cauliflower onto a baking sheet in a single layer with space in between each floret.
- Bake for 25 minutes, tossing once at the 15 minute mark.
- Remove pan from oven, add cauliflower florets back into same large mixing bowl and pour wing sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
- Spread cauliflower on baking pan again and bake for 12 more minutes, until the cauliflower starts to brown.
- Set oven to broil and broil the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes or until they're looking crispy. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
- While cauliflower is roasting, add soaked and drained cashews into a high powered blender or food processor with ½ cup water, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Serve cauliflower wings with cashew dressing and celery.
- Old recipe: This recipe has been updated, if you want to make the old recipe, you’ll replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour and add 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil to the mixture. The old recipe didn’t have the paprika, salt and pepper but I feel like it’s nice to have those seasonings.
- For the wing sauce: I used Steve’s Wing Sauce, which is gluten-free and refined sugar free and definitely my first choice if you can find it. Primal Kitchen’s Buffalo Sauce is another brand I would recommend. If you’re in a pinch, Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce also works and is still vegan, just isn’t as clean.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Hey there, was wondering what the beer was in the top photo
There are three beers. They’re all from The Veil Brewing Company, a local brewery here in Richmond, VA. 🙂
Are you supposed to bake them for 15 minutes, flip and bake them another 15?
Then remove them to coat them in the sauce and then broil them?
My cauliflower turned out mushy. What am I doing wrong?
Yes! That’s what you’re supposed to do. What did you do?
Excited to make these! May I substitute melted grass fed butter for the avocado oil?
Hey Michelle – Yes, butter should work just fine instead of the avocado oil. 🙂
These look delicious and I’ll be trying them tonight! I just want to be clear on the nutrition. The recipe yield 4 1 cup servings (4 cups)? So ~860 calories total (without dressing). Or, how much is a cup cauliflower in grams or florets (I’m always flummoxed by measuring cauliflower by the cup!). Thanks!
Hey Jeff! Did you end up making these? How’d they turn out for you? And that’s correct the recipe should yield about 4 cups. 1 cup is 128 grams.
hmmm… looks so yummy.. thanks for the recipe
Did this recipe recently change? I have it bookmarked and have made it many times, but it seems like there are new ingredients.
Hi Eva! It did recently change. We revamped the recipe by using all-purpose flour instead of almond flour (it makes them crispier). We also omitted the avocado oil and added the paprika, sea salt and pepper. I added a note in the recipe card about how to make the original recipe if you’d like to continue making that version.
Thoughts about airfreight these?
Hey Caroline – Assuming you mean air frying? I haven’t tried it, but I’d toss them in the batter, air fry them at 375°F for about 10 minutes. Then add the sauce and return for 5ish more minutes. You’ll have to let me know how these turn out for you if you try them!
These came out great airfried with your directions. Born, raised and still in Buffalo, NY, this Buffalo girl whole-heartedly approves. GO BILLS!
Ah yay!! So happy to hear you loved this buffalo cauliflower wings, Caroline. Thanks so much for the review. It means so much to me!
While looking at this recipe there was a snippet showing making a whipped coffee in a mixer….can I get that recipe?
Hey Shirley – I’m assuming you’re talking about this recipe?
These are soooo good. They were gone in minutes. Even my non-cauliflower loving husband ate some. Yum!!!!
Woo! So happy to hear you loved these cauliflower wings, Sharon! Thanks so much for the review :).
Made these with oat flower and my own homemade Buffalo sauce and they were soooo good 🙂
Woo!! Pumped these cauliflower wings were a hit. Thanks for the review, Bailey. I really appreciate it!
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