Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings are a delicious, healthy alternative to traditional wings. The crisp cauliflower florets are coated in a spicy buffalo sauce, giving them a tangy, fiery kick. Vegan buffalo wings are perfect for parties, to have alongside pizza, or simply as a tasty and guilt-free snack. Whether vegan, vegetarian, or just looking to reduce your meat consumption, my cauliflower wings recipe is a must-try!
I first made baked cauliflower Buffalo wings when I became a fully-fledged vegan, about 10 years ago. I was never a huge fan of chicken wings anyway; Later on, I did become more adventurous, but never more so then when I started to experiment with meat substitutes, and the never-ending quest to veganise all my childhood favourites.
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What are Vegan Cauliflower Wings?
Vegan buffalo wings are a clever way to still enjoy hot wings without the animal products. My version uses cauliflower florets to replace the chicken element, you can buy seitan wings from your local grocery store if you prefer a more “meaty” texture. I think the cauliflower gives them a great flavor and texture though that, whilst it won’t fool any meat eaters, would hopefully satisfy them! They make a great side dish to have alongside pizza, for the super bowl, game night (not that that’s a thing in the UK), but are just as at home on a buffet table too.
TIP I don’t pre-cook my cauliflower, instead I coat the florets in a spicy buffalo sauce flavoured batter, and bake them until tender. Then I toss them in a spicy glaze and serve them with a vegan blue cheese dressing and some obligatory celery sticks.
You could deep fry these tasty vegan buffalo wings or cook them in an air fryer basket if you prefer. I think deep frying certainly improves the flavor of most things, but I am not of fan of the process! Baking them is easy peasy with very little mess.
Some other version of buffalo wings also use panko breadcrumbs as a crispy coating. I have added sesame seeds to the batter to add a little flavorsome crunch. Feel free to omit if you prefer.
You can get cauliflower buffalo wings from your favourite fast food establishments too these day, but these homemade ones really are delicious, and you can use your own favourite vegan spicy sauce! I like to use a mixture of Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and sweet chilli sauce, but you can choose your spice level, making these as spicy or as gentle as you like.
“Wings and Batter”
- Cauliflower florets of equal size. If you want to make buffalo cauliflower bites, cut the cauliflower into smaller, bitesize pieces
- Plain Flour you can substitute with gluten-free flour or chickpea flour
- Tapioca or corn starch
- Milk dairy-free, (unsweetened)
- Sesame Seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Hot sauce (I used Sriracha because I like extra spice!)
Glaze for the “wings”
- Vegan butter
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Hot sauce of your choice (I like Frank’s Red Hot). You can just use all hot sauce or all sweet chilli if you’d prefer, or a combination of hot sauce
- Maple syrup
This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe.
Prepare your cauliflower by cutting into equal size florets.
To mix up your batter, whisk all the batter ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.
Drop the florets into the batter, using a spatula to fold the batter over the florets until they are thoroughly coated.
You can leave cover and refrigerate at this point to bake later.
Using a slotted spoon (to drain off any excess drip), move the coated florets to your prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes on each side, turning halfway through.
Whilst they are baking, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl.
Once the wings are cooked, drop them one by one into the prepared glaze, coating thoroughly, then popping back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with chopped chives or scallions and sesame seeds then serve with blue cheeze dressing!
Vegan Buffalo Wings in the Air Fryer Instructions
To air fry the cauliflower buffalo wings (and I prefer to cook them this way), preheat your air fryer to 200c on the air fry setting.
Place the coated buffalo wings on foil, in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes each side, turning halfway through.
Toss the wings in the glaze and return to the air fryer for another 5 minutes or until the glaze is sticky, and the wings are starting to turn deliciously brown on the edges.
Note: I use a Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, so please adjust to suit your own model.
Try my other delicious vegan finger foods
- Vegan Corn Ribs
- Quick and Delicious Vegan Chickpea-Tuna Mayo
- Vegan Arancini
- My yummy broad bean and pea pesto
Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
For the Batter
- 500 g Cauliflower - cut into wing-sized florets of equal size
- 130 g Plain Flour - you can substitute with Gluten Free flour
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- 240 ml Milk - dairy-free, (unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 120 ml Hot Sauce - I used Frank's Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp Butter - vegan, melted
- 60 ml Sweet chilli sauce
- 60 ml Hot sauce - of your choice (I like Frank's Red Hot). You can just use all Hot Sauce or all sweet chilli if you'd prefer
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
Blue Cheeze Dip
- ½ cup Vegan mayo - (garlic flavoured if available)
- ¼ cup Natural yogurt - vegan, unsweetened
- 100 g Blue cheese - vegan, crumbled
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
To make the wings
- Preheat oven to 200c.
- Lightly oil a large baking sheet that has been lined with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, tapioca starch (or cornflour), paprika, cayenne pepper, sesame seeds, sriracha and black pepper to form a smooth batter. It should be thick enough to coat the florets evenly.
- Drop the cauliflower florets into the batter and coat throughly.
- Arrange the coated florets on the baking sheet so that they aren't touching.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the florets over.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Remove the Buffalo wings from the oven and coat thoroughly in the glaze.
- Return to oven for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes before serving with the dip! Sprinkle with a little chopped chilli or spring onion.
Vegan Blue Cheese Dip
- To make the blue sauce, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or whisk it with a fork in a bowl, testing for seasoning. You may or may not need to salt the dip, depending on how salty your cheeze/mayo is.
- Serve with some celery, cucumber, radish for extra dipping.
Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.