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Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Say hello to our favorite party snack! Crispy air fryer buffalo cauliflower, made with lightly coated cauliflower florets, hot sauce, and honey. Cauliflower bites make a great appetizer or side dish. Enjoy them with a creamy dip such as blue cheese or ranch dressing and a few crispy carrots or celery sticks on the side. You’d better make a double batch – they’re that delicious!!


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Hubby and I enjoyed a helping of these cauliflower bites last weekend and they are just the kind of snack that you can’t stop eating! Thankfully, they are healthier than their chicken wing counterpart and we’re going to enjoy them again for Superbowl Sunday along with my Dorito Chicken Tenders.

If you love cauliflower recipes, try my creamy cauliflower soup. It’s the best ever!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • these air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings are made with simple ingredients and they are crispy and delicious! We love air fryer recipes for that reason – the crispiness!
  • they’re the perfect appetizer for game day.
  • we think they’re just as tasty as traditional chicken wings!

Ingredients

  • cauliflower – you will need one whole head of cauliflower.
  • butter, melted – I used salted butter but have also used unsalted. Either one will work.
  • olive oil
  • buffalo sauce – our favorite is Frank’s Red Hot or wing sauce. Or, you can use your favorite brand of hot sauce. You can also make homemade buffalo sauce.
  • honey – is mixed in with the buffalo sauce. You could also substitute an equal amount of maple syrup.
  • all purpose flour
  • cornstarch – I tried a combination of different coatings for this recipe and for best results, air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites with cornstarch and flour resulted in a nice crispy texture.
  • salt
  • dressing or dipping sauce – a dipping sauce such as blue cheese dressing or ranch balances the hot sauce and is a delicious flavor combination. Use your favorite dipping sauce.
  • parsley – makes a nice garnish. Finely chop and sprinkle over the cooked cauliflower bites for garnish.
  • carrots and celery -cut into slivers are perfect for dipping into the dressing.

How do you make buffalo cauliflower bites in an air fryer?

These buffalo cauliflower bites are one of the easiest appetizers to make; honestly, once you start munching on them, you won’t stop!

I’ve included step-by-step photos and instructions below. You can also find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for easy printing.

Prepare the cauliflower by rinsing and draining, Remove the core and stem and cut into small florets.

In a small bowl, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl in ten-second intervals until melted.

To the melted butter, stir in olive oil hot sauce, and honey.  Stir until well combined. Set aside.

Pour over cauliflower florets and mix gently until completely covered. I found it easier to mix with clean hands.

Whisk together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl.

Sprinkle flour mixture (dry ingredients)over the cauliflower.  Using a sieve or sifter gives a nice thin coating and makes it less clumpy.

Brush the bottom of the air fryer basket with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. For best results use the oil and do not use cooking spray as it damages some air fryers depending on your basket.


Spread the cauliflower in an air fryer basket in a single layer.  Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to air fry cook two batches. There can be a slight overlap but space is required for the air to circulate and the cauliflower bites to get nice and crispy.


Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Preheating is essential to ensure even cooking within the suggested time frame. If you do not preheat, it will take longer.

Cook for 15 minutes. Shake the basket gently to rotate it during the cooking process. I like to do this at five-minute intervals. The edges should be crispy. If not, air fry them for a few more minutes.

Ninja air fryer with cauliflower bites on kitchen counter.

My top tips for making this recipe

  • place the cauliflower in a single layer to ensure even cooking and crispy edges.
  • cooking times may vary depending on your brand of air fryer. We used the Ninja 6-in-1 two-basket air fryer.

Storage & Freezing Instructions

Cool cauliflower bites completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

For more extended storage, place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Variations

To change up the flavor a little, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of onion or garlic powder to the flour mixture.

FAQ’s

Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?

Mush cauliflower is a result of overcrowding in the air fryer basket. The air must circulate to cook the cauliflower evenly and to get it nice and crispy. Place cauliflower in a single layer and do not overcrowd it!

Do I have to precook the cauliflower?

No you do not have to precook the flower for air fryer cauliflower bites. Cooking as directed in this recipe will result in evenly cooked cauliflower on the insides with nice crispy edges.

What do you serve with buffalo cauliflower bites?

I like to serve buffalo cauliflower bites with ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, carrots, and celery sticks.

What to serve with air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings

Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing or your dressing of choice. These cauliflower bites would be tasty with a side of air fryer tater tots.

What to do with leftovers

If you’ve made a double-batch and by chance have some leftovers, reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes the next day and pop them into a tortilla with some lettuce and chopped veggies for a delicious lunch!

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Buffalo cauliflower bites on a green plate.

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

Say hello to our favorite party snack! Crispy air fryer buffalo cauliflower, made with lightly coated cauliflower florets, hot sauce and honey. Cauliflower bites make a great appetizer or side dish. Enjoy them with a creamy dip such as blue cheese or ranch dressing and a few crispy carrot or celery sticks on the side. You’d better make a double batch – they’re that delicious!!


Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for coating bottom of air fryer

3/4 cup buffalo sauce (we used Frank’s Red Hot)

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dressing or favorite sauce for dipping (we use ranch or blue cheese dressing)

Parsley for garnish

Optional

carrots and celery stick


Instructions

  1. Rinse cauliflower. Remove the core and stem and cut into small florets. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, melt butter in microwave-safe bowl in ten second intervals until melted.
  3. To the melted butter, stir in olive oil buffalo sauce and honey.  Stir until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Pour over cauliflower florets and mix gently until completely covered. I found it easier to mix with clean hands.
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, cornstarch and salt.
  6. Sprinkle flour mixture over the cauliflower.  Using a sieve or sifter gives a nice thin coating and is less clumpy.
  7. Brush bottom of air fryer baskset with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  8. Spread cauliflower in air fryer basket in a single layer.  Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to air fry cook  two batches. There can be a little overlap but space is required for the air to circulate and the cauliflower bites to get nice and crispy.
  9. Preheat air fryer to 375°F 
  10. Cook for 15 minutes, shaking three times throughout the cooking.

Notes

Storage: Cool cauliflower bites completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. 

Freezing:  For longer storage, place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Air Fryer
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 generous helping
  • Calories: 229
  • Sugar: 8.6 g
  • Sodium: 1193.6 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.3 mg

Keywords: Air fryer buffalo cauliflower

9 Comments

  1. We made these for a vegetarian in the family and we were all totally amazed!! They really do feel like you are eating chicken wings especially with the Franks hot sauce. The texture was perfect in the air fryer and so easy!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. I love how much healthier this is than traditional wings, definitely making this again for Super Bowl!

  3. Yummm, this looks so delicious. I crave buffalo sauce ALL the time so eating a healthier option other than wings sounds great to me!

  4. Mine came out perfectly! Was crunchy and crispy but not dry, which I find some air fryer recipes can be. I think the sauce gave it enough moisture to stop it from drying out too much. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Love that this flavor packed cauliflower is made in the air fryer. It’s a great snack for game day.

  6. I was surprised at how crispy the cauliflower was! I was a little hesitant about using an air fryer but now I am a believer!

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