Crispy And Bold Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (Vegan And Gluten Free Friendly) 

 Last Update December 11, 2023

By Jenny Zhang

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Are you yearning for buffalo wings' bold and spicy taste but searching for a more nutritious option? Your search ends here with air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites! Whether you're a devoted vegetarian, a health-conscious foodie, or just someone seeking a remarkable culinary adventure, these buffalo cauliflower bites are the answer to your cravings.

While cauliflower may not sound super exciting, these air fryer buffalo cauliflower packs a punch of flavor that will make your mouth water and reach for seconds (or thirds!). No matter if you're a spice aficionado seeking a fiery thrill or simply eager to transform your snacking routine, this buffalo cauliflower recipe below will guarantee to captivate your taste buds right from the initial bite.

Easy Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
20 minutes

Rest Time
0 minutes

Total Time
30 minutes

  • Cooking Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: American
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 120
  • Courses: Appetizer
  • Best Season: Any

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite vegan buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.

2. In a bowl, add buffalo sauce with a tablespoon of oat flour. Whisk until smooth. If your buffalo sauce is still pretty runny, you can add a touch more of the flour. We are looking for an egg-like consistency.

3. Mix oat flour, panko, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt in a separate bowl. Mix well.

4. Dip each cauliflower floret into the wet mixture, in the dry mix, and back into the wet mix. Shake off all excess batter and place it in your air fryer basket. Arrange the cauliflower florets coated in batter in a single, even layer within the air fryer basket. If your air fryer is small, you might need to cook them in multiple batches.

5. Lightly spray the cauliflower florets with cooking spray. This will help them become crispy in the air fryer.

6. Air fry at 400 degrees F for approximately 18-20 minutes, ensuring to flip them over halfway through the cooking process. They should become golden brown and crispy.

7. Once your air fryer cauliflowers are done, remove them into a large bowl. Add a generous drizzle of buffalo sauce to the cauliflower and gently toss them until they are evenly coated.

8. Serve buffalo cauliflower bites immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

air fryer cauliflower

Don't forget to clean your air fryer once you are done, as this recipe will leave some residue behind.


Tips & Notes

Cut the cauliflower florets into similar sizes: For consistent cooking and texture, aim to cut the cauliflower florets into uniform sizes. This will ensure even cooking and result in a uniform texture throughout.

Shake off excess batter: Once you have dipped the cauliflower florets in the batter, gently shake off any excess before rolling them in the oat flour. This step is crucial in preventing clumps and achieving a delicate, crispy coating.

Use a light coating of cooking spray or oil: For enhanced browning and crispiness in the air fryer, consider lightly spraying the breaded florets with cooking spray or drizzling a small amount of oil over them.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 4


Calories

120


% Daily Value*


Total Fat 3.4g

4%


Saturated Fat 0.7g

3%


Cholesterol 0mg

0%


Sodium 559mg

24%


Total Carbohydrate 18.8g

7%


Dietary Fiber 3.2g

11%


Total Sugars 2.9g



Protein 4.1g



Vitamin D 0mcg

0%


Calcium 47mg

4%


Iron 1mg

8%


Potassium 282mg

6%


*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Flip halfway through cooking: To achieve uniform browning, make sure to flip the florets halfway through the cooking time. This will help ensure even and consistent browning on all sides. 

Toss with buffalo sauce immediately: Once the cauliflower is cooked, transfer them to a bowl and toss them with the vegan buffalo sauce while they are still warm. This allows the sauce to adhere better and infuse the cauliflower with flavor.


What are air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings or bites are a tasty and popular appetizer or snack made by coating cauliflower florets with a seasoned batter, air frying them until crispy, and tossing them in a tangy buffalo sauce. They taste very similar to buffalo wings and are often referred to as vegan-friendly buffalo wings. 

What You Will Need To Make These Vegan Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Cauliflower

You'll need a head of cauliflower, which is a cruciferous vegetable known for its mild and versatile flavor. Cauliflower provides the base for the bites and becomes tender on the inside while turning crispy on the outside when air fried.

If your cauliflower has some brown spots, you may still be able to use your cauliflower head. The brown spots are caused by oxidation; you can remove them by cutting or scraping them off.

Buffalo Sauce

Buffalo sauce is a zesty and fiery sauce usually prepared by combining hot sauce, vinegar, and various seasonings. When searching for buffalo sauce, opt for a vegan-friendly option that is free from any animal products. It provides the signature buffalo flavor and heat to the cauliflower bites.

Oat flour

Oat flour is made by grinding rolled oats into a fine powder. It adds a light and nutty flavor to the coating of the cauliflower. Oat flour is gluten-free and provides a wholesome and nutritious alternative to traditional flours.

Panko breadcrumb

Panko breadcrumbs are a type of Japanese breadcrumbs made from white bread without crusts. They have a coarser and flakier texture compared to traditional breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs tend to create a lighter and crunchier coating when used in recipes.

Garlic powder

Garlic powder is a convenient and flavor-packed ingredient that adds a savory, garlicky taste to the cauliflower. It elevates the overall flavor profile of the dish, adding a delightful touch to every bite.

Onion powder

Onion powder is made from dehydrated and finely ground onions. It provides a concentrated and subtle flavor that adds depth to dishes without overwhelming the other flavors present. The powder carries the essence of onions, providing a pleasant savory, and slightly sweet taste.

Paprika

Paprika is a spice made by grinding dried peppers. It adds a mild smokiness and a vibrant red color to the coating of the cauliflower. Paprika brings a depth of flavor and visual appeal to the dish.

Salt and black pepper

These seasonings play a vital role in elevating the overall taste of the cauliflower, adding a burst of flavor to every bite. Salt provides a savory balance, while black pepper adds a hint of heat and complexity.

How To Store Leftovers

Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. Choose an appropriately sized container to hold the cauliflower without overcrowding them. Then place the container in the refrigerator. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days, ensuring their freshness by keeping them chilled.

When you're ready to enjoy the leftovers, preheat your oven or air fryer to 400°F and heat the cauliflower for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. This will help restore their crispiness.

Popular dipping sauce

Ranch Dressing

A classic choice for dipping, vegan ranch dressing provides a cool and creamy contrast to the spicy buffalo flavor. You can find store-bought vegan ranch dressing or make your own using dairy-free alternatives like plant-based mayonnaise, non-dairy milk, and herbs.

Blue Cheese Dressing

If you enjoy the traditional pairing of buffalo sauce with blue cheese, you can find vegan versions of blue cheese dressing or make your own using vegan-friendly ingredients like cashews, tofu, or non-dairy yogurt.

Sour Cream

A simple and tangy dip, vegan sour cream complements the spicy flavor of the buffalo cauliflower. You can find store-bought vegan sour cream or make your own using ingredients like cashews, tofu, or non-dairy yogurt.

Chipotle Mayo

For a smoky and slightly spicy dip, try mixing vegan mayo with chipotle pepper or chipotle adobo sauce. Customize the level of spiciness according to your preference by adjusting the amount of chipotle, adding more or less as desired.

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet chili sauce can be a great option if you prefer a sweet and tangy dip. It provides a balance of flavors and adds a touch of sweetness to the cauliflower.

Barbecue Sauce

For a different twist, barbecue sauce can be a tasty dipping option. Choose a vegan barbecue sauce that matches your flavor preferences, such as smoky, sweet, or spicy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use frozen cauliflower florets?

While fresh cauliflower florets are recommended for the best results, you can use frozen florets if needed. It's important to note that frozen cauliflower tends to retain more moisture, potentially impacting the ultimate texture of the dish.

How do I make the buffalo cauliflower extra crispy?

To achieve extra crispiness, you can increase the cooking time in the air fryer by a few minutes. Furthermore, applying a light coating of cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil before air frying can contribute to an improved level of crispiness.

Can I use a different sauce instead of buffalo wing sauce?

Certainly! If you're not fond of buffalo sauce, feel free to explore other sauces or seasonings that align with your preferences and experiment with different flavors. Barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or even a homemade spicy mayo can be great alternatives.

How can I make the recipe spicier or milder?

Modifying the level of spiciness is a straightforward process. To make the cauliflower bites spicier, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or increase the amount of hot sauce in the buffalo sauce. Conversely, to make them milder, reduce the amount of hot sauce or use a milder hot sauce variety.

Can I bake the buffalo cauliflower instead of using an air fryer?

Certainly! If you don't have access to an air fryer, you can still enjoy the cauliflower bites by baking them in a preheated oven at approximately 450°F. Simply arrange them on a prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until they turn golden and crispy, remembering to flip them halfway through the baking process. While the buffalo cauliflower is baking, you can prepare the buffalo sauce. Once the roasted cauliflower is done, pour the buffalo sauce over and toss gently to coat the florets evenly.

What to serve with air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites

Game day treat: If you're hosting a game day gathering, serve the air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites alongside other classic game days snacks like nachos, sliders, or onion rings. They make a satisfying and flavorful addition to the spread.

Appetizer: Serve the air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites as a flavorful appetizer at parties, gatherings, or game nights. Arrange them on a platter alongside various dipping sauces like vegan ranch dressing, vegan blue cheese dressing, or spicy mayo for guests to enjoy.

Party platter: Create a party platter with various finger foods and appetizers. Include the buffalo cauliflower bites alongside other vegan-friendly options like veggie skewers, sweet potato fries, stuffed mushrooms, celery sticks, sliced carrots, and more.

Make Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos or Wraps: Use the air fryer buffalo cauliflower to fill tacos or wraps. Add them to tortillas, fresh veggies, avocado, and a drizzle of sauce for a tasty and satisfying handheld meal.

How spicy are buffalo cauliflower bites?

The spice level of buffalo cauliflower bites can vary depending on the buffalo sauce used and personal taste preferences. Buffalo sauce typically has a moderate to high level of spiciness. You can adjust the spice level by using a milder or hotter buffalo sauce or adding additional spices to the batter.

Can I make these cauliflower bites gluten-free?

Yes, you can make them gluten-free by using gluten-free flour like almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour. Make sure to use gluten-free sauces and breadcrumbs to ensure that all the ingredients used are suitable for a gluten-free diet. Opt for gluten-free alternatives throughout the recipe to accommodate dietary restrictions.


Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.