This is how to make crispy cauliflower buffalo wings in your air fryer. Serve them as a game-day appetizer or a spicy side dish. I love how crispy and spicy these cauliflower bites end up. They are a healthy snack or a meatless alternative to chicken wings. Don't have an air fryer? Scroll down to the recipe card for oven time and temperature.
Cauliflower bites are so healthy for you that it's ok to overindulge a little bit. It's so easy to munch on them and not realize that you ate an entire plate of them.
When you want a meatless option for your party food or snacks, these crispy cauliflower wings are the perfect things to make. I love using my air fryer for them too because it makes them really crispy without having to use lots of oil.
There are a lot of different ways you can make cauliflower wings and all you have to change is the sauce you cover them in. Buffalo wings are the easiest because you just need some butter and Frank's Red Hot sauce.
One idea is to use some honey and sriracha instead of butter and Frank's Red Hot Sauce. This will make your cauliflower taste sweet and spicy at the same time!
Another idea is to make teriyaki cauliflower bites. Toss the cauliflower florets in your favorite teriyaki sauce (omit the cayenne pepper and paprika). Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and enjoy!
Tips to make the best cauliflower wings
The best way to prevent your cauliflower florets from becoming soggy is to prepare this recipe in batches.
Chop up the entire head of cauliflower all at once. Then, only add the sauce and the panko to half of the florets at a time. This is the best way to do it because an entire large head of cauliflower can be too many layers in the air fryer all at once.
If you soak all of the florets in the sauce and cover them in breadcrumbs, one-half of the florets will become soggy while you wait for half of the batch to fry in the air fryer. It's just better to split this recipe up into stages. Add sauce and breadcrumbs to half of the cauliflower, fry them, then add the sauce and breadcrumbs to the other half.
This recipe uses such simple ingredients - you probably already have them in your refrigerator or pantry.
- I used olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil instead.
- When you use butter, always use unsalted butter if you can. If you use salted butter, just use a little less salt in the seasonings.
- Panko bread crumbs made the cauliflower bites a little more crispy. If you are trying to eat gluten-free, you can use almond flour or gluten-free breadcrumbs/panko instead.
Here's how to make buffalo cauliflower wings in the air fryer:
- In a small bowl mix together the following seasonings: panko, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt (photo 1). Set it aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, add olive oil and hot sauce and stir until combined (photo 2).
- Chop up cauliflower and place the florets into a large mixing bowl (photos 3 and 4).
- Pour the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower; toss until the cauliflower florets are well coated (photo 5).
- Sprinkle the panko mixture over the cauliflower and mix until everything is coated (photo 6).
- Place the cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket, being careful not to overcrowd the basket. Air fry at 370˚F for 12 to 15 minutes, gently shaking halfway through the cooking process. Cauliflower is done when the florets are a bit browned (photos 7 and 8).
- When they are finished frying, place the cauliflower on a serving dish and drizzle over the remaining buffalo sauce. Also, take out the flavorful and crunchy panko crumbs from under the basket and top them over the cauliflower.
These taste best fresh, but you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat simply pop them back in the air fryer and cook at 370 degrees F for 4 minutes.
Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce is the most popular wing sauce. Other popular ones are Texas Pete and Crystal Hot Sauce. You can also use Frank's buffalo wing sauce.
Serve these cauliflower wings with slices of raw veggies like carrot sticks and celery, and your favorite dipping sauce. They taste amazing in ranch dressing or bleu cheese.
If you want to bake them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them at 400 degrees F. for about 25 minutes turning them halfway through
More Appetizer Recipes
If you enjoyed these cauliflower buffalo wings, here are some more appetizers you will enjoy:
Air Fryer Cauliflower Buffalo Wings/Cauliflower Bites
- In a small bowl mix together panko, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Reserve.
- In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, add olive oil and hot sauce and stir until combined.
- Place cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower; toss until the cauliflower florets are well coated.
- Sprinkle the panko mixture over the cauliflower and mix until everything is coated.
- Transfer the prepared cauliflower to the air fryer. Air fry at 370˚F for 12 to 15 minutes, gently shaking halfway through the cooking process. Cauliflower is done when the florets are a bit browned. You may cook extra 1 to 2 minutes for crispier cauliflower.
- Take out the air fried cauliflower in a serving dish and drizzle over the remaining buffalo sauce. Also, take out the flavorful and crunchy panko crumbs from under the basket and top them over the cauliflower.
- Serve with your favorite ranch or bleu cheese dressing along with some celery and carrot sticks.
- You may substitute franks red hot sauce, butter, and olive oil with franks buffalo wing sauce
- Coat the cauliflower florets with the buffalo sauce and panko breadcrumbs just before you are ready to air fry to prevent the cauliflower bites from getting too soggy.
- When doubling this recipe, reserve half of the cauliflower florets, sauce, and panko mix. Add the sauce and panko mix to the cauliflower just before you are ready to cook it in the air fryer.
- If you are gluten-free, substitute Panko or breadcrumbs with the gluten-free variety
- If you want to bake them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them at 400 degrees F. for about 25 minutes turning them half way through