These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are a healthy keto and gluten-free appetizer or side dish that’s coated in a spicy, cheesy breading. They’re perfect for entertaining and ready in 45 minutes (just 15 minutes prep time!)
Why This Recipe Works
This keto Buffalo cauliflower wings recipe is a crowd-pleasing, dippable snack for game day or any occasion. Dunk them in keto Spicy Ranch Dip for a truly winning combination.
- There’s no deep-fat frying, since the buffalo cauliflower wings are baked, not fried. If you prefer baking to frying, you’ll also love these Baked Parmesan Chicken Cutlets.
- This recipe is low-carb and vegetarian, but so full of flavor, you won’t miss the chicken wings. But if you do, you might want to try these Garlic Butter Chicken Bites with Lemon Asparagus.
- It’s easy to mix up the flavors with your favorite herbs and spices in the breading.
- You can also adapt this recipe to be dairy-free by omitting the cheese. In that case, serve the easy buffalo cauliflower bites with Tahini Sauce
What Goes into this Recipe
Here’s what you need to make these vegetarian buffalo cauliflower wings:
- A large head of cauliflower. You’ll cut this into large florets for the vegetarian “wings”. For best results, cut them as equal in size as possible so they cook evenly.
- Eggs. These help the keto cheese coating stick to the wings.
- Olive oil. Use this to coat the cauliflower wings so they crisp up nicely.
- Almond flour. This is a great keto-friendly flour substitute. It has a nice nutty flavor and crisps up to golden brown in the oven.
- Parmesan cheese. You can omit this for dairy-free cauliflower bites. Or substitute with another grated cheese, like Grana Padano or pecorino romano.
- Garlic and onion powder. These are part of the classic flavors of buffalo wings. But if you’d like to switch up the seasonings, feel free to experiment with cumin, mustard, Cajun seasoning, or any other dried spices or blends you love.
- Paprika. This adds a hint of smoky, spicy flavor to the wings.
- Butter. Melt the butter for the Buffalo sauce to coat the wings. If you’d like to make dairy-free buffalo cauliflower wings, you can use melted vegan butter.
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. For less spice, you can use regular tomato puree instead of hot sauce.
- Other spices, like ground cumin, ground mustard, or Cajun seasoning will be great in this easy buffalo cauliflower bites recipe.
- Buffalo sauce. You can use store-bought, just make sure it’s keto compliant. Otherwise, make a simple two-ingredient buffalo sauce with a clean hot sauce like Frank’s and melted butter, as in the recipe.
- You can make your wings less spicy by substituting the hot sauce for tomato passata (homemade if you want to). For just a hint of spice, add a dash of cayenne pepper and adjust to your preferred level of spiciness.
- Swap out the parmesan cheese for finely-grated grana padano or pecorino romano. You can also skip the cheese or substitute nutritional yeast for a dairy-free version with some cheesy flavor.
- Use another flour, such as all-purpose (if you’re not keto) or cornstarch for crispiness without almond flour.
How to Make This Recipe
Here are the steps with photos to make these baked buffalo cauliflower wings:
Start by removing the core from the cauliflower. Then cut the head into large florets. Meanwhile, make the batter. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to season.
Next, add the cauliflower to the bowl with the batter. Toss the cauliflower well until all the pieces are evenly coated. Make sure the pieces of cauliflower are very well coated.
To make the breading, add the almond flour, Parmesan cheese and seasonings to a Ziploc bag. Transfer the coated cauliflower florets to the Ziploc bag with the almond flour. Seal it closed and mix until the cauliflower florets are nicely coated.
Now you’re ready to start baking. Spread the cauliflower florets in an even layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Leave some space between the pieces, which helps them crisp up. Bake the Buffalo cauliflower wings for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender in the center and slightly browned on the edges. For larger florets, you may need a longer cook time.
While the wings bake, make the buffalo sauce. Simply combine the hot sauce with melted butter.
Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and toss it with the buffalo sauce to coat. Use a basting brush to evenly coat the pieces with the sauce. Finally, return the sauced buffalo cauliflower to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes more.
Here are some of my favorite keto dishes to pair with these easy cauliflower bites: Cheesy chicken fritters, baked salmon, or bacon wrapped shrimp. They also go great in a grain bowl. Try adding them to this vegan quinoa chopped salad. Or try replacing the salmon in this healthy salmon bowl with cauliflower wings.
Air fry at 350˚F for 15 minutes. Shake the basket or flip the wings a couple of times during the cooking process. The cauliflower is done when the florets are golden-brown and tender with a slight crisp to the bite. Do not overcrowd the pan or they’ll overcook and get mushy!
You can also make these wings by deep-frying. First, heat about 1/4 cup avocado or vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Make sure the oil is hot by adding a sprinkle of flour to the oil. It should sizzle, but not burn. When you’ve reached the correct temperature, fry the coated florets until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 12-15 minutes. Make sure you flip them frequently to evenly cook on all sides. Once they’re done cooking, toss with the buffalo sauce and serve.
- Toss the cauliflower with the beaten eggs very very well. The pieces of cauliflower should be evenly coated with the egg for the dry ingredients to adhere.
- When you transfer the egg-coated florets to the large Ziploc bag, discard the beaten eggs left on the bottom of the bowl. If the florets have too much moisture, they won’t get that nice crunch when baked.
- These are great on the grill too! Make sure the pieces of cauliflower aren’t too big, which makes it difficult to cook all the way through, nor too small. Otherwise, they’ll burn easily. Around 2.5-inch/6cm size florets should work best. To grill your buffalo cauliflower wings, heat a grill pan or outside grill to medium heat. Grill the coated florets until grill marks appear, about 10-12 minutes, flipping them occasionally. During the last 2-3 minutes, baste the buffalo sauce over.
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Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper - or to taste
- 1/4 cup (25g) almond flour
- 1/4 cup (25g) finely ground Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp (7g) smoked paprika
- 1 cup (240ml) Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 1/4 cup (57g) butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then place a wire rack on top.
- Core the cauliflower and cut into large florets.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the cauliflower to the bowl and toss until all pieces are evenly coated. Use your clean hands to mix; the pieces of cauliflower should be very well coated.
- In a large Ziploc bag, combine the almond flour, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
- Transfer the egg-coated cauliflower to the Ziploc bag. Seal and mix until evenly distributed and the florets are nicely coated.
- Spread the cauliflower florets in an even layer on the prepared wire rack, leaving some space in between the pieces.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and slightly browned. Adjust the cooking time depending of the size of your florets.
- Meanwhile, to make the buffalo sauce, combine the hot sauce with melted butter.
- Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and drizzle with the buffalo sauce. Use a basting brush to evenly coat the pieces with the sauce. Return to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes more.
- Make sure to cut your cauliflower into equal-sized florets so they cook evenly.
- It’s important to fully coat your cauliflower bites in both the egg mixture and the almond flour mixture.
- Using a wire rack and a baking sheet helps more air circulate around the cauliflower, for crispier wings.
- You can make these wings in an oven, an air fryer or even on the grill! See above for how to.
- You can make your own buffalo sauce, use store-bought, or make a simple mixture of keto hot sauce and melted butter, as in the recipe above. And you can swap the hot sauce for tomato passata if you want it milder.
- For a dairy-free version, omit the parmesan cheese (or use nutritional yeast), and use vegan butter for the buffalo sauce.
- You can replace the parmesan cheese with finely-grated Grana Padano or pecorino romano.
- Use any kind of flour, or cornstarch
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