These Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are the healthier alternative to fried chicken wings that are 1000% crave worthy – just try and stop at 5! Most recipes don’t ever get crispy, but this recipe is coated in seasoned panko (gluten free available) so it’s crispy on the edges, tender in the middle and spicy, tangy and subtly sweet all over. This Buffalo Cauliflower recipe is a prep ahead party crowd pleaser or try them in tacos, wraps, bowls and salad!
Watch How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower
cauliflower and breading
Buffalo Wings Sauce
Tools Used in This Recipe
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
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CAUIFLOWER AND BATTER
- 2 pounds cauliflower (1 large head, or 2 small heads), cut into 2-3 inch pieces, dried well
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour (gluten free as needed)
- 2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Buffalo WINGS Sauce (NOT original hot sauce)
- 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs (for gluten free my fav is ALEIA'S)
- 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt
- ½ tsp EACH pepper, ground cumin, celery seed
BUFFALO HONEY HOT WINGS SAUCE
- 1 cup Frank’s Hot Buffalo WINGS Sauce (same as above)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- Prep: Preheat oven to 425° F for baking or 225° F for air frying (to keep cauliflower warm as you air fry in batches). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and top with a wire baking rack.
- Batter: Whisk the eggs and hot sauce together in a large bowl (large enough to hold cauliflower). Whisk in the flour until smooth.
- Panko breading: Whisk the panko and spices together in a separate large bowl.
- Batter Cauliflower: Add the cauliflower to the Batter and gently stir until evenly coated on all sides.
- Bread Cauliflower: Working in batches, dredge the cauliflower in the Panko Breading, pressing firmly with clean fingers to adhere. Transfer cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet in an even layer without touching. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Bake OR Air fry: Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F or working in batches, air fry for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, prepare Buffalo Sauce:
- Buffalo Sauce: Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Melt butter over medium heat, then bring to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes; set aside.
- Coat Cauliflower: You can either brush the cauliflower lightly with buffalo sauce which results in crispier bites because they don't get as saturated but it takes longer OR stir the cauliflower with the sauce in a large bowl. To coat in a bowl: transfer 2/3 of the buffalo sauce to a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and gently stir to evenly coat. Add as much of the remaining sauce as needed to coat but try not to oversaturate for crispier bites.
- Air Fry Again: Air fry at 375° F for an additional 5 minutes or until crispy. Repeat until cauliflower is gone. You can keep cooked Buffalo Cauliflower warm in the oven at 225° F until all of the cauliflower is done.
- Bake Again: Return cauliflower to the pan in an even layer without touching. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes at 425° F or until dry to the touch and tender-crisp. Turn oven to broil (550 degrees F) and broil on high for 2-3 minute or until crisped to your liking, watching closely so they don’t burn.
- Devour immediately. The Buffalo Cauliflower is best served within a few minutes of cooking while warm and the edges are still crisp.
- Don’t stack Cauliflower Buffalo Bites. Resist the urge to stack the bites when they come out of the oven or they will steam and you’ll lose all crispiness. It is best to serve them lined in a single layer with a little breathing room in between each morsel.
- Don’t add sauce to all of the cauliflower if not everyone likes heat.
- To store: Cauliflower Buffalo Wings should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator in a single layer (place a piece of parchment paper in between any layers) for up to 5 days.
- To reheat: Cauliflower Buffalo Bites reheat best in the air fryer. Reheat using the snack setting for 5 minutes or so, or in the oven for 8 minutes at 425 degrees F.
- Prep ahead: All elements of this Buffalo Cauliflower recipe can be prepped ahead of time. The cauliflower can be chopped, tossed with the batter up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. The panko breading can be whisked together up to 10 days ahead of time and stored in an an airtight container at room temperature. Lastly, the buffalo wings sauce can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days ahead of time, reheat before using.
- If serving for a party: Keep in mind the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are best enjoyed immediately and will get softer once they are coated with the sauce – still totally scrumptious, just not as crispy. I suggest baking the cauliflower up to adding the sauce. When ready to enjoy, add the sauce and continue with the last bake OR if you have access to an oven or air fryer, reheat using the instructions above.
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