Air Fryer Cauliflower Buffalo Wings Recipe

No matter the season, for dyed-in-the-wool sports fans, it's always the right season to be thinking about "game day" snacks. And while summer's heat continues to inspire us to get out and grill as much as humanly possible, the fact is that football season is just a 10-yard pass away, and we can't help but find ourselves fantasizing about cool weather snacks like Buffalo wings. 

Now, you probably are aware that the "Buffalo" in Buffalo wings refers the birthplace of this fun and spicy snack, as opposed to, say, the animal from which the wings are sourced. However, this recipe for air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings from wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn really succeeds in bringing home the point that it's not the "wing" that matters, but the Buffalo flavor. 

Hahn favors the organic Buffalo sauce by Whole Foods, and Hahn's husband, who is obsessed with Buffalo sauce, she says, fully stands behind Hahn's choice "He absolutely loves this," she tells Health Digest. Moreover, Hahn adds, when she makes these air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wigs for the healthy cooking classes she teaches in the Phoenix, Arizona area, "everyone goes crazy." Hahn does note, however, that since the medium version of her favorite Buffalo sauce is pretty hot, you might want to go with the mild if you're serving people who aren't into the whole mouths-afire thing. Or if you're on the fence, there's always this best way to cool down your mouth after indulging in something spicy

Gather your ingredients for these air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings

Hahn's recipe for air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings calls for — you guessed it — cauliflower, first and foremost. Hahn recommends picking up a head of organic cauliflower because despite the fact that cauliflower is one of the "Clean 15," it might not be pesticide-free (via Healthline). And as she always tells her clients, "When you are cooking at home, really try and upgrade the ingredients because when you eat in restaurants, it won't be organic in most cases." Alrighty then, consider us sold.

Next, you'll need the following ingredients for the crispy coating: almond milk (or any milk type), organic whole wheat flour (gluten-free flour such as millet can be subbed ounce for ounce), nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and organic panko breadcrumbs. For that spicy hot flavor, you'll need one cup of Buffalo sauce, preferably organic and with no sugar added.

Chop the cauliflower

As promised, Hahn has given us the lowdown on how to cut cauliflower with a minimum of frustration or mess. First of all, work on a large-sized cutting board that is located near the sink. Then simply cut the cauliflower in half and then cut a triangle shape around the core, which will cause the core to pop out. Then cut each half into medium-sized (or smaller) florets. 

Or you can take the easy way: "They sell cauliflower already cut into florets, which saves all the hassle!" says Hahn.

Prep the coating for your Buffalo wings

To make the crispy coating for these air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings, the first step is to mix up a seasoned batter, which you will, in the second step, dip into your panko breadcrumbs. 

In a medium-sized bowl, simply whisk together the milk, flour, nutritional yeast (which makes these extra crispy, according to Hahn, not to mention contributing an extra umami kick), onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper until they form a well-blended, thick batter. 

Set it nearby and pour your panko breadcrumbs into a separate bowl.

Dip your cauliflower florets in the batter and breadcrumbs

To get your cauliflower florets ready for air-frying, and to give them their best shot of being super-crispy, you're going to first dip your florets into the seasoned batter and then roll the battered florets in the panko breadcrumbs. 

If you're one the "gooey-fingers"-averse among us, then Hahn recommends using thin gloves and tossing them out afterwards. Dip and roll just a few at a time, placing them one-by-one and in a single layer onto your air fryer tray, with at least a fingertip's distance between the florets. This will help them to crisp up just how you want them.

Note: you'll come back to this step after you make your first and each successive batch. 

Cook your cauliflower Buffalo wings in the air fryer

According to Hahn, 400 F is your sweet spot for the crispiest air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings. So, with your air fryer set to 400 F, set the timer to 20 minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, use any utensil (because they're hot!) to transfer the now-air fried cauliflower wings into a bowl, and toss with some of the Buffalo sauce. If you've got hungry people waiting, and for the crispiest possible results, go ahead and serve that first batch right away while you prepare the next, going back to the previous step, and so on. 

Serve these delicious snacks with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Buffalo Wings Recipe
4.8 from 13 ratings
Football season is just a 10-yard pass away, and this air fryer cauliflower Buffalo wings recipe is going to be your healthy go-to snack for game day.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
air fryer caulfilower buffalo wings getting sauced
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups organic panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup organic Buffalo sauce
Optional Ingredients
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks
Directions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets, or smaller if you prefer.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Dip the florets in the batter and then roll them in the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Place about the florets in a single layer in the air fryer tray.
  6. Set the temperature to 400 F and the timer to 20 minutes.
  7. When the batch is done, put them in a large bowl and toss them with the Buffalo sauce.
  8. Serve the cauliflower wings while you repeat the breading and cooking process with subsequent batches.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 140
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Total Sugars 2.5 g
Sodium 264.9 mg
Protein 6.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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