As a vegetarian, there are some foods I wish I could have, if they were meatless. One of the foods I would enjoy if it were meat-free would be wings. I love the flavor of wing sauce. It’s slightly spicy, acidic, and tangy. I’ve put wing sauce on vegetarian meat substitutes, but I wanted something more. I wanted something that tasted like it was deep fried and smothered in wing sauce. So I experimented with putting wing sauce on my newly favored vegetable interest: cauliflower.
Now, this recipe isn’t simply wing sauce slathered on cauliflower. I created a batter for the cauliflower and baked them first. Then, I slathered them in wing sauce and baked them again. This created a warm cauliflower with a crunchy, spicy outside, which is similar to an actual wing. I used frozen cauliflower for this recipe, which made it a tad more complicated but still manageable. I had to roast the frozen cauliflower before starting the recipe. If you use frozen cauliflower, I highly recommend roasting it so it does not turn into a soggy mess. Of course, if you use fresh cauliflower you do not need to worry about roasting it because it will hold up just fine. You can skip the steps that involve roasting the cauliflower.
If you need to roast your cauliflower, the first step is to place frozen cauliflower on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure the cauliflower is broken up, and you can cut different sized pieces. Then, spray the cauliflower with nonstick cooking spray. Roast the cauliflower for 35 minutes, turning halfway through, and shake the pan a couple times to even out the roasting. When cauliflower is browned and firm, you can now make the batter.
If you use fresh cauliflower, this will be where you jump in. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, water, a dash of wing or hot sauce, garlic salt, and dried onion. I recommend using a whisk for this so you can get rid of any flour lumps in the batter. This batter will be slightly thick. Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and fully coat each one. I used a spoon to coat the cauliflower and tongs to pull each piece out. Next time, I will shake off each piece of cauliflower better. There was a little more batter than needed on each piece.
After battering each piece, bake for 15 minutes or until the batter hardens. In a small bowl, mix together the wing sauce, melted margarine, and salt. Once the cauliflower has hardened, remove from the oven and coat each piece with wing sauce. I dunked the cauliflower into the sauce the same way I did the batter. Next time, I will use a pastry brush to brush the sauce on. This will help to prevent excess sauce from burning on the aluminum foil. Once you coat all the cauliflower again, place the sheet back into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the sauce has baked and is crispy. Remove from the oven and enjoy! Ranch dressing goes fabulously with these cauliflower buffalo wings.
These don’t look filling, but they are. I thought I could certainly eat all the wings on their own, after all it’s just cauliflower right? Wrong. I could barely get through half of my serving before feeling full. This is definitely enough for two people. These wings left me full for hours. I had these for lunch, thinking I would make something else to compliment them. I’m glad I didn’t. These cauliflower buffalo wings were the only thing I needed for lunch. I am very pleased with these, and I will make them again. These go perfect with Sunday football and cold, snowy weather.
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Total calories: 490
Servings: 23 cauliflower wings
- 1lb frozen cauliflower or 1 head fresh cauliflower
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup water
- Dash of wing sauce or hot sauce
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- ¼ tsp dried onion
- ¼ cup wing sauce
- 3 tbsp margarine or butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
(If you are using fresh cauliflower, please see Helpful tips as the recipe changes slightly)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray. Spray another baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place frozen cauliflower on the baking sheet without aluminum foil. Break up any large chunks, and cut cauliflower as needed into smaller pieces. Spray cauliflower with non-stick spray. Place in oven for 35 minutes, turn the cauliflower halfway through and shake the pan a couple times to roast it on all sides. When cauliflower has browned and firmed up, set aside and go to Step 3.
- Increase oven temperature to 450°F. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, water, dash of wing sauce, garlic salt, and dried onion. This will be the batter for the cauliflower. It should be thick, but try to whisk out lumps of flour.
- Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and fully coat each one. Place coated cauliflower in a single layer on baking sheet with sprayed aluminum foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the batter hardens. In a small bowl, mix together the ¼ cup wing sauce, melted margarine, and salt.
- Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce mixture. Each piece should be fully coated.
- Place cauliflower back into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has baked and cauliflower is crispy.
- Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and enjoy! I enjoyed my wings with Hidden Valley Ranch!
If you are using fresh cauliflower: In place of Step 2, wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces. You will want a variety of sizes. Continue on with the recipe starting at Step 3. You do not need to roast the cauliflower since you are using fresh. Frozen cauliflower is soft and soggy when defrosted, so I needed to roast it to make it firm up.