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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Vegan Friendly)

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Spicy, crispy, vegan buffalo cauliflower wings are paired with a cool and creamy cashew ranch dip! It’s a simple appetizer or snack perfect for game day!

buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl

Who doesn’t love munching on wings while watching the big game? The problem is buffalo wings aren’t the healthiest of options, especially when paired with high fat, high calorie ranch dressing.

But all that’s about to change! These vegan buffalo wings are coated in a blend of spices, then baked until crispy! The blend of spices is nicely balanced with herbs and chili pepper for a delicious appetizer option.

Latest Recipe Video!

It’s not too spicy, but still has a nice kick! When paired with this creamy cashew ranch dressing, you’ve got all the flavors of the wings you love with healthy plant-based ingredients!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for buffalo cauliflower wings

Cauliflower: Wash well, and chop one head of cauliflower into bite sized florets. I opt for organic cauliflower.

Spices: You will need a combination of dry and fresh spices. Garlic powder, oregano, salt, paprika, pepper, and crushed chili peppers round out the dry ingredients. Fresh parsley is added on top to garnish.

Ranch Dressing: Soaked cashews combine with water, lemon juice, and spices to create a cool compliment to the spicy wings!

How to Make Cauliflower Wings

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl whisk together the crushed chilli, olive oil, lemon juice, all the spices and salt. Whisk well to combine.

spicy buffalo sauce

Step 2: Pour the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower florets and toss well to coat.

cauliflower tossed in spicy sauce

Step 3: Spread the cauliflower in a single layer over a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, gently tossing the cauliflower approximately halfway through cooking. Cook until the cauliflower is tender and browned around the edges.

cauliflower on a baking sheet

Step 4: For the ranch sauce, blend the sauce ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

cashew ranch sauce in a blender

Step 5: Serve these vegan cauliflower wings immediately, with chopped parsley on top (optional).

buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl

What Makes These Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Healthy?

  • Baked Not Fried: These cauliflower wings are baked, not fried. This eliminates the need for extra oil and cuts back on the fat and calories.
  • Low Calorie: One serving of traditional buffalo wings will run you about 300 calories and 16 grams of fat for 4 pieces, but you can enjoy these vegan buffalo wings for only about 130 calories for a HUGE serving!
  • Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients: Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and nutrients including fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Will Kids Enjoy These Vegan Cauliflower Wings?

If your kids like spicy wings, then they will LOVE these vegan buffalo wings! They aren’t overwhelmingly spicy, which makes them kid friendly. The creamy ranch dressing is cool and light in flavor. These make a great after school snack, or side dish at dinner!

buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl

Recipe FAQS

What are vegan buffalo wings made of?

Depending on the recipe, cauliflower buffalo wings can be made of cauliflower like in this recipe, however, they can also be made using other plant sources.
Soy protein or seitan is often used to recreate store bought buffalo wings. This substitute recreates the meaty texture of a regular wing.

Is buffalo sauce vegan?

Depending on the brand buffalo sauce can be vegan. However, not all buffalo sauce brands follow the same recipe. Some versions contain dairy. Be sure to ready the ingredient label before buying buffalo sauce in the store.
Primal Kitchen makes a vegan version that is also Keto, Paleo, Whole-30, and gluten-free.

What dips go well with vegan cauliflower wings?

There are so many different types of dips you can serve with this cauliflower wings recipe – but here are some of my favorites: instead of the cashew ranch sauce, you can try ketchup, a spicy chipotle sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard, hot sauce, vegan sour cream or even vegan yogurt! If you’re not trying to keep this recipe vegan, a fondue type cheese dip would also be amazing with these cauliflower wings.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

Yes you can! Fresh is better, since it retains less water, but frozen cauliflower will still work. Just make sure to thaw it completely and pat it with some paper towels to absorb the excess water before coating in the buffalo sauce and baking.

How to Serve

Serve these cauliflower buffalo wings at your game day gathering. Pair with other appetizers such as this healthy cheese dip, 7 Layer Taco Dip , or healthy guacamole.

It also makes a nice side dish alongside a more substantial main dish like this chilaquilies rojos with black beans.

How to Store and Keep

Store leftover cauliflower in an air tight container. Allow the cauliflower wings to cool, before transferring to the refrigerator.

The baked cauliflower wings will keep for 3-4 days.

When ready to reheat, place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, and warm in the toaster oven, or oven at 350 F until they warm up and become crispy again.

Alternatively, you can warm them in the microwave, but they will lose some of their crispiness.

buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

Add more spice: If you like your wings spicy increase the amount of crushed chili peppers.

Make it smoky: If you like a smoky undertone, add a 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke.

Add breading: These cauliflower buffalo wings are already gluten-free, so if you want to keep them gluten-free I recommend using almond flour or a gluten free flour for your breading mixture. Combine the gluten free flour and water in equal parts (3/4 cup + 3/4 cup) with all of the spices in this recipe, and coat your cauliflower florets in that mixture before baking in the oven.

Change up your buffalo sauce: This recipe recreates the flavors of buffalo sauce using spices and olive oil. However, you could use your favorite vegan buffalo sauce in place of the spices and oil.

Top Tips for Making Vegan Buffalo Wings

  • Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will help keep the cauliflower from sticking, and make for easier clean-up.
  • Be sure to evenly coat the cauliflower on all sides before baking.
  • Toss the cauliflower half-way through the baking process to make sure it gets crispy on all sides.
  • Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain the water, and then blend. This will result in a creamy texture.
  • If you want truly crispy buffalo cauliflower, serve the ranch sauce on the side instead of coating the cauliflower in it before serving.
buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl

Check Out These Other Healthy Vegan Recipes!

If you have tried this Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

buffalo cauliflower wings with a creamy cashew vegan sauce, served in a white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings with Cashew Ranch Sauce

Spicy, crispy, vegan buffalo cauliflower wings are paired with a cool and creamy cashew ranch dip! It's a simple appetizer or snack perfect for game day!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 131.3kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Buffalo Cauliflower

Ranch Dressing

  • ½ cup soaked cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. ** Note – depending on your oven, you might need a hotter temperature to get a good roast on the cauliflower. I've tried this at 375, 400 and 450 degrees and they all work – you just have to adjust the baking time accordingly! **
  • In a small bowl whisk together the crushed chilli, olive oil, lemon juice, all the spices and salt. Whisk well to combine. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower florets and toss well to coat.
  • Spread the cauliflower in a single layer over a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, gently tossing the cauliflower approximately halfway through cooking. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, slightly crispy, and browned around the edges.
  • For the ranch sauce, blend the sauce ingredients until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • Serve the buffalo cauliflower with the ranch sauce on the side, with chopped parsley on the top (optional)

Video

https://youtu.be/1L1yPhc776M

Notes

Recipe Variations and Substitutions
  • Add more spice: If you like your wings spicy increase the amount of crushed chili peppers.
  • Make it smoky: If you like a smoky undertone, add a 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke.
  • Add breading: These vegan buffalo wings are already gluten-free, so if you want to keep them gluten-free I recommend using almond flour or a gluten free flour for your breading mixture. Combine the gluten free flour and water in equal parts (3/4 cup + 3/4 cup) with all of the spices in this recipe, and coat your cauliflower florets in that mixture before baking in the oven.
  • Change up your buffalo sauce: This recipe recreates the flavors of buffalo sauce using spices and olive oil. However, you could use your favorite vegan buffalo sauce in place of the spices and oil.
Top Tips for Making Vegan Buffalo Wings
  • Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will help keep the cauliflower from sticking, and make for easier clean-up.
  • Be sure to evenly coat the cauliflower on all sides before baking.
  • Toss the cauliflower half-way through the baking process to make sure it gets crispy on all sides.
  • Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain the water, and then blend. This will result in a creamy texture.
  • If you want truly crispy buffalo cauliflower, serve the ranch sauce on the side instead of coating the cauliflower in it before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 131.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.5g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 318.2mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2.5g

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus! You can also make a small batch for a snack or turn them into a complete meal.

These dishes are great for entertaining or making a casual day feel like a special occasion.

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