Buffalo cauliflower wings – two ways – in the air fryer or the oven! Saucy, spicy, and crispy, these are seriously finger-licking good.Bright red buffalo cauliflower wings close up with cilantroIf you love Buffalo hot sauce, you’re going to flip for these cauliflower wings! 

The air fryer is my method of choice because it makes them super crispy but if you don’t have an air fryer at home, you can just as easily make these in the oven, and they are equally drool-worthy.

When it comes to perfect Buffalo wings, I know a thing or two. I grew up in Buffalo, NY which is recognized for one of two things: snow or wings. Buffalo wings originated in the city of Buffalo and were created by the Anchor Bar in the 1960’s.

As Buffalo legend has it, they were the result of a last-minute quick improv of tossing ingredients together to make a snack for their family and friends. They ended up being a hit and the restaurant started serving them on their menu in 1964.

All of this to say, my wing standards are high. So I tested this recipe again and again to get it just right.

Saucy, spicy, and deliciously crispy, these buffalo cauliflower wings are perfect for any party but especially fitting for football season!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Image of ingredients needed for recipe

Notes on Ingredients

Cauliflower: look for a small-medium head or (my personal favorite) grab a bag of pre-cut cauliflower florets

Buffalo hot sauce: use Frank’s hot sauce. Nothing else will do. J/k use your favorite but Frank’s is hands down my favorite.

All-purpose flour: you can substitute with all-purpose gluten-free flour if needed!

Almond milk: this helps to make it a wet batter. use unsweetened version or cow’s milk!

Garlic powder: gives the flavor a little umph

Paprika: adds a little more bite

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings in the Air Fryer

Step 1: Whisk flour, garlic powder, paprika, and salt in a large bowl.

Step 2: Whisk in almond milk until smooth (batter will be thick).

Step 3: Add cauliflower.

Step 4: Toss cauliflower in batter until evenly coated.

Steps 1-4 of making cauliflower batter

Step 5: Place battered cauliflower into the air fryer in a single layer, evenly spaced out.

Step 6: Cook, tossing halfway through, until crispy and browned, about 15 minutes.

Step 7: Toss air fryer cauliflower into buffalo sauce (Frank’s hot sauce + melted butter). If Frank’s hot sauce is cold from being in the refrigerator, it may not mix well with the melted (warm butter). If that’s the case, place both in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and whisk again to combine.

Step 8: Serve immediately! I prefer these with blue cheese dressing but you do you!

Steps 5-7 of air frying cauliflower and adding sauce

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings in the Oven

Steps 1-4: Same as above! Make sure oven is preheated to 425 degrees F.

Step 5: Place battered cauliflower onto parchment-lined baking sheet

Step 6: Bake cauliflower, tossing halfway through, until golden-brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.

Step 7: Toss with buffalo sauce (Frank’s hot sauce + melted butter).

Step 8: Serve immediately! I prefer these with blue cheese dressing but you do you!

Air-fried cauliflower on a baking tray

Cauliflower Wings FAQs

Why are my cauliflower wings soggy?

Make sure you are leaving enough space in-between the cauliflower florets, especially if using the air fryer! To prevent them from getting soggy, make sure you serve them immediately once they are tossed with hot sauce!

Are cauliflower wings better for me than chicken wings?

Cauliflower and chicken are nutritionally different but one is not better for you than the other. Chicken wings offer more protein whereas cauliflower wings offer more vitamins and minerals.

Can you make these wings without the flour?

Sure! You can toss bake or air fry cauliflower tossed with spices only and then toss with hot sauce and butter after baked or air fried. Without the flour, they won’t get as crispy and won’t have that battered taste or texture.

Is this recipe gluten-free and vegan?

This recipe can be made gluten-free by using all-purpose gluten-free flour and can be made vegan by using a plant-based butter alternative. 

What should I pair with buffalo cauliflower wings?

I like pairing buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese dressing but some folks prefer ranch dressing. It would also go perfectly with my vegan blue cheese dressing. They are also delicious as is! Serve with carrots and celery for a game-day appetizer. 

How long do these cauliflower wings last in the fridge?

You can store cauliflower in the fridge for 3-4 days but they won’t be as crispy upon reheating. 

Can I make buffalo cauliflower ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the battered cauliflower ahead of time and let sit in the fridge (no longer than 24 hours) until ready to bake or air fry.

Do you have a homemade blue cheese dressing to go with this recipe?

Yes! To make a tasty homemade blue cheese dressing, whisk together the following until combined:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
plated buffalo cauliflower, blue cheese dressing on the side

For more game day snack ideas, check out my recipes below!

One cauliflower piece dipped in blue cheese dressing bowl

If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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Buffalo Cauliflower Wings – Air Fryer or Oven


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  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3-6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Buffalo cauliflower wings – two ways – in the air fryer or the oven! Saucy, spicy, and crispy, these are seriously finger-licking good.


Ingredients

Scale
  • Small to medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets or 12 ounces florets (about 4 1/2 to 5 cups florets)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce (I use Frank’s hot sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

For the Air Fryer:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, paprika, garlic powder, and salt until combined. Add almond milk and whisk until smooth.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in batter until evenly coated.
  3. Place battered florets in a single layer, evenly spaced out, in air fryer.
  4. Cook cauliflower, tossing them once halfway through, until crispy and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, whisk together buffalo sauce and butter in a large bowl, until combined.
  6. Toss air fried cauliflower into the buffalo sauce until evenly coated.
  7. Best when served immediately (and with blue cheese dressing!)

For the Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, paprika, garlic powder, and salt until combined. Add almond milk and whisk until smooth.
  3. Toss cauliflower florets in batter until evenly coated.
  4. Place battered florets onto baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden-brown, about 30 minutes.
  5. While the cauliflower is baking, whisk together buffalo sauce and butter in a large bowl, until combined.
  6. Toss baked cauliflower in buffalo sauce until evenly coated.
  7. Best when served immediately (and with blue cheese dressing!)

Notes

  1. You can store cauliflower in the fridge for 3-4 days but they won’t be as crispy upon reheating.
  2. If your Frank’s hot sauce was refrigerated, it may cause the butter to turn solid upon mixing. Place the hot sauce mixture back in the microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter again.
  3. You can prepare the battered cauliflower ahead of time and let sit in the fridge (no longer than 24 hours) until ready to bake or air fry.
  4. To get extra crispy wings, make sure florets have plenty of space in-between in the air fryer (and on the baking sheet if using the oven).
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Air Fryer

Keywords: buffalo cauliflower wings in air fryer, air fryer buffalo cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower wings air fryer or oven

This recipe was originally published January 2015. It’s been retested and reshot to give you the most delicious (and beautiful!) content! 

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20 Comments

  1. Making these today for the umpteenth time! I tried another buffalo cauliflower recipe once and decided never to stray again! 😉

  2. Love the idea of using cauliflower instead of chicken! Can’t wait to try these–I bet even my kids would like them!

  3. I still have yet to try the buffalo cauliflower trend but it always looks so stinking good!

  4. I love buffalo hot wings. I should try these!

  5. These sound like the perfect football game watching snack! yum!

  6. Oooh yes! These look just perfect! I love the idea of breading the cauliflower before you roast it – I bet that gives a really crispy texture and soaks up the sauce like nothing else. Can’t wait to try these out!

  7. YUM! The first time I made buffalo cauliflower wings… I ate the entire batch! They are so, so, so good! I love your blue cheese dressing, looks amazing! Can’t wait to try your version!

  8. I am so making these for the Patriots game on Saturday. My daughter loves both cauliflower and buffalo chicken so I think they will be a hit. 🙂

  9. Love this idea, Kara! Pinning and sharing!

  10. This is such an awesome idea! And way healthier too! I love wings, plus i got a huge head of cauliflower in my fridge! Winning!