Baked Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

Your favorite spicy flavors get a healthful makeover with our Baked Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings.’ Our recipe teaches you how to make your own hot sauce from scratch (if you are so inclined; your favorite store-bought version will work too, but avoid those that have oil/butter in them). The cauliflower is lightly breaded in a garlic, cumin and paprika batter, baked, tossed in hot sauce, then returned to the oven to achieve golden brown perfection. They are best served with fresh, crisp celery sticks and cool, creamy ranch dipping sauce, for which we have provided our very own oil-free version below. These wings will excite your kids as a simple but fun weeknight meal. They are also the perfect appetizer to add plant-based flare to your parties and gatherings. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Homemade Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled vinegar
  • 10 ounces fresh red chilies (e.g. cayenne, serrano, tabasco)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’
  • 1 cup Homemade Hot Sauce (or your favorite red hot sauce*)
  • 1 cup gluten-free rice flour
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil-Free Ranch Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk (more for consistency)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion granules
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • PREP TIME 35
  • COOK TIME 65
  • Serves 4

Directions

Homemade Hot Sauce

  1. Add water, chilies, garlic and onion to a saucepan and boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium then simmer 15-20 minutes or until chilies are very tender. Allow mixture to cool.
  3. Add mixture and vinegar to a blender and puree.
  4. Place in a pint jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 9 months.

Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Mix flour, dairy-free milk, water, garlic powder, cumin and paprika in a bowl until batter is thick.
  5. Dip cauliflower in the batter, shaking off excess then placing on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes. Flip cauliflower then continue to bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Place hot sauce to a medium bowl. Add cooked cauliflower and toss to coat (alternatively, pour hot sauce over baked cauliflower still on baking sheet).
  8. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and cook another 20-25 minutes.
  9. Serve with celery sticks and oil-free ranch dipping sauce.

Oil-Free Ranch Dipping Sauce

  1. Add cashews, dairy-free milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic and onion granules to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth, adding more dairy-free milk if necessary for consistency.
  2. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, dill, chives and freshly ground pepper, tasting and adjusting as needed.

*Most hot sauce recipes call for a fermentation step to achieve depth of flavor, which is time consuming and can be complex for home cooks. The recipe we have provided does not require fermentation, so it will taste a bit different from the characteristic taste of a bottled hot sauce from the store. Both homemade and store-bought will work with this recipe so use what you feel comfortable with (and what pleases your taste buds!)