The best air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings! Crispy breading on the outside, perfectly tender cauliflower on the inside, and tossed in a delicious homemade buffalo sauce. They make the best appetizer, party food, snack, or side dish that everyone will love. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, paleo, and Whole30.
Air fryer buffalo cauliflower! Can I get a heck yes?!
Oh man am I excited for this recipe! You guys absolutely love my boneless buffalo wings so I figured what not do a cauliflower version of them!
It’s pretty much a plant-based version of chicken wings. And I am here for it!
So, you know the restaurant-style fried buffalo cauliflower that has a crispy breading on the outside, tender cauliflower on the inside, and tossed in the best buffalo sauce that you can’t get enough of? Well, you can totally make them at home in the air fryer without all the frying.
These air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites are lightly breaded in a grain and gluten-free flour mixture, air-fried until golden brown and crispy, and then tossed in a flavor-packed homemade buffalo sauce.
By using almond flour, we pack in more protein and make them low-carb, along with lower in fat compared to your typical deep-fried cauliflower wings. The ingredients also make them naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, paleo, and Whole30 approved.
The outcome is the best appetizer, party food, snack, or side dish. They are addicting and if you are like me, you will need to control yourself from eating the whole batch!
Air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings ingredients
- cauliflower florets
- almond flour – this flour makes the majority of the breading
- tapioca flour – the second part of the breading, which helps lighten up the almond flour and fries up nicely
- eggs – you’ll need 2 eggs for whisking
- chili powder – for a little extra flavor and also to add some color to the breading
- paprika – same as the chili powder
- cayenne pepper – a little added kick
- buffalo sauce
- salt and pepper
How to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower
This air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe does have quite a few steps, but I’m here to tell you they are super easy to make.
- First, start out by making the flour mixture – mix together the almond flour, tapioca flour, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt.
- Next, whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl.
- Bread the cauliflower – take a cauliflower floret and dip it in the egg wash, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, followed by the flour mixture, and then place it on a plate or parchment paper-lined pan. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower florets.
- Spray the bottom of your air fryer with a little oil (I like to use avocado oil spray). Place the breaded cauliflower in a single layer in your air fryer basket, leaving a little room between each one for even airflow. Spray with a little avocado oil to help get them crispy and brown on the outside.
- Air fry at 375 for 15 minutes. You will probably have to cook your buffalo cauliflower in two batches depending on how big your air fryer is.
- Optional – when the cauliflower is cooking, make the buffalo sauce. You can also jsut heat up your favorite store-bought kind for convenience.
- Once the cauliflower is done, place it in a large bowl. Finally, pour over the sauce and carefully mix to combine – be careful though so the breading doesn’t come off.
Skip the Breading
If you are tight on time or don’t have the breading ingredients, you can skip it if you want. Simply just toss the cauliflower in your buffalo sauce and cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.
Can I make buffalo cauliflower in the oven or pan-fry?
To bake in the oven:
I haven’t tried this, but bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. I would suggest placing the cauliflower on a wire rack on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for even airflow and to help get it crispy. For extra crispiness, broil for a couple of minutes in the end. Then just toss in the buffalo sauce.
Follow this method for this popcorn chicken. All you need to do is add about 3/4-1 cup of oil to a large skillet and let it get hot. Fry the cauliflower in batches, making sure not to overcrowd them. Then just toss in the sauce and you are set! Pan-frying will add more fat to this recipe.
What to serve with cauliflower wings
- your favorite dipping sauce – I’m partial to blue cheese dressing, but I know a lot of people love ranch dressing with buffalo
- veggies – carrots and celery sticks are a must!
In a full meal:
- on top of a salad
- in tacos
- in a bowl meal with some protein (meat or plant-based) and more veggies
- and even in a sandwich or a wrap
How to reheat leftovers
If you have leftovers, place them in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes on 350 until warmed through. You can toss in more sauce if you want as well.
Substitutions for air fryer buffalo cauliflower
- almond flour – I haven’t tried any other flours, but I think substituting another nut flour (cashew would probably be best) for almond flour would work.
- tapioca flour – arrowroot flour should work the same.
- flour – if you have a store-bought gluten-free flour mix, I am pretty sure that will work instead of the almond and tapioca, but I haven’t tried it so I’m not positive. You could also try all-purpose flour, but again, I haven’t tried it.
- buffalo sauce – feel free to use a store-bought variety if you don’t want to make your own (although homemade is amazing!). Some of my favorites are Tessemae’s or The New Primal. If you can’t find buffalo sauce altogether, simply mix some hot sauce (my favorite is Frank’s Orginal RedHot for this recipe) with a little melted butter or ghee for an easy buffalo sauce.
More healthy air fryer recipes
- The Best Air Fryer Carrots
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Rosemary Garlic Air Fryer Potatoes
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Boneless Buffalo Wings
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (410 grams/about 1/2 a large head)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on spice preference)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- avocado oil
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- In a small bowl mix together the almond flour, tapioca flour, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper. In another small bowl, whisk the eggs. Set up an assembly line with cauliflower florets, eggs, and flour mixture.
- Bread the cauliflower by dipping it in the egg mixture, making sure it is fully coated and getting into the nooks and crannies. Roll in the flour mixture, fully coating and shaking off any excess. Place on a plate or large baking sheet and repeat with remaining cauliflower.
- Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with oil (I used avocado oil spray). Place breaded cauliflower in your air fryer basket, evenly spreading out and leaving room in between pieces so the air can easily flow through. Spray cauliflower with a light coating of avocado oil. Close drawer, set air fryer on manual at 375°F for 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you will probably have to cook the cauliflower in two batches to make sure they are not overcrowded.
- When the cauliflower is almost done, either make or heat up the buffalo sauce.
- Once cauliflower is done, add to a large bowl and pour buffalo sauce over cauliflower. Carefully mix to coat the cauliflower. Make sure to mix carefully as you don't want the breading to come off.
- Serve with ranch or blue cheese, carrots, celery, and more hot sauce and enjoy!
- if you are tight on time or don’t have the breading ingredients, you can skip it if you want. Simply just toss the cauliflower in your buffalo sauce and cook in the air fryer for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.
- follow this method for this popcorn chicken. All you need to do is add about 3/4-1 cup of oil to a large skillet and let it get hot. Fry the cauliflower in batches, making sure not to overcrowd them. Then just toss in the sauce and you are set!
- I haven’t tried this, but bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. I would suggest placing the cauliflower on a wire rack on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for even airflow and to help get it crispy. For extra crispiness, broil for a couple of minutes in the end. Then just toss in the buffalo sauce.
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