This healthy buffalo cauliflower recipe is a spin on traditional buffalo chicken wings. Baked and not fried, it’s crisp, tender, and spicy! Loaded with flavor and perfect as an appetizer, meal, or side dish. Air fryer and oven instructions are included.
If you look up “cauliflower” in the dictionary the definition might read, The one vegetable left on the platter once the party has ended and everyone has gone home. Well, not anymore.
These vegan cauliflower buffalo wings are amazing and guaranteed to deliver a swift and spicy kick to your lower food regions. And, because they’re baked and not fried they’re also healthy.
If you have been missing chicken wings these buffalo cauliflower bites are a must-try. They’re the perfect game day snack, holiday gathering nibble, or appetizer even non-vegans will love.
BTW, be sure and have some celery on hand just in case you’re a little weak in the taste buds and can’t take the heat. Think you can handle it?
Let’s find out. Shall we?
Why You Will Love This Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
Healthy: cauliflower is fat-free and extremely low in calories, and unlike chicken, no cholesterol. They’re also baked, not fried.
Simple: this recipe comes together very easily. You simply cut, coat, bake, baste, and bake. You don’t need to melt butter or any other kind of crap. The hardest part is just waiting on it to finish baking. The smell will drive you crazy!
Oil-free: this buffalo cauliflower is not only a delicious whole food, plant-based appetizer, but it’s also completely oil-free. Similar recipes contain olive oil or vegan butter in the sauce. I think you’ll find it’s absolutely unnecessary and doesn’t affect the flavor one bit!
Delicious: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and super spicy.
Ingredients You’ll Need
These baked buffalo cauliflower wings are so simple to make and require inexpensive whole-food ingredients.
- Cauliflower: 1 large head of cauliflower cut into bite-size florets or two 12-ounce bags of precut cauliflower florets.
- Flour: I prefer organic unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.
- Spices: garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, cumin, black pepper
- Non-Dairy Milk: I used unsweetened almond milk.
- Buffalo Wing Sauce: Frank’s Red Hot sauce is my favorite, but be sure and read the label because some sauces contain butter.
How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
These buffalo cauliflower wings are so easy to make and come together fairly quickly. You won’t believe how simple it is to make this awesome appetizer.
The hardest part will be sharing these tasty little buffalo cauliflower bites once they’re done.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the flour and spice to a large bowl and whisk together. Pour in the unsweetened almond milk and water then whisk until it creates a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Place the cauliflower pieces into the batter in batches and stir them around until they’re completely coated. Remove the florets one at a time, shake off any excess batter, and lay them on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Remove the cauliflower wings from the oven, place them in a large mixing bowl, and cover them with the hot sauce. Stir or toss until the wings are completely covered. Place the cauliflower wings back onto the baking sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes until they are crispy. I like my buffalo wings to have a little char on them so I tend to cook them a little longer.
- Once they are done remove them from the oven, place them on a serving dish, and serve them like regular buffalo chicken wings.
Can I Make Buffalo Cauliflower In The Air Fryer?
Yes, you can and it’s super simple. Here’s how you do it:
- Line your air fryer tray or basket with parchment paper
- Lay your cauliflower out evenly
- Roast at 390˚F for 15 minutes while turning the cauliflower every 3-5 minutes.
NOTE: The cooking time is a general estimate since no two appliances are the same.
- Serve on a tray at any gathering alongside my creamy cool Vegan Ranch Dressing with some celery and carrots.
- If you prefer a dressing with a little more “kick” this Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing recipe from Nora Cooks is my favorite.
- Toast up your favorite whole grain baguette, add some crisp romaine lettuce, pile on some of the vegan buffalo cauliflower wings, and cover it all with vegan ranch for one incredible sandwich.
- Toss the buCauliflowerflower bites into some greens for a delicious and hearty salad.
Can I Store Leftovers In The Fridge?
Yes! Place any leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. But, they are best when enjoyed fresh out of the oven. You can reheat leftovers using your microwave, oven, or air fryer.
As far as freezing the buffalo cauliflower, cruciferous vegetables tend not to do as well in the freezer. So, I would abstain.
- Wanna make these Cauliflower Wings gluten-free? It’s simple! Anthony’s Chickpea Flour, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, or rice flour are great alternatives.
- If you want a little extra crunch simply omit the flour and coat the cauliflower in some panko bread crumbs.
- Not a person who likes spice? Use my homemade BBQ Sauce! AH…mazing!!!
- Be sure and use unsweetened non-dairy milk.
- These cannot be frozen because once they thaw they’re just mushy.
- Most buffalo sauces contain a large amount of sodium. If you want to cut back on the salt, this buffalo sauce from my friends at Monkey & Me is absolutely divine.
If you like this cauliflower recipe you should check out my Cauliflower Mushroom Walnut Taco Meat. It’s pretty amazing!
And, if you want more “party” food ideas be sure and check out my 14 Vegan Party Food Recipes. They’re delicious, easy, and as always, oil-free!
Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, & be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. If you make this recipe please come back to comment and rate it. I’d really appreciate it. Enjoy!Print
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Prep Time: 15 mins.
- Cook Time: 40 mins.
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizers and Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Vegan
- Diet: Vegan
The best Buffalo Cauliflower Wings recipe. Baked crunchy and tender cauliflower, tossed in buffalo sauce and served with a cooling ranch dip.
- 1 cup organic unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond mik
- ½ cup water
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into bite-size florets
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- Preheat your oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop the cauliflower into bite-size florets or use two 12-ounce bags of pre-cut cauliflower florets.
- Add the flour and spice to a large bowl and whisk together. Pour in the unsweetened almond milk and water and whisk until it creates a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Place the florets into the batter in batches and lightly toss until they’re covered with the batter. Remove the florets one at a time, shake off any excess batter, and lay them on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven, place them in a clean large bowl, and cover them with the hot sauce. Stir or toss the cauliflower wings until they are evenly covered in sauce. Place the cauliflower wings back onto the baking sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes until they are crispy. I like my buffalo wings to have a little char on them so I tend to cook them a little longer.
- Once they are done remove them from the oven, place them on a serving dish, and enjoy them like regular buffalo chicken wings alongside celery sticks and carrot sticks.
Serve on a tray at any gathering alongside of my creamy cool Vegan Ranch Dressing with some celery and carrots.
If you prefer a dressing with a little more “kick” this Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing recipe from Nora Cooks is my favorite.
Toast up your favorite whole grain baguette, add some crisp romain lettuce, pile on some of the vegan buffalo cauliflower wings, and cover it all with vegan ranch for one incredible sandwich.
Toss the buffalo cauliflower bites into some greens for a delicioua and hearty salad.
Wanna make these Cauliflower Wings gluten-free? It’s simple! Anthony’s Chickpea Flour, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, or rice flour are great alternatives.
Be sure and use unsweetened non-dairy milk.
You can store any leftovers in an airtight conatiner or freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. But, they are best when enjoyed fresh out of the oven.
These cannot be frozen because once they thaw they’re just mushy.
Note: Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 161
- Sugar: 3.1 g
- Sodium: 653.9 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 32.1 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 7.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: buffalo cauliflower wings, cauliflower buffalo wings, vegan wings, cauliflower buffalo wings recipe, vegan buffalo chicken wings
Do you think I could use unsweeten coconut milk instead
Thanks for yet another terrific, oil-free recipe, Shane!
A number of your other fan mentioned wanting a GF flour option: I can tell you chickpea flower works great.
Sambal oelek is a good substitute for Frank’s as well.
Keep on cooking,
I made these a few times and tonight I made them turned out Amazing! I don’t add the hot sauce cause I’m a whimp when it comes to hot anything lol so I just baked them a little longer then dip them in BBQ sauce and or your ranch dressing recipe which I use weekly
Thank you for all your amazing recipes I couldn’t eat this way without you!!!
Not enough positive adjectives to describe how delicious this buffalo cauliflower is.
Awww, Carol! Thank you so much.
My family LOVED these!!! I cannot believe we are just now trying them. This recipe is a keeper!!
Can you substitute a barbecue sauce for the Franks Red Hot sauce….I couldn’t find that in my store, but have plenty of BBQ sauce.
Genius! I made one tray of cauliflower and another of brussel sprouts. Loved it
Just a heads up for those wanting to make these GF…..all flour is not created equal. I used coconut flour because it’s what I had. Coconut flour does not work!! I’ll definitely try again with Chickpea or Bobs Red Mill flour that you suggested.
Correct. I’ll add a little more info in the post. But, coconut flour, almond flour, etc. will not work. If it needs to be gluten-free you should corn flour, oat flour, or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1.
Bill and Beth
LOVED this recipe and the Vegan Ranch Dressing. We’ve tried many “Wing” recipes and found them lacking. My husband suggested using beer instead of the plant milk/water in the recipe. Might have to try that because your 5 ingredient bread recipe has become a staple in our house.
THANK YOU SHANE!
My pleasure and thanks for reaching out.
For a salt free hot sauce (as requested), Trader Jo’s has one, Chili Pepper Sauce. It doesn’t have the tang of Frank’s (which I love but you can always add a drip of vinegar to it and see if that doesn’t get it a little closer.
Do you have any recommendations of a hot sauce that might be either very low sodium or no sodium at all that will be good with this recipe? Thanks.
Hi, Kate! I am currently working on it. Keep an eye out:)
I know it is good because it is from you, my question is has anyone tried making it with your BBQ sauce, I know just try it, but I haven’t made any yet sooooo.
Hi Shane. Made this for last night’s super bowl and they were excellent. Even my 14yo anti-veggie kid said he would eat them again. They tasted great, had a nice texture and I even went for the extra bit of char (we think alike). However, I would not say mine were significantly crispy so I don’t know if I should be expecting that or not. I used chickpea flour so maybe that was a factor?. Thoughts? Also, the vegan ranch dressing was awesome!
I was skeptical, trying this out for the first time, but I was so pleasantly surprised at how great they came out. I honestly dislike Frank’s Red Hot, but I kept eating them until I couldn’t because the “wings themselves were perfect! My carnivorous hubby and son loved them even more than I did! Next time, I plan to use a different sauce, or just eat as is and use a dip on the side. Thanks!
Thanks so much, Missie!!!
I meant to make them for big game yesterday but ran out of time so I just made them today. They are very good but I’m with you. The coating is perfection so next time I would make them with the hot sauce for dipping.
Wanting to try this for my husband and son this weekend and wondering if frozen cauliflower would work ok in this as that’s what I have on hand or if would effect the moisture content?
The frozen cauliflower will the florets mushy. I would use fresh.
can you use the air fryer – would I need to decrease the temp and time?
Yes, you can totally use an air-fryer. I’m not sure what the time and temp would be as I have never done it.
Do you think I could use broccoli instead of cauliflower?
I, personally, have never tried it. But, I would use raw broccoli, batter them first, and then roast them. I’d love your feedback on this.
Wow I didn’t have high hopes on this but exceeded my expectations. I drizzled hot sauce after they came out from the oven. I used a gluten-free flour from the health food store bulk section. Not sure what was in it. I also added 1 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
Delicious ! My favorite cauliflower wing recipe and I’ve tried a few. Great seasoning in the batter! I did half Frank’s and half sweet chili sauce!
can you use a gluten free flour like almond or oat?
Yes, oat flour would be best.
Delicious and easy to make! I’ve made these often during the shelter in place since I’ve developed quite a snacking habit! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you so much, Kimi! Blessings.
Made these today and they turned out delicious! Perfect kick of heat. Thank you!
Thank you! I’m so glad you liked them.
Made my first batch last night, but will make another batch before I rate it. I think I left too much batter on, b/c they didn’t turn out as crispy as we were hoping they would even after leaving in oven for 25 minutes the 2nd time. Flavor was nice, but I think I’ll add more of the spices to the dry mix (and I guess take away that amount in the flour to offset it. I think I’d like to add a little bit of the hot sauce (I did teriyaki as I can’t handle hot sauce) to the original batter, have you done that before, instead of just the almond milk and water? We did enjoy it for the first time trying it, and think it’s worth doing again with a few tweaks. By the Way, my husband now has a new favorite hot sauce now that he’s tried Frank’s so thx for the recommendation! We’ll let you know how the next batch comes out!
Really enjoyed these! Made your ranch dressing but subbed white beans for the cashews (trying to cut out all fat) and it was still tasty. Thanks!
Thank you, Jill! And, love the adaptation.
Liked them, but didn’t love them. Will try using more hot sauce and cook for longer next time. It has literally been a decade since I’ve eaten cauliflower because I’m not a huge fan of it, so thanks for inspiring me to give it another chance.
Micah and Ben
I’m a fan.
Loved it! Made a half size batch and inhaled it, I want more! I’ll be putting this on regular rotation.
Can I substitute oat milk for the almond milk?
If just hot sauce is too spicy, what can I mix it with to tone it down but still get some heat before popping back in the oven?
Hi, Sherry! Honestly, it all depends on your taste and your preference of sauce. You do not have to use this specific sauce. Find one you like and use that one.