Extra Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Vegan + Paleo)

VeganGluten-FreePaleoSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyVegetarianEgg-FreeDairy Free

Flavorful, crispy, and satisfying Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are a must-have when it comes to game day. Add this recipe to your appetizer spread with a side of ranch for an absolute classic made vegan and gluten-free!

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Buffalo wings are high, high up on Bobby’s list of favorite foods, so you can imagine how excited he was when he found out I was developing a recipe for Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings! He was all too happy to be my official taste tester. This final recipe got devoured (he ate almost the entire batch in one sitting!), and they’re even more satisfying and filling than I thought they would be. The flavor is SUPER authentic, with an incredibly crispy outside and tender inside. It’s perfect paired with my Homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing! Bobby is absolutely thrilled that this recipe is getting added to our game day appetizer spread, and I’m so excited to have a vegan buffalo wings recipe for all of the other fans out there!

Vegetarian Buffalo Wings
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Ingredients

Ingredients in Vegan Buffalo Wings

This recipe only has 5 ingredients! The breadcrumbs are an easy one to make ahead of time so they’re ready to go when you want to make buffalo wings.

  • Cauliflower – I used a medium head of cauliflower (1.5 pound) cut into small, even-sized florets. Cutting the cauliflower evenly is an important step because we want them to cook evenly!
  • Arrowroot Powder – This is a thickening agent that works similarly to corn starch. It thickens at a low temperature and adds a bit of stretchiness; when combined with water it turns into a batter that helps the breadcrumbs stick to the cauliflower!
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – You can buy gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I prefer my homemade gluten-free vegan version for taste, texture and nutrition (it adds plant-based protein and healthy fats)! These are really simple to make, and for this recipe, I pulse them a few extra times in the food processor since I found that smaller crumbs stick to the cauliflower better.
  • Vegan Butter – I always reach for Miyokos brand! It has amazing flavor and it melts just like real butter. You could also use an avocado oil spray for a lightened-up version, although I preferred the taste of the vegan butter.
  • Buffalo Sauce – This recipe calls for one cup of buffalo sauce, which is exactly one bottle of the Primal Kitchen sauce I love! You can use any buffalo sauce you like, just double check the ingredients.
How to Make Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

How to Make Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

This dish has a few more steps than most of my recipes, but I promise it’s super easy to make! A little bit of preparation and ingredient assembly at the beginning goes a long way in making delicious and crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings.

  • Start with some prep. Preheat the oven, line a baking sheet, and pour the breadcrumbs into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the arrowroot powder with the water until it’s smooth and thick (it should have a texture like glue!). This is your batter!
  • It’s time to batter the florets! One at a time, dip them into the arrowroot liquid, then into the breadcrumbs. They should be fully coated on all sides before you place them on the baking sheet (or in the cast iron skillet). Once they’re all battered, drizzle the wings with melted butter or spray them generously with avocado oil spray.
  • Bake the wings. Put them in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Remove them from the oven and toss them in the buffalo sauce; just like before, each piece should be fully coated. This can be done on the baking sheet or in a large bowl. I use tongs and handle the florets very gently so they stay intact! Bake another 5 minutes.
  • Flip and bake some more! Flip each floret 180 degrees, drizzle with the rest of the melted butter (or give them another spray with avocado oil), and bake for a final 5 minutes. Watch closely at the end to make sure they don’t burn! Want them extra crispy? Broil the wings at 550-degrees for a couple of minutes to finish them off! Again, watch closely to avoid burning all of your hard work!
  • Serve them hot. Use tongs to move the wings onto a serving platter and serve them alongside carrot, celery sticks, and Vegan Ranch Dressing for dipping.
Vegan Buffalo Wings

The Best Vegan Buffalo Sauce

This recipe calls for one cup of vegan buffalo sauce! I used the Primal Kitchen brand, which you can now find in most major grocery stores. They have a short, clean ingredient list that starts with avocado oil and cashew butter. Primal Kitchen also makes a jalapeno buffalo sauce if you want to really turn up the heat!

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Wings

All About Cauliflower

I don’t think that most people realize how versatile and amazing cauliflower is! Cauliflower is full of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. It’s also really low in calories and great for digestion and iron absorption as well. I use it to make Vegan Shawarma, in savory and comforting Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic, and even as a hidden veggie in some of my favorite smoothies!

Buffalo Cauliflower Wing Recipe

Vegan Wings with Plant-Based Protein

Even though these wings are totally vegan, they still contain a decent amount of plant-based protein thanks to my breadcrumb recipe! Since the breadcrumbs are both vegan and gluten-free, I make them with almonds and cashews for an alternative that’s flavorful and gives the perfect structure and crunch to any recipe that uses them. Almonds are low in carbohydrates and high in protein.  They also offer a good source of fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and calcium. Cashews also have plant-based protein in addition to copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. 

Dairy-Free Ranch for Vegan Buffalo Wings

What’s a good Buffalo Wing recipe without Ranch Dressing to go with it?! I serve these crispy cauliflower wings with celery, carrots, and my Homemade Vegan Ranch. This recipe tastes just like the real deal, and when served with these wings, it’s a super authentic game day appetizer!

Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

These Buffalo Wings are vegan (no meat, eggs, or dairy!), gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 friendly. They’re a really fun and allergen-friendly addition to game day! If you make them, tag me on Instagram and leave a review below so I can cheer you on. For more vegan and gluten-free recipes delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to my newsletter! New subscribers receive a free printable download with 10 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes.

Vegan Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower
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How to Make Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Vegan Paleo Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2022 wings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Flavorful, crispy, and satisfying Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are a must-have when it comes to game day…and these are vegan and gluten-free!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a half sheet baking sheet with parchment paper OR spray a cast iron skillet very generously with avocado oil.
  2. Pour the breadcrumbs into a wide bowl and set aside.  I find this recipe works best with finer breadcrumbs.  The larger chunks won’t stick as well to the cauliflower.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together water and arrowroot powder until smooth.  It should be thick and sticky like glue.  This is your batter.  
  4. To “batter” the cauliflower florets, dip them one at a time, first into the water/arrowroot powder mixture (fully coating) and second into the panko breadcrumb mixture until fully coated on all sides with breadcrumbs.  Place on the baking sheet or in the skillet and repeat until all florets have been fully coated.
  5. Spray the breaded cauliflower wings very generously with avocado oil spray.  Or, drizzle half of the melted butter overtop.  Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
  6. Remove from oven and toss the cauliflower wings well in the buffalo sauce to fully coat each piece.  You can do this on the pan directly by drizzling the buffalo sauce overtop each piece or place all cauliflower in a bowl and toss very gently with tongs until fully coated.  Once fully coated in the buffalo sauce, bake another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and use tongs to flip each floret 180 degrees.  Drizzle with the rest of the melted butter (or spray with more avocado oil spray).  Bake another 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy watching closely at the end to ensure they do not burn. 
  7. If you want to get them extra crispy you can broil them at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple minutes at the very end (again watch closely to avoid burning).
  8. Use tongs to transfer the crispy cauliflower wings to a serving platter.  Serve immediately while hot alongside carrot and celery sticks with chilled vegan ranch dressing for dipping.

Notes

These are best served fresh.  They can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator and enjoyed later but they will not be as crispy as when they are fresh out of the oven.  If reheating from the refrigerator broil for a couple minutes to help them get crispy again.

Avocado oil spray works for a lighter version but I prefer the flavor and texture with the melted vegan butter.  

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven Baked

Keywords: best cauliflower buffalo wings

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