Buffalo Cauliflower isn’t a substitute for Buffalo Chicken, but it sure does make a delicious side dish and is one of the best ways you can possibly enjoy cauliflower.
On Pinterest, I’ve seen recipes for something called Cauliflower Wings. I was intrigued about making something that satisfies my chicken wing craving without being as bad for me as wings. However, my standard crispy oven chicken wing recipe is pretty darned amazing, and anything I’ve done to make cauliflower as good has not succeeded.
Sadly, cauliflower and chicken wings are just not the same thing.
I’ve had some tasty results though. I wouldn’t call them Cauliflower Wings, because I think that’s misleading. But I will happily call them Buffalo Cauliflower. And I will happily eat them to satisfy my spicy Buffalo sauce cravings any day.
This Buffalo Cauliflower recipe is made in the air fryer. If you didn’t know it already, I’m obsessed with my air fryer. I use it for all kinds of things, and definitely not only things that are traditionally fried.
I actually think that “air fryer” isn’t a good name for this appliance. That makes it sound like it’s only for frying (or pseudo-frying) things. In fact, the air fryer is wonderful for cooking things in a very regular oven-style way. I prefer to think of it as a more efficient, better-functioning toaster oven.
I cook all kinds of chicken in the air fryer, as well as all kinds of veggies (here are methods for carrots, green beans, broccoli, and for roasted cauliflower). And seriously, it’s amazing for reheating things like leftover fried chicken or pizza. It takes maybe a minute more than the microwave but is so much better.
So, the air fryer is great for cooking all kinds of basic things. And then, once you get the hang of it, you can start adding layers and layers of flavors, like I’ve done here for this very tasty Buffalo Cauliflower.
How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower
To make Buffalo Cauliflower you mix together a sauce made from Buffalo wing sauce (not hot sauce, there’s a difference, see here), some honey, and some olive oil.
On a plate, mix together some panko breadcrumbs, shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, and garlic powder.
Next, toss some cauliflower florets with the sauce mixture. You’ll want to stir it all around for a minute or two because you want the sauce to get into all the little nooks and crannies of the cauliflower.
Then, dip the heads (the bumpy, flowery parts) of the florets into the panko mixture. Spray the panko lightly with cooking spray.
Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer, panko side up, in the air fryer basket and cook at 400°F for 6 minutes. Have a peek. The breadcrumbs will likely not be browned enough so put it back in (without stirring or anything) for 3-4 more minutes.
You want the cauliflower to be softened and cooked through, and the panko to be nicely browned in places.
Serve with a ranch or blue cheese dip.Print
- 1/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 10–12 medium cauliflower florets
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- In a medium bowl combine the wing sauce, honey, and olive oil. Set aside.
- On a plate, combine panko, Parmesan, salt, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Add cauliflower to wing sauce mixture. Stir well for a minute or two to coat. You want sauce in all the cauliflower crevices.
- Dip the bumpy, flowery head of a cauliflower floret into the panko. Set it onto a plate, panko side up. Repeat with remaining florets.
- Spray each piece of cauliflower with cooking spray.
- Arrange cauliflower in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Put basket into fryer. Cook 6 minutes. Have a look. If panko isn’t browned, cook for another 3-5 minutes, until darkened in places.
- Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.