Looking for a healthy game day snack or appetizer? Try these buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy homemade ranch dressing. They’re baked instead of fried and perfectly crunchy and crisp on the outside.
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.
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 Tessemae’s, which is dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and Whole30 approved.
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 Tessemae’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.
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 Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
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 Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
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.
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!
Looking for a healthy game day snack or appetizer? Try these buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy homemade ranch dressing. They're baked instead of fried and perfectly crunchy and crisp on the outside.
1large headcauliflower, chopped into small-to-medium sized florets
½cupall-purpose flour (gluten free 1:1 flour will work too)
½teaspoon sea salt
¼teaspoon black pepper
½cupbuffalo-style wing sauce, (I used Tessemae’s Buffalo sauce)
celery, chopped for serving
Cashew Ranch Dressing:
½cupraw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours or overnight
pinchof 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.