Easy Buffalo Cauliflower is baked — not fried — and delivers all of the flavor of fried buffalo chicken wings in a lighter, but equally tasty appetizer or main dish!
If you are looking for some great starter ideas using delicious Buffalo flavors, look no further! Try my recipes for Buffalo Mac and Cheese Cups, Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, and Buffalo Popcorn Chicken.
Remember when Buffalo flavors were only for chicken wing joints? Then it somehow migrated to that Buffalo Chicken Dip that everyone started serving at their Super Bowl parties and then that kind of branched out to eat that dip any time, all the time, for all the parties and gatherings, then it kind of moved into Buffalo everything, because why not? THEN people decided that cauliflower was the bees knees so that started to become a key ingredient to swap for meat and now here we are.
Not that I’m complaining, as you can see, I clearly have an affinity for the mild heat that Buffalo sauce brings, plus the buttery richness, and then that touch of honey that brings the hot down just a tad, but not too much. And the cauliflower doesn’t bother me at all, I think it’s just as delicious as if I made this dish with chicken.
Plus, you get to dip it all in blue cheese dressing…is that overkill? Maybe. But, I say bring it on. It’s that hot/cold spicy/sweet combo that gets me every time. There are still those times though when I want to go meatless or I’m hosting a friend or family member who has diet restrictions or just wants to incorporate more veggies into their life. There was a time I would have scoffed at cauliflower baked and brushed in Buffalo sauce but I, much like my appetite, have changed my outlook over the years, for the better!
HOW DO YOU BAKE CAULIFLOWER?
Baking cauliflower is a cinch. Simply cut off the stem and start to break the cauliflower down into smaller pieces, whatever size you prefer, but remember to make them all roughly the same size so they’ll cook all at the same time. Depending on the size of your cauliflower pieces, you’ll need to bake them about 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees on a greased baking sheet.
Remove them from the oven when they begin to look tender-crisp and a tad brown around the edges, but before they turn too brown all around.
WHAT CAN CAULIFLOWER BE USED FOR?
Cauliflower can be used for so many different recipes. Once thought of only has a dog veggie (as in, one that you sneak to the dog when no one is looking), cauliflower now flies off the shelves, and is used for everything from pizza crusts to “rice” and from a substitute for mashed potatoes to Buffalo wings made from cauliflower.
Cuts of cauliflower range from large and “steak-like” to so small it can be substituted for rice in many low-carb and Keto recipes.
WHAT IS BUFFALO SAUCE MADE OF?
Buffalo sauce, so the story goes, originated in Buffalo, NY. It is typically made of a mixture of hot sauce, vinegar, butter, and Worcestershire sauce and maybe some seasonings, depending on the restaurant’s version.
Me, I skip all that work and just go ahead and use a pre-made Buffalo sauce like Frank’s Red Hot or something similar. I add the butter because it adds a richness and thickens just plain old hot sauce. Plus, I like to add that touch of honey to dial down the heat just a tad. That’s my (not so) secret ingredient.
WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER?
When I serve this dish, it’s typically with some other apps and lighter, finger foods, because one of the best ways to eat is to make a ton of shareable dishes and get a bite of everything. That being said, here are some of my go-tos:
- A simple tossed green salad, because you want to feel like you’re getting in all your veggies too right?
- Baked Lemon Pepper Wings, to satisfy all your “real” wing-loving friends.
- Looking for a dip that feeds a crowd but is really easy to put together? Then try this BBQ Chicken Dip!
- Baked Coconut Shrimp are easy enough to bake alongside the cauliflower and both can be ready at the same time!
- Queso Blanco? Yes, please!
- Cowboy Caviar is so simple to toss together and even easier to gobble up, so you might want to double the recipe!
Easy Buffalo Cauliflower
Easy Buffalo Cauliflower is baked – not fried – and delivers all of the flavor of fried buffalo chicken wings in a lighter, but equally tasty appetizer or main dish!
for the cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/5 cup milk
for the buffalo sauce
- 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 3 tablespoons salted butter add 1/8 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ranch or blue cheese dressing for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
Stir together salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Stir in milk.
Dip cauliflower in the milk mixture, turning to coat completely, shake off excess and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, use a fork to turn over cauliflower pieces, and bake another 10 minutes.
While cauliflower is baking, combine buffalo wing sauce, butter, and honey in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.
Brush buffalo sauce all over the baked cauliflower, bake another 10 minutes (I like to broil it for the last 2-3 minutes).
Serve fresh with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Serves two as a main dish, 6-8 as an appetizer.