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Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Game day calls for these insanely easy Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites! Baked crispy cauliflower is coated in a spicy and tangy buffalo/BBQ sauce before serving with vegan ranch.

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

If you love buffalo wings and want a lighter version for game day, you will love my Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites! Tender florets of cauliflower are coated in a breadcrumb coating before being baked until crispy. The best part is the homemade tangy buffalo/BBQ glaze that caramelizes in the oven before serving with vegan ranch dressing!

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

The classic chicken wing is not something that needs updating – until now. My vegan friends should be able to enjoy the fun of buffalo wings during the Big Game. That’s why I like to make Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites for game day, an appetizer party, or for a lazy-day main course. Cauliflower is a sturdy vegetable that can hold up to a long cook time and lots of spicy sauce. It is the perfect vegan substitute for buffalo wings!

Everyone needs a creamy dip for their crispy buffalo wings, so I like to serve mine with vegan ranch dressing. It keeps the entire dish vegan, if needed, and really cools down the spicy buffalo flavor. If you want a more substaintial meal, omit the ranch and serve these cauliflower bites on top of some rice, quinoa, or veggies.

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo and BBQ – The Best of Both Worlds

The most common wing flavors are buffalo and BBQ. Both are absolutely delicious, and I realize that sometimes it is hard to choose which sauce you want. For these Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, I decided to combine them into one highly flavorful sauce! My cauliflower wing sauce recipe includes both buffalo sauce and my Homemade BBQ Sauce, which is vegan-friendly. Keep the recipe for the BBQ Sauce for your next grill session!

By combining these two flavors, you get a cauliflower wing that is spicy, sweet, and smoky. Often, BBQ sauce can be very sweet and smoky. Adding some heat from the buffalo sauce adds a restaurant-quality complexity to these wings.

The best part of this recipe is the special buffalo sauce. While the cauliflower is baked until crispy, it is also coated in the sauce before broiling once more. Broiling the wings with the sauce creates a sweet caramelized flavor on the wings that is thick, sticky, and tangy. These cauliflower wings will be the best you’ve ever had, guaranteed!

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients in Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 2-3 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot buffalo sauce + 2 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons Homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • a tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • For the Homemade BBQ Sauce:
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • a tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

How to Make Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
 
NOTE: Doing this step is a MUST to prevent sticking.
 
In a medium bowl, add water, flour, 2 Tbsps buffalo sauce, sea salt, black pepper, paprika, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside.
 
In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside also. 
 
Now, dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated.
 
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and “crunchy” looking. 
 
NOTE: If they are not crispy enough, turn on broil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

To Make Sauce:

In the meantime, combine the remaining 1 cup buffalo sauce, honey, and BBQ sauce in a small pot over medium-high heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes before adding cauliflower. 
 
Once cauliflowers are crisp, remove from oven and toss them in the sauce until fully coated. Add coated cauliflower back to baking sheet and place them back in the oven (turning the oven on broil) for about 5-6 minutes.
 
To serve, add cauliflower bites to a salad, atop pasta, as a topping on pizza, with quinoa or rice, or by themselves with Vegan Ranch dipping sauce.
 
Bon Appetit!

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Other Recipes You’ll Enjoy

If you love my Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, then try some of my other favorites!

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped in medium chunks
  • 2-3 cups bread crumbs, GF if needed! (See Notes!)
  • 1 cup fresh water
  • 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill, See Notes for GF option!)
  • 1 cup hot buffalo sauce + 2 Tbsps! (Store-bought or Homemade!)
  • 3 Tbsps BBQ sauce (For Vegan option, ensure it's Vegan approved!; See Notes!)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. **NOTE: Doing this step is a MUST to prevent sticking.**
  • In a medium bowl, add water, flour, 2 Tbsps buffalo sauce, sea salt, black pepper, paprika, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs and set aside also. 
  • Now, dip each cauliflower into batter (shaking off any excess) and then toss into bread crumbs. Then lay each cauliflower side by side on the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all cauliflower are coated.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and “crunchy” looking. NOTE: If not crispy enough, turn on broil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

To Make Sauce:

  • In the meantime, combine the remaining 1 cup buffalo sauce, honey, and BBQ sauce in a small pot over medium-high heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes before adding cauliflower. 
  • Once cauliflowers are crisp, remove from oven and toss them in the sauce until fully coated. Add coated cauliflower back to baking sheet and place them back in the oven (turning oven on broil) for about 5-6 minutes.
  • To serve, add cauliflower bites to a salad, atop pasta, as a topping on pizza, with quinoa or rice, or by themselves with Vegan Ranch dipping sauce.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Best if consumed within the same day. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in oven when ready to serve.
  • HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE: 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 3/4 cups water, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsps sriracha sauce, 2 tsps ground mustard, 1/3 cup agave syrup, 2 Tbsps pure maple syrup, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp smoked paprika. **Whip together: Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk together until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Once thickened enough to desired consistency, remove from heat and let cool. Set aside until ready to use or store remainder in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.**
  • BBQ SAUCE: If you choose to use a store-bought version, my favorite brand is Stubb’s BBQ Sauce.
  • HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container. 
  • SWEETENER: For vegan option, you can always substitute honey with Agave or maple syrup.
    GLUTEN-FREE: Simply use GF flour or a GF alternative such as arrowroot starch to coat your cauliflower bites instead of regular flour. In addition, ensure that your buffalo sauce and BBQ sauce are both GF-friendly, if you're not using a homemade version. Wallah!
  •  

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  1. These look delicious and I’ll be making them soon. One thing though, honey isn’t considered vegan, so I’m going to substitute with maple syrup. You might want to make that change in labeling or give a vegan substitute.

    • Hi Bari! Thanks so much! I can’t wait to hear what you think! These bites aren’t originally vegan, however, I do give substitute options in the notes for a vegan option! 🙂

  2. Hello and thank you for posting these amazing recipes. Looking for a but of clarity in the recipe, is the cup of buffalo sauce for the batter? Or the tossing afterwards? I see it says 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra. Just trying to make sure I make it correctly. Thanks again.

    • Hi Lovie! Thanks so much for choosing to make my recipe! You use the 2 Tbsps of buffalo sauce for the batter and then the 1 cup for the actual sauce! 🙂

  3. These are AMAZING!!! Super crispy…tender in the middle. My meat loving family didn’t even miss the chicken. Super easy to make…I’m definitely saving this recipe for many meals to come! Perfect proportion of everything!!!

    • Hi Melissa! I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed these! They are definitely my go-to! 🙂

  4. Absolutely delicious!!! I just had them and they are so good. Super filling and I couldn’t tell the difference on some of the bits. They are soft and sweet tasting with the crispy spicy outside. To die for!!! It was a big hit with my husband and I. I am going to try this recipe with different sauces.

      • Hi Elise! I’m so glad that you enjoyed these! They are definitely a FAVE in my house!! Thanks so much for your raving review! 🙂

  5. Whoever came up with this PREP time must have eight hands! It took me a while to dip and coat each piece of cauli!

    • Hi Jesse! Prep times vary usually for several reasons, however, I do hope that you enjoy! 🙂

  6. Made them at least 4 times, i absolutely love these bites! You can also cut your cauliflower into 2cm thick steaks and make amazing “chicken” sandos.
    Thank you for this amazing buffalo wing experience, greetings form germany!

    • Hi Lohrents! Thanks so much for sharing that tip! I’ll definitely give that a try! I’m so glad that you love this recipe! Greetings! Xx

  7. I just made this! Eating it right now, and OOOHHH MYYYY. Better than chicken!!
    I jused oats instead of flour, and crushed up digestive biscuits instead of breadcrumbs.
    Then I jused ketchup instead of buffalo sauce!

    Seriously recommend 💜

    • Hi Cecilie! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying this recipe! It’s one of my faves also! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback! 🙂

  8. Followed the recipe exactly (except used gluten free flour) and they turned out perfect and crispy. The whole family loved them! I did used a homemade BBQ sauce on them as a time saver but next time I’ll try yours. Thanks for a delicious recipe!

    • Hi! I’m so happy to hear that they turned out perfect and your family enjoyed them! I’m sure a store-bought BBQ sauce was just as good! Haha. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. I had recently visited a restaurant that had buffalo cauliflower bites. I couldn’t believe it tasted so good, but I wanted to try this at home. Your bites looked the best of all the recipes I looked at online. The recipe was super easy to make and very delicious! My whole family loved it and I’ve made this twice since last weekend. We’re on a healthy eating journey. From Changing the foods I ate I’ve lost 12 pounds in 30 days.

    I am looking forward to making more of your recipes for my family. We’re super excited. It’s much easier to eat healthy if the food taste good.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Hi June! I’m so happy to hear that you were able to make my recipe successfully and your entire family loved it! Congratulations on your weight lost and I definitely understand your need to eat healthier. My family and I have been pushing this goal as well! I look forward to sharing more great recipes that you and your family enjoy! Thanks so much again for that update! 🙂

  10. I have tried one of these bite recipes before and it sucked – but yours looks way better – I am going to ask my husband if he would be willing to try these out

    • Thanks so much Danielle! I’m so sorry to hear about the disappointment with your last bite’s recipe. I do hope that you enjoy these!

    • Thanks so much Jennifer! Yes, it definitely is a great alternative and tastes just as good as buffalo wings! Haha.