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Make crispy buffalo cauliflower at home with this easy and delicious recipe! This small batch recipe is perfect for a quick and healthy snack or meal.

Our small batch crispy buffalo cauliflower is the perfect answer to your snack-time cravings. This straightforward recipe is a vegetarian take on buffalo wings, combining healthier ingredients without sacrificing on taste or texture. Ideal for a quick bite or a shareable appetizer, this dish hits the spot with its crispiness and bold flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

  • Healthier alternative: Crispy buffalo cauliflower offers a guilt-free alternative to traditional buffalo wings, as it is made with cauliflower instead of chicken. It’s a great option for vegetarians or those looking to reduce their meat consumption.
  • Easy to make: This recipe requires only a few simple ingredients and minimal prep work. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require any deep frying, making it accessible for home cooks of all skill levels.
  • Versatile dish: Crispy buffalo cauliflower can be enjoyed in various ways. Serve it as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as a main course alongside some refreshing coleslaw and a side of your favorite dipping sauce.
  • Recipe doubles well: This small batch baked buffalo cauliflower recipe is an ideal single-serving indulgence, delivering a burst of flavor without leaving you with a heap of leftovers. It also doubles seamlessly, making it a versatile option when you’re in the mood to share a delicious, portion-controlled dish with a friend.
three buffalo chicken cauliflower wings on a plate.

What Is Buffalo Cauliflower?

Buffalo cauliflower is a popular vegetarian alternative to buffalo wings. It consists of cauliflower florets that are coated in a light breadcrumb batter, baked until crispy, and tossed in a tangy and spicy buffalo sauce. The result is a flavorful and satisfying dish that mimics the taste and texture of buffalo wings but without the meat.

Ingredients

buffalo cauliflower ingredients on a kitchen counter.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

  • Cauliflower: The cornerstone of our recipe. Aim for a fresh, firm cauliflower with a spotless, creamy white color, free from spots or discolorations. I use 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower.
  • Avocado Oil: Can be replaced with olive oil, butter, or margarine.
  • Egg: It serves as a binder for our breading. As an alternative to using one egg, 3 tablespoons of milk can be utilized. However, note that this may result in the breadcrumbs adhering less effectively to the cauliflower.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: If necessary, you can replace them with 1/4 cup of regular breadcrumbs. Just note that the final result may not be as crispy.
  • Buffalo Sauce: I personally prefer using Frank’s Red Hot Original Buffalo Wings Sauce, but feel free to swap in any favorite of your choice! You could also make your own tailored buffalo sauce by blending melted butter, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. The beauty of a homemade sauce is the ability to adjust the heat level – add more hot sauce for a fiery kick, or dial it down for a milder experience. Start the process by melting 4 tablespoons of butter, then blend in 2 teaspoons of hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Given the homemade version tends to be less thick, it might not thoroughly coat the cauliflower so I recommend that you use homemade buffalo sauce as a sumptuous dipping sauce for the crispy cauliflower bites instead of baking them a second time coated in the sauce.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

RELATED: How To Make A Small Batch Of Homemade Breadcrumbs

How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower For One Or Two

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make buffalo cauliflower nuggets. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized chunks and transfer them into a medium-sized bowl. Pour the oil over the cauliflower, ensuring all pieces are coated by stirring them around. Finally, distribute the flour, garlic powder, and paprika over the cauliflower, and toss again until the pieces are evenly coated.
cauliflower florets in a bowl tossed with oil, flour, and spices.
  1. In a separate, smaller bowl, beat the egg until it’s well mixed. Next, pour the panko bread crumbs into another separate small bowl.
  2. Take each cauliflower floret, immerse it in the beaten egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly.
cauliflower in an egg wash and then dipped in breadcrumbs in bowls.
  1. Position the coated cauliflower florets on the baking sheet.
unbaked battered cauliflower arranged on a baking sheet.
  1. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. As the cauliflower bakes, prepare the sauce by mixing 2 teaspoons of oil with the buffalo sauce.
a bowl of buffalo sauce on a kitchen counter.
  1. After the initial 20-minute baking time, remove the cauliflower from the oven. Dip each floret into the prepared buffalo sauce.
baked cauliflower dipped in buffalo sauce on a baking sheet.
  1. Return the coated cauliflower to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
12 buffalo cauliflower nuggets on a baking sheet.
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How To Cut Cauliflower Into Florets

  1. Start by slicing the whole cauliflower into two equal halves.
  2. Proceed to slice each half again, resulting in four quarters.
  3. Angle your knife and cut out the cores from each quarter.
  4. You can now easily break down the quarters into individual florets.
  5. Don’t throw away the cauliflower cores. They are edible and resemble the texture of broccoli stems. You can chop and cook them just as you would the florets.

Here are some additional tips for cutting a cauliflower into florets:

  • Use a sharp knife to make clean cuts.
  • Cut the cauliflower quarters into florets that are all about the same size so that they cook evenly.
  • Remember, if you want to save the cauliflower cores, you can chop them up and cook them in a stir-fry or soup.

Expert Tips

  • Preparation: Cut the cauliflower into uniform florets of similar size to ensure even cooking.
  • Use Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko bread crumbs are known for their light and airy texture, resulting in a crispier coating compared to regular bread crumbs.
  • Applying the coating: Take care to coat the cauliflower thoroughly. The more the florets are covered in breadcrumbs, the more flavor and crunch you’ll enjoy.
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper: To prevent the cauliflower from sticking to the baking sheet and to make cleanup easier, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Serve immediately: Buffalo cauliflower is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve it immediately to preserve the crispy texture and maximize the flavor.
  • Customize the seasoning: Feel free to experiment with additional seasonings in the batter or the buffalo sauce. You can add onion powder or other spices to elevate the flavor profile and make the recipe your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Gluten-Free Flour Or Bread Crumbs Alternative?

Absolutely! If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you can use 1:1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free bread crumbs as substitutes.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?

Yes, you can make this recipe vegan by using plant-based alternatives for the egg. Replace the egg with a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) or a commercial egg replacer. Also be sure that your buffalo sauce is vegan.

Can This Recipe Be Made With Frozen Cauliflower?

While fresh cauliflower is recommended for the best texture, you can use frozen cauliflower if needed. Thaw and drain the cauliflower completely before coating and baking to remove excess moisture. However, keep in mind that frozen cauliflower may have a softer texture compared to fresh cauliflower.

Is It Possible To Prep This Ahead?

Yes, you can bread the cauliflower ahead of time, refrigerate, and bake just before serving. Remember, the fresher the preparation, the crispier the outcome.

What Is The Best Way To Store Leftovers?

Place any remaining cauliflower in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best to consume them within 2-3 days. To reheat, bake in the oven to restore its crispness.

an overhead view of baked cauliflower coated in buffalo sauce next to a jar of blue cheese crumbles.

Serving Suggestions

There are countless ways to enjoy Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Dipping Sauces: Classic blue cheese or ranch dressing are excellent choices. A vegan-friendly dressing would also work for those adhering to plant-based diets.
  2. Squeeze of Citrus: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can add a delightful tang, elevating the flavors.
  3. Fresh Herbs: Garnishing with fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley brings a pop of color and a fresh element to the dish.
  4. Classic Accompaniments: Serve with the classic celery and carrot sticks, perfect for dipping.
  5. Tasty sliders: Transform your crispy buffalo cauliflower into tasty sliders! Serve them on soft dinner rolls or slider buns along with some lettuce, tomato slices, and a dollop of dressing.
  6. Grain bowls or salads: Incorporate the buffalo cauliflower into grain bowls or salads for a wholesome and balanced meal. Combine it with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or mixed greens. Add in other toppings like avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a drizzle of your favorite dressing.
  7. Tacos or wraps: Use the buffalo cauliflower as a filling for tacos or wraps. Warm up some tortillas, add the crispy cauliflower, and top it off with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of dressing.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is highly versatile, and the following variations can cater to different palates and dietary needs:

  1. BBQ Sauce: For those who prefer a sweeter, less spicy flavor, BBQ sauce can replace the Buffalo sauce.
  2. Nutritional Yeast: Sprinkling the nuggets with nutritional yeast before baking can add a protein punch and a cheesy flavor, great for vegans.
  3. Alternate Seasonings: For a unique twist, you can experiment with other seasonings like curry powder, cumin, or Italian herbs.
  4. Cheesy Cauliflower: Before the final stage of baking, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and bake until melted and bubbly.
  5. Make it Vegan: Replace the egg with a flax egg, and ensure your buffalo sauce is vegan.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this crispy cauliflower recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Make crispy buffalo cauliflower at home with this easy and delicious recipe! This small batch recipe is perfect for a quick and healthy snack or meal.

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ large head cauliflower , cut into florets (11 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil, plus 2 teaspoons for the sauce.
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup buffalo sauce

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the cauliflower florets into a medium-sized bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil over the cauliflower, ensuring all pieces are coated by stirring them around. Finally, distribute the flour, garlic powder, and paprika over the cauliflower, and toss again until the pieces are evenly coated.
  • In a separate, smaller bowl, beat the egg until it's well mixed. Set the bowl aside.
  • Pour the panko bread crumbs into another separate small bowl and set it aside.
  • Take each cauliflower floret, immerse it in the beaten egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly.
    Place the coated cauliflower florets on the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • As the cauliflower bakes, prepare the sauce by mixing 2 teaspoons of oil with the buffalo sauce in a small bowl.
  • After the initial 20-minute baking time, remove the cauliflower from the oven. Dip each floret into the prepared buffalo sauce and place them back onto the baking sheet.
    Return the coated cauliflower to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy as is or with ranch or blue cheese dressing as a dip.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Preparation: Cut the cauliflower into uniform florets of similar size to ensure even cooking.
  • Use Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko bread crumbs are known for their light and airy texture, resulting in a crispier coating compared to regular bread crumbs.
  • Applying the coating: Take care to coat the cauliflower thoroughly. The more the florets are covered in breadcrumbs, the more flavor and crunch you’ll enjoy.
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper: To prevent the cauliflower from sticking to the baking sheet and to make cleanup easier, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Serve immediately: Buffalo cauliflower is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve it immediately to preserve the crispy texture and maximize the flavor.
  • Customize the seasoning: Feel free to experiment with additional seasonings in the batter or the buffalo sauce. You can add onion powder or other spices to elevate the flavor profile and make the recipe your own.
How To Cut Cauliflower Into Florets
  1. Start by slicing the whole cauliflower into two equal halves.
  2. Proceed to slice each half again, resulting in four quarters.
  3. Angle your knife and cut out the cores from each quarter.
  4. You can now easily break down the quarters into individual florets.
  5. Don’t throw away the cauliflower cores. They are edible and resemble the texture of broccoli stems. You can chop and cook them just as you would the florets.
A Note About Buffalo Sauce
I personally prefer using Frank’s Red Hot Original Buffalo Wings Sauce, but feel free to swap in any favorite of your choice! You could also make your own tailored buffalo sauce by blending melted butter, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. The beauty of a homemade sauce is the ability to adjust the heat level – add more hot sauce for a fiery kick, or dial it down for a milder experience. Start the process by melting 4 tablespoons of butter, then blend in 2 teaspoons of hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Given the homemade version tends to be less thick, it might not thoroughly coat the cauliflower so I recommend that you use homemade buffalo sauce as a sumptuous dipping sauce for the crispy cauliflower bites instead of baking them a second time coated in the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 2980mg, Potassium: 320mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 101mg, Calcium: 104mg, Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4 Comments

  1. WOW! I haven’t made this yet but your explanation on ‘how to’ is so thorough! I can’t wait to try it and I feel no hesitation, not a question left unturned!! Thank you