Saucy and crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower make the best game day appetizer, vegetarian snack, or side. Easy to make and perfect for pairing with a creamy dip!
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Air fryer buffalo cauliflower is a savory appetizer that doubles as an anytime snack! They’re a delicious meatless alternative to the ever so popular buffalo wings but way healthier!
Ready in under 30 minutes, they are easy to make, loaded with spicy flavor, and a have a nice outer crisp without any deep frying.
Serve them with a cool creamy dip and this healthy side dish is ready to add to your game day parties, holiday parties, or movie nights!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Healthy: They may look like meat but they’re actually a nutritious low carb vegetable loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Easy: Just a handful of ingredients and less than 30 minutes, these come together quickly and easily.
- Vegetarian: A great vegetarian option among traditional appetizers like air fryer chicken wings on the tray!
- Tons of flavor: Can’t go wrong with a classic buffalo sauce!
Only 10 ingredients for the best buffalo cauliflower recipe and that includes the creamy dip!
- Cauliflower: You’ll need one large head cut into bite sized florets. Look for white cauliflower, with no brown or black spots, the leaves are not wilted, and it should have a bit of weight to it.
- Butter and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce: On its own Frank’s is a delicious hot sauce, but it’s not until you add butter to it that it becomes a mouthwatering Buffalo sauce.
- Flour and cornstarch: They both act as a coating to give the florets a crispy exterior and a nice crunch. For gluten free use 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour or almond flour. Arrowroot powder can be used in place of cornstarch.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder, smoked or regular paprika, and salt. Buffalo sauce has a ton of flavor, so not much extra is needed. These few added seasonings are just perfect.
- Cooking spray: Needed for non-stick but that’s also how the air fryer manages to get a perfect crisp. Just a little cooking spray to get a nice golden finish. I use Misto!
- Blue cheese dressing: An easy way to make a healthy blue cheese dip is to mix blue cheese and yogurt. A classic pairing with Buffalo sauce.
How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Air fryers are the perfect vehicle for fast and easy cooking! Just prep, coat with sauce and your cauliflower is ready to be air fried.
Prep: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Wash and cut your head of cauliflower, break into florets and add them to a large bowl (pat dry if necessary).
Make and add the buffalo sauce: In a small bowl, combine Frank’s red hot sauce with the melted butter. Stir and pour the mixture over the cauliflower. Use tongs to toss and coat evenly.
Coat the cauliflower: In another small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and seasonings. Give it a good stir.
Take a quarter of the dry mix and sprinkle it over the cauliflower, again using tongs to toss and coat.
Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, one quarter at a time, until the flour mixture runs out.
Air fry cauliflower: Spray the air fryer basket generously with cooking spray. Add florets in a single layer, leaving enough room in between for even cooking. Air fry for 12 minutes.
Prepare dressing while cauliflower is in air fryer.
Don’t overcrowd the basket! Depending on the size of your air fryer you may find you need to work in batches.
Creamy Dips to Pair with Buffalo Cauliflower
The sky is the limit when it comes to dips for these, but I have my three favorites:
- Blue cheese dressing: It is so easy to make your own by combining yogurt, blue cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Please see recipe card below. My favorite healthier store-bought version is Bolthouse chunky blue cheese yogurt dip.
- Healthy veggie dip: I usually make my own Greek yogurt veggie dip with yogurt, garlic powder and dill because these ingredients are pantry staples in my kitchen.
- Ranch dressing: I have healthy ranch recipe and it’s a great option. My favorite store-bought is Litehouse organic ranch. It has clean ingredients.
Buffalo cauliflower is a versatile food, here are some fun serving ideas!
- As appetizer: Serve them with celery, carrot sticks and blue cheese dip for a healthier version on a fun game day with friends!
- In tacos: Wrap warm buffalo cauliflower in corn or whole wheat tortilla, top with shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro and drizzle with blue cheese sauce. Absolutely amazing!
- On salad: Place leftovers on a bed of arugula, fresh cucumber and drizzle with blue cheese sauce. It’s a spicy, zesty and cool way to jazz up simple lettuce salad recipe.
- As a side: Serve with turkey chili or even Instant Pot black bean soup.
Healthy Game Day Appetizer Spread
These air fryer buffalo bites are a perfect addition to game day! Thinking about what else to add to your party menu? Here are my recommendations:
- Air fryer nachos
- Healthy spinach artichoke dip
- Healthy buffalo chicken dip
- Buffalo chicken chili
- Easy guacamole
- Air fryer sweet potato fries
- Healthy turkey burgers
How to Store
This buffalo cauliflower air fryer recipe makes an entire head of cauliflower. Depending on how many people you’re serving you may or may not have leftovers!
To store keep covered in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, pop back in the air fryer at 400 degrees F for 3-4 minutes until warmed through.
Follow my step by step photo tutorial on how to cut cauliflower to minimize florets flying around the kitchen.
Definitely. Lay the florets in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Toss halfway.
It’s super important to make sure they are dry, to begin with. And not to overcrowd the basket.
Definitely, you can use your favorite sauce. I like to keep it simple by combining Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with butter.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air fryer cauliflower
- Air fryer broccoli
- Air fryer chicken breast
- Air fryer chicken tenders
- Air fryer chicken drumsticks
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- 2 lbs 1 large head of cauliflower core removed & cut into florets
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 cup red hot sauce like Frank’s
- 1/4 cup white or whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika smoked or regular
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- Blue cheese dip mix yogurt with blue cheese
- Preheat air fryer at 400 F degrees. To a large bowl, add cauliflower florets.
- In another small bowl combine melted butter and red hot sauce; stir. Pour over cauliflower and using tongs stir very well to coat.
- In another small bowl, add flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika and salt; stir well to mix. Sprinkle 1/4th of it over the cauliflower and using tongs stir well to coat. Repeat with remaining flour mixture adding it in small increments until it runs out.
- Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray well and transfer cauliflower into it in a single layer. You will have to cook it in a few batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. Air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- While buffalo cauliflower is roasting, prepare blue cheese dipping sauce by combining plain yogurt and crumbled blue cheese, to taste. Serve immediately with celery and carrot sticks, if you wish.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat in air fryer at 400 degrees F for 3-4 minutes or until warm.
- Work in batches. You want an even single layer spread out in the basket, but also leaving enough room for the air to circulate and the heat to evenly distribute throughout. If not, you’ll end up with soggy cauliflower.
- My air fryer size: I use a large 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer. If yours is smaller, fit as many ingredients as you can, as long as they are in a single layer.
- For an extra bit of crunch: Transfer the cauliflower to a lined baking sheet and place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.