BEST Buffalo Cauliflower in Air fryer is a must try recipe! All the flavor of fried chicken wings but made lighter, low carb and healthier. It is incredibly tasty, crispy and perfect appetizer, snack or main dish.
Check out other popular Appetizers made in Air Fryer like Air Fryer Zucchini with Parmesan, Air Fryer Asparagus with Parmesan, Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers, Chicken Nuggets, Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms or Lemon Pepper Wings.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases through our affiliate link. For more information read our Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Cauliflower is always a family favorite around here. They are delicious roasted, deep fried, air fried or made into soups, side dish or even main course – incredibly versatile vegetable – They are simply the best! (Also check out this Buffalo Chicken Dip Rotisserie Chicken).
Spicy, Crispy yet Tender, Healthier than deep fried versions and ready in under 30 minutes. This recipe will make any evening at home more fun!
A simple panko coating gives plenty of crunch and then an easy homemade buffalo sauce infuses it with smoky and spicy flavor – Eat one floret, and you’ll have devoured half a head of cauliflower before you know it!
Actually, if you are a fan of all things buffalo or just spicy food in general, but trying to eat a little lighter and healthier then this low-carb bite is the way to go – AKA Spicy Popcorn cauliflower —> Perfect game day snack!
Why are these the BEST?
TEXTURE – The hot air from the air fryer gets them perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, without over cooking. We could not believe the perfect texture!
TASTE – They are seasoned to perfection! The florets are coated in a well seasoned-spicy batter before the breadcrumb coating and then the finished off with a spicy, smoky, buttery sauce with a hint of sweetness.
HOW TO CUT A CAULIFLOWER?
Pull the leaves off from the base, wash the head and pat dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Cut the head in half, downward from the top of the crown through the stem, lay the half cut side up and using the knife at an angle, cut off the stem. Now pull apart the florets, using the knife to cut off any thick stem cut florets into smaller ones.
ARE THE LEAVES AND STEMS EDIBLE?
HOW TO CHOOSE A FRESH CAULIFLOWER?
When choosing a head, look for one that is free of any blemishes or dark spots, has tightly packed florets, and good green leaves. It should feel heavy for it’s size, will have a nice creamy white color, also smell fresh and be free of any overwhelming odor.
CAN YOU USE FROZEN CAULIFLOWER?
We recommend using only fresh flower for this recipe. Frozen florets have a lot of moisture and is a not a good choice when used with a bread crumb coating. So, we recommend using only fresh ones.
WHAT’S THE BEST BUFFALO SAUCE TO USE?
There are a huge variety of hot sauces available in the market – From spicy, fruity, floral, mild to medium but the best one to reach out for when you want to make any buffalo recipe then Frank’s RedHot is the one!!
CAN I BAKE THEM IN OVEN INSTEAD?
Don’t have an air fryer? No Problem! Make Crispy wings in the Oven – Bake them in a 400 degree pre heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown in color.
- Cauliflower – Cut into small florets.
- Egg – Acts as binding
- Spices – Garlic powder, Onion powder, Black pepper & Cayenne.
- Flour – Just a tablespoon of all purpose flour for binding.
- Hot Sauce – We used Frank’s Red hot sauce
- Butter – Use unsalted butter
- Sugar – Just 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Dredge well – Using hands or tongs, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on all sides of the florets to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.
- Do not over crowd the air fryer basket – Place in a single layer, and leave a little space around for the air to circulate, which helps in crisping the nugget. OVER CROWDING will NOT make a crispy wing.
- Make it gluten free – Use gluten free flour and gluten free Panko bread crumbs.
- Slice the cauliflower into similar-sized pieces. The more uniform your florets, the more evenly they will cook.
- Pre heat – Pre heating the air fryer before cooking them, will guarantee a perfectly crispy yet tender.
- Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the nuggets won’t get as crispy).
- Use honey instead of brown sugar.
- Eat them hot – The sauce tends to soften the crispy coating upon cooling. So, we recommend eating them piping hot.
- Air Fryer used – We used Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart Air Fryer.
HOW TO MAKE?
These bites are made up with a bunch of pantry ingredients – Mix them up and then you’ll be ready to start!
- Cut Cauliflower – Cut into smallish florets (3/4th to 1 inch).
- Make wet batter – Mix egg, flour, spices, salt and pepper to make a wet batter. Toss cut vegetable into the batter and mix thoroughly.
- Panko breadcrumb coating – Dredge each nugget in panko. Use hands to pack the breadcrumb well on the floret.
- Air Fry – Place in a pre heated air fryer, spray the tops with a generous coating of non stick spray and air fry at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Coat in buffalo sauce – In the mean time, mix melted butter, Frank’s red hot sauce and brown sugar together. When 10 mins of cooking time is done, coat the tops and sides of each floret with the buffalo sauce.
- Finish cooking – Air fry at 400 degrees for 2 minutes.
HOW TO SERVE?
As an appetizer or snack –
These crispy and crunchy game day bite is delicious served as an appetizer or snack alongside a creamy, tangy dipping sauce and crunchy vegetables.
Dipping sauces to pair – Creamy Ranch or blue cheese dressing works as a delicious pairing. It helps in cooling down the heat.
Vegetables – Celery or carrot sticks or cucumber slices are perfect!
As an main course for dinner –
- Garlic noodles
- Alfredo ramen
- Instant pot shrimp rice
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Alfredo pasta
- Garlic bread sandwich
- Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
HOW TO MAKE AHEAD?
Air fry the cauliflower with the crumb coating up to 2 to 3 hours ahead. Brush with sauce and final two minutes of cooking just before serving.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS?
Thanks to air fryer, this is a lip smacking small batch recipe. So, there is not going to be any leftovers. But, if you happen to have any leftovers then refrigerate for couple of days. Reheat them at 400 degree air fryer for 2 to 4 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Every air fryer is very different with temperature settings and cooking options. For a perfectly crispy outside and tender inside, then we recommend at a medium-high heat and then finishing off at a higher temperature.
It takes about 10 minutes at 375 degrees and then couple of minutes at 400 degrees F.
Absolutely! They are low carb, packed with nutrition and air frying makes them low fat than chicken wings.
The main ingredients in hot sauce is made with hot peppers, salt and vinegar whereas buffalo sauce is made with some butter added to it. It creates a mild creaminess and butteriness to the spiciness.
More Cauliflower recipes:
- Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Tandoori Cauliflower
- Spicy Cauliflower Wraps
- Sriracha Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Tacos
More Air Fryer Snacks:
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spicy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Nachos
- Breaded Shrimp
- Garlic Bread
- Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Breaded Mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped small cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Franks RedHot sauce (original cayenne pepper sauce)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1. Add all wet batter ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine well. Add chopped cauliflower florets and toss well with a spoon, until all the florets are thoroughly coated with the batter.
2. Coat each cauliflower floret one at time in the panko bread crumbs (packing to make sure that the breadcrumbs adhere well) and place on a plate.
3. Preheat air fryer to 375°F for 10 minutes. When ready, place florets in a single layer and spray a generous coating of non-stick cooking spray all over the florets. Cook for 10 minutes (don't need to flip them over).
4. In the mean time, melt butter and mix with Frank's hot sauce and brown sugar.. Stir for a few seconds to dissolve sugar.
5. When cooking time is done, open air fryer, using a pastry brush, brush a liberal coating of the prepared sauce on top and sides of all the cauliflower.
6. Air fryer at 400°F for 2 minutes.
Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Dredge well – Using hands or tongs, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on all sides of the florets to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.
Do not over crowd the air fryer basket – Place in a single layer, and leave a little space around for the air to circulate, which helps in crisping the nugget. OVER CROWDING will NOT make a crispy wing.
Make it gluten free – Use gluten free flour and gluten free Panko bread crumbs.
Slice the cauliflower into similar-sized pieces. The more uniform your florets, the more evenly they will cook.
Pre heat – Pre heating the air fryer before cooking them, will guarantee a perfectly crispy yet tender.
Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the nuggets won’t get as crispy).
Don’t have an air fryer?
No Problem! Make Crispy wings in the Oven – Bake them in a 400 degree pre heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown in color.
Use honey instead of brown sugar.
Eat them hot – The sauce tends to soften the crispy coating upon cooling. So, we recommend eating them piping hot.
Air Fryer used – We used Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart Air Fryer.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 1234mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g
I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love your feedback! Please let me know by leaving a comment or review below or snap a photo and share on Instagram.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting kitchenathoskins.com
All contents and images are my original work, unless and otherwise mentioned. Please do not use my recipes or images without linking back to www.kitchenathoskins.com. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite in your own words and don’t forget to include a link back to the original recipe.