Air fryer buffalo cauliflower - a crispy, crunchy yet soft juicy baked (air-fried) cauliflower florets in spicy buffalo sauce makes a perfect appetizer. This is vegan too.
Buffalo cauliflower is a delicious appetizer. I make them too often for my cocktail party appetizers or when craving these cauliflower buffalo wings. And with my air fryer, these cauliflower wings are much simpler and quicker too. Reduced time to cook and the same crunchy bites are just irresistible.
Even if you don't want saucy florets, then make these simple flavored air fryer cauliflower wings. Anyways both the way, it makes a delicious vegan appetizer. If you are looking for some more air fryer appetizers, read my air fryer potato wedges and air fryer tater tots. I love the way I'm enjoying my appetizers in a healthier way.
In an air fryer, there is a fan that rotates the heat and that cooks the food quickly and evenly. So it works like an oven. In the oven also bake food in a similar way. But the air fryer saves a little more time by quick cooking. Try my baked buffalo broccoli recipe.
What is buffalo cauliflower?
Buffalo cauliflower is nothing but cauliflower wings with hot spicy homemade buffalo sauce. The sauce is more hot and spicy along with little sweetness to balance the flavor. Cauliflower wings (florets) are coated with the sauce and are baked.
Or you can simply bake the florets and then coat them with the sauce before serving. But I like to bake the sauce-coated cauliflower florets for extra 2 minutes so that they will be totally absorbed. This makes the cauliflower more flavorful, smoky, spicy, and perfectly balanced.
Here I have made these cauliflower breaded for a crispier bite. A panko coating gives plenty of crunch to the cauliflower wings.
You can simply skip the breadcrumbs if you want only flavor and no crunchy bite of the cauliflower wings. In that case, just season the florets by adding the buffalo sauce to the florets and then air fry for said time in my crispy cauliflower wings recipe.
Air fryer buffalo cauliflower - Highlights
One most important thing I feel, making buffalo cauliflower in an air fryer is a much better option than using the convection oven. The oven heats up the whole room and in summer it's really bad.
While in a compact air fryer, this is so much easier since it doesn't emit such heatwaves, unlike an oven. It's fun to make buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer. I love it anyways.
You'll love these air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings because these are -
- delicious appetizers
- easy to make
- quick, 15 minutes only
- no fancy ingredients
- few ingredients (5)
- Less oil - 1 - 2 tsp (optional)
- healthy snacking item
- vegan, soy-free, nut-free
- Kids-friendly snacks
- Can be served in many ways
- a healthier alternative to traditional buffalo wings
How to serve air fryer buffalo cauliflower?
As I said, this makes a great appetizer. So if you are hosting some parties at your home, you can serve these real quick air fryer buffalo cauliflower.
Apart from appetizers, these can be a delicious side to add to the menu for vegan dinner recipes or any vegan meals. Also, make your tacos with these spicy breaded buffalo cauliflowers along with some slaw and some dipping sauce on it.
How to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower?
Large cauliflower head - Clean and break into bite-sized pieces
Batter - Refined flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika
Bread crumbs mix - Panko bread crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper,
Buffalo sauce - Vegan or as per choice
Step-wise instructions to make buffalo cauliflower in an air fryer:-
Make breaded cauliflower
In a mixing bowl, add refined flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and paprika. Add water to make a batter of coating consistency. Now drop the florets into the batter and transfer them to the seasoned breadcrumbs. Coat the florets nicely. Repeat for all florets.
Air fry the coated cauliflower
Then spray little oil on the florets. Now start the air fryer at 380 F for 15 minutes. Toss at 5 minutes intervals. After 10 minutes, remove the florets to a plate. Coat them with hot buffalo sauce. Now again transfer to the air fryer and set time for another 5 minutes.
Note: - If you are making in batches, reduce the time by 2 - 3 minutes after the 1st batch as it starts to cook quicker than the 1st batch. Also, the large air fryers take a little more time than the compact ones. So adjust your timer accordingly.
Can I make buffalo cauliflower in an oven?
In case you want to make this in the oven, the rest of the processes would be the same. A few oven instructions are here.
Preheat the oven at 400 F (200C). Line the tray with greased parchment paper. Place the coated cauliflower on the tray and bake for 25 minutes at the same temperature. Then remove the tray and transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the sauce and coat nicely. Then again spread them on the baking tray and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes or till it's crispy.
How long does it keep good?
This tastes best and crispy when it's hot and fresh. However, you can store them in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days. Remember to use the airtight box to store them. But the crunch may not be the same upon reheating.
How to reheat the cauliflower wings?
You can place them in an air fryer basket in a single layer and reheat them at 350 F for 2 minutes. Do the same for the oven or toaster oven to warm them up.
Can I make these buffalo cauliflower wings gluten-free?
Yes absolutely. Substitute all-purpose flour or refined flour with gluten-free flour like oats flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, etc. Also, use gluten-free panko crumbs.
What buffalo sauce is good for cauliflower wings?
There are huge varieties of buffalo sauce available in the market. You may choose the one depending on your diet preference if any. Frank's red hot is one of the best. You can also make your own homemade vegan buffalo sauce easily.
Dips that will go with air fryer buffalo cauliflower -
Buffalo cauliflower is a delicious and healthy alternative to buffalo wings. And there are several dips that pair perfectly with these crispy spicy buffalo cauliflower. These are few of them to pair up for a yummy treat -
Blue cheese dressing - Creamy, tangy flavor of the dip plays a contrast to the spicy buffalo wings and helps cool down the taste buds at the same time.
Ranch dressing - the cool and creamy flavor of ranch again complements the hot and spicy buffalo sauce. A heavenly combination.
Hummus Dip - this creamy nutty dip will also pair up well with air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings.
Cilantro lime sauce - this creamy tangy cilantro sauce is my go-to condiment for such appetizers. It enhances the flavor in the true sense.
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Wash and cut the florets into bite sized pieces.
- In a small mixing bowl, add refined flour, corn starch, a pinch of salt and paprika.
- Add water to make a smooth batter of coating consistency.
- Now in another plate add panko bread crumbs and season with salt, pepper, paprika.
- Now take the floret, dip it into the batter, then place on bread crumbs and coat nicely.
- Repeat for all florets and keep aside.
- Now place the breaded florets into the basket and spray little oil.
- Start the air-fryer at 380 F for 15 minutes.
- Pause and toss at 5 minutes interval twice.
- After 10 minutes, remove the florets and add the sauce to them.
- Mix it gently so that all florets will get coated.
- Now again place them back to the air fryer and cook for next 5 minutes.
- If your air-fryer is cooking quickly, then reduce the timer to 2 minutes in last batch.
- Remove from air-fryer and serve them hot.
- Don't overcrowd the basket. Arrange in a single layer. If making in larger quantity, make in batches.
- If making in batches, reduce the time by 2 minutes after 1st batch as it cooks quicker.
- All air fryer cooks differently depending on brand and size. Large air fry may take more time than compact small and medium ones.
- Also, tender cauliflower gets cooked faster. So keep an eye on the cauliflower while pause and shake decide how much time it needs. Otherwise, cauliflower will be burnt easily.
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