Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (vegan/gf option)
These seriously delicious baked buffalo cauliflower wings are a fun way to eat your veggies! Easily vegan and/or gluten free, these veggie-loaded bites are going to be a hit with any crowd!
Healthy buffalo wings
This recipe was 100% requested by my buffalo sauce-lovin’ husband and I am HERE for it. These Cauliflower Buffalo “Wings” are a delicious appetizer, a super fun way to eat your veggies, and are a healthier take on a classic party food!
I know, I know. Buffalo wings are not exactly “kid food” (unless you have the rare kiddo who loves spice!). And, yes, most of my veggie-loaded recipes are geared towards family and kids. However, veggie-loading is definitely not just for little ones. I have readers constantly reaching out, looking for ways to get themselves or their partners excited about veggies too. So these Cauliflower Buffalo wings are my way of making veggies is little more exciting for the adults in the house!
Recipe development in collaboration with Heather Staller of Happy Kids Kitchen
What makes these cauliflower buffalo wings so good?
- They are tender, loaded with flavor, a kick of spice, and are simply fun to eat!
- They’re adaptable! Easily vegan, gluten free and paleo if you need those options. Be sure to check the Suggested Adaptations section below for how to make these wings fit your personal dietary needs.
- The flavor 100% will remind you of eating your favorite buffalo wings…all while getting bonus veggies in.
- These buffalo cauliflower wings are perfect for parties, as a fun appetizer or to serve up as a snack during Sunday Football with some blue cheese dip or with some homemade ranch
How to make this cauliflower recipe
If you have a whole cauliflower you are working with, start by cutting it into florets.
To do this, cut your cauliflower into quarters. Cut the core away then break up the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. You may need to cut some of the larger florets, so all the pieces are about the same size. If you are using pre-cut florets, you will want about heaping cups.
Next, preheat your oven to 425℉ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. This will help the make clean up a breeze and will help the cooked and breaded cauliflower from sticking to your baking sheet. If you don’t want to use parchment paper, be sure to grease your baking sheet really well.
Mix up your dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add the water. Mix until there are no remaining lumps in the batter.
Add 4-5 cauliflower florets to the batter bowl at a time, using tongs or a fork toss them around in the batter.
Once the florets are well coated, remove from the bowl, letting excess batter drip off for a minute, and arrange on your prepared baking sheet. Be sure to give the florets enough space so they cook up evenly and do not crowd. Use two baking sheets if you need to.
Bake in your preheated oven until golden brown and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While the breaded cauliflower florets bake, mix the hot sauce and butter or oil together in a bowl.
Once the florets are done, remove from the oven and drizzle the hot sauce over them or toss the cauliflower into the sauce to coat fully. Serve warm with dressing or dip of your choice.
What to serve with buffalo cauliflower wings
Personally, I like stick with the classic buffalo wing pairings. So I suggest….
- ranch dressing (this is my homemade version and its yum!)
- blue cheese dressing
- celery sticks
- carrot sticks
Make then gluten-free. Use your favorite gluten-free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour.
Opt for them dairy-free. Just make sure to use a vegan butter or coconut oil to mix with the hot sauce….and these cauliflower buffalo wings are easily vegan!
Need a grain-free option? Use the same amount of almond flour in place of the regular flour and arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch. Perfectly Paleo cauliflower buffalo wings!
Not a hot sauce fan? The baked cauliflower is delicious on its own, dipped in dressing or eaten plain. You could also drizzle the cauliflower with your favorite barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce for a different flavor option.
More veggie-centered appetizer recipes
- Parmesan Kale Chips
- 5-Minute Zucchini Avocado Dip
- Zucchini and Corn Fritters
- Cheesy Cauliflower Nuggets
- Corn and Black Bean Salad
Loving this buffalo wings but you’re hungry for more?
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- 1 large head cauliflower, about 4 cups of florets
- 1 cup flour , or gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1/2 cup buffalo-style hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
- 2 tablespoons butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil, melted
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease really well with oil. (If your cauliflower is very large, you may need to use a second sheet pan.)
- Cut your cauliflower into quarters. Cut the core away then break up the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. You may need to cut some of the larger florets, so all the pieces are about the same size.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir in the water. It should be the consistency of very thin pancake batter.
- Add 4 to 5 florets into the batter at a time and toss to coat. I find using tongs works best, but you can also use a fork or your hands. Transfer the dipped cauliflower to your prepared baking sheet, allowing some of the excess batter to dip back into the bowl first. Make sure to leave plenty of space between the cauliflower so they can brown. Continue with the remaining cauliflower, using a second sheet pan if you run out of room on the first.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy, 20 to 25minutes. Mix the hot sauce and butter or oil together in a bowl. Drizzle the hot sauce over the cooked cauliflower or toss the cauliflower into the sauce to coat fully. Serve warm with dressing or dip of your choice.