BBQ Cauliflower Wings are such a perfect appetizer or snack for game day. Made with a handful of ingredients, these will keep everyone coming back for more!
I think by now you know I have a thing for cauliflower. These are recipes I’ve created where cauliflower is the star: Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, Cauliflower Meat Tacos, Cauliflower Fajitas and Sticky Sesame Cauliflower.
I don’t really care for raw cauliflower at all, but it gets super delicious and even takes on a “meat-like” quality when you prepare it in certain ways. Of course, not in a way that would fool a meat eater into thinking they’re eating real meat, but I bet they won’t be able to stop eating these BBQ Cauliflower Wings anyway!
The BBQ Cauliflower Wings are first coated in a flour/water/spices/salt batter, then dipped and coated in panko breadcrumbs and baked. Add some BBQ sauce, and you have one of the most delicious appetizers or snacks I’ve ever tasted!
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How to cut cauliflower for BBQ Cauliflower Wings?
Start with a large head of cauliflower. I like to cut the florets into fairly large (but not huge) bite sized pieces. I wouldn’t cut them too small. I also recommend you leave a little bit of the stem on the cauliflower florets. It looks good and it gives you a handle for picking up and eating! Plus, less food waste.
How do you make BBQ Cauliflower Wings?
After you have your cauliflower florets cut and ready, mix the water, flour, spices and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate, smaller bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs. Line a large baking sheet (or two if needed) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Add the cauliflower to the bowl with the water/flour batter and stir to coat all the florets well. One floret at a time, roll in the panko breadcrumbs, and then place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and toss the baked florets with about 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (using a large bowl). Coat well, then return to the pan and place back in the oven to cook for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Brush a little more barbecue sauce onto the cooked cauliflower wings, if desired and serve immediately with Vegan Ranch for dipping.
Can you make BBQ Cauliflower Wings Gluten Free?
To make these gluten free, substitute either almond flour or a gluten free mix for the all purpose flour. And in place of breadcrumbs, you could use cornmeal, gluten free breadcrumbs or simply skip this step.
Will the leftovers save well?
Yes, if you have any leftover BBQ Cauliflower Wings you can keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The best way to reheat them is in the oven until warm, but you could also use a microwave if needed.
BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 5-6 cups florets)
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 18 ounces your favorite barbecue sauce OR Quick and Easy Vegan Barbecue Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces. I like to leave some of the cauliflower stem on each piece, it makes them easier to pick up when eating.
- In a large bowl, add water, flour, garlic and onion powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined. In a second, smaller bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- Add the cauliflower to the batter in the large bowl, and toss to coat. Remove the pieces of cauliflower, one by one, and tap off the excess batter a few times on the side of the bowl. Roll them in the breadcrumbs, coating on all sides, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 10 more minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.
- Toss the florets with 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce to coat in a large bowl, then return to the pan. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, brush with more barbecue sauce before serving, if desired. Serve with Vegan Ranch for dipping. Enjoy!
- To make gluten free, use a gluten free flour mix, or almond flour in the batter. You could omit the breadcrumbs, use gluten free breadcrumbs, or try using cornmeal instead.
- Panko breadcrumbs work the best for this recipe, but you could substitute another kind of breadcrumbs if desired. Just check the ingredients to make sure they are dairy free. This brand of panko breadcrumbs is accidentally vegan and I can find them at many normal grocery stores and on Amazon.
- To store leftovers, keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven until warm, or even in the microwave.
- You can use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce (check ingredients to ensure vegan) or make my Quick and Easy Vegan Barbecue Sauce. You will need about 18 ounces, which is the average bottle of bbq sauce and how much my recipe makes.
Couldn’t get over how good these are! I’ve had all kinds and this is the best!
Thanks for your terrific feedback! I glad you loved the wings!
Wings were really crispy and great until I added BBQ sauce and put then back in the oven for 10 minutes. Went soggy instantly. Next time I make this I will quickly stir in the BBQ sauce and serve immediately. I won’t put them back in the oven. Defeats the crispiness.
I added some corn meal to the panko to make them real crispy. Used 1/2 water and 1/2 vegan unsweetened soy milk. Will try Stubbs Spicy BBQ Sauce next.
Gonna use the soggy chunks on top of my Vegan Hawaiian pineapple pizza! 🤗🍕
I made these BBQ “Wings” for New Years Eve and I was amazed how well they turned out! The crispiness of the batter/bread crumb combo along with the baked-on BBQ sauce created a wonderfully sticky, spicy wing! They were an excellent addition to the veggie tray. I warmed up the leftovers a couple of days later in the air fryer and they were still delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!
Yum! I’ve never done breading without egg and I couldn’t tell the difference! I will definitely use the base breaded cauliflower, but change up the sauces. I made the BBQ sauce as suggested as well and that was easy and delicious, too. I like that I didn’t have to cook it on the stove top.
10/10, will make again!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you loved the wings!
I was unexpectedly blown away by this recipe & wouldn’t change a thing. Even my son who won’t touch cauliflower loved these 🙂
Woo hoo! I’m glad the wings were a hit with your son! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and feedback!
Love this recipe, Cauliflower with BBQ is bliss!
So glad you’re loving it! Thanks for sharing!
5 beautiful. Trying to change my approach on eating.
Love the recipes! The ability to convert to metric is one of the reasons we use this site. Great feature.
I’m so glad you are loving my recipes and like the site features! Thank you!
This recipe is so good, it’s become our go-to Friday evening meal of appetizers 🙂
That is so fun – I’m thrilled they are your weekly appetizer! Thank you for sharing your comments, and I’m glad you love the wings!
Looking forward to making the BBQ cauliflower wings!
These are amazing!!! Would definitely recommend. Crispy but still juicy and fairly simple to make. Will definitely use this recipe in the future ?
Thanks a lot for sharing your great review, Holly! I”m glad you love the wings and thrilled you’ll be making them lots! Happy cooking!
OMG – THANK YOU!!! My hubby is a part of a study and it involves a plant-based SOS free diet. So, I have had to revamp our weekly menus to accommodate the study. I am also a trained pastry chef, so the SOS free diet is NOT easy. I was looking for a quick and easy meal and I came across your recipe! Please accept this virtual hug I am giving you right now!! ? I was a little skeptical about bbq cauliflower “wings” but I am now a believer!! Followed the recipe minus the salt and used a sugar free bbq sauce. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Did I say THANK YOU?!?
Nora – you ROCK!!! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to trying some of your other recipes!
Hi Kimberly! I’m thrilled that you had good luck, and loved my cauliflower wings! I’m glad you’ve found Nora Cooks! Let me know how the recipes go for you as you journey though them! Thank you for sharing!
Could these be made with oyster mushrooms instead of cauliflower?
They probably could, but I haven’t tested it. Sounds fun!
I switched to a vegan lifestyle at the beginning of the year. This is by far my new favorite. I just loved it. I am looking forward to trying some other sauces for variety. I have a mango/red pepper sauce that I am going to try next.
Thank you for sharing your review, Kathi! I’m glad you love the wings! You sauce idea sounds delicious!
I was wondering if anyone has made this ahead of time and rewarmed the next day for a party?
Can these be made a day ahead of time and reheated for a party?
Sure! I would reheat them in the oven to crisp them back up.
I’m sorry, I commented again before I noticed you did respond to my question.Thanks so much! I’m going to try them for a party- they look great!
Amazing wings. My husband loves chicken wings so I made these as an alternative and wow they are amazing. He found the smaller pieces, inch or so, tasted so meaty that he thought it was a real chicken wing. I’ll make certain to cut all pieces of cauliflower into smaller 1 inch or so pieces next time.
Hi Deborah. I’m glad you guys love the wings! Thanks a lot for taking time to share your review!
My husband Loves then, and he loves BBQ wings. He said it tastes like chicken. The only thing I would add is to spray the pan with Pam, the coating stuck to it.
Made these wings several times and they are the best! Customizable with different ‘BBQ sauce’ to fit our mood, perfect!
Hi Bianka. Thank you! Happy cooking!
This recipe is delicious! My husband loves them! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Jackie!
Can these be air fried?
Sure, you could air fry them, but it would probably take several rounds, as you don’t want them to touch each other.
We have tried so many cauli-wing recipes and favor this one. Most others call for excessive amounts of vegan butter or even frying. I loved picking up this recipe and making it exactly as called for – and having it turn out perfectly. We also used your recipe for BBQ sauce and, at ages 55 and 58, learned that we have been wasting money and settling on flavor by not making our own. It was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Amy. I’m so glad you love the wings and the sauce! Thank you for sharing!
Made this several times. Love! But actually prefer the way they crisp up when coated with the cornmeal option you mention.