Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower


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Oven baked Buffalo Cauliflower is a simple appetizer that is great for parties. We love making this buffalo cauliflower recipe (with a side of Blue Cheese Dressing) and serving it alongside Jalapeno Poppers and other delicious appetizer recipes when we are entertaining!

Who doesn’t love all things buffalo-style? From buffalo chicken dip to buffalo hot wings, roasted buffalo cauliflower is the next big thing and this recipe tastes absolutely delicious!

oven baked cauliflower with dip

Buffalo Sauce vs Hot Sauce

Buffalo Sauce is not the same as just plain ol’ hot sauce out of the bottle.  When you order buffalo wings in a restaurant, the sauce is generally 2 parts hot sauce to 1 part melted butter (that’s why they taste so darn good)!

Of course you can use a store bought Buffalo Sauce (I love Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce best). It has great flavor (and it doesn’t contain as much fat as a homemade sauce)!

Spicy vs. Mild

You can buy buffalo sauce in a bottle at the supermarket, or make delicious homemade buffalo sauce. If you’re going the store bought route, there are lots of different brands that have their own heat index and flavor profile.

If you have anyone in your group who can’t handle the spice, leave a few aside and season with salt and pepper and dip in a garlic aioli for another yummy variation!

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower

This recipe is so easy because you only need one bowl and a plastic bag! To make baked buffalo cauliflower:

  1. Prep the cauliflower by cutting it into bite sized pieces and removing any leaves.
  2. Mix the coating ingredients together and toss the cauliflower in a plastic bag to coat the pieces.
  3. Bake the cauliflower bites for 15 minutes. Take them out, toss with buffalo sauce, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Fried buffalo cauliflower bites are always a favorite when we go out to eat, but baking them at home is SO much healthier. Any dressing will do, but the best buffalo cauliflower dip is some tangy blue cheese dressing or ranch, because, who doesn’t love dipping, right?

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower cut open

Can You Use Frozen Cauliflower to Make Buffalo Cauliflower? You sure can! Even easier than fresh cauliflower because it will be pre-cut and perfectly portioned! Be sure the frozen cauliflower is thawed all the way before the batter process so that it heats evenly through and drain well, dab any liquid with paper towels.

What to Eat with Buffalo Cauliflower?

What can’t you eat with buffalo cauliflower bites? Just like chicken wings, buffalo cauliflower bites call for sides of celery and carrots. But, why stop there? Why not make an amazing buffalo cauliflower salad with ranch dressing?

It’s also great as a buffalo cauliflower wrap or a juicy sandwich on a hoagie roll with lettuce and some dressing?  Dip your buffalo cauliflower bits into some dressing and keep your fingers clean at the same time!

More Buffalo Snacks You Need

Baked Buffalo cauliflower bites on plate
4.85 from 72 votes
Review Recipe

Buffalo Cauliflower

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
If you’re looking to serve a snack big on flavor this is one of my favorites! I do love Buffalo Wings, but I think I love this cauliflower even more (and these are much healthier)!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce (see note below)

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces discarding the core.
  • Combine milk, flour, garlic powder, pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. Place batter and cauliflower in a large Ziploc bag and toss until cauliflower is coated.
  • Pour cauliflower into a large strainer letting any excess batter drip off. Sprinkle with Panko breadcrumbs and gently toss.
  • Place on a foil lined pan and bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently toss with buffalo sauce. You want the cauliflower coated but not soaked.
  • Place back on the pan and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender crisp.
  • Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Recipe Notes

Note: You can purchase store bought buffalo sauce or mix 1/3 cup melted butter with 2/3 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot). Whisk until combined.
Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 123, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 684mg, Potassium: 290mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 60IU, Vitamin C: 34.7mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 1.3mg
Keyword buffalo cauliflower
oven baked cauliflower on a plate with dip in a bowl with a title
Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower and cut open shown with a title
Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower stacked on a plate with dip

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. All buffalo cauliflower recipes call for basically the same thing, your included. (I like all the great ideas on your page though!) So, the flour, or flour and water mixtures….it does not “stick” to the cauliflower. Even tried ever so slightly par cooking the cauliflower; still not so much, and then it’s not crunchy as I would expect would be the same if using frozen/thawed cauliflower. Any ideas on getting the flour to “stick” to the cauliflower?

  2. This was amazing! With a medium large head of cauliflower, there was almost no excess batter, and I stirred the Panko breadcrumbs into the same bowl. Followed everything else to the recipe’s instructions, used parchment, was perfect – crispy, just hot enough with Frank’s red hot and some butter.5 stars

  3. Loved this, but how exactly do you put the sauce on to get it to look like the photo? I just dotted some on and it was good but was wondering how you coat with the sauce. Love this recipe!!!!!

    1. You can toss it as you drizzle on the pan or place in in a bowl/freezer bag and toss as you drizzle. Hope that helps.

    1. While I haven’t tried it, I think it would work. Frozen cauliflower will have a different (much softer) texture so you will likely want to reduce the cooking time. I would suggest defrosting it first to allow liquid to drain away. Let us know how it goes if you try it.

  4. This recipe is so simple and SO good! Most buffalo cauliflower recipes are too complicated but this one is great.5 stars

  5. This is one of the best oven been baked buffalo cauliflower recipes that I’ve made. The only change is that I mix the milk and flour in a bowl and add the cauliflower and dredge, then I transfer the cauliflower to a freezer bag with the Panko breadcrumbs and shake. I serve with blue cheese dressing and it is such an amazing recipe!!5 stars

  6. I’ve made these twice now. I’ve tried 3 or 4 different Cauliflower Buffalo Bite recipes. This one is, by far, my favorite! They taste great and they actually have a bite to them! I tried it with both panko and regular bread crumbs. Both turned out crispy! For a little extra heat I added Cayenne pepper to the bread crumbs! As soon as they came out of the oven I let them cool on a wire rack, I think that helped them stay crispy. I use parchment paper and don’t have any problem with them sticking. I also just coat them in the bowl with the batter I don’t think there is a need for the zip lock bag.5 stars

  7. I am in love with this recipe. Turned out perfect the first time I made it and the second time (the very next day). Best right out of the oven, but good cold also. Will experiment with different sauces in the future, although it’s hard to beat Frank’s hot sauce or wing sauce. Thank you for sharing this super awesome recipe.

  8. I never ever EVER leave reviews on recipes, but this recipe has become a staple for me! I went vegetarian 2 years ago and had some SERIOUS buffalo-wing withdrawals. Buffalo wings were my favorite food. I tried this recipe a year ago and fell in love. I’ve made these wings at least 10 times since!! It’s foolproof! It works wonderfully every time and my whole family loves them (even the meat-eaters). Thank you so much for this amazing, hassle-free, delicious recipe!! I’m addicted!!!5 stars

  9. These did not turn out as expected, definitely did not look like your photo. The batter did not get crispy, I turned on the broiler in the last 5 minutes in hopes of crisping them up although that didn’t work either. I would not make these again, I have had them in restaurants and assume they use a deep fryer.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you, I can’t say for sure went wrong as we’ve made them many times successfully.

  10. For the hot sauce if you are worried about heat for others but enjoy the taste of a specific hot sauce, melt some butter and mix it in. The butter keeps the flavour of the sauce while neutralizing the heat, this is how we did out mild, medium, and hot sauce at a kitchen I used to work at ;)

  11. Very disappointing, was rather hard to toss them in the buffalo sauce when they all stuck to the foil, nothing like the picture

  12. >’1 head of cauliflower’
    >goes to Sam’s Club
    >$2 cauliflower, so not very expensive, think I’ll give this recipe a try
    >cuts up cauliflower
    >way too much cauliflower because their heads are apparently massive
    >oh no

    I also swapped the panko with normal breadcrumbs. Is there any difference between the two? Great recipe, went really well with blue cheese dressing.5 stars

    1. Hi Joshua, panko tends to be lighter and gives a light crunchy coating when baked or fried. Breadcrumbs can be a little denser but still equally delicious! So happy you enjoyed this recipe though, and had lots to enjoy!

  13. These are amazing! Seriously! I made these on Sunday for the game and my husband couldn’t get enough of them! I searched a few recipes for buffalo cauliflower before I decided on this one, and I’m so happy I did! I honestly am not a big fan of cauliflower and I thought they were delicious. I followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for sharing this!5 stars

  14. This is the best buffalo cauliflower I have had, including at restaurants. The first time I made it according to the recipe except I just mixed the flour and milk in a bowl and stirred the cauliflower around in it to coat. Didn’t strain it and didn’t dirty a plastic bag. I wanted to reduce the gluten so this time I followed the recipe except I used homemade almond milk for the milk and substituted almond meal for the flour. They were still fabulous! Next time I will use gluten free panko to keep them both dairy and gluten free.5 stars

    1. That is definitely disappointing Pam, I can’t say for sure what went wrong as most readers have had great success with this recipe.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way Paul. In theory it should work, but I don’t think it would get as crispy. If you try it please let us know how it worked out.

  15. These were fantastic! I also had some left over and reheated them in the oven the next day. They reheat perfectly- nice and crispy on the outside- and you couldn’t tell they had been refrigerated over night.5 stars

      1. So yummy! You won’t miss the chicken. The cauliflower is a great combo with crunchy outside, and heat from the buffalo sauce.
        I didn’t have panko crumbs so I crushed melba toast and some butter garlic croutons for topping, it worked out great. I will definitely make this again.5 stars

  16. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this with gluten free flour…I use Better Batter for my gf recipes, but I’m thinking it might be pasty in this recipe. Looks so good though and so if there are suggestions for making this gf, I’d appreciate it! Thanks so much.

  17. I make this dish all the time using your recipe and my husband and I love it!!! Always a go to. Today I decided to switch things up and toss the cauliflower in yellow curry sauce instead of buffalo. It came out great!!5 stars

  18. I’ve made this dish so many times using this recipe and I love it!!! Today I decided to switch things up and toss the cauliflower in yellow curry sauce instead of buffalo, turned out great!!!5 stars

  19. So delicious! Would give more stars if I could. Added a little Cajun seasoning to batter and powdered Parmesan cheese to Italian panko crumbs. Also coated each floret individually. Refrigerating for a couple of hours or even overnight helps coating stay on while baking. Turned cauliflower over half way through baking. Dipped in my buffalo sauce after 15 minutes of baking and returned to oven for 5. Absolutely perfect! Thank you Holly5 stars

  20. I have tried SEVERAL buffalo cauliflower recipes and this one is BY FAR the best one…hands down. And that bite pic? It looks exactly like that. the process is pretty time consuming though. I just blame that on the ocd as I want every bite to be coated completely and was doing each floret indivually. lol I’m making it again tomorrow with some potato wedges and maybe some pan roasted asparagus. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE!!! DELICIOUS!!5 stars

    1. YAY Moe!! This is my Mom’s fave recipe on my site too so I’m thrilled to hear you love it as much as she does!! :) Thank you!

  21. These looks so wonderful for snacking on while also staying on the healthier side! Perfect after my weekend of overindulgence (oops!).5 stars

  22. I was JUST telling my husband we should try a breaded cauliflower recipe! I bet he would absolutely love this. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  23. What a great little snack. I’m trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet and this is such a perfect recipe to sneak in!5 stars

    1. This is such a tasty way to add more veggies to any day! I hope you love it if you try it Jennifer!

  24. The contrast between the coating and the white of the cauliflower is just so pretty! This looks like perfect party food!

      1. I made this and I noticed that I need to make the batter thin. And I wanted to add more flavor because flour absorbs the taste. Which flour is the best? I used all purpose. Panko crumbs helped too just remember to not make it too thick. And I will use store bought Frank’s buffalo sauce. Thank you for the recipe.

  25. This reminds me of my mom. She’s make something very similar but coated it will rice flour not breadcrumbs. I bet the breadcrumbs taste better and have a nicer texture. I need to try this soon.5 stars

  26. What a great way to use up some cauliflower and give that awesome buffalo flavor. I have been known to make buffalo cauliflower stuff before and I might need to give this recipe a try.5 stars

  27. Buffalo anything is my crutch!  This is such a great, healthy option.  I already like buffalo so this switch should be a no brainer!

  28. They have this at my local theater and it’s my new go-to movie snack. I need to perfect making it at home!

  29. What a wonderful sounding snack, I love cauliflower, one of my favourite vegetables. It’s so versatile and the flavour is incredible.5 stars

  30. Love this oven baked buffalo cauliflower great game day appetizer I need to try it as I get bored with cauliflower curry dishes.5 stars

  31. Love this vegetarian version of buffalo wings! These look so amazingly delicious, I can’t wait to make them soon!

  32. Made these today and took them to work. I didn’t get a chance to try them.My co-workers couldn’t stop eating them. Now I have to make more for just me. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

    1. I can’t say for sure why yours burnt, we’ve made these countless times and never had a problem with them. Did you put them in the middle rack of the oven?

  33. I was skeptical about these because I’ve never had success oven-frying any battered food. However, these came out perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. I’m sure they’ll been a frequent request from my heretofore vegetable-loathing son! He loved them! This recipe is a winner.5 stars

  34. I made them and it came out great.The only negative thing about recipe is the bake time.The “wings” were burned at bottom and I spent time cutting the burned pieces.My boyfriend didn’t mind the burnt pieces and he enjoyed it too.Next time I’m baking them at 10 mins.5 stars

    1. I hope cutting the time helps. I guess it is true that every oven cooks a little different from the next.

    1. I haven’t tried it but frozen cauliflower is already quite soft so I’d worry it would become mushy. If you do happen to try it, please let us know how it goes!

  35. Holly,

    I am traveling today and plan to bring these to a friends house. Could I mix the batter ahead of time and place it in a bag with the cauliflower and then drain it when I get to my friend’s house?

  36. What is the trick to making them crispy? This is the second time I’ve tried to make buffalo cauliflower wings and they always turn out soggy and the coating doesn’t get crunch my or crispy at all! :(  
    Welcome to any tips cuz I love these at restaurants and want to be able to make them at home.

  37. No matter what I do, I can not get them to not stick to the pan or foil or parchment…I’ve tried everything.  Is there a hint? Because we love these, they just make a huge mess and I lose half of them to the pan!

    1. I’m not too sure why they would stick. Make sure that they are coated and the panko is sticking well (so they are not too wet). You may want to try putting a bit of vegetable spray or olive oil on the foil paper or pan if sticking seems to be an issue.

  38. I made this tonight for our Game Of Thrones party and it was the hit!!! I substituted the milk with sou milk and used gluten free bread crumbs and flour, it turned out fantastic!!! I will be using this recipes for years to come!!5 stars

  39. Very good!! I’d recommend cutting the cauliflower pieces on the small side, use lots of panko crumbs and bake them the full length. Those three things combined will make them nice and crispy. A little parmasion wouldnt hurt either. :)

  40. I had trouble after the first baking process when it was time to toss in the buffalo sauce. Most of the panko was falling off during the process so I decided to hand dip them though a lot of panko still fell off :/ any tips here? They still turned out amazing!

    1. I’m glad you still enjoyed them! Some of the Panko will definitely fall off but most of it should stay on. You can gently press the Panko once you sprinkle it on to make sure it sticks to the batter. Hope that helps.

  41. Has anyone tried freezing these before? I just bought from Trader Joes Kung Pao Cauliflower from the freezer section (I haven’t even tried it yet), but it got me thinking I could make a big batch of this to put in the freezer too!

  42. Thanks for the recipe! I couldn’t get mine “crunchy”. Perhaps next time put on parchment paper? Any suggestions? Still ate it up however, just texture felt more steamed.

    1. You’ll want to make sure your cauliflower is VERY well drained to avoid steaming. Mine wasn’t crunchy but it was crispy (if that makes sense). Once you add the sauce it does soften the batter a little bit.

  43. I just went to make this and realized I didn’t have bread crumbs. I am off to the store first thing tomorrow. I can’t wait to have this for dinner!

  44. We’ve made buffalo cauliflower in the past and it’s been good, but wow. We’ve made this twice so far and now it’ll definitely be a regular menu item!! This past time, we made half the batch with barbecue sauce for our 1-year-old son and he devoured his portion.
    I’m planning to share this on my blog because this is an amazing recipe. Thank you!

    1. If he doesn’t like the spice, they’re great with just seasoning salt as well and dipped in a creamy dip like aioli or ranch.

    1. You can purchase store bought buffalo sauce or mix 1/3 cup melted butter with 2/3 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot). Whisk until combined.

  45. Made these today and they are sooooo good! I’m not sure what happened during the first oven step, they started to burn on the bottoms and were already tender, so I didn’t need to cook them for the add’l 10 minutes. So maybe next time I will only bake them for 10 minutes instead of 15. Nevertheless, they turned out yummy and I will definitely be making these again.