Super crisp and crunchy air fried cauliflower wings are perfect for any occasion - from game day to party sides. Made with just a teaspoon of oil in the air fryer and then tossed in a special sauce, you can't resist these buffalo cauliflower wings!
These crispy buffalo cauliflower wings are absolutely made for air frying. I love how crunchy the breaded cauliflower becomes when air fried. The best part is that once tossed in the hot sauce, they don’t turn limp or soggy – they stay crisp on the outside, and tender inside! Let me assure you that I am never going to go back to deep-frying cauliflower again. Air fried Crispy cauliflower wings are simply so much better than fried, and crunchier than baked.
About that buffalo sauce - the air fried cauliflower is tossed up in a mix of hot sauce, honey and melted butter (or olive oil). And the result - saucy, glazed caufliflower wings that are so delicious, you'd be tempted to eat them all in one sitting!
Here are all the ingredients you need to make these buffalo cauliflower wings in the air fryer:
For the crispy air fryer cauliflower:
Cauliflower: 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
Flour: Use regular all-purpose flour (or substitute with gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour)
Cornstarch: A little cornstarch is good to add to the batter as a binder, and also helps in crisping up the cornflower.
Panko Breadcrumbs: If you're looking for super crispy air fried cauliflower, this is what you need! Breaded cauliflower crisps up so well in the air fryer.
For the buffalo sauce:
Hot Sauce: I used a hot sauce from my local grocery store (in Switzerland). If you are based in the US, Frank's Hot Sauce is highly recommened by readers.
Melted Butter and Honey: Both butter and honey add so much flavor to the sauce. You can skip the butter if you want to make it vegan (or avoid the extra calories).
Stey by Step Instructions
To make this recipe, start by making the batter for the cauliflower.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cornstarch, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and just enough milk to make a thick, yet runny batter as seen below.
Add in the cauliflower pieces and mix well, to coat the cauliflower in the batter. Then transfer each cauliflower to a plate with panko breadcrumbs. Dredge them in the breadcrumbs.
After dredging, place them on a rack to let the excess batter drip / fall off.
Preheat your air fryer at 390 F for 5 minutes. Then take out the air fryer basket and place the breaded cauliflower in a single layer. Do not crowd the basket, else the cauliflower will not crisp up properly.
Air fry at 390 F for 20 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, take out the basket and flip the cauliflower so that they air fry evenly. Continue to air fry.
Optional step: At the 15 minute mark, I like to take out the basker and brush over some olive oil to give the cauliflower a nice glaze.
Once done, transfer the air fried cauliflower bites into a large mixing bowl.
Prepare the buffalo sauce - mix together the hot sauce, melted butter, honey in a bowl and pour this mixture over the breaded cauliflower. Toss the bowl, coating the cauliflower nicely with the sauce.
And that's is! Your air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings are now ready. I like to serve them with a side of homemade ranch dressing.
Use panko bread crumbs: To make these air fried cauliflower bites extra crispy and crunchy, you don't want to skip the panko bread crumbs. The crunch on the breaded cauliflower is to be heard to be believed!
Use milk, not water for the batter: I have recipe tested these buffalo cauliflower wings 5 times, and I definitely recommend using milk over water to make the batter. The coating is light, yet crisp, and doesn't turn soggy. The milk also enriches the taste of these wings, so yes, do not replace milk with water! Use a dairy-free substitute such as cashew milk, for a vegan option.
BBQ Cauliflower Wings: Replace the hot sauce in this recipe with your favorite brand of BBQ sauce. Then simple toss up the air fried breaded cauliflower in bbq sauce until it is well coated.
Sesame Honey wings: Use the basic breaded cauliflower recipe to make the crispy air fried cauliflower. In a separate bowl, mix together equal amounts of soy sauce and honey, add a dash of sriracha sauce and sesame oil to season. Toss in the air fried crispy cauliflower, mix well until cauliflower is coated in the sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and serve!
Make them gluten free: If you are on a gluten-free diet, simple replace the all purpose flour with your preferred brand of gluten free flour (US readers, Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour comes highly reommended)
Make them vegan: To make crispy vegan cauliflower wings, simply substitute the milk in the batter with dairy-free milk such as cashew milk. Skip the butter in the sauce, and replace it with olive oil.
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Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings Recipe
- Air Fryer
For the sauce
- ⅓ cup hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1.5 tablespoons melted butter
To make the crispy air fried cauliflower
- Start by making the batter for the cauliflower. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, olive oil and just enough milk to make a thick, yet runny batter. Batter should be thinner than pancake batter, and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add in the cauliflower pieces and mix well, to coat the cauliflower in the batter.
- Then transfer each cauliflower to a plate with panko breadcrumbs. Dredge the pieces to coat evenly in the breadcrumbs.
- Optional step - After dredging, place them on a rack to let the excess batter drip off.
- Preheat your air fryer at 390 F for 5 minutes.
- Then take out the air fryer basket and place the breaded cauliflower in a single layer. Do not crowd the basket, else the cauliflower will not crisp up properly.
- Air fry at 390 F for 20 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, take out the basket and flip the cauliflower so that they air fry evenly. Continue to air fry.
- Optional step - At the 15-minute mark, I like to take out the basket and brush the cauliflower pieces with some olive oil to make them brown evenly.
- Once the air frying cycle is over, transfer the air-fried cauliflower bites into a large mixing bowl.
To make the buffalo sauce
- Mix together the hot sauce, melted butter, honey in a bowl and pour this mixture over the breaded cauliflower. Toss the bowl, coating the cauliflower nicely with the sauce.
- Your air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings are now ready. Serve them with a side of homemade ranch dressing.