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Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

Written by Ashley Palmer | May 30, 2012

Looking for a healthier (and kinder) alternative to chicken wings? Try these juicy, tangy, and spicy buffalo cauliflower “wings”!

Deliciously versatile and with just enough “kick,” these bite-sized pieces of cauliflower offer an eerily similar experience to eating chicken wings. With all the flavor and none of the guilt, this is a secret-weapon recipe that every vegan cook should have in his or her kitchen. Enjoy!

SpicyBuffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

1 cup water or soy milk
1 cup flour (any kind will work—even gluten-free!)
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces
1 cup buffalo or hot sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Combine the water or soy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is baking, combine your buffalo sauce and olive oil or margarine in a small bowl.
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve alongside vegan blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Makes 4 servings

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  • Linden says:

    Seriously EXCELLENT!

  • Kristin says:

    Oh my word…delicious!!! I used Tabasco buffalo style hot sauce and quickly sautéed them instead of baking them longer. They were somewhat crispy this way and insanely good! What an awesome substitute to greasy bar food that I have missed :p
    My carnivore bf gobbled them up as well and these were surprising still yummy the day after, having been in the fridge. I served with celery sticks and vegan ranch dip. Spectacular!

  • Charlotte says:

    I’m head cook at work. We do ‘mini cooking classes’ of sorts. Giving out recipes to customers. We do weight-conscience Wednesday. I made these, and one person thought it was made with chicken. Couldn’t even taste the cauliflower! These were a big hit, very happy with the outcome.

  • Shayna says:

    These are so good!!!! I didn’t use any of the bleu cheese, I just ate them alone and they were delicious!!!!

  • cattycakes says:

    These are absolutely DELICIOUS! I played around with the flour/milk combination, as I’ve recently gone vegan/gluten-free health reasons, and the best I’ve come up with so far is corn flour and almond or flax milk, and a heavy hand on the garlic powder. Also, instead of Buffalo sauce, I’ve been using Weber BBQ sauce because it doesn’t have any high fructose corn syrup or gluten. I then put down a sheet of parchment paper down, which keeps the mess down to a minimum and means no added calories from pan greasing. The end product is not crispy in breading, but in my opinion the cauliflower itself lends enough crunch. I pair it with some vegan no calorie ranch, and I literally eat half of the baking sheet’s worth. If you’re a self-professed carnivore you probably still won’t find them appetizing, as my boyfriend (the meat eater) decided he “just wasn’t that into cauliflower,” even after I breaded them within an inch of their little tasty lives, but they’re perfect for vegans who want an ode to a chicken wing, as it were. Since going vegetarian 4 years ago, a giant delicious plate of boneless wings is the one thing that still haunts me in my dreams (that and bacon, but I’ve found satisfying substitutes for that, too), so these are a good way to quell my cravings.

  • Admiral Acbon says:

    Guilt-free “wings”? Nice, then it’s just like the real thing! :-)

  • heater says:

    These are good because I can appreciate any vessel for buffalo sauce. However, the batter doesn’t bake very well. It makes for more of a chewy skin than a crispy batter. I haven’t tried frying them yet, but I imagine they would come out just right when fried.

  • Tyler says:

    these were really good! id suggest frying/deep frying them, rather than baking though. also 1 cup of hot sauce has my mouth on fire, so if you dont like spice, add more margarine and less hot sauce, and a bit of flour to thicken it.

  • Wenchie says:

    I used coconut flour and they did not turn out well the coconut flour was mush instead of crisp. Anyone have any success or tricks for coconut flour?

  • Debbie says:

    Do the same recipe and serve in a wrap with shredded cabbage and a ranch-style dresing. Voila…buffalo “chicken” wrap! Very. Yummy! In the mood for chinese takeout?? Make the cauliflower as above. After baking (or frying) use sweet ‘n sour sauce with crushed red pepper flakes intead of hot sauce to make a veggie-version of General Tsao.

  • Bakeca Milano says:

    These look delicious !Thank you!

  • themaster says:

    if you want them to taste like chicken wings, then you must deep fry the cauliflower after you batter it. then toss it in franks wing sauce and just serve with ranch. blue cheese on this stuff is not a good match.

  • CynLovesVEGGIES says:

    Made them , loved them!! I was so excited when I saw this recipe. I think its great to have food that is not only nutritious but still so yummy and the best part no guilt.

  • Val says:

    I am not a vegetarian, but I tried these at a Super Bowl party and my goodness they were delicious! Chicken wings are one of my favorite things to eat and these were such a great substitute & a much healthier one. Great recipe!!!!

  • Trish says:

    I am pregnant and vegetarian, but the smell of a co-worker’s boneless chicken wings the other day at lunch really appealed to me. I searched for a vegetarian wing recipe and found this. I made these tonight and they were great! Totally satisfied that craving. My hubby who is a carnivore even really liked them. Next time I will cut the pieces a little larger and bake a little less so they are still a bit crunchy. Yum!

  • Stacy says:

    I made these tonight! I liked them… I didn’t LOVE them. I didn’t think that they were as good as real buffalo chicken, but it was a good substitute, and cruelty free, so I think I’ll have them again!

  • anne says:

    As my friend put it eating flesh. Been veggie since.

  • Jennifer Wright says:

    These really fit the bill for us as we intend to never eat chicken again. My husband and I loved them. One addition to the batter we think enhanced both color and taste: 2 teaspoons paprika. They were perfect.

  • Mike V. says:

    My girlfriend and I made these for Superbowl Sunday last week and they were AAAAMAZING! We’ve been looking around for a vegan-style buffalo “wings” recipe for a while now and these were so good with some hot sauce and homemade sweet potato tater-tots! :D felt like I was eating freshly fried boneless wings with buttery hot sauce!!!

  • spaghettilegs says:

    DO these people not realize this is the PETA website? Of course they are going to be chicken free. UH DRRR! TO me they look delicious and I would rather eat them any day over dead bird.

  • MSSeatown says:

    Wait, where’s the chicken though? This sounds nasty…

  • Stan Grubman says:

    These sound delish. My boyfriend and I added them to the Superbowl lineup.

  • RayDiva2013 says:

    I love eating healthy alternatives to my favorite foods but there’s just no way I’m ditching real wings during football for some baked cauliflower. I’d have a house full of very hungry and very angry football fans, myself included. I’ll try this one day as a snack for my kids though.

  • csv says:

    I love this recipe!!1 I am making it now!!!

  • leeanne says:

    these are so delicious, i think next time i will make the breading mixture thicker and maybe add bread crumbs. I also added cayenne pepper to the mix as well

  • The wet coast says:

    These are five stars*****! Made them football Sunday and was an instant favourite. I didn’t make the dip but served them on a bed of celery slivers which helped cool down the sizzle. We’re GF so I made them using 50-50 rice flour and cornmeal , and baked on parchment on a cookie sheet . Baked for 20 and 20 and they were spectacular. A keeper!

  • faithbook32 says:

    Sounds like an interesting recipe. Looking forward in trying it.

  • Jkm says:

    Just made these for the football game! Absolutely amazing. I suggest kind of shaking the cauliflower a bit so the excess mixtures drips off before placing in the pan. I must say these cauliflower buffalo wings are absolutely delicious!!!!

  • jenjin says:

    I wanted to love this – maybe I didn’t do it right but it was the first time I threw half of what I made away. I think chicken wings are the most disgusting thing on the planet, just behind pickled pig feet but hey maybe I did something wrong. They were gooey, floury nasty. sorry.

  • jennifer3120 says:

    going to the grocery store for cauliflower right meow

  • neil says:

    As soon as I saw the photo my mouth started to water…yuuuuumy

  • Bakeca Roma says:

    This is awesome :D yummy

  • Stacie says:

    These were delicious and will be a new staple in our house. Even regular meat eaters can enjoy this guilt free alternative.

  • Hazel says:

    I am in love with this recipe! Totally perfect for Sunday night football :) I was starving and I eat quite a bit, but still couldn’t even finish off 1/3 of this in one sitting. Absolutely delicious and fun to make.

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