Recipe: Easy 3-Ingredient Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I’m pretty much a fan of any spicy condiment so, yeah, I love Buffalo sauce, in all its tangy, buttery glory. I’m also a vegetarian — so no Buffalo wings for me.

But who cares! Wings are just the gateway into Buffalo sauce; once you’ve joined the fan club, there are plenty of other (and arguably better) ways to enjoy it. These buffalo cauliflower bites are my latest obsession, and I guarantee they’re the best on the internet. Here’s why.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: Watch the Video

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I Didn’t Invent Buffalo Cauliflower; I Just Made It Better

A quick Pinterest search will reveal there’s been more than a few iterations on Buffalo cauliflower bites. Many are designed to mimic restaurant-style Buffalo chicken wings, meaning the florets are dredged in beaten egg, dipped in flour or panko, than baked or fried. Not only did I find this messy, but the bites also turned out more gummy than crisp and the cauliflower itself got lost.

So I considered my priorities. I wanted these bites to be as easy as possible (ideally just three ingredients, not counting olive oil, salt, and pepper), as healthy as possible (oven-baked rather than fried, and made with olive oil in place of butter), and as crispy as possible (crank up that oven temperature). They should be delicious as a side dish, just as great for feeding friends as an appetizer, and even better stuffed into corn tortillas for taco night.

The solution? Coating large florets in olive oil and seasoning with plenty of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (don’t be shy — cauliflower itself doesn’t have a ton of flavor, so a heavy hand is a must), roasting at 475°F on the lowest oven rack until beginning to crisp, tossing with the hot sauce so that every piece is coated, and returning to the oven until the sauce is warm and the veg is extra-crisp. I consider these a wild success; they’re easier, healthier, and more delicious than any others I’ve tried. Plus, they satisfy my Buffalo sauce cravings.

Which Hot Sauce to Use?

Although the brand you use is entirely up to you (Frank’s, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Cholula — the list goes on), Frank’s RedHot has that classic Buffalo wing flavor. It’s what I use in every Buffalo sauce recipe, and it’s never let me down.

52 Ratings

Easy 3-Ingredient Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Serves4

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into large florets (about 8 cups)

  • 4 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup

    hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot

Instructions

  1. Arrange an oven rack in the lowest position and heat to 475°F. Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and toss until thoroughly seasoned. Arrange in an even layer.

  2. Roast until golden-brown and beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the hot sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon oil together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.

  3. Remove the cauliflower from oven. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower and use a spatula to toss until the florets are evenly coated. Return to the oven and roast until crispy, 5 to 10 minutes more. The bites are best eaten immediately.

Recipe Notes

To make tacos: Divide the cauliflower bites among charred corn tortillas. Top with sliced radishes, fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, and crumbled cotija or feta cheese. Pour any extra sauce from the baking sheet onto the tacos for maximum juiciness.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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