A deliciously indulgent vegetarian and nutritious spin on a classic game day appetizer, this vegetarian buffalo cauliflower wing dip is about to take your Super Bowl party to the next level. Growing up in Buffalo, New York, there are a few guarantees:
- You will freeze every winter.
- You will suck up freezing because that usually means at least a week off from school every winter (#SNOWDAY!)
- You will eat your fair share of wings (in Buffalo, we call them wings, not Buffalo wings cause that’s all there is).
- You will find Buffalo chicken wing dip at every single party and gathering you attend.
For a quick play-by-play on how to make this recipe, check out my video below!
I was fine with the first two guarantees and more than fine with that second one. One winter, we had an entire week off of school (5 days straight) because of a blizzard – it was the best week ever. However, as someone who decided to go vegetarian at a young age (12), those last two guarantees got pretty old pretty quick. For like the first ten years of being a vegetarian, chicken wings were the only food I really missed (and in college, I was known to have a few late night slip ups involving wings). Probably because they were such an integral part of my Buffalo upbringing. Maybe subconsciously I didn’t feel like a true Buffalonian because I didn’t eat wings. An outsider in my own hometown trying to make my way back in. Maybe that’s why the lust over wings lingered.
Anyways, I started to notice this gripe at family parties and gatherings because someone would ALWAYS make chicken wing dip (again the Buffalo gets dropped when you live there). And I would be like damn, I wish there was a vegetarian-friendly version so I could join in on all the Buffalo dipping fun. It always looked so deliciously cheesy and rich and spicy and I wanted IN on the action. But every year, I would lament that no such vegetarian version existed. UNTILLLLLL NOW (said in my most dramatic announcer voice).That’s right I have a vegetarian chicken wing dip recipe made with cauliflower that’s going to knock your socks off. I’m not kidding when I tasted this I almost cried out of sheer happiness because it’s as good as the original. Don’t believe me? Ask my carnivore Buffalo-born husband and he’ll tell you how he almost finished the dip off in one sitting :).
I got the inspiration for the dip from the Buffalo cauliflower wing craze that happened a couple years back. I thought if we can make Buffalo wing substitutes out of cauliflower florets, why wouldn’t we be able to make a wing dip out of them?!The dip is super easy to make too – everything goes into the food processor! And then transferred to a baking dish, popped in the oven and voila! I decided to roast the cauliflower in the oven first because I love roasted veggies and think it brings out more flavor but if you’d rather microwave or steam your cauliflower as a time saver, go for it!
You’re gonna love this dip for your Super Bowl party this year. I swapped the chicken for cauliflower. Replaced half the cream cheese with Greek yogurt. Cut some of the cheese and used ranch seasoning instead of dressing. So not only is it deliciously spicy, cheesy and indulgent-tasting, it’s vegetarian, gluten-free, has more fiber, less fat and is super satisfying.Serve this dip up with carrot and celery sticks and a bowl of tortilla chips and you’re ready for some football!Print
Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower Wing Dip
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce (or Buffalo wing sauce)
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- Sliced green onion for garnish (optional)
- Carrot and celery sticks and/or tortilla chips for serving
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned. When cauliflower is done, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Add roasted cauliflower to food processor and pulse until finely diced. Add cream cheese, yogurt, hot sauce, ranch seasoning and 1/2 cup mozzarella to the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer cauliflower mixture to a baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and optional blue cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until mixture is heated through.
- Remove from oven and garnish with sliced green onion and serve with carrot and celery sticks and/or tortilla chips.
Tell me, how are you celebrating the Super Bowl this year? Any must-have game day eats?
Would vanilla yogurt just bring the eat down a little? Just want to use what I have.
Hi Megan, do you mean bring the heat down? You could definitely use less Frank’s if you’d like less spice. As for vanilla yogurt, I do think that would change the flavor of the overall recipe, which is not meant to be sweet. Let me know if you try it, but I’d recommend sticking with plain yogurt!
Tried the vanilla yogurt. Didn’t used the whole 1 cup, more like a very heavy 1/2 cup and added a bit more cream cheese to make up for the missing half. It still came out good, a bit different and the vanilla did reduced the heat of the final product a little bit but it worked and still tasted good. LOVE this recipe either way!
Thank you so much for updating me (and the other readers)! This is super helpful to know for anyone else who wants a little less spice and has vanilla yogurt on hand. So happy to hear it turned out well 🙂
Looks great! Any ideas for Vegan version of this, ie, sans cheese? Thanks
Hi, Karen! This recipe is definitely a bit dairy-heavy, but you could swap for vegan cheeses. You could also experiment with nutritional yeast and/or cashews, but I haven’t tested those options. Let me know if you try something new!
Thanks so much for the great vegetarian recipe! I made it tonight for the Bills playoff game
Thanks, Rachel! Glad you enjoyed it, and go Bills!
Can you use ranch dressing instead of ranch seasoning? Or will it make the dip have too liquid?
It would probably make the dip have a little too much liquid.
Just wondering if I could get the nutritional information for this? Thank you.
Hi Ashley! I don’t include nutritional information in my recipes. You can learn more here: https://karalydon.com/intuitive-eating/why-i-dont-include-the-nutrition-information-for-my-recipes/
Just here to say BUFFALOVEEEE. Thank you for this recipe! Trying it out now!
Thanks, Lindsey! Enjoy!
I have made this recipe 1,000 times and I’ve had to double it because it is a family favorite and disappears so fast!! After making it so many times, I have made some adjustments. It requires getting your hands a little dirty but it’s worth it. While the cauliflower is roasting I put all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and let it sit out on the counter until the cauliflower is done. After roasting the cauliflower, I take it out of the oven and chop it up manually. Then, I add the chopped roasted cauliflower to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it by hand! I do this instead of using a food processor because the dip ends up with nice little chunks of roasted cauliflower and more texture. Placing the hot cauliflower fresh out of the oven onto the other ingredients helps to break up the colder ingredients easily. Then of course I transfer it to a pan and bake it as the rest of the recipe says. I swear by this method! It’s totally messier and requires more work as well as being careful around steaming cauliflower, haha. But, it’s so much better! I would know I’ve made it both ways and this is always a winner!! I also leave out the blue cheese.
That’s awesome, Bernadette! Thanks for sharing your own version of this dip. 🙂 It’s seriously the BEST!
I made this for a thanksgiving app and it was SO good!! The meat eaters said there’s no way anyone would know that there was no meat in it. Will most definitely be making again!! (I substituted 1/2 sharp cheddar with 1/2 mozz and it was delish!)
Yay! So glad you and your Thanksgiving crew enjoyed it as an app!
Hey just made this great recipe!! How long would u say it lasts in the fridge? Had it in there for a week now
Hi Mary! Glad you enjoyed it! It lasts 3-5 days in the fridge.
This looks delicious, and I appreciate all your helpful notes and tips! Bookmarking for this weekend
How did it turn out, Hannah?
I have some frozen cauliflower rice I’d like to use up. Do you think I could use that? Should I sauté it first, or just throw all of it in a crockpot and let it cook down?
I would just let it defrost (and drain any excess liquid) and then you could throw that in the dip. Let us know how it turns out!
hi! can this be made in a crockpot???
Hi! Yes, you can make it in a crockpot! Let all the ingredients cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours and then use immersion blender to blend! Let me know how it turns out!
Has anyone tried this with cheddar rather than mozzarella? My typically dip (with chicken) uses cheddar. But i don’t want mess with what seems like a winning recipe.
You’re the first Google result for vegetarian buffalo dip! Its an amazing recipe, I enjoyed it as much as the traditional chicken recipe, maybe even more. Go you!!
YUM-O!! I made this for Super Bowl Sunday and it turned out so good! You would never know there is cauliflower in it! Thank you for the recipe!
Thanks! It’s one of my fave recipes too!
Hello, can I use sour cream in substitute for cream cheese?
Hi! Yes, you can but it will be less thick and might taste more sour.
Is it possible to make this ahead of time (like the day before) and then pop in the oven to serve later? It would probably need to go in the oven longer after refrigeration, but wanted to see if you had tried it!
Hey Alyssa, I haven’t tried it but don’t see why you couldn’t make it ahead of time and then pop it in the oven later! You probably will just need to increase the cooking time slightly.
Hi there from Toronto (just north of Buffalo)
Just looking for clarification. Is the ranch seasoning the dry powder or the liquid salad dressing.
Hey Jennifer! I love Toronto! Great question – the ranch seasoning is the dry powder.
Wow! This dip was unreal good. My husband and I have recently become vegetarians and he requested some chips and dips for the Super Bowl. When I told him this was what I was making he turned his nose up saying there’s no way this could possibly be good. After his first bite he couldn’t stop eating it! Yay, I love trying a new recipe and finding a hit and proving my husband wrong is just a bonus! 🙂
Hahaha now that is a super bowl WIN in my book! Love proving the hubbys wrong about recipes ;). Thanks for sharing – so glad you BOTH loved it!
Made this last year for Super Bowl party and loved it. Thanks for the reminder to make it again!
So glad you loved it, Janice! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I am making this for a Superbowl Party. Bills Fan here, so even though we didn’t make it I am repping the Wing Dip.
My bf is on keto so we can’t use Greek Yogurt. How much cream cheese should we use all together if we aren’t adding the yogurt?
Hi Amy – love that you still repped the wing dip! If you don’t add yogurt, you’ll want to use 8 ounces of cream cheese.
Ps. Maybe next year for the Bills?! (fingers crossed).
I totally agree about not calling it Buffalo dip lol. I’m from Lockport just a car ride away, and we LOVE chicken wings. There’s always a dip around. I’m gonna try this one as a healthy option.
Haha yes! Always nice to hear from a fellow Buffalonian. Hope you enjoy it!
This is one of my favorite recipes. I save some of the cauliflower and don’t puree it so that it reminds me of chunks of chicken like in the real thing. So tasty!!!
Yes! Love that. Thanks for sharing, Gretchen!
I have a question what if you don’t have a food processor?
You could try a high speed blender!
This looks so delicious! Wondering if I can make it this morning and then just put it in the fridge till tonight to bake nice and fresh? Thanks!
Made it this weekend…husband approved, co-worker approved! I have never been able to enjoy this b/c of being vegetarian. I loved it and the spice was awesome. My eyelids were perspiring. Ha! Thanks for sharing. Will definitely be making this again!
Woot, woot! So glad you could finally enjoy it, Kathleen! I felt the same way!
There is a “wing sauce” version of franks, as well as an extra hot. Check the back of the bottle to see the actual hotness. Just an option for those that don’t want their eyelids to sweat
Good to know – thanks, Mary!
Made it this weekend and it was sooooo good! My toddler helped me make it and he ate about 1/4 cup of it before he decided it was too “hot hot” for him. Lol. I’ll be eating the leftovers as part of my snack for the next few days! 🙂
Yay! So glad you loved it, Tina. And that your toddler enjoyed too up to a point ;). I was enjoying the leftovers for snacks (and lunch!) too.
Made it. Loved it. 🙂
Thanks, Janice :). So glad you enjoyed it!
My BF loves buffalo chicken dip, but I always feel left out when he brings it to a party. This looks like such a tasty vegetarian version!!
Yes! Enjoy, Christina!
Not sure if I should admit this, but I never connected Buffalo wings …with Buffalo. Thanks for enlightening me on food history! (: Now I like Buffalo dip…but pretty sure I’ll LOVE this dip. It’s gonna be on our party table this weekend!
Haha I’m sure most people don’t! Unless you are from Buffalo or know someone from Buffalo. Anytime! 🙂
Love this idea! I actually am not a huge hot sauce fan so I will probably cut that in half and add more blue cheese but this sounds likea great substitution!
Thanks, Jess! Hope you enjoy!
I love the story that goes with this post Kara! So funny! I never knew people from Buffalo don’t call it “Buffalo Chicken Wings!” Now I do! Great recipe as usual, I can’t wait to try it!
Haha yup! #FunFactsAboutBuffalonians