Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower is a delicious and tangy appetizer which cuts the calories from classic frying. Better yet, it's vegan and only 3 ingredients!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Do you have an air fryer? They're all the rage right now! Who wouldn't want a delicious fried snack without all of the extra calories from oil frying?
This air fried cauliflower recipe is tangy, spicy, and will scratch the itch for some chicken wings at a fraction of the calories. Plus, the base is cauliflower, which means this recipe is completely vegan and guilt-free! I dare you to have just one of these little cauliflower bites, they are SO addicting!
If you are interested in another guilt-free recipe made with the goodness of cauliflower, check out this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese! Believe it or not, it's keto-friendly and low-carb!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- cauliflower florets - you can buy your cauliflower pre-chopped and pre-washed, or just get one head of cauliflower and chop it yourself.
- buffalo sauce - gives this air fried cauliflower the signature spicy flavor.
- bread crumbs - helps the cauliflower get nice and crispy in the air fryer.
- Pour buffalo sauce over cauliflower.
- Mix gently to coat.
- Add bread crumbs.
- Stir carefully to incorporate.
- Spread out in a single layer.
- Air fry on 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy!
Yes, instead of air frying spread the cauliflower out on a sheet lined with foil or parchment and bake at 450 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
To a certain extent, yes. You can prepare your ingredients ahead of time (i.e. chop the cauliflower if need be and cover it in the buffalo sauce) but coating in the bread crumbs and air frying should wait until you're ready to serve.
Unfortunately not; frozen cauliflower will turn out mushy and it won't get crispy.
These cauliflower bites will taste best and maintain the best texture and crispiness if they're served right after air frying, but if you have leftovers you can keep them in the fridge in an airtight plastic container or bag for 2 to 3 days.
To reheat, you can pop them back in the air fryer or the oven at 400 degrees F for 5-10 minutes, until heat through and crispy again.
One of the top rated air fryers is from the makers of the Instant Pot, called the Instant Vortex Air Fryer. Another great option that's a bit more affordable is the Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer.
If you're looking for more functionality, this Ninja Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer is also a toaster oven and has 6 other functions. This is the air fryer that I have and I absolutely love it! It's a bit more on the pricey end of things, but if you're interested in a versatile appliance or you're already considering upgrading your own toaster oven, this could be a fantastic option! The thing I love the most about this air fryer is that it FLIPS UP TO SAVE COUNTER SPACE. Genius!
💭 Top Tips
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into ½-inch florets, will come out to around 4 or 5 cups.
- Be sure not to crowd the cauliflower while frying, otherwise it won't get crispy and could end up soggy instead. You may need to do 2 batches, but ensuring that there's only 1 layer of cauliflower while frying will yield the best results.
- For more even coating with the sauce, use your hands to really work it into all of the nooks and crannies! This will ensure each piece of cauliflower of properly coated and bursting with spicy flavor.
- To cut down on prep time, you can buy pre-cut and pre-washed cauliflower florets (just don't buy frozen).
- If you want your air fried cauliflower to be even crispier, substitute half of the bread crumbs for Panko and add a drizzle of olive oil before frying. You can also stick your cauliflower under the broiler for 2 minutes or so after frying (instead of or in addition to the ingredient changes, depending on how crispy you're trying to go!).
Air fried cauliflower is the perfect appetizer to serve for game day, for a get together with friends, or just as a delicious and healthy snack as a kick to get you through the afternoon!
📖 Variations and Serving Suggestions
- Air fried cauliflower pairs great with dips! Try it with blue cheese, ranch, french onion, or sour cream and onion dip for delicious and creamy flavor combinations!
- To make this recipe gluten free, substitute almond flower for the bread crumbs.
- Serve these cauliflower bites with some celery sticks to help cool you down between bites.
🥗 Other Guilt-Free Snacks
These snacks are in the same vein as this air fried cauliflower: delicious, simple, and most importantly, not all that bad for you! Check these out for more guilt-free snacking, and check out this delicious Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan!
Looking for more air fryer recipes? Try my family's favorite, Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries, for a nutritious and easy side dish. Or check out this lightened up main dish, Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan, which is perfect over pasta, or even on a roll for a delicious hot eggplant parm sandwich!
🍢 Additional Appetizer Recipes
Here are a few more appetizer ideas for you!
Check out this story on how to make Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower!
Air Fried Cauliflower
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📋 Recipe Card
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- 1 large cauliflower, trimmed into bite-sized pieces
- ¾ cup buffalo sauce
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the buffalo sauce to coat.1 large cauliflower, trimmed into bite-sized pieces, ¾ cup buffalo sauce
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and toss gently to so that they stick. (Alternatively, roll each piece of cauliflower in bread crumbs to prevent clumping.)1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, agitating once or twice while cooking.
- It can be tricky to get the cauliflower fully coated with sauce - sometimes it's just easier to use your hands to toss it and make sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies.
- If you are short on time and/or lazy like me (lol), sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cauliflower and gently toss to coat. This will work but you may have some clumping, so if you want to be a buffalo cauliflower superstar, you can take the time to roll each piece in the bread crumbs.
- For even crispier buffalo cauliflower, substitute ½ cup Panko bread crumbs for half of the seasoned bread crumbs, and/or place the cauliflower under the broiler for 2-3 minutes after air frying.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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