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BEST BBQ Cauliflower Wings (Vegan)

These cauliflower wings are lip-smacking delicious! Terrific for game day or any day for that matter. We even eat them as a main dish.

cauliflower wings with bbq sauce on cooling rack

Every year, my husband and his friends make their annual request for these BBQ Wing Bites weeks in advance of the Super Bowl. They say they just want to make sure I remember. This is the 5th year in a row, so I think they have me trained now.

You are going to love these cauliflower bites because they’re…

  • Smokey
  • Tangy
  • Spicy
  • Perfect for game day or parties
  • Crowd-pleasing
  • Super flavorful
  • Simply amazing
overhead shot of white plate and smaller blue plate full of cauliflower wings and carrot and celery sticks

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Cauliflower wing ingredients

  • cauliflower florets
  • whole-grain flour
  • non-dairy plant milk
  • bread crumbs
  • spices
  • barbecue sauce

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

These are so good! Even my sister, that normally does not eat cauliflower, likes them. That’s saying a lot!

How to make cauliflower buffalo wings

These cauliflower wings are surprisingly simple to make. With only a little effort, you can have these delicious crowd-pleasing bbq wings ready for parties, game days, or even just for dinner. We do that a lot!

Preheat oven to 450°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes clean up much easier because clean-up is a breeze.

Cut the cauliflower florets into small bite-size pieces. I like to make mine a little chunky, but you can cut them as small or large as you like.

diced chunks of raw cauliflower on cutting board

I am often asked what knives I use and recommend for cooking, and my favorite brand is Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery. Yes, that’s the same company that makes the Swiss Army Knife. These knives come with a lifetime guarantee and are very reasonably priced. I absolutely love mine.

Making the batter

For this cauliflower wing batter, you want it to be nice and thick with a little bit of seasoning so it will stick to the caulflower bites.

Combine flour, non-dairy milk, and spices in a bowl, and whisk together. I like to use almond milk but soy and other plant milks work just as well.

thick batter in stainless bowl with chunks of cauliflower

Coat each cauliflower bite in the batter. I simply put a handful of them in the bowl at one time and roll them around until coated.

Pour the dry bread crumbs in a large bowl or even in a gallon-sized storage bag. As you batter each cauliflower bite in the bowl of batter, then toss them into the bread crumbs and roll (or shake if using bag) to coat evenly. I do this in batches.

stainless bowl with bread crumbs and cauliflower chunks

Cooking is a 2-step process

These vegan wings are going to need to go into the oven twice to get the texture and crunch desired.

1st baking step

Place battered and breaded cauliflower bites on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes until brown and crispy. You’ll be surprised how crunchy these get.

breaded cauliflower on baking sheet with parchment paper

2nd baking step

While the cauliflower wings are baking, place some barbecue sauce in a medium-size bowl. Remove cauliflower bites from the oven, and dip each piece into barbecue sauce. I use a fork to roll the chunks around in the sauce.

bbq cauliflower wings on baking pan with parchment paper

Once they are coated well in bbq sauce and placed back on the baking sheet, it’s time to rebake them for another 15-20 minutes.

When they are done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Serve warm or even at room temperature.

Rest assured, these cauliflower bites are phenomenal! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

white plate full of cauliflower wings baked with bbq sauce carrots on side

Your Questions Answered:

Q: Are caulflower wings vegan?

A: It depends on the recipe you use. Some cauliflower wing recipes call for egg in the batter which would make them vegetarian but not vegan. However, the recipe above IS vegan because there are no eggs or other animal products used.

Q: Is this recipe gluten-free?

A: This recipe isn’t gluten-free but could easily be made to be by using gluten-free flour in the batter and choosing GF bread crumbs as well.

Q: How do you store cauliflower wings?

A: These are best when eaten fresh out of the oven, but they do keep well in an airtight container for up to a week. You’ll just want to reheat them in the oven rather than a microwave to help crisp them back up.

Q: Can these be made in a air fryer?

A: Though I haven’t tried it yet, I think an air fryer is a great idea. I would suggest 400°F for about 10 minutes each cycle. If they don’t crisp up enough, just add a little more time in increments.

Q: Which bbq sauce should I use?

A: This 8-ingredient Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe is a great homemade option!

vegan bbq sauce in mason jar on silver plate

If you are looking for a premade barbecue sauce, we love this oil-free Bone Suckin’ Sauce.

Q: Do you have a recommendation for vegan ranch dip to go with them?

A: Heck yes! This Creamy Ranch Dip is a great addition to vegan barbecue cauliflower wings.

The great thing is that there is absolutely no cooking required, so this dressing/dip can be ready in just a few minutes. Simply whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can easily do this while the bbq cauliflower wings are cooking.

Originally published January 22, 2015.

vegan ranch in brown bowl with salad in background

Follower feedback on this recipe

OK, Terri, I gotta tell ya, I made these today and OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!!! Ridiculous. SOOOO good! I used whole wheat flour, and I thought with a 1:1 mix of cashew milk to flour the batter was too thick, so I thinned it out with more cashew milk. But oh my, what a recipe! This will be a staple for us. Thanks!–Greg

Just made these for dinner and they were fabulous!! crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Perfection!! I did not have bread crumbs so I used equal parts of quinoa flakes and panko, So Yummy thank you for sharing recipe!!–Jane M

Recipe adapted from Potato Strong. Will is a genius!

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Other great game day recipes

cauliflower wings with bbq sauce on cooling rack

BEST Cauliflower BBQ Wings

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These cauliflower wings are lip-smacking delicious! Terrific for game day or any day for that matter. We even eat them as a main dish.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes clean up much easier because clean-up is a breeze.
  2. Cut the cauliflower florets into small bite-size pieces. I like to make mine a little chunky, but you can cut them as small or large as you like.
  3. For this cauliflower wing batter, you want it to be nice and thick with a little bit of seasoning so it will stick to the cauliflower bites. Combine flour, non-dairy milk, and spices in a bowl, and whisk together.
  4. Coat each cauliflower bite in the batter. I simply put a handful of them in the bowl at one time and roll them around until coated.
  5. Pour the dry bread crumbs in a large bowl or even in a gallon-sized storage bag. As you batter each cauliflower bite in the bowl of batter, then toss them into the bread crumbs and roll (or shake if using bag) to coat evenly. I do this in batches.
  6. These vegan wings are going to need to go into the oven twice to get the texture and crunch desired.
  7. Place battered and breaded cauliflower bites on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until brown and crispy. You’ll be surprised how crunchy these get.
  8. While the cauliflower wings are baking, place some barbecue sauce in a medium-size bowl. Remove cauliflower bites from the oven, and dip each piece into barbecue sauce. I used a fork to roll the chunks around in the sauce.
  9. Once they are coated well in bbq sauce and placed back on the baking sheet, it’s time to rebake them for another 15-20 minutes.
  10. When they are done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Serve warm or even at room temperature.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Tracy

Saturday 14th of November 2020

I have to say I’m not a fan so far but I will make it again, definitely crispy and barbecuing everything was good with the exception of a funny taste which I am thinking is coming from the almond milk. Almost Perfect with the exception of the funny taste, which I’m assuming is the almond milk.

Tara G

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

Made these with whole wheat flour and first time out of the oven, they were brown and crispy. After the bbq sauce (which was quite thick) they came out soggy. Taste was great, but what went wrong. I’d really like to try again...I was impressed, even as they were.

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

It sounds like they needed to cook a little longer on the second round. They won't be as crispy as without the bbq sauce, but they shouldn't be soggy either.

Dennis

Monday 9th of March 2020

I rarely leave comments about recipes. I cannot agree more with all the positive reviews of this recipe. These are simply delicious and addictive! I would definitely recommend thinning out the batter with more milk. I am going to try the next batch with panko to see how those are.

Great BBQ sauce recipe as well!!

Terri Edwards

Monday 9th of March 2020

Hi Dennis- Thanks so much for the great feedback!

Ana

Monday 10th of September 2018

I followed the directions exactly and when I added the bbq the cauliflower got really soggy even after 30 minutes of being in the oven. What do you think I did wrong?

EatPlant-Based.com

Tuesday 11th of September 2018

What type of barbecue sauce? Was it fairly thick? Perhaps baking a little longer would help give your sauce a little more time to crisp up.

Jerry Clark

Monday 9th of July 2018

OMG enough said