by Olena

Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

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Olena Osipov
5 from 2 votes

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Saucy, crispy, and spicy bite-sized Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower make the best quick and easy party appetizers or crave-able snacks. They’re a great healthy alternative to buffalo chicken wings loaded with flavor!

Looking for delicious cauliflower recipes with a little less spice? Check out air fryer cauliflower or roasted cauliflower with Parmesan cheese.

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower on parchment paper lined dish with blue cheese dip.

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower are bite-sized appetizers that double as an anytime snack! They’re a delicious meatless alternative to the ever-so-popular buffalo wings, but way healthier!

In under 30 minutes, these buffalo bites are so easy to make loaded with spicy flavor and a nice outer crisp without any deep frying.

Serve with a cool creamy dip and you’ve got the best snack or appetizer to add to your game day parties, holiday parties, or movie nights!

Why Make Buffalo Cauliflower Air Fryer?

  • Healthy: They may look like boneless wings, but they’re actually a nutritious 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 turkey meatballs and air fryer chicken wings on the tray! 
  • Tons of flavor: Can’t go wrong with a classic buffalo sauce, but keep reading for ways to tweak it to suit your tastes. Hint – You can use any of your favorite wing flavors instead!
Air fryer buffalo cauliflower on a parchment lined dish with blue cheese dip.

Ingredients you Will Need

  • Cauliflower: You’ll need one large head cut into 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 & Franks 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 & cornstarch: They both act as a coating to give the florets a crispy exterior and a nice crunch.
  • 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 blue cheese dip is to mix blue cheese and yogurt. A classic pairing with Buffalo sauce.
Hot sauce, smoked paprika, butter, flour, and cauliflower florets.

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower Bites in Air Fryer

  • Prep: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Wash and cut your cauliflower 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 blue cheese dressing: While the cauliflower is roasting, combine plain yogurt and crumbled blue cheese. Do a little taste and adjust as necessary

Creamy Dips to Pair with Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Sky is the limit when it comes to dips for buffalo cauliflower, 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 healthy veggie dip with yogurt, garlic powder and dill because these ingredients are pantry staples in my kitchen.
  • Ranch dressing – I have healthy ranch and it’s a great option. My favorite store-bought is Lighthouse organic ranch. It has clean ingredients.

Serve with celery sticks and carrot sticks for dipping in your favorite sauce!

How to Serve Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo cauliflower is so versatile and can be served in many ways. Here are my favorite ways:

  • As appetizer – As shown on a plate with celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese sauce. Serve them as traditional chicken wings 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. Spicy, zesty and cool!
  • In a bowl – Grab any leftover grain like quinoa or brown rice from the fridge, top with fresh veggies, add buffalo cauliflower and drizzle with sauce. Healthy and flavorful!

Healthy Game Day Spread

These air fryer cauliflower bites are a perfect healthy game day appetizer. Thinking about what else to add to your party menu? Here are my recommendations:

Tips for Best Results

  • Save time: You can purchase pre-cut cauliflower florets which are convenient but sometimes not as budget friendly! If using a whole cauliflower head and cutting into florets learn how to cut 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. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket! Depending on the size of your air fryer you may find you need to work in batches.
  • 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.

How to Store Leftovers?

This air fryer buffalo cauliflower 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 them back in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes until warmed through.

FAQs

Can I make buffalo cauliflower bites in my oven?

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.

Can I use gluten free flour?

Yes. I’ve never tried it myself, but people have had success with using all-purpose gluten free flour and almond flour 1:1 ratio.

Can I substitute cornstarch?

Yes. A great substitute for cornstarch is arrowroot powder.

Why are my buffalo cauliflower bites soggy?

It’s super important to make sure they are dry, to begin with. And not to overcrowd the basket.

More Healthy Air Fryer Recipes to Try

Air fried buffalo cauliflower served with blue cheese yogurt dip in parchment lined dish.
Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Saucy, crispy, and spicy bite-sized Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower make the best quick and easy party appetizers or crave-able snacks. They're a great healthy alternative to buffalo chicken wings loaded with flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 air fried cauliflower in air fryer at 400 degrees F for 3-4 minutes or until warm.

      Make ahead: Cut your cauliflower into florets and keep them stored in the fridge until you're ready to use them. Prepare the buffalo sauce, as well as the blue cheese dressing, and keep them both stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

        Notes

        • 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.
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1serving | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 887mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

        Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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        4 comments on “Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

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        1. 5 stars
          I really like Buffalo chicken wings so didn’t know how this would measure up but it’s really good! Made it for a group and everyone liked them. This is a keeper

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