Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are crispy and spicy, a delicious and unexpected alternative to greasy chicken wings. Better for you and perfect for vegetarian diets.
I love these air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites. Replacing chicken wings with tasty and nutritious cauliflower, a plant, is a good healthy idea and great for some variety in your diet. Cauliflower has so many health benefits, lots of nutrition and fiber in every bite.
And buffalo cauliflower bites are delicious! My mom was a little skeptical about trying these, not being a huge fan of buffalo hot wings, but she couldn’t stop eating them. So crispy and with just the right amount of spiciness, buffalo cauliflower bites are really surprisingly delicious, especially dipped in blue cheese dressing or homemade ranch dressing.
So give them a try! You definitely won’t fool anyone into thinking that they’re really chicken wings, but I promise they won’t care, once they try one of these air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites. Perfect with a pint of cold beer.
About this Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Recipe:
So how do you make air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites? Trust me, they are easy to make. (Keep scrolling down for the full printable recipe.)
Essential to really crispy bites, you want to dry the cauliflower thoroughly after cutting and washing it. Use your salad spinner to remove excess moisture and then spread the cauliflower florets on a dry towel to air dry. The drier, the better!
While the cauliflower is drying, combine flour, panko or breadcrumbs, dried parsley and garlic powder in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter and hot sauce, until you have sauce that’s nice and smooth.
Breading the cauliflower is an easy process: first dump all the cauliflower in the sauce and stir until all of the sauce is coating the cauliflower. There should not be any sauce left in the bottom of the bowl. Keep stirring until the cauliflower is almost completely coated.
Then toss the cauliflower pieces in the dry mixture. You may want to do a few at a time so you can coat each piece with the crumb mixture. Pop them into the air fryer in a single layer, without touching each other if possible. You’ll have to “fry” them in batches.
Keep finished cauliflower bites in a warm oven until ready to eat, or put them on a plate and watch them disappear!
How to make these your own:
- Don’t like “hot” wings? For a more mild version, replace the hot sauce with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or ketchup.
- On a keto diet? Skip the panko/breadcrumbs and use 1 cup almond flour in place of the all-purpose flour. Or make them with no breading at all. Your bites won’t be quite as crispy but still spicy and delicious.
- Don’t have an air fryer yet? Bake the cauliflower bites in the oven. See note on the recipe card for directions.
- Rather have chicken wings? Try Air Fryer Chicken Wings or oven-baked Chili Lime Chicken Wings, they’re really good!
Reheating and Storage Tips
Air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites are best eaten immediately. However, if you have any left over, wrap well and refrigerate for up to 3 days. For best results, pop them back into the air fryer to crisp up. Alternatively, a toaster oven would work well for reheating. Keep in mind that some of the breading will probably fall off, and they won’t be as crispy.
More air fryer recipes:
Crispiness without added fat? I’ll take it! Here’s a few more better-for-you air fryer recipes you’ll want to try:
- Air fryer chicken nuggets
- Air Fryer chicken tenders
- Air Fryer coconut shrimp
- Air fryer egg rolls
- Air Fryer Tater Tots
- Air fryer sweet potato fries
- Air fryer French fries — dip them into homemade fry sauce!
- Air fryer chicken thighs
- Air fryer falafel — another great vegetarian option
- Air fryer Brussels sprouts
- Air fryer mozzarella sticks
- Air fryer bacon wrapped scallops by Skinnytaste (I can’t wait to try these!)
- Air fryer chocolate chip cookies by Kitchn (sounds perfect for the crispy cookie lover)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup hot sauce (like Franks), more for dipping if desired
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing, for dipping, optional
- To prepare cauliflower, cut or break into evenly sized florets. Rinse well and spin dry. They should be as dry as you can get them.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter and hot sauce, stirring with a whisk until blended together. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. The cauliflower should be almost completely coated with the butter/hot sauce blend.
- In another large bowl, mix Panko bread crumbs, all-purpose flour, dried parsley, garlic powder, and salt.
- Lightly spray air fryer cooking rack, if desired. Toss cauliflower in Panko mixture until coated and place in air fryer in a single layer. Try not to let them touch each other too much.
- Set air fryer to 350ºF and cook for 13 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Color deepens as they cool.
- Continue to cook the remainder of the cauliflower in batches.
- To keep warm, put cooked cauliflower on a wire baking rack placed on top of a sheet pan in a warm oven (175-200ºF). This will keep the cooked cauliflower warm and crispy while you finish cooking the rest.
- Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- Oven directions: Prep and coat cauliflower. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place bites on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, flip bites. Cook 5-7 more minutes or until crispy. If desired, broil an additional 2-3 minutes to brown further.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.