Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


Get your buffalo wings on the vegan way! Variations of these cauliflower buffalo bites have been all over Pinterest, and have always piqued my curiosity on how good they actually were. I mean, I LOVE buffalo wings, but as you could probably tell from reading this blog, I am always on the lookout for healthier alternatives for carnivores and plant eaters alike (carnivores – check out my grilled buffalo strips recipe!), and these seemed liked an awesome way to get your veggies and hot wing cravings in for a minimal amount of calories.


Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


They key to making good cauliflower bites is getting that perfectly golden, crispy exterior. Without it, forget it. You’ll basically have soggy cauliflower that is soaked in hot sauce, which is so not what we are going for here. In order to get the most crispy cauliflower bites possible, I tried this recipe two different ways; one with unsweetened almond milk and brown rice flour, and one with water and brown rice flour. While the ones with almond milk weren’t bad, they didn’t crisp up quite the same as the ones with water did for one reason or another, so the obvious winner was the water and brown rice flour batter.


Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


Contrary to what I initially thought, these bites are best eaten after they have had a chance to set out for bit at room temperature. I’m not sure why, but whatever the reason, this step is a must. The longer they set out, the more they taste like a hot wing/tater tot hybrid, and yes, that tastes as good as it sounds.

So, do these taste exactly like buffalo wings? Well, I think they are about as close as you can get considering you’re using cauliflower in place of chicken. I mean, this recipe is definitely one of the tastiest ways I have eaten cauliflower in a while, and I am pretty sure if you’re a buffalo wing fan, you’ll probably agree.

4.9 from 15 reviews

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
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A vegan approved, healthy take on hot wings.
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower; chopped into bite size piece
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of granulated garlic powder
  • Non-stick spray
  • ***Sauce***
  • 1 tsp. Earth Balance butter substitute; melted
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown rice flour, water, garlic powder and salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
  3. Dip cauliflower pieces in the batter until coated evenly, then place on a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the batter hardens, then flip with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk together Frank’s Red Hot sauce and Earth Balance butter substitute in a small bowl.
  6. When the cauliflower is finished, take a plastic pastry brush and evenly brush each piece with the hot sauce mixture.
  7. Bake coated cauliflower for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy, and sauce looks absorbed.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Let cauliflower bites set out for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  10. Enjoy!

 

 

59 comments on Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

    • Danielle
      Danielle
      February 3, 2014 at 10:56 am (11 months ago)

      Thanks Kelly! I feel you on the hot sauce love! Frank’s Red Hot is my go to for pretty much everything, and it tastes AWESOME on these!

      Reply
  1. Praveen
    February 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm (11 months ago)

    Wow, they look so good! We have an Indian version of this, but, we deep fry them. I love the way you just baked them.

    Being a veggie I can see me making this every week ;)

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      February 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm (11 months ago)

      An Indian version of this sounds amazing, Praveen! You’ve inspired me to experiment on this :)

      Reply
        • Danielle
          Danielle
          February 5, 2014 at 10:48 am (11 months ago)

          Thanks for the compliment, Praveen :) It’s too funny that you just posted this! You had me intrigued yesterday with the Indian version you mentioned, so I started doing a little research and came across Gobi manchurian, and I actually started experimenting with it. Instead of cauliflower, I had a bunch of broccoli I needed to use, so I tried it with that and it really turned out great. I also mixed up the batter a little by using brown rice flour, water, potato starch and red pepper flakes. I will probably be posting the recipe on this once I feel I have perfected it ;)

          Reply
          • Praveen Samudrala
            February 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm (11 months ago)

            Oh ya, you can use any veggie. There is also a veggie manchurian, basically a mix of all veggies.

            Looking forward to your recipe. One lesson I have learned is the right amount of water in the batter is *most important* ;)

  2. Andrea Cole
    February 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm (10 months ago)

    These look delicious! Were they superbowl inspired? They would be good with some kind of vegan type ranch dip or something really garlicky…mmmm. I am going to have to try these.
    Andrea Cole recently posted…10 Reasons to Start Eating BananasMy Profile

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      February 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm (10 months ago)

      Hi Andrea! Yes, they were Super Bowl inspired :) I used my current favorite ‘ranch’ dressing to dip them in which is Organicville brand dairy and gluten free ranch. It is really good and I would definitely recommend giving it a try! Something garlicky would be delicious also….yum.

      Reply
  3. Jody
    March 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm (9 months ago)

    Have you tried using the butter and hot sauce (appropriate amount) as the liquid for the batter?

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      March 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm (9 months ago)

      Hi Jody, I personally have not tried that out, but I think you could definitely try it. If you do, let me know how it works out. You have me interested!

      Reply
  4. Rae
    March 21, 2014 at 10:37 am (9 months ago)

    Tried making these last night, and they were beyond good. I couldn’t find brown rice flour, so I used white (which I’ve never used before!), and they turned out great. I did cook mine a lot longer though, to get them crispier. Thanks so much for the recipe, I’m searching your blog now for more!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      March 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm (9 months ago)

      So glad to hear it worked out for you, Rae!

      Reply
  5. Jennie
    March 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm (9 months ago)

    Made these today and they are fabulous! I love wings and I love finding healthy alternatives. Just a warning to anyone making these…Don’t forget to grease the pan. I did forget and the cleanup was a pain. Plus, I think they would have been even better had I remembered.

    Reply
  6. aifirefly
    March 27, 2014 at 11:34 am (9 months ago)

    Why rice flour? I’ve never tried to batter veggies before. I’m quite curious and excited to try this!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      March 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm (9 months ago)

      I used short grain brown rice flour because it is gluten free and slightly stickier in consistency compared to other gluten free flours. It seems to work best for coating things that are going to be baked or fried.

      Reply
  7. song
    April 6, 2014 at 8:31 pm (9 months ago)

    I am dying to make these. I am going to use a bbq sauce that is not hot! I am not a fan of spicy foos. I know I will like them.
    Also I am going to use your batter to dip and bake slices of eggplant. I have been trying to work out a crispy non fried version for eggplant. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      April 7, 2014 at 6:46 am (9 months ago)

      You’ll have to let me know how the batter turns out on eggplant! The batter for these bites may be a little thick for eggplant since eggplant isn’t as sturdy of a veggie as cauliflower, but if it doesn’t work, I would suggest maybe trying my gluten free tempura batter as it is a little less dense. You can find it here http://theleancleaneatingmachine.com/2014/03/14/kung-pao-cauliflower/

      Reply
  8. Kaithlyn
    April 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm (8 months ago)

    Would these still be good if I made them and then reheated them?

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      April 20, 2014 at 10:16 am (8 months ago)

      Hi Kaithlyn! So sorry to not answer this sooner! Your comment somehow got marked as spam :/ I personally haven’t tried reheating them, so I would not be able to tell you for certain. I think if you were going to reheat them, you would need to do so in the oven. Let me know how it works if you try it!

      Reply
  9. Candice
    April 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm (8 months ago)

    Hey, were these supposed to brown in the oven? Mine looked exactly like they did when they went in. Maybe I did something wrong? They’re not “done” yet, so don’t know how they’ll turn out.

    *update*
    I decided to wait until they were done to post my results. I forgot to add the water to the flower mixture so they weren’t wet at all! I took them out and sprayed them thoroughly with water after being in the oven for 10 minutes and put them back in for 15. I think the added time made them too tender, so next time I’ll be sure to actually follow the directions!

    Other than my flub- a good meal! My meat-eating roommate tried them and gave them her approval!
    I’ll be making these again!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      April 22, 2014 at 5:54 am (8 months ago)

      Hi Candice! Sorry for the flub! The water is definitely needed in the mixture to make it into a batter that sticks, so I am sure that was confusing when they never looked ‘done’ :) I would definitely give these a try again with the water in the flour! I can almost guarantee they will taste 100% better :)

      Reply
  10. tori
    May 29, 2014 at 9:02 am (7 months ago)

    buffalo anything is my weakness and now that I found this…I am making it TONIGHT!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      May 31, 2014 at 8:57 am (7 months ago)

      I am with you on the buffalo weakness, Tori! I am pretty much addicted to Frank’s Red Hot sauce haha :)

      Reply
  11. Dyan
    June 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm (7 months ago)

    do you have any idea the nutrician on these?

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      June 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Dyan! If you split it between two people, it comes in at just under 200 calories per serving :)

      Reply
  12. Derek
    June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm (6 months ago)

    This is, hands down, the best cauliflower recipe I’ve ever tried.

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      June 9, 2014 at 10:01 am (6 months ago)

      So glad to hear, Derek!

      Reply
  13. Brenda
    July 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm (5 months ago)

    Oh my goodness I LOVE these. I shared your link to this in my blog. Even my Omni guy loves them…..and that is saying a lot because he is so picky and doesn’t like hardly any veggies.
    Brenda recently posted…Cauliflower Buffalo Bites—Omni man approvedMy Profile

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      July 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm (5 months ago)

      That’s awesome, Brenda! Thanks for sharing!!

      Reply
  14. L.A. Burdette
    July 17, 2014 at 9:08 am (5 months ago)

    I’m making these. They look so delish!!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      July 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm (5 months ago)

      Hope you enjoyed them!

      Reply
  15. Emily
    July 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm (5 months ago)

    Would you suggest eating these right away, or would they last for a couple of days? If so, how would you suggest storing them?

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi Emily, so sorry for the late response! I would definitely would suggest eating these right away as they wouldn’t reheat the same.

      Reply
  16. Jessie
    August 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm (4 months ago)

    I just made these. They are AMAZING! It was near impossible to wait for them to cool. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm (4 months ago)

      No problem, Jessie! Glad to hear that you enjoyed them!

      Reply
  17. Michelle L.
    August 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made a batch and they were delicious! I had to substitute oat flour for the brown rice flour since that was all I had in the house, but it still came out great! I plan to make buffalo cauliflower again real soon.

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 12, 2014 at 11:56 am (4 months ago)

      So glad to hear it turned out so well for you, Michelle! Thanks for sharing the tip on oat flour also :)

      Reply
  18. Nicole
    August 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm (4 months ago)

    Made these today – they were incredible!! I love cauliflower – raw, roasted, fried etc…I also love buffalo wings, but since finding out I’m sensitive to wheat, I haven’t had them in almost 2 years. These were absolutely delicious and didn’t NOT taste like cauliflower – they tasted like buffalo wings minus the bones.

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 18, 2014 at 8:50 am (4 months ago)

      Thanks Nicole! So happy to hear that you liked them :)

      Reply
  19. Brittany
    August 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm (4 months ago)

    I made this about 13 times now, no joke. I have made it with or without the breading. I have made it with buffalo sauce, Asian sauces, bbq, and many others. I have cooked it the entire time with the sauce, and other times added it at the end. Super easy, and super tasty!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm (4 months ago)

      That’s so great to hear, Brittany! An Asian style sauce sounds delicious. I’m going to have to try one out :)

      Reply
  20. Eva
    August 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm (4 months ago)

    I didn’t have brown rice flour so I used a combo of mostly white rice flour and a bit of buckwheat flour. I left the cleaned/cut cauliflower pieces in the fridge in an open bowl to drain overnight, in the hopes that they would need less baking time, and I guess it saved about 5-10 min overall in the baking time. These came out great! You’re absolutely RIGHT about letting them set out! I ate a handful when they were right out of the oven (I couldn’t resist) and the rest after letting them set for 10min, and the batter on the set ones is more like battered buffalo wings. Thanks SO much – this was just what I was craving, and the batter was just enough – not too heavy, but more than some other “just spice” recipes for this dish that I’ve seen on the web. Also, i found the smaller pieces (rather than the large tree-like pieces) were more tender inside, which I liked, so next time I’ll cut them more uniform sized.

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      August 27, 2014 at 7:40 am (4 months ago)

      Thank you so much for listing your ingredient swaps and cooking tips, Eva! I know I appreciate it when other people share their experience with making the recipe, and I am sure other readers do as well. Thanks again! :)

      Reply
  21. Michael
    August 29, 2014 at 2:29 am (4 months ago)

    I have tried several versions of this recipe…Cannot wait to try it again…..

    Reply
  22. Cynthia
    September 2, 2014 at 6:47 am (4 months ago)

    I have garbanzo flour and gluten free all propose flour. Can I use one of these, or would you recommend sticking with the rice flour?
    Sorry if you’ve answered this before. I’m on my phone and can barely read the comments. Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      September 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm (4 months ago)

      Hi Cynthia! I haven’t tried either one with this recipe, but the reason I use the short grain brown rice flour is because it is slightly more sticky than other flours, and the stickiness helps it bind better. If you give either one a try, please let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  23. Anne
    September 23, 2014 at 9:26 am (3 months ago)

    Hi Danielle,
    May I use real butter, we skip carmelizing/roasting the cauliflower in olive oil because of the batter right? Also, may I find that flour at Whole Foods do you think? Will make for a party this weekend. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      September 24, 2014 at 8:23 am (3 months ago)

      Hi Anne! There is no need to caramelize/roast the cauliflower first; the wet batter kind of steams it while it bakes. I personally haven’t tried roasting the cauliflower before battering it, so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out, but if you wanted to caramelize the cauliflower first, I don’t see why you couldn’t use butter instead of olive oil. Also, you should be able to find the flour at Whole Foods. If they don’t have short grain brown rice flour, plain white rice flour will work. Let me know how it works out!

      Reply
      • Anne
        October 6, 2014 at 8:36 am (3 months ago)

        Hi Danielle,
        The flavor profile turned out to be amazing—literally might be able to avoid regular wings from now on as these tasted so fantastic (and I found the brown rice flour, which I really liked). My husband asked how soon we could make it again. My issue was with texture. Somehow, most of mine turned out mushy (so I served them with toothpicks) and only a few had a slight crisp to them. I know oven time and temp can vary so I’m trying to figure out if I need additional time in part 1 of roasting (with the flour) or part 2 of roasting (with the sauce basted). Any thoughts on how to make sure I get them crispier? Thanks again for the recipe and advice! Loved it.

        Reply
        • Danielle
          Danielle
          October 7, 2014 at 9:23 am (2 months ago)

          Hi Anne! I would try additional time in part 1 of roasting to make sure you get the batter nice and crispy. It’s hard to get it crispy during part 2 if it isn’t already there after part 1 of roasting. Hope that helps!

          Reply
  24. Laura E
    September 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm (3 months ago)

    I made this for my office potluck and it was a total and complete HIT! Everyone was raving about it, even though I’m one of the very few vegans there. It just goes to show that vegan food can be as delicious, if not more so, than food that comes from animals. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      September 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm (3 months ago)

      That’s so awesome to hear, Laura! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  25. Leah
    September 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm (3 months ago)

    How do you think Coconut flour or almond flour would fare? I cannot have rice.

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      September 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm (3 months ago)

      Hi Leah! I can’t say with certainty how either flour would work since I haven’t personally tried it, but I would try almond flour first and see how that works. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

      Reply
  26. Cindy
    November 26, 2014 at 8:10 am (3 weeks ago)

    Absolutely loved these!

    Reply
  27. Dee
    November 29, 2014 at 11:26 am (3 weeks ago)

    It’s been 10 months since I have eaten meat. I missed my chicken wings the most………..but thanks to you I have these & love ‘em!

    Reply
  28. Arielle
    December 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Wondering what I did wrong.. Mine weren’t crispy, they felt waxy. I even cooked them for a longer amount of time. Flavors great, but I want to know how I could make them crispy

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      December 8, 2014 at 10:22 am (2 weeks ago)

      Hi Arielle! Sorry to hear that yours did not turn out crispy. What type of brown rice flour did you use? I use short grain brown rice flour that I process myself as I think it has a better texture. You could also use short grain white rice flour. The only other thing I could suggest is to use a little more non-stick cooking spray over the top of the cauliflower before you flip it over. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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