Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

4.98 from 599 votes

Check out this vegetarian healthy-ish Buffalo Cauliflower Bites made with a few simple ingredients and paired with ranch dressing - perfect for game day!

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If you’re looking for a healthy low-carb game day snack to add to your spread for Super Bowl Sunday, make these delicious oven baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. No, they don’t taste like chicken wings. But they are definitely healthier and just as spicy and delicious! It’s a really easy recipe to make with simple ingredients that will wow your friends!

Large bowl of cauliflower buffalo bites with ranch dipping sauce

There are many variations of these cauliflower wings. I make mine healthier by using water instead of milk for the batter, making my own buffalo sauce (less fat that way), and using less batter to coat the cauliflower. They come out of the oven hot and crispy, and pair so well with the cool and creamy ranch dressing. It’s an easy crowd-pleasing appetizer or delicious snack!

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies! Low in calories and carbs and loaded with fiber and nutrients. These cauliflower wings are a great healthy option.
  • Flour: Use all purpose or a gluten-free flour for a nice crispy coating.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Hot sauce: Use your favorite hot of buffalo sauce to toss the cauliflower in.
  • Butter: To make these cauliflower wings vegan, use a plant based butter.
  • Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice for a nice tang.

How to make buffalo cauliflower bites

There are two main parts to make these buffalo cauliflower wings. First is the batter to coat and crisp the cauliflower. And second is the buffalo sauce that will bind to the batter and flavor the cauliflower.

Step 1: make the batter

The batter is equal parts flour and water and whatever spices you want. I like to keep the spices simple and use paprika and garlic powder. The mixture consistency will be pretty thick and almost like a paste.

Collage showing making the batter

Step 2: coat the cauliflower with the batter

You can throw the cauliflower right in the bowl to coat it with the batter. Or, you can shake it up in a plastic bag. Just make sure it’s well coated and then you can transfer it to a baking dish.

Be sure not to simply transfer it all together from the bowl or bag onto the baking sheet. Instead, place the battered cauliflower on a time to limit the excess batter and spread apart. This step helps to make sure the baked cauliflower is not soggy.

Collage showing cauliflower before and after baking with the batter

When they come out of the oven, they will be crispy and you can basically enjoy them as is. But we’re making cauliflower buffalo wings over here!

Step 3: make buffalo sauce and coat with cauliflower

Buffalo sauce is basically hot sauce and butter. Generally it’s 2 parts hot sauce to 1 part butter. To make it healthier, I make my own buffalo sauce with a lot less butter. I also add some lemon juice to give it a fresh zing. This does make them more spicy though, so feel free to taste and adjust before you add the buffalo sauce to the cauliflower.

Use a brush if you have one to coat the cauliflower with the sauce. Or you can dip them in the sauce using a spoon. Return to the baking dish and bake again. When they’re done baking, you want to make sure the buffalo sauce is adhered to the cauliflower, and it’s crisp and golden in color.

Collage showing Cauliflower Buffalo Bites before and after baking with the buffalo sauce

I love how easy these buffalo cauliflower bites are to make! They are a healthy vegetarian alternative to traditional buffalo wings. I’ve been obsessed with cauliflower for low-carb everything lately. Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?!

Large bowl of cauliflower buffalo bites with one bite getting dipped in ranch dressing

Tips for making buffalo cauliflower bites

  1. Cut the florets large. They should be about half the size of traditional chicken wings but still bite-sized. If you cut them too small, they end up becoming mushy and won’t crisp up as nicely when you bake them in the oven.
  2. Use a colander to drain the cauliflower after coating it with batter. Although this step is not crucial, it really helps to add just enough batter to coat the cauliflower without using too much that it’s smothered in the flour/water mixture.
  3. Bake the cauliflower on parchment paper. You can also coat a cookie sheet with oil so the batter doesn’t stick. Parchment paper is great for an easy clean-up, no sticking and less oil. Sometimes the batter might still stick to the parchment paper, so be sure to flip them halfway through for even crispness.
  4. Bake right before serving. As wonderful and crispy as these are straight out of the oven, they do soften up when they start cooling and especially by the next day. So enjoy them fresh out of the oven for the best taste and texture!
  5. Make it in the air fryer! Air fry at 375°F for 10 minutes. Then add the sauce and return for 5 more minutes. It comes out even more crispy in the air fryer!

Frequently asked questions

What do you serve with buffalo cauliflower?

I love serving my healthy buffalo bites in the same way you would serve wings; with celery, carrot and ranch dressing. To keep things healthy, serve them with my Homemade Healthy Ranch Dip.

Can you make this in the air fryer?

Yes and I think it comes out even better in the air fryer. Cook first at 375°F for 10 minutes. Then add the sauce and return for 5 more minutes. Just make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer.

How do I make it less spicy?

Warning, these buffalo cauliflower bites sure have a bite! If you want them to be less spicy, use ⅓ cup hot sauce instead of ½ cup and use 2-3 tablespoons of butter. You can also swap the hot sauce and butter for ½ cup store-bought mild buffalo sauce.

Party platter with Cauliflower Buffalo Bites, carrots and celery

I love this healthy vegetarian appetizer option that’s baked and not fried. These spicy buffalo cauliflower bites are battered and baked to perfection in the oven with a small amount of butter. They are big on flavor and won’t disappoint your guests for snacking.

More healthy appetizers

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Check out this vegetarian healthy-ish Buffalo Cauliflower Bites made with a few simple ingredients and paired with ranch dressing – perfect for game day!
5 from 599 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 127
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing for serving
  • Carrots and celery sticks for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper until batter is smooth. Add cauliflower to batter and toss to coat.
  • Spread cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer with space between them. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
  • In another small bowl, combine the hot sauce, melted butter and lemon juice until well blended. Brush the buffalo sauce mixture on the cauliflower.
  • Return to the oven and bake until they start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot with ranch dressing, celery and carrots, if desired

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge but they are best eaten within the first few hours. To re-crisp, heat them in the oven or in a toaster oven, not in the microwave.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • To make it gluten-free, you can substitute almond flour or another gluten-free flour 1:1 ratio. You can also use corn starch. This just helps to create a crispy texture and bind the buffalo sauce to the cauliflower bites
  • To make it vegan, replace the butter for vegan butter or olive oil. You can also buy a vegan pre-made buffalo sauce
  • To add your own unique flavor, you can switch out the garlic powder and paprika for other spices you prefer. 
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value does not include the ranch dressing or the carrots/celery.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 864mg, Potassium: 519mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 380IU, Vitamin C: 92.5mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1.7mg

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Party platter with Cauliflower Buffalo Bites, carrots and celery

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Comments

    1. You could, but, in that case, I’d swap the hot sauce and butter for ½ cup store-bought mild buffalo sauce.

  1. Fabulous!
    I had read some comments about not having enough batter. The first few florets I dipped and then shook off excess, but it was apparent right away I was going to be short on batter!
    So instead I dumped all florets in the bowl to toss in what batter there was, and they all came out very lightly battered and crisped nicely in the oven. Perfect way to do it bc they couldn’t get too coated in batter.
    They were spicy but absolutely delicious, even though they were not crispy the next day leftovers were still super tasty.
    Best buffalo cauliflower bites recipe I have made, thank you:)

    1. Thank you! Love that you were able to make it work. These are definitely better on the day you make them!

  2. Very tasty.
    I did it per the recipe but also added some heat to it on the 1st step. The only issue I had was no crisp even though I used the right everything. Next time I will add a crisping agent to it.

  3. Haven’t tried this yet but just wondering if you could freeze them? I was thinking of cooking for the first 20 minutes then freezing for a later date. When taken out of the freezer could I then add the buffalo sauce and then cook for the last 15 minutes.

    1. I have yet to try freezing them! What I do is store any leftovers in an airtight container (for about 3-4 days in the fridge) and re-crisp them by heating them in the oven or in a toaster oven, not in the microwave. However, they are best eaten within the first few hours!

  4. TASTY!!! I enjoyed your recipe, thank you for sharing it. Instead of basting with buffalo wing sauce part way through the baking process, I added it directly to the batter, half water half wing sauce. The result was crispy and delicious. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  5. This recipe is delicious!! Most Buffalo cauliflower I’ve tried is so focused on the health aspect that the recipe writers neglect the flavor. Not with this! The breading is light but adds so much flavor and texture, and it’s such a great alternative for when you want wings but know you should have some veggies instead. We made this recipe as part of some Friday night fried snacks and it really helped bring some balance. Didn’t make any changes and it was great!

  6. Hi,
    these Cauliflower bites sound delicious, will do them soon too. Duncan Jones (director of Moon etc and David Bowie’s son) shared your recipe on Twitter today, that’s how I stumbled across it. 🙂

  7. Wow these turned out great and were absolutely delicious! My 13 year old daughter had seconds. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks for sharing this awesome healthy recipe!

  8. These are my new favorite, spicy, healthy snack! Thank you for the recipe, which btw my son-in-law shared with me! Guys like healthy too…hehe!

  9. An easy to follow and full of flavor recipe. The best part is that my kids willingly ate cauliflower- normally unheard of here. Thanks for this one- definitely making it again!

  10. Made these last night and they were SO GOOD!!! I used the air fryer and added a few extra herbs to the batter! Thank you 😊

  11. So easy to make and SO delicious! Didnt miss the “chicken” aspect of these Buffalo bites for one second! Cant wait to make them again and again!

  12. Couldn’t stop eating them! Couldn’t quite fit all the cauliflower on a single sheet, so did one batch in the oven and the other in the toaster oven. The latter were smaller bits and came out crispier and tastier, which leads me to believe smaller pieces and higher temperatures would work better for this recipe.

  13. I have made this recipe time and time again! They are always amazing. Sometimes to mix it up I use honey instead of lemon.

  14. Great taste! Definitely spicy! Need to use a cooling dip like Ranch or blue cheese. But wow–a winner!

  15. Are the ingredient amounts correct for the batter? 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of water was not enough to coat even half of a medium sized head of cauliflower. Should the batter be thinner? I had to double the batter and added a 1/4 more cup of water and the consistency was better.

    1. Yes, it should be! Is it possible that too much batter was on the cauliflower? The mixture consistency of the batter will be pretty thick and almost like a paste.

  16. Hello and thanks for the great recipe! My kids normally hate cauliflower, but love it like this! Would using almond flour affect the outcome? Thanks again!

    1. That’s so great to hear! No, using almond flour won’t affect the outcome. You can substitute almond flour or another gluten-free flour 1:1 ratio.

  17. Did this recipe in the air fryer (NinjaFoodi) and it was delicious! 10 minutes in (flipping half-way through), then put on the buffalo sauce and popped them back in for another 10-12 minutes (flipped halfway again). Didn’t have to use a drop of oil!

    Really yummy, thank you!

  18. So easy. So good. I used paprika, cayenne and season salt in the batter. I used the convention function at 450 degrees. I dipped each piece in the batter using plating tongs and shaking off the excess batter. So light, crispy and addictive. Good bye wings.

      1. Great! That’s what I was thinking! I think I’ll try making half with barbecue and half with a less spicy buffalo sauce. Thanks for the suggestion!

  19. This was delicious! My son is a vegetarian, and I don’t parTICularly like cauliflower, but this was awesome for our Thanksgiving table! I’ll definitely make this again!! 🙂

  20. Super yummy! The paprika taste is a bit overpowering so I would personally cut that in half. Other than that, these were a huge hit!

  21. Excellent. I baked the cauliflower plain for 20 min. Then did the flour mixture for 20 min. Then sauced them and finished in the air fryer for 10 min. Wow. Very impressed. Just like chicken. Loved em.

  22. This recipe is fantastic! We use the cauliflower bites in tacos – so good!! Making it today for the second time in a week 🙂

  23. Hi, Can I defrost a bag of frozen cauliflower florets for this recipe? And can I use store-bought ready buffalo sauce?
    Thanks!

    1. You can defrost a bag of frozen cauliflower but the texture is better and more crisp if you use fresh cauliflower. The store-bought buffalo sauce is completely fine 🙂

  24. These were incredible and very easy to make! My meat-eating boyfriend even thought they were better than real wings. Will definitely be making them again!

  25. Omg! Best recipe ever! I’m only 14 but I love cooking and I would really recommend it! Its easy to make and it’s yummy!

  26. Just made this today and it came out perfect. I followed the recipe exactly except I omitted the lemon juice because we didn’t have any. We will definitely keep this in our rotation!

    1. I have tried many buffalo cauli recipes and this is my favorite one! Satisfies my craving for something spicy and yummy without being too heavy with thick batter! Crisps really well following these directions!

    1. Aww I’m sorry to hear that. Is it possible the cauliflower pieces were too close together? Or maybe they had too much batter on them?

  27. The recipe is very easy to follow. I wasn’t a fan of the paprika or lemon flavor, therefore, I would skip those. I would also bake an extra 5-10 minutes.

  28. Huge fan of this recipe. Love steaks, burgers, wings and never once thought to try buff cauliflower. I was hooked immediately after trying. Fun to experiment and add different seasonings to the batter. Trying spicy Cajun seasoning this time around!

  29. I recommend adding salt and pepper to the instructions when making the batter – it’s not listed in there, which I found odd, so I didn’t put any in, assuming the sauce would compensate, but based on the ingredients list, I think it needs it.

    1. Actually, I had it as salt and pepper to taste, but I just updated it now with my recommended amounts. Thanks for mentioning it!

  30. the batter didn’t stay on the florets after I flipped them, which was pretty disappointing. they weren’t that good after that

      1. It is possible you had too much batter on the pieces of cauliflower? They should be very lightly coated.

  31. Amazing! I used wing sauce and added a little honey to it. I didn’t have parchment paper so I sprayed a cookie sheet with Pam…no sticking issues at all. Other than that, I followed exactly and it was a huge hit! Thank you!

  32. This was my first time making these delightful bites. I also added Turmeric to the flour mixture and used gluten free flour. I added more water to get the desired consistency. Despite forgetting the salt and pepper, my family loved them. My daughter had the bright idea of finishing them in an air fryer because they didn’t come out as crispy from the oven. I had no sticking problems as I used parchment paper.

  33. Love this recipe! The flavor came out so well! My only question to you is how do you get them to be crispy? Mine came out a bit soggy. Was I not supposed to use all the butter-sauce mixture? Please let me know if you have any tips for me! 🙂

    1. My advice would be not to put any sauce on the bottom of the cauliflower, just the top and make sure to spread them out. Hope that helps!

  34. I believe that the first step to making tasty dishes at home is to find the recipe and instructions online. I am glad I scored in the first step by finding your website. I just followed your instructions and made a tasty buffalo cauliflower right for the first time. Thanks for sharing this recipe and walking us through it. Will be back to try more recipes here.

  35. These were great! Turned out perfect. I used a silicon mat to cook on so sticking was not a huge problem. They were crispy and delicious. I’ll have to do a double batch next time.

    1. Hi! I have made this, but when flipping them halfway baking, they stucked to the pan (this in during the first part, where I have just put the water and flour). I put olive oil in the pan, instead of parchment paper. Do you have any tip I could use?
      Thank you! 🙂

      1. Yes, unfortunately that happens sometimes with just olive oil on the pan. Can you use parchment paper or tin foil next time?

  36. This is one of the best recipes I’ve made! The taste, texture, everything! So easy to make and really cut my craving for junk food. I doubled the batter because my cauliflower was pretty big and lined my baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

  37. Loved these bites! I used gluten-free rice flour and they came out great. Paired with a Greek yogurt crema since we didn’t have ranch or hot sauce and was delicious!

  38. I’ve tried every suggestion- using parchment paper, oiling, oil+ parchment paper, aluminum foil, etc. and these still stick ! i don’t get it. It super frustrating.

    1. Can you tell me at which point they stick to the pan? Is it when you first put them in or afterwards with the sauce, or both times? I would love to help you trouble shoot this 🙂

  39. These were delicious and super easy to make! Definitely a lighter batter than the less healthy version of a cauliflower bite. I had quite a large head of cauliflower so had to double the amount of batter. Will make again!

  40. These were great! I’ve made cauliflower buffalo bites before but these came out better than any of the other recipes. I used frozen cauliflower and thawed and drained the florets on paper towels until dry. I used Franks Red Hot for my hot sauce.
    They had great flavor on their own, though not as spicy as my family usually likes. Next time I make them I’ll double sauce them – once as written and a second light coating when they come out. Or maybe just serve with a spicy ranch.

    Fantastic way to use up my frozen veggies during this shelter in place! Can’t wait to make them again.

    1. So glad to hear that! That’s interesting that you didn’t find them too spicy because others complained that they were too spicy! It really comes down to personal preference with that. And I love the idea of serving them with ranch! Thank you so much for the feedback!!

  41. I am so inspired by all these positive comments! I must have done something wrong as they came out very soft and mushy. I know it’s me, this happens every time I try to make baked cauliflower wings. I think I crowded the pan and they steamed instead of roasted.
    Stay safe everyone!!

  42. I was intrigued when you posted them as a suggestion for Superbowl, but I bought takeout hot wings… Now that I’m on my 8th day of Stay at Home, cauliflower was the last of my fresh veggies, and I decided to give your recipe a try. It was easier than I expected, and they tasted awesome!! I doubt I’ll ever order fatty takeout wings again.
    Thank YOU for posting fabulous ideas!

    1. Yay, that’s so awesome! I think we’re all going to be better cooks after this isolation. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you!!

  43. I made them! The only thing I did differently was use my own buffalo sauce but thank you! They were amazing!!

    1. Yes you can, but make sure to thaw them first and dry them out as much as possible so you remove moisture.

  44. These were so delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Mine were crispy enough in spots that I didn’t mind the softness in other spots. Thanks for the recipe.

  45. I did enjoy them, however, mine did not crisp up. Not sure what I did wrong. I may have placed the florettes too close together – would that change the results?

    1. Yes absolutely, try keeping them apart as I show in the video and try not to put too much sauce on them so they don’t get soft.

  46. These were not bad, but I was definitely not blown away by how good they were. I followed the recipe and if I make them again I will make some changes, because halfway through they were somewhat crispy, but saucing them in the middle ruined the crispyness and the were soft at the end. I’m not sure the batter is adding anything, and next time I’ll either omit it or roll the cauliflower in panko crumbs after battering them to make them really crispy and I won’t sauce them until the very end before serving.

    1. Thanks for your feedback on the recipe. I didn’t have that problem with the sauce, but it may vary based on the size of cauliflower and how much you added on there. I think the panko breading could help for sure. Thank you!

  47. Super delicious! I just started a new diet and wanted a healthier replacement for one of my favorite foods, hot wings. Followed the recipe to a T and they turned out so good! Even my husband, the avid meat eating supporter, loved them. Definitely a keeper.

  48. Brought this to a neighbor’s dinner party and everyone went crazy for it! I cut the hot sauce to 1/3 cup and served the left over as a side dip to the ranch. Super healthy, super delicious and not very difficult. Win-win-win

  49. I would like to make these for a friend’s party. She and her husband recently went vegan and I would like to be supportive. Do you think swapping the butter for a neutral oil would work? Or will I have to break down and buy plant-based spread?

    1. Yes, I think a neutral oil would work, but what’s better is if you can buy vegan butter because the flavor will better match that buffalo sauce flavor. Hope that helps!

  50. Love buffalo cauliflower but this recipe with the hot sauce makes it too hot to enjoy. The next time I will use buffalo sauce instead. Think that should do it. Otherwise, a good recipe!

    1. I totally agree that they’re definitely on the spicy side! I think using buffalo sauce is a good idea or adding more butter and using less hot sauce. This way you can control the ingredients and make sure the sauce doesn’t include extra unnecessary ingredients and preservatives.

    1. Yes, instead of hot sauce, you can buy mild buffalo sauce. I preferred to mix hot sauce with a little butter so I can control the ingredients but I agree it’s very spicy!

  51. This was great! We added a little extra cayenne to the hot sauce because we are crazy people.

    Otherwise we followed the recipe and it turned out delicious with some crispy edges!

    We will make this again.

    1. You could actually use coconut milk, but I would use the one in the carton, not the canned coconut milk, because that would be too thick. Hope you like it!

  52. I have tried several Buffalo Cauliflower recipes and this one was by far the BEST! The fact that it is a bit healthier than the others makes it even better.
    The proportions are perfect and the lemon adds to the flavor.
    Printed it to keep for the next time.

  53. Great recipe! My whole family loved it! Perfectly cooked cauliflower on the inside, and wonderfully crispy on the outside. You did a really great job creating this recipe, thank you!

  54. This came out perfectly crispy and I didn’t drain in a colander. The parchment paper did the trick! I used water and whole wheat flour because that’s what I had on hand. I’m so glad I made this. I want to impress my vegan daughter for the holidays—sans dairy sauce but vegan one instead! Even my carnivore hubby loved them.

    Thx you for the great recipe!

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed them so much!! Thanks for the awesome feedback. Really appreciate it!!

      1. You bet! Can you clarify if the nutrition information you included is just for the cauliflower bites or does that include the sauce? I’m trying to track. Thx.

  55. I made a similar cauliflower recipe to this one but it’s fully vegan!! I used a sweet chili heat sauce instead of buffalo, which is nice to switch it up once in a while. Love how the cauliflower turns out in the oven with the flour and water coating! Thanks for the idea!

  56. The recipe was both simple and delicious!!! We love cauliflower and will definitely make this frequently. Thank you so much for this recipe!!