Soft and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, these Baked Cauliflower Wings are so close to the real deal it’s hard to believe!
This recipe is a great substitution for buffalo wings and can be made gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian. Dip in ranch or blue cheese for even more added flavor.
They are baked to make them a little healthier and easier on the waist-line. I haven’t tried frying these yet, but when I do I will update this post.
Now the key to make these wings crispy on the outside is by dipping them in a flour/water batter. I’ve also added some spices to the batter to give the wings extra flavor!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Healthier Alternative: The cauliflower wings are baked instead of fried, making them a healthier option with a lower calorie count.
- Saucy Goodness: The buffalo sauce adds a spicy and tangy kick to the cauliflower wings. The drizzling of the sauce midway through the baking process and the final toss in the sauce ensures that each piece is evenly coated with the delicious buffalo flavor.
- Vegan-Friendly Option: The batter can be easily adapted to a vegan version by using water, almond milk, or soy milk, making it perfect to those who follow a plant-based diet.
- Simple Preparation: The recipe involves straightforward steps, from whisking the batter to coating the cauliflower and baking.
- Cauliflower: Provides the main vegetable base for the “wings,” offering a hearty and versatile substitute for traditional wings.
- Water: Used in the batter and buffalo sauce, contributes to the consistency of the batter and helps create the buffalo sauce.
- Milk (or alternative like almond or soy milk): Forms part of the batter; for a vegan version, choose a plant-based milk.
- All-Purpose Flour (or gluten-free rice flour): Essential for the batter, creating a coating that crisps up during baking.
- Spice up the batter with Garlic Powder, Cumin, Paprika, Salt, and Ground Pepper.
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce: The key ingredient for the buffalo sauce, providing the classic tangy and spicy flavor.
- Butter (or vegan substitute like Earth Balance Buttery Spread): Used in the buffalo sauce for richness and flavor; choose a vegan option for a plant-based recipe.
How to make Baked Cauliflower Wings
This batter can be easily made vegan by using water or almond or soy milk instead. Whisk the flour, spices, milk, and water until little to no lumps appear.
First, dip the cauliflower into the batter, in batches.
Be sure to drain as much batter as possible off the cauliflower before placing on the pan. I poured my entire batch in at once and all the extra batter stuck together while baking.
After the cauliflower is fully coated, place it on a greased sheet pan.
After the cauliflower has cooked for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven.
Then, drizzle buffalo sauce on your baked cauliflower wings and return them to the oven.
Last, bake the cauliflower wings for another 20 minutes or until they are crispy.
- Shake off excess batter from the cauliflower for a balanced coating.
- Taste the buffalo sauce and adjust the spice level to your liking before tossing with the cauliflower.
- If going vegan, choose plant-based milk and butter substitutes for the batter and sauce.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper or grease well to prevent sticking and simplify cleanup.
Refrigeration: Store any leftover baked cauliflower wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can typically last for 2-3 days.
Reheating: To reheat, use an oven or toaster oven to help maintain the crispiness. Avoid using the microwave, as it may make the wings soggy.
Freezing: While cauliflower wings are best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze them for longer storage. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to a freezer bag.
Reheat from frozen in the oven, allowing a bit more time than the original baking.
I love to serve these baked cauliflower wings as a gameday appetizer!
They are perfectly paired with cool ranch and blue cheese dressing.
What are vegan cauliflower wings?
Vegan cauliflower wings are a plant-based alternative to traditional chicken wings. Instead of using chicken, cauliflower florets are coated in a vegan batter, baked or fried until crispy, and then tossed in a flavorful sauce, often inspired by classic buffalo wing sauce. The result is a dish that mimics the texture and flavor of traditional wings but is entirely plant-based.
Can I use frozen cauliflower for this recipe?
I do not recommend using frozen cauliflower for this recipe. Fresh cauliflower will ensure that the wings don’t get soggy and will give you more control over the size.
Can I make the batter ahead of time?
It’s best to make the batter just before coating the cauliflower to maintain its consistency. If prepared ahead, give it a quick stir before using.
Looking for more healthy appetizers?
- Skinny Mini Shrimp & Guacamole bites
- Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp
- Healthy Avocado Hummus
- Broccoli Cheese Balls (Low Carb / Keto)
- 3 Ingredient Baked Cheddar Cauliflower Bites
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower wings
- 1 head of cauliflower, approx. 4 cups of florets
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk, for vegan: use water or almond or soy milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, can sub gluten-free rice flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
- 1 tbsp butter, for vegan: use earth balance buttery spread
- Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 400-425 F depending on your oven.
- Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite-sized pieces/florets.
- Mix the milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
- Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over halfway through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
- While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan low heat, melt butter and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
- Once the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until reached desired crispness. Serve with ranch, blue cheese, or your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
- Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat leftovers in an oven or toaster oven to help maintain crispiness.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.