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Air fryer buffalo cauliflower is a fun, flavorful appetizer or side that’s actually healthy too! Cauliflower is tossed with spicy buffalo sauce and seasonings, then air fried to crispy perfection.

close up image of a plate of air fried buffalo cauliflower with a side of ranch

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Everyone loves buffalo wings, but they’re not exactly a healthy snack. Want to give this spicy app a healthier twist? Then make it with cauliflower and cook it in the air fryer!

This air fryer buffalo cauliflower is a delicious, vegetarian-friendly dish that is packed with flavor! My recipe has the classic spicy buffalo flavor everyone loves, but pairs it with cauliflower for a more virtuous bite. 

The air fryer adds an extra bit of crispiness to the outside of the cauliflower, making it perfect for snacking or as a side dish. (And no, you don’t need to be a vegetarian to enjoy these!)

top down image of a plate of air fried buffalo cauliflower, celery sticks and a bowl of ranch served on a large oval white plate

Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

The key to making delicious air fryer buffalo cauliflower is the spicy, tangy flavor of the buffalo sauce. The combination of hot sauce and butter gives the dish a unique and flavorful kick that you won’t be able to resist! And, because it’s cooked in the air fryer, there’s no need to worry about oil splattering all over your kitchen. 

Serve buffalo cauliflower as a side dish with burgers or crockpot hot dogs or as a game day snack when you’re entertaining friends and family. Just don’t forget to pair it with ranch dressing for dipping!

ingredients to make air fried buffalo cauliflower

Ingredients

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Cauliflower
  • Hot sauce – Frank’s RedHot is the traditional choice, but Cholula works too.
  • Unsalted butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use this, but just add less salt to the recipe.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic powder – Key to getting lots of garlicky flavor without crushing all those fresh garlic cloves!
  • Paprika – We use regular paprika here, but you can use smoked paprika for a hint of smoky flavor.
  • Kosher salt

To serve:

  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing

Variations

  • To make your buffalo cauliflower dairy-free, substitute melted vegan butter for the regular butter.
  • Crumble bleu cheese over the cauliflower before serving.
  • Sprinkle thinly sliced green onions over the cauliflower after it’s done cooking.

How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  1. Prepare the cauliflower: Cut or break the cauliflower into 1 to 1 ½ inch florets.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the Frank’s red hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. 
  4. Coat the cauliflower: Add the cauliflower florets to the wet mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower into the seasoned flour mixture. Toss to coat.
  5. Air fry the cauliflower: Arrange the cauliflower pieces in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer, leaving space between them so the air can circulate. Bake at 375ºF for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned and crispy. (You may have to cook in batches.)
  6. Serve: Plate the air fryer buffalo cauliflower and serve with your choice of dressing. 
air fried buffalo cauliflower dipped in a bowl of ranch

Quick Tip

If you want an extra crispy finish, spray the air fryer basket lightly with oil before adding in the cauliflower, then spray the cauliflower once it’s in the basket. This will help to crisp up the outside of the florets and give them a delicious crunch! 

How to Store Leftover Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Transfer leftover buffalo cauliflower to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. While you can microwave the cauliflower, I recommend using the air fryer for reheating because it will help the cauliflower get crispy again.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some fun ways to serve this air fryer buffalo cauliflower:

  • Serve over a bed of greens for a healthy salad.
  • Use it to make meatless tacos, wraps, and burritos.
  • Toss with your favorite mac-and-cheese
  • Fold them into cheese quesadillas or even use them in a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Or just go the traditional route and serve them with a bowl of creamy dip, carrots, and celery sticks!

FAQs

Is buffalo cauliflower healthier than wings?

Yes! Buffalo cauliflower is a healthier alternative to wings, as it’s lower in calories and fat. It also contains more fiber and vitamins than traditional wings, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a healthier snack. 

Why are my cauliflower wings soggy?

If your cauliflower wings are soggy, it’s possible that the flour coating wasn’t applied evenly. Make sure to add enough flour and spices so there is a nice layer of crunchy coating on each piece. This will help them get crispy and delicious when air frying. 

Do cauliflower wings have meat?

No, cauliflower wings are a vegetarian and vegan-friendly option (if you swap out the regular butter for vegan butter). They contain no meat, making them the perfect snack for those following plant-based diets. 

More Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower is a fun, flavorful appetizer or side that’s actually healthy too! Cauliflower is tossed with spicy buffalo sauce and seasonings, then air fried to crispy perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • ½ cup hot sauce Frank’s RedHot or Cholula
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

To serve:

  • 1 cup ranch or bleu cheese dressing

Instructions 

  • Chop or break apart the cauliflower into 1 to 1 ½ inch sized pieces.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Add the cauliflower pieces, tossing to coat evenly.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower into the seasoned flour mixture. Toss to coat.
  • Line the basket of the airfryer with the cauliflower pieces, leaving a small space in between so they don’t stick together.
  • Bake at 375 F for 12 to 15 minutes until they are lightly brown and crispy. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it may be necessary to bake these in separate batches.
  • Serve with your choice of dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 1970mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 581IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: air fryer buffalo cauliflower
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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