Crispy Cauliflower “Buffalo Wings”

Looking for a healthier option for your wing night get together?  Or maybe you are looking for the perfect Super Bowl or football game tailgate appetizer that is new, exciting, and delicious.  Or maybe you just want a yummy dinner!  Whatever it is you are looking to make wings for, this recipe is a great way to switch it up, make it vegetarian friendly, and keep it healthy.

cauliflower buffalo wings

The first time I had buffalo cauliflower was actually at a friend’s house for a monthly dinner club we had.  They were on Whole30 and wanted to make some apps that they could actually eat (crazy right :P).  Well this recipe below is not Whole30 approved, but if you do want something similar that you can have while on the program, simply take some cauliflower florets, toss in your favorite buffalo sauce, and cook in the oven on 350 F for about 20 minutes.  Voila!  Now I do have to say – I think my recipe turns it up a notch of course 🙂 – so if you are not on Whole30, keep reading!

Bran Breading?

This recipe uses a bran cereal to make the “flour” as the base of it’s breading.  Whenever I tell people this I get funny looks.  But I first tried this with my baked chicken parmesan and fell in love (yall should definitely try that meal too!), so it is often something I come back to for recipes that call for breading.  Not only does it work really well and crisp up to a perfect crunch, but it is better for you than most other breading options.  Here are some of the benefits bran provides:

  • It is lower in calories than most other breading choices (in the Publix brand I use there are 60 calories for 1/2 cup).
  • It is REALLY high in fiber (one serving of Publix brand has 57% of the daily recommended value).
  • High fiber content means that bran helps keep you fuller longer, warding off cravings and preventing you from overeating, allowing you to stick to your diet and achieve your weight loss goals more easily.
  • Bran is rich in folate (one serving has 25% DRV) – folate is a really important vitamin that is not commonly found in a lot of the foods we eat.  It aids in everything from DNA synthesis, repair, and cell growth to reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s.  It is also a key nutrient for women who are pregnant to eat enough of in order to protect the fetus and prevent birth defects.
  • Helps lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes.

And that’s not even everything!  Doesn’t that make you want to at least give it a try??

cauliflower buffalo wings

Tips & Tricks

I wanted to give you a little extra insight into the recipe so you can make the perfect wings the first time!  I did the testing so you don’t have to 😉  So here is what you need to know:

  • Air fryer – These directions are using my air fryer.  While I think this is the best way to make these, it is definitely not the only way!  You can make these in your oven.  Just cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and place your breaded florets on top.  Cook at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are crispy, and done!  Don’t let not having an air fryer stop you from enjoying this recipe!
  • Water – Don’t pour the entire amount of water called for in the recipe into your flour mixture all at once.  Instead, add it slowly, stirring while you go, and stop when you get to a consistency that is thin enough so that you can dip in your florets and it will coat it well (rather than just being a huge lump of dough) but still think enough that it won’t run right off.  I think the sweet spot is just a little bit less than the 3/4 cup the recipe calls for.
  • Spices – I am a huge believer in spicing to taste.  But I know that when I was first starting to cook myself it drove me nuts when recipes said that because I felt like who was I to know what would be the perfect amount!?  When I make this I usually don’t actually measure the spices, I just eye ball it and then taste my breading.  But I included the measurements below as a reference point, and as a good minimum.  Start with what I have in the recipe, and if you want more of any of them, or maybe even a whole different spice to add, go right ahead!
  • Cook Time/Sauces – The first cook time is to allow the breading to start to better solidify, without becoming crunchy.  This allows you to pour your buffalo sauce on top while it can still cook into the breading.  You have a couple options here with your sauce.  First, you can skip this middle step all together, just cook them for about 20 minutes until crispy, and then toss in sauce after.  Or you can pour some on halfway through, let it cook in, and be done.  Also, you could do the mid-cook sauce step to allow some sauce to bake in, and then pour even more sauce on at the end!  It is really all about how hot you want it, and if you prefer a dry wing or a wet sauce.

cauliflower buffalo wings

Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings


  • cauliflower wings1 head of cauliflower or bag of cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup bran cereal (I just use Publix brand)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 dashes cayenne
  • 3 dashes salt
  • Buffalo sauce


  1. Blend your bran cereal into a “flour” with your food processor.
  2. Mix your bran flour, water, milk, and spices together in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Dip your cauliflower florets in breading mixture.
  4. Place your cauliflower in a greased air fryer (one layer only – if you have too much do it in batches).
  5. Cook on 400F for 9 minutes.
  6. Remove cauliflower from air fryer, pour buffalo sauce on and mix until evenly coated.
  7. Return to air fryer on 400F for 10 more minutes, or until breading is crispy.
  8. Optional: pour more buffalo sauce on florets once cooked.
  9. Serve with your favorite wing dipping sauce!


Do you LOVE buffalo as much as I do?? Be sure to check out my super easy dinner, Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken. It is perfect for an easy meal prep, an effortless dinner, or pair it with some baked tortilla chips and cheese and you’ve got yourself a buffalo chicken dip – YUM!

breaded cauliflower

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