Craving a vegetarian version buffalo bites? You’ll love air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites for a great way to share “wings” in a healthier vegetarian recipe. It’s a great way to get everyone to eat cauliflower. We know you’ll love our air fried cauliflower buffalo bites!

air fryer buffalo cauliflower on plate

Vegetarian Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

When game day comes around and you have vegetarian guests who don’t eat chicken wings or buffalo wings, make these easy vegetarian buffalo cauliflower. They’re a meatless and plant based healthy alternative to chicken appetizers. We love sharing these at parties because it gets everyone to eat their veggies. Best of all, all the meateaters love the fact that these air fried meatless cauliflower buffalo snacks.

air fryer cauliflower bites in basket

Video: Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Can You Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Sure, you can use frozen cauliflower in the air fryer but it will be alot mushier than fresh cauliflower. If you can get hand on fresh veggies, go for it. The texture will be more firm with a nice crunchy bite rather than mushy. We love using fresh. But if you did only have the option of air frying frozen cauliflower, then cook it at a little higher temperature for a few more minutes. This will get the cauliflower to be less mushy. Good luck!

Best Buffalo Sauce to Buy or Make Fresh Homemade?

There’s different ways to serve buffalo sauce on cauliflower. You can make it fresh like this homemade air fryer buffalo wing sauce recipe here. Or you can buy it from our recommendations below.

The classic buffalo sauce. The flavor and spice most will associate with buffalo sauce. Put that … on everything!

Whole30 Approved, Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free, Zero Sugar and Soy Free. Comes in a variety of heat levels.

Sweet Baby Rays has gone beyond their iconic ribs sauce. But the motto remains the same, “The Sauce Is The Boss.”

Why Make Homemade Buffalo Sauce?

Sure, you can buy the bottle and make it quick and easy. But if you want to customize the flavors, it’s tastier to make it homemade. We personally don’t like the over vinegar flavors of store bought bottled buffalo sauces. But when we make buffalo sauce homemade, we tone down the vinegar and add more flavors with garlic and onion. Make it your own and eat the air fryer buffalo cauliflower the way you like it.

Tips on Making Air Fried Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

  • We really suggest using fresh cauliflower. It tastes so much better and worth the effort. Also, most markets will sell pre-cut fresh cauliflower florets.
  • Add whatever seasonings you like. If you like spicy, add some cayenne pepper or for smoky flavors add some chipotle or smoked paprika.
  • Keto and low carb breading. If you’re still wanting crispy outside without the calories use keto friendly breading like crushed pork rinds, almond flour or crushed sesame seeds.
  • All air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe details are in the recipe box below.
air fryer buffalo cauliflower on plate

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

Cooking times will vary depending on how big you cut the cauliflower florets and on your specific air fryer. Start on the lowest suggested time, then add more time if needed to your personal liking. One egg should be enough if you stir and soak the cauliflower in the egg at the bottom of the bowl.
For the buffalo sauce, you can use a purchased buffalo sauce as is, we we find if more delicious to modify/make our own based off our favorite hot sauces (including the classic Franks RedHot sauce). If using just the purchased sauce, about 1/2 cup should be enough to coat the cauliflower bites.
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (227 g) fresh cauliflower , cut into bite sized florets (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt , or to taste
  • black pepper , preferably fresh ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1/2 cup (54 g) bread crumbs (regular or Japanese panko)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) grated parmesan cheese (finely grated)

For the Buffalo Sauce (you can use purchased buffalo sauce as is – but we love to make our own)

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 g) butter , melted
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) hot sauce (Franks RedHot, tabasco, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder

Optional Garnishes

  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30 ml) chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30 ml) sliced green onion

Instructions 

  • Make the Sauce (if making your own sauce): Whisk together the melted butter, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Set aside.
    Buffalo sauce ingredients
  • Pre-heat air fryer at 360°F/182°C for about 5 minutes.
    Touching the Air Fryer panel
  • Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss the cauliflower florets with the seasonings. (and any other optional seasoning you prefer). Add beaten egg and stir to coat the cauliflower.
    Pouring beaten egg over seasoned cauliflower florets
  • In another bowl combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese Dip cauliflower florets in the bread crumb mix and gently shake off excess coating.
    Dipping the egg coated cauliflower in bread crumbs and parmesan
  • Spray all sides of the breaded cauliflower with oil spray. Dry breading might fly around in air fryer and burn, so make sure to coat any dry spots.
    Spraying the coated cauliflower with oil spray
  • Spray air fryer basket/tray with oil (or line with a perforated silicone mat or parchment paper) and place cauliflower in a single layer in the basket/tray.
    Cauliflower in a single layer in air fryer basket
  • Air Fry at 360°F/182°C for 8 minutes. Gently flip and spray any dry spots with oil spray.
    Breaded cauliflower half air fried
  • Air Fry at 360°F/182°C for additional 3-5 minutes or until they are crispy golden brown OR to your preferred texture.
    Crispy breaded cauliflower in the air fryer
  • Toss the cauliflower with the buffalo sauce.
    Tossing the air fried cauliflower with buffalo sauce
  • Optional for a crispier texture or re-heating: Air fry the buffalo sauced cauliflower bites at 380°/193°C for about 3 minutes or until cooked to your preference. If desired, garnish with chopped parsley, cilantro, and/or green onion.
    Finished air fried cauliflower on a plate with veggies

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 1577mg, Potassium: 505mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 546IU, Vitamin C: 70mg, Calcium: 141mg, Iron: 3mg
plated air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites with veggies

Do you need to use breading?

No not really. You don’t need it. The breading just makes the cauliflower a little more crispy and crunchy. But it does make it higher in calories. So if you’re wanting a low calorie healthy option, go for the naked cauliflower with no breading. Here’s our base recipe for healthy air fryer cauliflower without the breading.