Cauliflower Buffalo Wings (Vegan & Gluten-free)

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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.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings (Vegan & Gluten free)

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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!)

simple green meals book

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.

how to make buffalo caulifllower wings

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.

cauliflower bites in hot sauce

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.)

cashew ranch dipping sauce

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.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings (Vegan & Gluten free)
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4.72 from 28 votes

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Starch |  Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Vegan
These Buffalo Cauliflower Wings have the spicy-hot flavor of classic chicken wings, but this plant-powered version is naturally gluten-free and vegan. They are addictive when served with the creamy cashew ranch dipping sauce!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 187kcal


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.


Reprinted with permission from Simple Green Meals, by Jen Hansard


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1564mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 71.2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Per Serving (including the ranch): Calories: 187, Fat: 9, Carbohydrate: 23g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 7g

Recipe Notes:

  • 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.

Cookbook Giveaway

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!

Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

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I love this dish at Crossroads, and am going to buy cauliflower tomorrow! One question… Is there a good way to reheat them? I’m single, and although I’m fairly sure I could eat them all by myself in one go, I probably shouldn’t — and I really don’t want to share. As for what recipe I’d like to see in your next blog? I have a real sweet tooth, but I can’t have chocolate — which I miss so very much. I wanted to try carob (it did not translate well into your avocado pudding recipe which I used to eat pretty much every day — which might explain how I developed a chocolate allergy). When ordering carob from Amazon, I accidentally ordered several pounds of it. I’ve also tried substituting it in the brownie recipe from your book, and your black bean brownie recipe, but both times I was forced to add a ton of peppermint oil to mask the carob. So, I’m hoping that you could post a recipe that uses ground carob and is actually delicious. That would be even better than winning Jen’s cookbook that looks pretty darn delicious.


I just started low carb/keto and would love to see some easy bring-to-work-plus-can-hold-up-an-hour-on-the-train-commute lunches! 🙂


I would like a family recipe of yours next!! With a great story


Yum! My recipe request is a warm, make-ahead breakfast option other than oatmeal. Thanks!

Julianna McKitrick

I would like to see healthy grab and go food. These cauliflower wings look amazing. Always looking for ways to use cauliflower, one of my favorite vegggies, but not my son’s. Lol.


Yum! Looking forward to trying this. And if her book is as good as yours are, I would love a copy.


I’d love to see a Instant pot vegan red beans and rice recipe (using dried beans). I’ve tried a handful and they are either super unhealthy or flavorless!

Jenn R

Thanks for all your delicious recipes, and for featuring other authors with dairy-free and plant based recipes! I had your vegan mac’n’cheese with roasted broccoli tonight for dinner. So tasty. With winter coming, I’d love some good ideas for hearty and properly combined soups! Especially ones that I can throw in the Crockpot before I go to work in the morning.


I would love to see a fool proof delicious vegan/ oil free salad dressing.

Natalia m

I struggle with finding healthy, low fat, plant based treats. There’s plenty of plant based desserts available, but most are really high in fat. I’m trying to keep my fat intake low for health reasons, but have a crazy sweet tooth and want my treats! So, I’d love to see any recipes in the sweet but healthy and low fat dessert category.


I love these! I’d love to read about a Savory vegan muffin or loaf recipe for kids lunches.

Judy Frieder

I would love to see a substitute for Spinach Artichoke dip without cheese. I do not know how to make things without dairy. I need help in replacing it. Thanks


I would love to see a Vinaigrette with no oil.


I’d love to see something that’s vegan and paleo 😬

Karen Cunningham

I would like to see a healthy recipe to make an actual wrap, a tortilla, and a taco shell. If you have already published, please tell me where. Just pre-ordered the Insta Pot book. Just pulled mine out I bought about 5 years ago and never opened. You inspired me!


Silly question…how much paprika in the dipping sauce please?


I’m so excited and happy I found u!
I have been trying to fix my diet forever but could never find simple recipes for those of us that HAVE to be dairy free. Thank u for ur simplicity and wonderful flare for amazing taste!!!


I’m excited to make this as an appetizer for the next party with my friends!


I made this on Sunday and although it was still delicious, I think I did something wrong. There are a few possibilities: perhaps the “mystery flour” I had in a container was just straight rice flour, or maybe halfing the recipe didn’t quite work? Either way, the flour sank to the bottom and didn’t want to incorporate, and then when I flipped them most of the coating stuck to the pan. I also ended up using an entire batch of the hot sauce coating even thought I had cut the recipe in half. Don’t get me wrong, I thought they were still good, and if done right I’m guessing they’re pretty phenomenal. I’m definitely going to try again.


I would love a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting recipe. My son is turning 4 this month and really wants a strawberry cake for his birthday 🎂 I just bought strawberries today to make your strawberry cupcakes and hoping I can whip it into something resembling a cake.


This was amazing! I prefer plain cauliflower wings, so I did not add the hot sauce. I used a silicone baking mat and did not turn them halfway through. They still looked white, with a few brown edges.. but tasted great! The ranch dipping sauce was also amazing. I started it too late, though. I soaked the cashews in hot water for 45 minutes, and the sauce was still nice and creamy. This was super easy to make, and I will definitely be making it again! Thank you!


I was so excited to make this but I ended up getting so frustrated. The sauce needed way more water to become creamy. Not only that, but the batter needed more water too and I had to make 3 times the amount to coat one cauliflower head.


These were DELICIOUS. So crispy! We had them one night as “buffalo wings” and another night without the sauce, in corn tortillas, and topped with a slaw and red onions. This is by far one of my favorite cauliflower recipes I’ve ever found – thanks 🙂 PRO TIP: buy the pre-cut cauliflower. Less mess!


This recipe did not work out! The batter was not enough for one head of cauliflower. The batter also stuck to the parchment when I tried to turn them over. I noticed a few others had similar issues. No star for this one.

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