Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Air Fryer)
These Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with a classic spicy Buffalo sauce coating each and every nook and cranny. They’re the perfect healthy vegetarian appetizer for game day but taste just like chicken wings!
Why We Love This Recipe For Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Our newest obsession is Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. The bites get crispy on the outside and are perfectly tender on the inside. Plus, they can be whipped up in under 30 minutes!
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites remind us of boneless chicken wings in taste and texture. And these little tasty morsels are a healthy vegetarian recipe making them a great appetizer or side dish to go alongside a variety of meals! We love serving these cauliflower bites with homemade pizza and festive party meatballs!
And while you can use your favorite blue cheese dressing, we recommend making our Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping in! If you are more of a ranch dressing type of person, by all means use that! The coolness from the dressing and the spiciness from the Buffalo sauce is the best combination. And best of all, you only need a handful of pantry staples to make our delicious homemade recipe.
If you love your air fryer as much as we do, make sure to check out our Simple Air Fryer Cauliflower and Bang Bang Cauliflower too! For a simple healthy main course, our Air Fried Chicken Cutlets are great! You’ll love the Everything Bagle Seasoned crispy coating.
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
While purchasing cauliflower look for a head that has a creamy white color with densely packed florets that are free from blemishes, browning, and wet spots. Do not purchase heads that feel spongy to the touch or lack the familiar cauliflower smell as they are past their prime.
And over here, we love cauliflower so much that we made an ultimate guide! If you still have questions about how to buy this amazing “cole” family vegetable, check out that post as it will answer all your cauliflower questions and more!
Beer is used to help create a delicate light batter and we recommend using your favorite lager. However, you can certainly make the batter alcohol-free by using your favorite alcohol-free beer or vegetable broth.
To make the batter, we used all-purpose flour. For gluten-free alternatives, we suggest using your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
Corn starch is added to help create that audibly crunchy, beautifully browned exterior on the florets that we are looking for. This is the best way to add the crunchy exterior, but it won’t get soggy from the sauce the way breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs does.
Seasonings: Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper
To add a savory taste, we used onion powder with the seasonings. You can also substitute garlic powder if you don’t have onion powder.
Note that we recommend using table salt for this recipe. However, you can use kosher salt, but you will want to double it. See why here.
Avocado oil is our prefered neutral cooking oil. It’s added to the batter to help it crisp up.
Cold, salted or unsalted, butter is added to the buffalo sauce to help thicken as well as to bring down the heat.
We are true Buffalo wing fans so we prefer to use Frank’s Original Hot Sauce as we love the classic Buffalo flavor!
Blue Cheese Dressing
Feel free to use your favorite blue cheese dressing, however; we recommend making our Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping in! The coolness of the dressing helps dampen down the spiciness of the Buffalo sauce and is a delicious combination!
Celery & Carrots
Used as a garnish and accompaniment to the buffalo cauliflower bites. The cool crisp veggies will help offset this rich spiciness of the cauliflower wings.
Step By Step Instructions To Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Note: the following information can be found on the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Make Buffalo Sauce
Our sauce is just like that for traditional chicken wings! In a small saucepan, melt butter and Frank’s red hot sauce. Stir to combine the melted butter into the hot sauce. Set aside and keep warm. Note: if you are using a purchased buffalo sauce (like Tessemae’s) no need to add butter to it.
Step 2: Prepare Cauliflower
Remove leaves from cauliflower head. Cut in half and remove core. Cut florets into the size of golf balls.
Step 3: Preheat Air Fryer and Prepare Batter
If your air fryer requires pre-heating, preheat to 425F and set to air fry setting.
In a large bowl, whisk beer, flour, cornstarch, oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder.
Step 4: Coat Cauliflower in Batter
Toss florets into flour mixture and coat well.
Step 5: Transfer to Cooking Basket
Coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the battered cauliflower in a single layer. If necessary, do in two batches.
Step 6: Air Fry
Air Fry for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower wings are crispy, lightly browned, and tender. Note Air-fryer machines vary, so the cooking time may vary depending on yours. Look from brown color and a fork-tender texture.
Step 7: Toss Wings in Sauce
In a large bowl, toss the crispy cauliflower wings in the spicy sauce. Serve immediately with a small bowl of blue cheese dressing, celery and carrot sticks!
FAQ And Expert Tips for Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
While these buffalo cauliflower bites are best enjoyed immediately, any leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to re-crisp, heat up in the oven or toaster oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
Yes, any Buffalo sauce will work. If you are watching your carbs or are gluten-free, be sure to check your ingredients as some sauces aren’t keto-friendly or gluten-free. We like Tessemae’s buffalo sauce and it is dairy free.
Sure can! Prepare the wings the same way, except place the battered cauliflower on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven at 400F and cook for 20-25 minutes. Be aware that they may not be as crispy, but they will still be tasty!
Additional Appetizer Recipes To Try
- Cauliflower Hummus tastes just like traditional hummus but is low carb, lectin-free, keto, Whole30, vegan, and paleo!
- Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs are a savory Asian-inspired meatball that is a fun party appetizer or football snack food!
- This Classic Guacamole is ready in just 10 minutes, is utterly delicious, and will have all of your guests dipping and raving as they devour this tasty dip!
- Love guacamole as much as we do? Then this post on how to make Guacamole 5 Different Ways is just for you! From classic to spicy, you can’t go wrong with any of these variations!
Additional Cauliflower Recipes To Try
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower is a 30-minute, super easy gluten-free, and vegan side dish that is so flavorful it makes you want to eat all your veggies!
- This broccoli and cauliflower casserole is made with a decadent creamy cheddar leek sauce and topped with a crunchy panko topping. Perfect to make a day in advance or serve right away.
- Simple steamed cauliflower with herbs is a low-calorie low-carb side dish that is simple to make and oh-so-delicious. Perfectly steamed, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with herbs, this easy side rounds out almost any meal.
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Cheese is the perfect side dish. This sheet pan dish requires only 15 minutes of prep, 30 minutes of cooking and is a breeze to clean up!
- Naturally gluten-free, this Instant Pot Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Cheddar Cheese is ready in under an hour, only 245 calories per serving, and can be made in a slower cooker if needed be.
- Love cauliflower as much as we do? Be sure to check out this round-up of 15 healthy, delicious, and easy cauliflower recipes that we are sure you are going to love!
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are cooked in the air fryer until perfectly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, then tossed in a buffalo sauce! This healthy alternative to chicken wings is a great vegetarian appetizer that comes together in just 30 minutes and only requires a handful of ingredients!
- 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 head cauliflower
- ¼ cup lager beer (or alcohol-free beer or vegetable broth)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup Blue Cheese Dressing
- Celery Sticks and Carrot Sticks for serving
- Melt hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan. Set aside and keep warm.
- Remove leaves from cauliflower. Cut in half and remove core. Cut the cauliflower through the stem end, and break (or cut) into florets about the size of a golf ball.
- If your air-fryer requires pre-heating, preheat it to 425 degrees F, Air Fry. Whisk beer, flour, cornstarch, oil, salt, pepper and onion powder in a large bowl.
- Add cauliflower florets and toss well with a slotted spoon to coat thoroughly.
- Coat frying basket with cooking spray. Arrange the battered cauliflower in the frying basket in a single layer. (If necessary, you may need to do two batches.)
- Air fry at 450 degrees F, until the cauliflower wings are crispy, lightly browned and the cauliflower is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Toss the cauliflower in the sauce in a large bowl. Serve immediately. Alternatively, if cooking in two batches, hold the air fried cauliflower in a warm oven until the second batch is done, then toss it all together in the sauce before serving.
- Store any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to re-crisp, heat up in the oven or toaster oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
- If you would prefer to make in the oven, prepare bites according to recipe, except place bites on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven at 400F and cook for 20-25 minutes. Be aware that the cauliflower bites won’t be as crispy, but they will still be tasty!
- Serving Size: 1 cup each
- Calories: 146
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 4 g