These crispy Cauliflower Wings are tossed in buffalo sauce and served with an easy vegan ranch dipping sauce. They’re the ultimate game day snack you won’t be able to resist!

Treat yourself to more addictive cauliflower wings, like these BBQ Cauliflower Wings, Bang Bang Cauliflower, Sticky Sesame Cauliflower, and Orange Cauliflower.

buffalo cauliflower wings, celery sticks, a bowl of ranch dressing, and a bowl of buffalo sauce on a large white platter.

Whether you need a crowd-pleasing appetizer or an exciting dinner, Cauliflower Wings are the right choice! Cauliflower florets are breaded and baked until crispy, then tossed in spicy buffalo sauce and served with vegan ranch dressing on the side. They go fast, so plan on making extras if you want a plate all to yourself!

Why I love these buffalo cauliflower wings

  • Tender, meaty, and crunchy: Vegan cauliflower wings aren’t pretending to be chicken but their meaty texture and addictive flavor make them irresistible!
  • Baked, not fried: Baking is a hands-off method that yields crispy-on-the-outside, meaty-on-the-inside wings every time. No messy or heavy deep fryer oil needed. If you want to make deep fried cauliflower wings, try this recipe: Buffalo Fried Cauliflower.
  • A snack you’ll look forward to: Buffalo cauliflower wings are completely delicious. Snack on them with the easy vegan ranch dip during the big game, add them to Buddha bowls for a punch of spice, or enjoy them as a fun topping on mac and cheese.
a hand dipping a buffalo cauliflower into vegan ranch dressing.

How to make cauliflower wings

Whisk the water, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl and toss to coat.

breading ingredients for cauliflower wings being whisked together in a large white bowl.
breaded cauliflower florets in a large white bowl.

One by one, tap the excess batter off of the florets and lay them on a baking sheet.

Spray the tops with cooking spray so they get super crispy.

Pro tip: Leave about 1 inch of space in between each cauliflower wing on the baking tray. This prevents them from getting stuck together and encourages the breading to crisp up.

breaded cauliflower in rows on a baking sheet.

To make the vegan buffalo sauce, melt the vegan butter in a saucepan, then stir in the hot sauce and maple syrup/agave. Set it aside until the cauliflower is done baking.

Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes, then flip the pieces. Continue baking until the breading is golden.

buffalo sauce in a grey saucepan.
baked cauliflower in rows on a baking sheet.

Toss the vegan cauliflower bites in the buffalo sauce, then return them to the baking sheet.

You can either bake the buffalo sauce-coated wings once more to make them crispy or serve them right away with vegan ranch dressing on the side.

tossing cauliflower wings in buffalo sauce in a white bowl.
baked buffalo cauliflower wings in rows on a baking sheet.

Cauliflower Wings Variations

  • Extra crunchy wings – After tossing them in the batter, roll the florets in 1 ½ cups of panko breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs add a light and airy crunch to the otherwise tender and flavor-packed bites. Also, consider leaving the buffalo sauce on the side for dipping. The less sauce that’s on the breaded cauliflower, the crispier they’ll become.
  • Instead of buffalo sauce – Toss the florets in another wing sauce you like, such as teriyaki, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, bang bang sauce, or sesame sauce.
  • Gluten free – Make the breading with gluten free all purpose flour or almond flour instead. 
  • Frozen cauliflower – You can use frozen cauliflower florets but make sure they’re thawed completely before tossing them in the batter. Also, pat them dry with paper towels after thawing to help the batter stick.
  • Serve with a spread of dipping sauces – You can serve the baked cauliflower bites with the simple vegan ranch dipping sauce included in the recipe card or this cashew based Vegan Ranch, as well as my Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing, Barbecue Sauce, and Chipotle Sauce.
whisking the ingredients for vegan ranch dressing in a white bowl.
creamy vegan ranch dressing in a white bowl.

Frequently asked questions

Is buffalo sauce vegan?

Classic buffalo chicken wing sauce is not vegan-friendly because it’s made with butter. It is, however, easy to make vegan! All you need to do is substitute vegan butter for the regular butter.

Are buffalo wings spicy?

Your mouth won’t be set on fire but the buffalo cauliflower wings do have a moderate amount of heat. Stirring melted vegan butter into the buffalo sauce does tone down the heat slightly, but if it’s still too spicy for you, leave the sauce on the side or swap it for any of the sauces I listed in the Variations.

Can you air fry cauliflower wings?

Yes! After they’re battered, lay the florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 350ºF for 15 to 25 minutes. Toss them in the hot sauce before serving.

Air frying does yield crispy cauliflower wings but it takes longer because you need to cook them in batches to avoid overcrowding. If the wings are touching each other, they’ll turn out soggy.

How do you serve buffalo wings?

Creamy dipping sauce and cut vegetables are a must. For the best experience, serve the wings with the simple vegan ranch in the recipe card, my Cashew Ranch Dressing, or Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing, as well as celery and carrot sticks on the side. These all do a great job of toning down the spicy kick of the buffalo sauce.

Want to make it a meal? Serve the wings with vegan pizza, Caesar salad, or burgers as a fun side dish for family dinners, or pair them with vegan jalapeno poppers and vegan chili on game day.

How do you store the leftovers?

The bites are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, but you could store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Reheat leftovers in the oven or, better yet, an air fryer until crispy, about 10 minutes.

close up on buffalo cauliflower on a white platter with celery sticks and ranch dipping sauce on the side.
buffalo cauliflower wings, celery sticks, a bowl of ranch dressing, and a bowl of buffalo sauce on a large white platter.
4.95 stars (73 ratings)

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

These crispy Cauliflower Wings are tossed in buffalo sauce and served with an easy vegan ranch dipping sauce. They’re the ultimate game day snack you won’t be able to resist!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or agave

Easy Vegan Ranch

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • tiny pinch of paprika
  • tiny pinch of black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk, or even water, to thin as needed

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray generously with oil.
  • Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  • In a large bowl, add water, flour, garlic and onion powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  • Add the cauliflower to the batter in the bowl, and toss to combine and really coat the cauliflower. Remove the pieces of cauliflower, one by one, and tap off the excess batter a few times on the side of the bowl.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other, or they will all get stuck together as they bake. Spray the tops with oil, this will help them get super crispy.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 15 more minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • While the cauliflower are baking, prepare the hot sauce/butter mixture. Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Once melted, add the hot sauce, maple syrup or agave and stir. Set aside.
  • Once the cauliflower have cooked and are crispy, toss the florets with the sauce in a large bowl, then return to the pan. You can serve them immediately, or to make them crispier, put them back in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If you want them super crispy, leave the buffalo sauce on the side for dipping as you go.
  • Serve with easy vegan ranch (recipe included), my cashew based vegan ranch or vegan blue cheese.

For the Easy Vegan Ranch

  • Add all the ranch ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Taste and add salt, if desired, or more herbs. That's it! Enjoy.

Video

Notes

  1. I find all purpose flour yields the best flavor and texture here, but it also works with almond flour, white whole wheat flour or a gluten free all purpose flour. 
  2. Gluten free: Use a gluten free flour or almond flour, and skip the breadcrumbs.
  3. Oil free: Skip the vegan butter and don’t spray with oil.
  4. Breadcrumbs: To make them extra-crispy, roll the cauliflower in panko breadcrumbs (you will need about 1 1/2 cups) once they are coated in the flour/milk mixture. Then bake per the instructions.
  5. Frozen cauliflower: Fresh is better, but frozen will work. Make sure to thaw and then pat dry before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1670mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 134IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. This was delicious, easy and perfect! Your recipes help keep my husband on his vegan journey. Thank you

  2. Tried this recipe today…So Good! I used a store-bought buffalo sauce and did not add the vegan butter. Thank you!

  3. I made these tonight and boy am I glad I did! I used almond flour and I used gluten free bread crumbs that I made. I did put the cauliflower back in the oven after putting the buffalo sauce on, but next time I would only cook them for ten minutes because they started to burn. I also used lemon juice instead of the apple cider vinegar in the dip because I do not eat vinegar. My daughter and I thought this recipe was better than a vegan restaurant near us. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. You are welcome, Joan! Thank you for sharing your great review and comments! I’m glad you loved the wings!

  4. I made these to eat alongside your “Best Mac and Cheese.” I made them as is with no changes and they were so flipping good! I needed to turn my oven up a bit hotter but that is an issue with my oven rather than your recipe. I made my own ranch type sauce since I am not a huge fan of ranch but I can tolerate my own concoction lol. Thanks Nora!

  5. I tried cooking longer after putting sauce on and the florets were soggy. The cauliflower is perfectly cooked, tender and crunchy after 20 mins. I warm the sauce in the microwave and spoon it on the cauliflower pieces on my plate. Neither my wife nor I really needs the ranch dressing. Leftovers won’t be soggy minus the sauce.

  6. I love the taste but the batter always seems too thick, even after thinning it. I end up with excess batter that spreads and connects the florets. Your picture of coated florets look almost completely dry. Is that the idea, to shake off almost all the batter? Also, when you say to leave the sauce for dipping for crisper florets, does that imply using no sauce at all on top? Love all your recipes and thanks for keeping them simple and delicious!

    1. Hi Bill. In the picture with the florets before they are cooked, they are coated in the batter, not dry. I know it’s a little hard to see that. If you did thin the batter, it is more likely to spread on the pan though, you don’t want it too thin. You DO want to shake off all excess batter that’s not sticking to the cauliflower, as well as possible. If a little spreads, it’s not that big of a deal. And yes, you could leave the buffalo sauce completely on the side for dipping if you want them to be as crispy as possible. Thanks for loving my recipes and I hope that helps somewhat!

  7. Thank you for this recipe. I tried it today with a huge cauliflower fresh from the local farmer’s market. While the batter ingredients were easy to put together, mine didn’t turn out as crispy as I wanted them to be. It could be because I left some on the larger side and didn’t give them enough time to crisp up. Just a couple of suggestions for others who may be making this – I put the panko crumbs in a plastic bag and after I battered the cauliflower, I put them in a bag and shook them like shake ‘n bake to get them all covered evenly which coats a lot more cauliflowers at once and is a whole lot less messier. I would also recommend people oil their pan and even the battered cauliflower tops with a high heat tolerant oil like avocado oil to minimize brown oil spots on the cauliflower which is what I had. Served with celery and carrot sticks with a ranch dressing and my husband liked them a lot. Many thanks again!

  8. Nora, you are a wonderful cook! I have made these several times and they are ALWAYS delicious. This time, instead of wheat flour, I used lupini flour for extra protein. To get the consistency you pictured, I had to add a little more water to my lupini flour. I also followed one of your reviewer’s recommendations and brushed them with the buffalo sauce right on the pan and cooked for an additional 18 min. My florets were on the bigger side so they needed the few extra minutes. They turned out great this time too. I serve them on blue corn tortillas with the ranch a thin slice of avocado, the color contrast is beautiful. Thank you for posting this recipe. It’s my favorite way to have cauliflower.

    1. You are very welcome, Margaritte! Your meal sounds beautiful and delicious! Thank YOU for your fabulous feedback and review! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  9. I love this recipe so much!! It’s one of my all time favorites. Just for even space on nights when multiple things need the oven, do you know what I could cook these things at in an air fryer? Thank you!

    1. I’m thrilled to hear you love the cauliflower! Yes, they can be made in the air fryer at 350ºF for 15-25 minutes. Further instructions are in the blog post above. Hope this helps!

  10. It has taken me years to review this recipe. Nothing beats this recipe. I’ve shared it with many friends, roommates, my partner-everybody loves it! Plant forward and delicious. Admittedly I struggle to make my own buffalo sauce but coating the cauliflower in any sauce from store bought buffalo, BBQ, even plain, is just simply delicious. I love to add it to any salad (or wrap) for spicy, crunchy, added veggie. Thank you, Nora Cooks! Huge fan, can’t recommend highly enough.

    1. Hi Caitlin. Thank you for taking time to share your awesome feedback and review! I’m thrilled you love the cauliflower!

  11. I’m so glad I found this recipe! Full disclosure, I told my 11-year-old son it was chicken and he thought it was good. Told him it was cauliflower and he was shocked, said it was amazing! Will definitely add this in the rotation.

    1. How awesome you’ve found a recipe your son loves! That’s a win! Thanks for your great feedback and review!

  12. I LOVE this recipe, I’ve made it so many times. One tip – don’t put all the panko in your bowl at the same time, I found that you end up getting batter bits in the panko mix, which makes it harder to stick to the cauliflower!

    One question – I thought I was overcooking the cauliflower so I have been reducing the cooking time which has ended up also reducing the crispiness. Is the trick to cook it so that all the water comes out?

    1. I’ve commented before but I have to comment again. Another amazing recipe, every day I just use different recipes of yours. They are easy to cook with ingredients you usually have on hand. I’m nervous to ever try any one else’s recipes because I can never go wrong with my noracooks. I have a place in my heart for you and your recipes haha. Thank you!

      1. Wow, thank you so much for using my recipes, Alyse! Your kind words and amazing review mean so much to me! 🙂

  13. Hi Nora,

    You did it again! Thanks for another fantastic recipe. My buffalo cauliflower bites were amazing, as I made them with and without the panko breadcrumbs. Needless to say, I prefer using panko breadcrumbs for the crunch. Also, they taste good without the sauce. For the record, I had to use three cauliflower heads because I could not stop eating them without the sauce (nice combination of seasoning). For one batch, I had to use a mixture of hot and barbecue sauce because I ran out of hot sauce.

    Thanks again for sharing your recipes.

    1. You are welcome! How fantastic you loved the cauliflower! Thanks for taking time to share your wonderful feedback and review!

  14. These were SO FREAKING GOOD! I’ve made buffalo cauliflower bites before and NONE of them have turned out this good. They were perfect for the Super Bowl! I will definitely make these again. I did not adjust the recipe except for the buffalo sauce, I just drizzled the sauce over the cauliflower on the sheet pan instead of adding them to a bowl and doing it that way, and then popped them back in like you suggested for a good crunch. Thank you for such an awesome recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Kathleen. How fabulous that you loved the cauliflower! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and review!

  15. The best I’ve personally made, not quite like my favorite restaurant’s. I didn’t have panko so I used hemp hearts, which also added a kick of protein. I used the air fryer method with sauce and second bake; I did 12min on the second cook, which was a little over but they were edible and maintained a nice crispness. Next batch will shave off 2min on 2nd cook. Yum!

  16. Great recipe that turned out better than expected. I have made this both ways: (1) saucing and eating, and (2) saucing and cooking additional time. The additional time in the oven after saucing them produced a much mushier cauliflower. Had we not had them the first way, we would have been none the wiser, but we definitely prefer the taste/texture of just saucing and eating as the texture remained heartier. Flavors were on point regardless! Also, I made the ranch dressing twice – once with apple cider vinegar as directed, and once with white wine vinegar (bc it’s all I had at the time) and the white wine vinegar was preferred hands down at my house, and we wanted to eat it with a spoon! The ACV wasn’t the same and was just ok. If you’re reading reviews, you’re thinking about making these – just make them! ? They are better than other similar recipes I’ve tried.

  17. Best easiest and tasty recipe for this I’ve ever done! 
    Thank you…this is now a staple go to for picnics, game days and potlucks!
    As a note I used GF Panko crumbs and and regular butter…

    1. Hi Chris. Thanks for your wonderful feedback and ideas! I’m so happy you are loving the buffalo cauliflower!

  18. This is amazing, and the whole family loves it. I’ve also used the recipe without sauce to make oven-fried pickles. I always use the tempura bread crumb step. 

  19. I followed the recipe exacting except I made these with Gluten free flour and gluten free panko crumbs.  They were absolutely delicious!   The next time I make them, I will add some pepper, paprika, and maybe a little cayenne to the water/flour mixture .  I served them with Ranch dressing with chopped chives added.  My husband loved them.

    1. I’m glad the cauliflower was a hit! Great to know it worked well using gluten free flour and bread crumbs! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.