Soft and tender on the inside, yet crispy on the outside, these plant based cauliflower wings are truly addictive. Gluten free and ready in under 30 minutes, they make great snacks and being air fried they are a little healthier than if you were to fry them.
What are cauliflower wings?
Cauliflower wings are a vegan version of traditional Buffalo wings that are made with chicken. But don’t worry they don’t taste of chicken, nor should they really be viewed as a replacement for it. These are tasty in their own right.
Made crispy in the air fryer, they are healthier than their fried counterparts as well are being high in a whole host of micro nutrients.
What can I use the cauliflower leaves for?
So many of us throw out the cauliflower leaves and core when we are making a cauliflower dish, but did you know both of these are edible? Both of these can be used in so many delicious ways, some of which I have listed below:
Use in stir fries: chop up the leaves and the cauliflower core and stir fry along with your other veggies
Make a vegetable stock: if you don’t have an immediate use for the leaves or core, chop them up and freeze them along with all your other veggie odds and ends. Then when you get a moment make a delicious vegetable stock by adding these to a big pan of hot water with herbs and leave to simmer.
Roast the leaves: coat the leaves with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 180oc for 15 – 20 minutes until crispy. They then make a great side dish for your favourite meal.
The key to getting the wings super crispy
The key to getting super crispy wings is to follow the two step coating method with the batter.
- You want to dip each cauliflower piece in a vegan buttermilk. This is made from a mixture of dairy free milk and lemon juice (make sure it is well coated).
- Finally, you want to transfer it to the spiced crumb mixture, made up of ground almonds / almond flour and make sure it is well coated. Doing the first step, means the crumb has something to stick to.
If you love these cauliflower wings, why not try these other side dishes?
Popular questions when making these wings
The wings are best eaten fresh and warm, but if you do have some leftover they will keep in a sealed container for a few days in the fridge. You will just need to reheat them in the oven until they are warm all the way through, just be careful not to burn them.
These wings take about 20 minutes to cook in the air fryer, turning once to ensure they are cooked evenly.
Yes! You will find they don’t crisp up as much as if you used an air fryer and they will take a little longer. But pre-heat an oven to 200oc and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Your ratio of crumb to batter will be a little off. Next time, try adding a little less vegan buttermilk to each one, therefore increasing the crumb %. Or if you are trying to rectify a current attempt, try reducing the temperature of the air fryer a little and cooking for a little longer at a lower temperature.
No they don’t, the cauliflower wings are a similar idea to traditional Buffalo wings, but don’t taste like chicken and still taste like cauliflower.
Vegan Cauliflower WingsCourse: Snack, SideCuisine: American, BBQDifficulty: Easy
A great plant based substitute for the ever popular Buffalo wings. These crispy spiced cauliflower wings take 20 minutes in the air fryer, are naturally gluten free and are super simple to make.
- Cauliflower Wings
1 Medium head of cauliflower
175g Ground almonds
2 tbsp Cornflour
1 tsp Sea salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
250ml Dairy free milk
1/2 Lemon, juice of
- Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp Maple sauce
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Tomato puree
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dried chilli flakes
- Remove the leaves from a head of cauliflower and set them aside (see notes above on ways to use the leaves and core of the cauliflower).
- Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- Make a vegan buttermilk by mixing the dairy free milk with the lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together the almonds, salt, spices, cornflour and garlic powder. Until you get a crumb consistency.
- Dip each cauliflower floret in the vegan buttermilk before dipping it in the spiced almond mixture so it is evenly coated. One by one, add them to the frying basket of an air fryer.
- Once all of the cauliflower florets are coated in the almond crumb and in the air fryer basket, air fry them at 190oc for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
(they will be done when they are golden in colour, some of the crumb will fall off, this is normal, but whatever you do don’t throw this away as this makes a super tasty salad topper. See notes below)
- Whilst the cauliflower is air frying, mix together the sweet & spicy dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl
- The ‘wings’ are best enjoyed warm straight out the air fryer with the dipping sauce. But if you do have some leftover, see above for guidance on storage.
- Use the excess crispy crumb coating that will fall off of the cauliflower wings during the air frying as a tasty topping on salads, toast or even on top of stews. This delicious crumb is addictive and has so many uses.
- Don’t throw out your discarded cauliflower leaves or core, see the notes in the post above on great ways to make use of these.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these Vegan Cauliflower Wings so please leave a comment below and tag me in your wonderful creations! I’m @fortheutterloveoffood on Instagram and use the hashtag #fortheutterloveoffood. I’m also on Facebook – please say hello!