These Cauliflower Buffalo Wings have the spicy-hot flavor of classic buffalo chicken wings, with a plant-based twist. They are almost irresistible when served with this creamy cashew ranch dipping sauce.
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This recipe comes from my friend Jen Hansard’s new book, Simple Green Meals. (Check out the giveaway below to win a free copy!)
It’s loaded with 100+ plant-powered meals, like Thai Lettuce Wraps, Austinite BBQ Tacos, and Sweet Potato “Nachos.” I love Jen’s overall eating philosophy, because it’s similar to mine. We both agree that when it comes to eating better, there’s no need to change everything overnight. Instead, it’s better to focus on small changes, like including vegetables in every meal you eat. These cauliflower buffalo wings are a delicious way to ease into it!
How to Make Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Making cauliflower buffalo wings is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is dip the cauliflower in a simple batter, bake them in a oven (no deep frying required!), then coat them in hot sauce and bake again.
I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 flour, to keep this recipe gluten-free, but I imagine whole wheat or all purpose flour would work similarly. When you mix the flour with water, garlic powder and salt, you get a thick batter that easily sticks to the cauliflower for baking.
After 15 minutes of baking, you can dip the coated cauliflower in your favorite hot sauce and bake it again until the breading is lightly crisp, and the cauliflower is tender.
Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce
While the cauliflower is baking to perfection, you have plenty of time to whip up an easy cashew ranch dip. If you have time to soak your cashews ahead of time, that should help them break down in your blender, and digest a little easier. I’m usually in such a rush to eat that I skip the soaking process and add a couple extra tablespoons of water to my blender to compensate for the lack of soaking when a recipe calls for it. (In that case, skip the extra 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or your ranch will be too tart.)
What I love about making your own dressings and dips is that you can taste the mixture as you go– so feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking. When you dip the spicy buffalo cauliflower wings into the creamy ranch dressing, they are downright addictive! Be sure to serve them with some sliced veggies, like carrots and celery, to help your mouth cool off, too.
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 head cauliflower , cut into florets
- 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil , melted
- 2/3 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Cashew Ranch Dipping Sauce (makes 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried dill (or 1/2 teaspoon fresh)
- salt & black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, water, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter, making sure each piece is well coated, and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through the baking time.
- Meanwhile, in another large bowl, stir together the oil and hot sauce. When the cauliflower is done, transfer the pieces to the bowl with the sauce and toss well. Place the coated cauliflower back on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy. Let cool slightly. Serve the cauliflower with dipping sauce.
Cashew Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Place the cashews in a medium bowl. Pour 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice over the top. Add enough water to cover by a few inches. Let soak 2 hours, then drain and rinse well.
- In a food processor, combine the cashews, 1⁄4 cup water, dill weed, garlic powder, paprika, the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Per Serving (including the ranch): Calories: 187, Fat: 9, Carbohydrate: 23g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 7g
- I don’t recommend swapping out the gluten-free flour in this recipe for almond or coconut flour, unless you’re willing to add an egg to the mixture, too. There will definitely be some experimentation needed!
- For a nut-free dip, try the tahini dressing from my Make-Ahead Lunch Bowls recipe.
To celebrate her new book, Jen has told me I can giveaway a copy to one of my readers!
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below letting me know a recipe you’d like to see here on my blog next. (It can be plant-based or not.) I’ll pick a winner one week from today– Tuesday, Sept 18th at 11:59pm PST.
*This particular giveaway is open to US readers only, 18 years and older.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe, and good luck with the giveaway!