I call these the best buffalo cauliflower wings recipe for many reasons. It gives vegans the option to enjoy one of Americas favorite buffalo-flavored foods. These cauliflower wings recipe are awesome comfort food choices. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside leaving a pretty solid product. There is only two ways to do this. In my opinion frying is the best option but there are always bakeable alternatives for all of the healthy eaters out there. Either way I am about to tell you everything you need to know about these vegan buffalo cauliflower wings.
History of Best Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe
Buffalo cauliflower wings are an American spin on a dish that is favored from around the world. This dish is found in many countries, in which every has added their own flare. It is particularly popular in the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe.
Cauliflower is said to first be discovered in Asia. However, they were first eaten in Italy. Gaius Plinius Secundus , also called Pliny the Elder, was the first to document a vegetable he called cyma. This was in the 1st century AD.
During the middle ages, specifically 12-13th century, cauliflower was mostly associated with the island of Cyprus. Arab botanist claim to be the original cultivators of this brassica vegetable, but we now know that wasn’t true. Although, these plat lovers could very well be the first people to fry the cauliflower. Recipes show a breaded head with sea salt. If they weren’t the first, then the Italians were definitely eating cauliflower at this time. Of course, once the Italians started cooking and eating cauliflower it spread all throughout Europe.
Right around the 16th century, the cauliflower and its cooking methods arrived in France. Due to its rarity in that region, it was excepted as a delicacy. Cauliflower was then brought to America by the colonists, and cultivated here during the 17th century. Then finally made its way to India in the early 1800s from Great Britain. Some where during the 17th and 18th century the cauliflower found a new place to call home. Jewish refugees brought this well-traveled vegetable to Israel, because they just couldn’t bare to part with its flavor.
The breaded and fried cauliflower finally emerged for sure in the 19th century. Emerged doesn’t accurately describe how fast and how prevalent it surfaced. This dish was found in France, served with a classic tomato sauce. It was found in India, served single or twice fried, with a peanut chutney. Israel’s version has no breading, served “mezze style” or small appetizer, often dressed with tahini or Greek yogurt. Italians like to par boil cauliflower, then bread it, then fry it! This leaves a soft inside, with a crunchy outside texture. This dish was sold on the streets in Sicily.
In the united states, we like to adopt other peoples cultures. So you may be able to find all of these types of fried cauliflower here in the united states. We also like to develop our own style of cooking and we do it often. Hence, the buffalo cauliflower wings. This dish is a a pretty solid way for vegans to still get that chicken wing-like flavor without eating meat. We can do this multiple different ways and I’m going to show you the best.
What are Buffalo Cauliflower Wings?
Buffalo cauliflower wings are a lot of things. First off, they are a chicken wing substitute. Now vegans don’t have to stand by the hummus at a Superbowl party.
Secondly, the more practical definition. Buffalo cauliflower wings are either cooked or uncooked cauliflower florets. They are then breaded or battered; and finally baked, pan fried, or deep fried. Once cooked these crispy morsels are tossed in a hot sauce of sorts depending on the consumer.
These preparations are considered appetizers and are usually served with an array of sauces both on and on the side.
How To Make The Best Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe
Making these are pretty easy because there are so many ways to do it. You really can just wing it and they will come out fine. I really didn’t mean to make that pun…..
First, we have to clean and break down the cauliflower. We do this by removing the green leaves at the base and slowly cutting off the florets piece by piece by severing the connective pieces.
Next, we need to bread the pieces of cauliflower. We can do this with a standard breading or batter. Either way, we bread the cauliflower bites completely and remove any excess breading or batter.
Finally , we choose our cooking method. Whether we use an air fryer, deep fryer, or the oven it doesn’t really matter. It just depends on what you want or what your needs are. That is the great thing about this recipe, it is easily manipulated.
How to use Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe
These little bites can prove to be a pretty useful recipe to have laying around especially if you are cooking for more than just yourself.
Buffalo cauliflower tacos, Ill take three please. Simply take one of the recipes below and cut the cauliflower a little bit smaller. Then just follow the recipe like normal. Just take into consideration, the time of cooking compared to the size of the cauliflower.
Serve a recipe with your favorite chips and toppings. You can make some traditional nachos or make them a little unorthodox with vegan ranch, radishes, avocado, maybe some vegan cheddar.
Ok, if you haven’t heard of a buffalo cauliflower quesadilla by now then I’m concerned…. You can do the traditional vegan sour cream, salsa, and lettuce. How about something interesting? Like peach, corn, and black bean or better yet kale, butternut squash, and salsa matcha.
Check out our pizza dough recipesand make a buffalo cauliflower pizza! All you have to do is figure out what your not going to put on that pizza!
Same recipes I’m going to give you below, just don’t cut the cauliflower as small. You could honestly do half large pieces and half small pieces if you were planning ahead. Simply slice the cauliflower across the head to round steaks out of it. Then bread them as the recipe calls for. I usually slice the two end pieces off the cauliflower, and use those for sandwiches. Then use the middle for other uses.
Buffalo cauliflower dip!! I almost forgot about this use. You will need to find a few vegan ingredients at your local grocery store. I like to use vegan cream cheese and vegan parmesan in mine. You will need to thin it out for consistency purposes. Any nondairy milk will suffice as long as its unsweetened.
Fry this best buffalo cauliflower wings recipe up then add it to a salad that you have planned! You can do it for lunch or dinner. I like to have a creamier dressing if I’m going to do a spicy topping on my salad.
Remember sesame chicken? What about orange chicken? Well now all we need to do is make the sauces because we already have the “chicken” well the pseudo chicken. If you want to do this, then I would pick the batter recipe. It gives off the best Chinese food vibe. You’ll see.
Best Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe Tricks and Tips
Its important to make sure your spices, flours, and bread crumbs are all fresh. You don’t want to spend time making all this stuff just to use out of date spices and flours. You would be surprised how different fresh spices are from months old spices. You should really only keep spices 2-4 months, after that 86!!!
Some recipes given below might call for a particular type of nondairy milk. These can be substituted for a nondairy milk of your choosing, whatever you have, but keep in mind the differences of consistency.
You can also substitute AP flour for a gluten free flour if you so choose. There’s always rice flour or you can use bobs 1 to 1 gluten free flour. I recommend bobs that is a really good product.
The cooking time directly correlates to the size of the cauliflower. Keep that in mind when you are prepping the cauliflower for the application you are using it for. It just means you may need to check on it a couple more times while its cooking.
This is crucial for a solid product. You don’t want it too thick because the cauliflower will get lost in a lot of breading. Too thin, and the batter will disappear during the cooking process. The batter should be somewhere in the middle where some drips off, but most stays coated on the cauliflower.
If you chose one of the breading methods, make sure you follow certain breading rules. First and foremost set your breading station up for success. You want to have all of your coatings in front of you in order for how your going to use them. You will also need a landing zone ( where the breaded cauliflower sit before cooking). Make sure you keep one hand dedicated for wet and one for dry.
Let these bad boys cool down on a paper towel after cooking and don’t stack them. Once cool if you cant eat them all, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I tend to keep a paper towel in the bottom of my container because if you choose the fried recipe, oil sometimes tends to leak out over time.
This is a really good time to own an air fryer. I would say reheating these an air fryer is the best option but you can easily heat these up in a convection oven 350-400 F and be totally fine. Using a sheet tray with a roasting rack is best practice as well.
3 mixing bowls
1 pair tongs
1 cutting board
1 sheet tray
1 roasting rack
1 cast iron pan or stock pot ( for frying, if you choose the frying method)
1 plate lined with paper towels
Best Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe
- 2 ¼ Cup Soy Milk
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Cup Franks Red Hot
- 1 Large Cauliflower Cut into 1 in florets
- 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 ¾ Cups AP Flour
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
- In a cast iron pan or stock pot heat oil over medium heat.
- Combine 1 ¼ cup soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and franks in a mixing bowl and set aside. Next take the cauliflower florets and marinate in the buttermilk mix for 15-20 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl combine 2 cups of flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix these ingredients well.
- After cauliflower is done marinating, transfer cauliflower to the flour mix or breading ( reserve the marinade) . Coat the cauliflower well. Leave the cauliflower in the breading for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients ( ¾ AP Flour & 1 Cup Soy Milk) to the residual marinade. Mix this together well, this is like a pseudo batter.
- Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower from the breading. Dust of any excess flour and submerge into the batter. Pull the florets out of the batter and remove any excess batter, then place back into the flour mixture. Coat thoroughly.
- Once the cauliflower is coated and the oil is hot, it is time to fry!! Transfer the cauliflower to the hot oil carefully, making sure you are dusting off any excess flour mix. Fry each piece of cauliflower for 2-4 minutes on each side, or until the are crispy to the touch. It all depends on your heat. Don’t overload your pan!!
- Once cooked, transfer cauliflower to a plate with a paper towel to drain. Toss with your favorite wing sauce or eat them naked! Enjoy!
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe ( Air Fryer)
- 1 Head Cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 Cup AP Flour
- 1 Cup Bread Crumbs ground
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Wing Sauce (I use franks)
- Preheat air fryer to 400 F.
- Combine almond milk, 2 tbsp of wing sauce, apple cider vinegar in a small mixing. After buttermilk is formed add cauliflower to buttermilk mixture and soak for at least 20 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour and spices (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper) and mix thoroughly. Then place the ground bread crumbs in the remaining mixing bowl.
- Set up breading station in this order marinating cauliflower, spiced flour, bread crumbs, air fryer tray with roasting rack.
- Bread the cauliflower by removing cauliflower from buttermilk mix and reserving. Next dredge the cauliflower in the flour and coat thoroughly. Then take the cauliflower and submerge it back in the buttermilk. Finally, take the soaked cauliflower and coat it with the ground bread crumbs. Once fully coated, transfer to the air fryer rack.
- Cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes. Or longer if you so wish.
- Toss with remaining buffalo sauce and serve!
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Recipe
- 1 Large Cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 Cups Ap Flour
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Cayenne
- 1 ½ Cup Nondairy Milk
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. The line a sheet tray with a roasting rack.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, spices (AP Flour, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Black Pepper, and Cayenne) and nondairy milk. Then transfer your cauliflower florets into the batter and let them sit for 15 minutes.
- Once they have sat in the batter for a while, pull them out using a pair of tongs. Transfer the battered cauliflower to your sheet tray with roasting rack. Let the excess batter drip off.
- Once batter is done draining, replace the bottom sheet tray or clean it off. Make sure there is no moisture on the bottom tray.
- Bake these battered cauliflower at 425F for 20-25 minutes. The goal is to get them crispy and golden brown.
- Once cooked, let the cauliflower wings cool for 5 minutes or so. Then toss with your wing sauce and serve!!!
Can you freeze the best buffalo cauliflower wings recipe?
Yes, you can freeze any of these recipes. I would simply freeze them on a try then place them into a plastic bag.
Can I bake the air fryer recipe?
Yes you can. I would recommend you stick to the recipes, but if you like a particular recipe and want to use a different cooking method; it will work. Results will vary though.
Is franks wing sauce vegan?
Yes, it is vegan. Trust me I did the research. Most hot sauces are vegan , but you got to check wing sauces.
Lambert, T. (2020). A Brief History of Vegetables. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://www.localhistories.org/vegetables.html