Make this Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower for a perfect appetizer or healthy side dish with a bold and delicious flavor! Simple and quick, this dish is prepped and cooked in under 20 minutes.
Why you will love this air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe
Put buffalo sauce on just about anything and I’m on board. Whether it’s classic buffalo wings, or a fun twist like buffalo chicken egg rolls, buffalo tofu bowls, or buffalo chicken tacos, this spicy sauce deserves a spot at the table!
Sometimes though, I want something that’s a little bit on the healthier side. Whether it’s for a side dish, a filling appetizer, or to serve with all my favorite game day recipes, this air fryer cauliflower with buffalo sauce is sure to satisfy those cravings. Plus, the air fryer requires less cooking time and it’s healthier than deep frying.
This simple recipe calls for not only buffalo sauce but also an array of seasonings to pack this low carb crispy cauliflower with flavor!
Delicious buffalo cauliflower is ideal as a crowd pleasing dish if you’re hosting guests or a spicy side to pair with your favorite main dishes, like this panko chicken.
Ingredients you will need
Head of Cauliflower: Fresh cauliflower is the perfect vehicle for a flavor-packed sauce, and gets nice and toasty in the air fryer.
Tapioca Starch: Instead of a classic breading, this recipe calls for tapioca starch for a gluten free coating that’s still nice and crispy. Another option is almond flour or corn starch.
Seasonings: A combination of kosher salt, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder add even more savory and salty goodness to the bold buffalo sauce.
Buffalo Sauce: Make your own or use your favorite store bought sauce.
Butter: Gives the buffalo sauce a particularly silky texture and extra buttery flavor.
How to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower
- Preheat the air fryer. For best results, preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F and lightly grease the basket with olive oil or use parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- Prepare the cauliflower. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika. Add the water and whisk until runny, then add the cauliflower florets and stir to coat well.
- Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a bowl and combine with buffalo sauce.
- Air fry the cauliflower. Add the battered cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush with a thin layer of buffalo sauce, then cook for another 6 to 8 minutes.
- Serve. Once fully cooked, place cauliflower florets on a plate or in a large bowl and coat with the remaining buffalo hot sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and blue cheese, or serve with dressing on the side.
How to store crispy buffalo cauliflower bites
Once cooled, transfer cauliflower bites to an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 4 days. They’ll be better in the first day or two and might get a bit soggy past then.
To reheat, place them in the air fryer again and cook until heated through. You could also reheat them in the oven if you like by arranging on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper and baking at 375 F.
Is buffalo cauliflower healthier than chicken?
Absolutely! While it may taste a bit different, cauliflower is much lower in calories than chicken wings, naturally fat free, and has no cholesterol. The bold and flavorful sauce with the crispy coating will make it so you don’t even miss the chicken.
If you want some protein with it, you can serve it with this whipped cottage cheese dip.
What pairs well with cauliflower buffalo wings?
Aside from a nice heaping helping of carrots and celery sticks, pair your wings with a homemade ranch dressing (I also love this jalapeño ranch dressing) or blue cheese dressing. Other good options are a nice slaw, this jalapeno popper dip, sour cream and onion dip, or fun handheld spinach and artichoke dip wonton cups!
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Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
- Preheat the air fryer to 375F. Lightly grease the air fryer basket or line with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt. Add the water and whisk to form a runny paste. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat.
- In a small bowl, combine the buffalo sauce with the melted butter.
- Remove the cauliflower florets using a slotted spoon, allowing any excess batter to fall back into the bowl. Place in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space around each floret so the basket isn’t overcrowded. Air fry for 5 minutes. Then flip and brush with a thin layer of the buffalo sauce. Continue cooking the cauliflower for another 6-8 minutes, until they begin to turn golden brown.You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Remove the cooked cauliflower florets from the air fryer and brush with the remaining buffalo sauce. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving plate and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
- If you over-mix the batter or let it sit for too long before adding the cauliflower it may become stiff. Add another tbsp of water if this happens.
- Smaller cauliflower florets will cook quicker than the large pieces, if they finish early just pull them out and set them aside.