These Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower bites are quick and easy appetizers, perfect for a meat-free game day finger food!
Bonus, these are also dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free friendly, so everyone can have a bite!
How To Make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
It’s so simple to make delicious spicy, crispy cauliflower bites with buffalo sauce in your air fryer! Let me show you how!
- Head of cauliflower – I am using a small cauliflower head, broken into small bite-sized florets of about 2 inches (4 cm).
- Frank’s buffalo sauce – Frank’s Buffalo Sauce is 100% vegan, despite using an ingredient named “Natural Butter-Type Flavor”. This is actually made from a combination of plant-based flavors.
- Unsweetened almond milk or any milk you like.
- Flour – you can use all-purpose flour, gluten-free all-purpose, or oat flour.
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil or melted vegan butter. If using olive oil, try to find a vegan olive oil!
- Maple syrup
Preparing The Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a hard vegetable that takes longer to air fry than my air fryer broccoli recipe.
So it’s crucial to cut your florets into small pieces of the same size, or they won’t cook at the same speed.
The best is to trim green leaves from the cauliflower head first, then cut the base to release large florets.
Finally, use a small sharp knife to cut the feet of each large floret and make small 2-inch florets.
For success with this air fryer recipe, make sure that your cauliflower florets are:
- Of the same size of about 2 inches.
- Dry – if wet, pat dry the florets in a clean towel, or the sauce won’t stick well.
Now prepare the buffalo sauce that you will use to coat each cauliflower bite.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients: flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper.
Then, whisk in almond milk, olive oil – or melted butter- and maple syrup until it forms a sticky thick batter that looks like pancake batter.
Preparing The Air Fryer Basket
Spray some olive oil into the air fryer basket to prevent the food from sticking to the basket.
You can also add a piece of parchment paper to the air fryer basket, but the florets won’t be as crispy.
Work In Batches
You won’t be able to fit all the florets at once in the basket, and you shouldn’t overlap the food, or it won’t crisp and cook evenly.
Dip each cauliflower florets into the flour mixture and add the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the basket, leaving half an inch of space between each – make sure they don’t touch each other.
You can keep the remaining dipped cauliflower pieces on a plate at room temperature to air fry later.
Air fry the buffalo bites at 400°F (200°C) for 8-10 minutes.
Then, flip each floret using tongs, spray a little bit of olive oil on top, and air fry again for about 6-8 minutes.
Keep air frying until the cauliflower bites are fork-tender.
Optional – For a Juicy Shiny Coating
This is totally optional, but I recommend mixing 1/4 cup of hot sauce with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon olive oil and brushing the cauliflower during their last 2 minutes into the air fryer.
This technique adds:
- A shiny look
- A sticky texture like real chicken wings
- A boost of spices
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use this cauliflower recipe in your oven.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking tray with lightly oiled parchment paper and lay the dipped cauliflower florets in a single layer onto the tray.
Bake for 20 minutes, flip halfway and brush the remaining sauce on top of the florets.
Return to the oven for an extra 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
Buffalo Cauliflower Dip Ideas
These buffalo cauliflower bites are delicious served with a side of celery sticks and with some cold, creamy dips like:
- Ranch dressing – you can select vegan ranch dressing or make your own.
- Cashew cheese sauce or vegan nacho cheese sauce.
- Cucumber dip
You can store the air fryer cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Rewarm the cauliflower in the air fryer at 325°F (160°C) for about 5 minutes or until hot. You can also microwave leftovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need To Preheat My Air Fryer?
You don’t need to preheat the air fryer for this recipe. It’s actually better if you don’t, or it gets difficult to grease the basket and lay the food in the basket without burning your fingers.
Can I Use Almond Flour?
Yes, you can swap the all-purpose flour for almond flour or oat flour.
However, you will need about 1/2 cup of additional almond flour to reach a thick consistency.
Also, the coating won’t be as sticky and crispy with low-carb flours.
More Air Fryer Recipes
I love my air fryer to bake healthy side dishes or vegan appetizers. Below are my favorite air fryer recipes for you to try.
Have you made these cauliflower buffalo wings? Share a comment or review below to connect with me!
Your friends, Carine
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- 1 small head Cauliflower - cut into small florets of about 2 inches
- Cut cauliflower head into small florets of about 2 inches. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in olive oil, maple syrup, almond milk, and buffalo sauce until a thick batter forms – it should be similar to a pancake batter.
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil. Set aside
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the mixture and place them in the air fryer basket in a single layer – you will work in batches, so set aside the remaining dipped cauliflower florets on a plate at room temperature while the other batch is in the air fryer.
- Air fry for 8-10 minutes at 400°F (200°C), flip the cauliflower wings, and air fry again for an extra 4-6 minutes or 6-8 minutes if you skip the next step about glazing.
- Combine the glazing ingredients into a small bowl and brush the cauliflower florets with the glazing. Return to the air fryer for 2 minutes until glossy, sticky, and cooked through. You can insert a knife in the center of the cauliflower florets to check if cooked in the center.
- Serve with cucumber dip, ranch dressing, or any sauce you love.