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Buffalo Cauliflower "Wing" Bites

These buffalo cauliflower wings are the perfect vegetable appetizer or snack.

Updated October 12, 2020
Buffalo Cauliflower Wing Bites
Buffalo Cauliflower Wing Bites

Editor's Note: If you're craving buffalo wings, but not craving such a heavy meal, then these delicious cauliflower buffalo "wings" are the perfect solution. This delicious vegetable recipe is bursting with spicy flavor and crunchy texture for an appetizer that will satisfy everyone on your guest list.

I love cauliflower, but my kids? Well, three out of five of them would say, “Not so much.” This oven-baked, crispy-coated, tender cauliflower is an exception to their usual disdain for the white cruciferous vegetable. It’s all about the wing sauce because it’s a well-known fact that Buffalo wing sauce makes everything tastier. After these cauliflower florets are coated with a simple batter of flour, water, and hot sauce, they are baked to crispy, crunchy perfection and tossed with wing sauce before briefly returning to the oven. Eat them with any grilled, breaded, or roasted chicken or pork, or serve them alone as a vegetarian main dish!

Serves6 as a side or 3 as a main dish

Preparation Time20 min

Cooking Time30 min

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (42 g) unseasoned panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup (63 g) all-purpose flour (1-for-1 gluten-free flour can be used here)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot for the most authentic flavor
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Garlic Buffalo Wing Sauce (page 255) or purchased wing sauce, plus more as desired
  • Thinly-sliced green onions or parsley, for garnish, optional
  • Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for dipping, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, dull side up, and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush the pan with oil. Pour 1⁄2 cup (28 g) of the panko crumbs onto the prepared pan and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, water, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the cauliflower florets into the bowl and gently toss to coat thoroughly. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower onto the panko on the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining panko over the cauliflower and toss to coat, then spread the florets out so there is some space for air to circulate around them in the oven.

  3. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes, or until the coating is set and beginning to brown in places.

  4. Use a thin, flexible spatula to transfer the cauliflower to another mixing bowl, toss with the Garlic Buffalo Wing Sauce, and then spread the florets back out on the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has started to brown in places on the cauliflower.

  5. If desired, drizzle additional wing sauce over the Buffalo Cauliflower “Wing” Bites and serve garnished with green onions and with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

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