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Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, made in the oven or air fryer, are a great appetizer & snack alternative to chicken wings. Perfect for all those buffalo sauce lovers out there.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword buffalo, cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4


Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1 cup hot sauce up to 1 1/2 cups if you want it extra spicy
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika

Additional Ingredients

  • Parsley or Green Onion for garnish
  • Ranch or Blue Cheese to serve


Roasted Cauliflower

  • Preheat your oven to 425F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour and buttermilk. Whisk well.
  • In another medium sized bowl, add the panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, and paprika.
  • Dip the cauliflower florets, a few at a time, into the wet mixture. Allow any excess to drip off and then place the florets into the panko. Toss them to ensure they’re coated on all sides and then transfer the battered florets to the parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Roast the cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, or until it has become crispy and gold brown. Set the cauliflower aside while you make the buffalo sauce— but don’t turn off the oven quite yet!

Buffalo Sauce

  • Place the hot sauce, butter, garlic powder, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. If the mixture starts to separate, whisk it vigorously and it will come back together.
  • Spoon as much sauce as you’d like over the crispy cauliflower and toss to combine. Save any leftover sauce for dipping!

Crisp & Serve

  • Return the buffalo cauliflower to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is crisp and starting to turn dark brown around the edges.

Air Fryer

  • Working in batches, place the cauliflower in the air fryer and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, shaking and stirring gently after 7-8 minutes. Cauliflower is done when the florets are slightly browned but not mushy.
  • Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  • Toss with sauce before serving.


  • This recipe is best eaten immediately as the cauliflower will start to soften and lose its crunch. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
  • To make this recipe vegan, swap the buttermilk for unsweetened almond or soy milk.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, regular milk will work as well.
  • Panko bread crumbs are larger and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs-- make sure to use panko for the most crunch!