I love cauliflower and spicy food. Whoever thought to put buffalo sauce and cauliflower together, to cook it just like you cook chicken wings is brilliant! I wish I would have thought of it first. The first time I saw this combination, while perusing recipes on my phone, I knew we had to try it.
I am not a fryer. Frying food is my husband's forte. It took me a while to accept his love of deep frying, but it's hard to resist when he does it so well. He can stick to his frying and buffalo wings on occasion and I can make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower for a change. It's so good, even our oldest son who loves spicy food has declared this is his favorite way to eat cauliflower now! He says it's crazy good. Unfortunately, our other boys are not into the spicy flavor of hot sauces yet. Try this simple recipe. Hopefully it becomes one of your favorite air fryer recipes as well.
Hot Buffalo Sauce Toss
The first couple times we made buffalo cauliflower we followed the instructions on a random recipe we found. We loved the flavor, but were a little disappointed because the buffalo sauce was tossed with the cauliflower before cooking. We thought this didn't make sense because when you make buffalo wings, you first crisp up the wings in the fryer and then toss the wings in the wing sauce last. So, for our version of the recipe we prepare it like you do buffalo wings. Season the cauliflower first with some minimal spices, along with corn starch to help them crisp up and lastly, toss it in the buffalo sauce, just as you would do with buffalo wings. We just feel it's the best way to prepare this and makes less of a mess, which is a bonus.
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Main Ingredients
- Cauliflower- I make florets out of half a large head of cauliflower. That's what fits best in our Gourmia Air Fryer (single basket air fryer) without being overcrowded. It also makes about 4-5 servings. You can easily double this and use a whole head of cauliflower if you have more air fryer space and need to make a lot more. You can also use pre-cut cauliflower florets if need be.
- Hot Sauce for "Buffalo Sauce"- We use Frank's Red Hot Sauce, but any hot sauce of your liking is fine. If you're wanting the classic buffalo sauce flavor then Frank's Red Hot is the way to go.
- Corn Starch- This is an addition that just helps the cauliflower crisp up more so that your buffalo cauliflower doesn't get too soggy too quick once you sauce it.
- Butter- Butter is pretty much the creamy magical component to make buffalo sauce, but if you don't eat real butter, you can substitute it out for vegan butter. I just can't guarantee the flavor of the sauce.
How to Serve Buffalo Cauliflower
I think buffalo cauliflower should be served in a similar fashion to crispy buffalo chicken wings. Buffalo wings are usually served with celery sticks and carrots and a side of creamy blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing. Why not treat the cauliflower the same. The spiciness of the buffalo sauce goes really well with the creamy coolness of ranch or blue cheese. To make it even simpler to serve, I suggest blue cheese crumbles on the cauliflower for a great contrast, taste and aesthetic appeal.
What to Serve with Buffalo Cauliflower
I like to serve air fryer buffalo cauliflower with grilled chicken or crispy chicken tenders. If you're looking for a healthier option, you could serve it with a simple green salad or you can add a lean meat like grilled skirt steak. I personally love cauliflower, so if I don't have others I need to feed, I could just eat a bowl of this cauliflower on it's own. This delicious recipe makes a fabulous side dish for any weeknight or served as an easy appetizer with a creamy dip for a game day healthy alternative. If you need another side to go with this recipe, try my air fryer potato wedges as well.
How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
First, mix together your dry ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika together with the cornstarch. Then add cauliflower florets to a medium to large mixing bowl and toss with your spice and cornstarch mixture, coating all the florets.
Preheat your air fryer for about 3 minutes if it does not already have this function. Next, make your hot sauce mixture by combining the melted butter and frank's red hot sauce in a small bowl. You can of course use store-bought buffalo sauce if you prefer, but it's just so easy to make your own.
Spray the air-fryer basket, wire rack or crisping plate with olive oil or avocado cooking spray. Add the cauliflower to air fryer in a single layer and give it a generous spray of cooking oil spray as well and air fry for 12 minutes total, tossing once halfway through. You want the cauliflower to be golden brown in color, slightly crispy cauliflower bites that are still al dente. Once the Air fryer cook is complete, return the cauliflower to the mixing bowl you used earlier and toss with the "Buffalo Sauce." Serve immediately.