This vegan buffalo cauliflower is gluten free, baked (not fried!) and belongs at every football party. It has a crispy breaded coating and a spicy buffalo sauce with a (not so) secret ingredient to take it to the next level.
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This time of year I’m always craving buffalo flavored anything. Buffalo chicken wings, buffalo dip, and these vegan buffalo cauliflower ‘wings’.
Something about buffalo sauce just screams football to me, and with the Superbowl right around the corner, I thought now would be the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes!
This cauliflower is battered in a gluten and dairy free rice flour based batter, baked until crispy, and then tossed in a spicy, three ingredient buffalo sauce and then dipped in ranch dressing. Since you’re probably already drooling, let’s just start cooking!
How to make this recipe
In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, arrowroot starch, salt, garlic powder, and non-dairy milk until a batter forms. We’ll be using three types of flour for this recipe, but I’ve listed a few substitutions at the bottom of this post.
Chop the cauliflower into large florets and add to the bowl. Larger florets work best for this recipe because they hold their shape better and don’t crumble as easily.
Mix until well coated, then toss in the breadcrumbs.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there is any leftover batter, brush it over any pieces that need more. You ideally don’t want too much extra batter that falls onto the baking sheet because it will pull off the cauliflower when it’s done baking. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
When the cauliflower is done, let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a bowl and coat with the buffalo sauce.
Transfer back to the baking sheet and bake for about 10 more minutes until crispy.
Serve immediately with ranch dip. The cauliflower itself is spicy, but the ranch dip really helps to cut some of the spice.
You can serve this vegan buffalo cauliflower with ranch, carrots, chives, celery or enjoy as is!.
Buffalo Sauce vs. Hot Sauce
The ingredients in traditional hot sauce is more or less just hot peppers, salt and vinegar. Buffalo sauce on the other hand has melted butter and often has Worcestershire sauce mixed into it to give it its distinct flavor.
Buffalo sauce is cayenne pepper based and has a different flavor profile and color than traditional hot sauce. It’s more orange, rather than red.
True buffalo sauce is preferable for this recipe because of its distinct flavor, but if you only have or can only find regular hot sauce, that will be just fine. You can add melted butter to the sauce to add more of a buffalo flavor.
Substitutions & Variations
The almond flour can be subbed for more rice flour. I like using almond because it almost gives more of a bread like coating, but rice flour is much less expensive and works very well.
The arrowroot can be subbed for tapioca starch or corn starch. If you have none of these, more rice flour will work as well.
The ranch in the buffalo sauce is optional but helps to make the sauce thicker and creamier and helps it stick to the cauliflower better. You can easily leave it out, but it will look a bit different than the pictures show.
To make the recipe spicier, sub the vegetable broth for more buffalo sauce. I added the broth because I have found buffalo cauliflower recipes in the past were just so spicy I could hardly eat them. You want the spice, but you also want to enjoy what you’re eating!
For a low carb or keto option, you can use all almond flour and omit the rice flour, breadcrumbs and arrowroot.
If you like this recipe, try these next!
Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower (V/GF)
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce or hot sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth*
- 1/4 cup dairy free ranch* plus more for dipping (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, arrowroot starch, salt, garlic powder, and non-dairy milk until a batter forms. You want the batter on the thicker side, but if it seems too thick, thin it out with a bit more milk as needed.
- Chop the cauliflower into florets and add to the bowl.
- Mix until well coated. Toss in the breadcrumbs until well coated.
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there is any leftover batter, brush it over any pieces that need more.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Whisk together the buffalo sauce, ranch and vegetable broth. The vegetable broth is only there so the cauliflower isn't too spicy. If you prefer more spice, just use more buffalo sauce instead of the broth.
- When the cauliflower is done, let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a bowl and coat with the buffalo sauce.
- Transfer back to the baking sheet and bake for 5-10 more minutes (or more if your florets were larger) to crisp it up.
- Serve immediately with ranch dip.