These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are a super easy, delicious, and borderline addictive way to get your family to eat vegetables. Try serving them as an appetizer or snack with a creamy, homemade dipping sauce and some celery sticks.
What You Need for Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Cauliflower is the star of the show here. For best results, cut it down to medium-sized florets. Too large and they won’t get as crispy. Too small and they’ll burn. But if they’re just right, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
By far my favourite alternative flour. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30-compliant and as close to wheat flour as you can get.
Adding spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, turmeric and black pepper will not only add a lot of flavour, but they will also bring some colour to the dish. I particularly like turmeric for this reason. It helps give the cauliflower a golden hue.
Using a Buffalo-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s, is ideal because of its mild heat and tang from the vinegar base, which pairs really well with the cauliflower. Buffalo-style sauces are also much looser than other types, which helps when it comes to coating all of the florets.
If a Buffalo-style sauce is too mild for your liking, you can always increase the spice level by mixing in some cayenne pepper or a couple dashes of your favourite hot sauce.
Mixing in a small amount of melted ghee with the Buffalo sauce adds flavour and also helps the cauliflower to get crispy in the second round of baking. If you don’t have ghee, you can use some melted grass-fed butter or even some avocado oil.
How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower
It’s as easy as whisking the batter ingredients in a bowl, coating the cauliflower and baking them on a sheet pan in the oven until crispy and golden brown. Baking them isn’t just easy, it’s also a bit healthier than pan-frying it in some oil. The added benefit is that you can cook large batches of cauliflower quickly.
The key to making sure the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites get as crispy as possible is actually to bake them in two stages.
First, coat the cauliflower florets in the batter and roast them at 450F for 20 minutes. This will allow the batter to harden and set.
Once par-baked, remove the cauliflower from the oven, brush them with the prepared Buffalo sauce and return them to the oven for a second round of baking so they get crispy, delicious and cooked through.
Can You Air Fry the Cauliflower?
Great question! I personally don’t own an air fryer so I can’t really say. However, depending on the model you have, it may be possible!
Can I Use a Different Flour?
If you don’t have cassava flour, you can try substituting a combination of almond flour and tapioca starch. The finished product won’t be quite the same in terms of flavour and texture, but it will work in a pinch. For ½ cup cassava flour, try ½ cup almond flour plus 1 tablespoon tapioca starch. Water measurements can vary so work towards a loose pancake batter.
If keeping things Paleo isn’t a concern, you can use a gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour of choice. I leave that decision up to you.
Are These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Whole30?
Although all of the ingredients are in fact Whole30-compliant, I would say that the finished product is not. Technically, this is a Paleofied version of a junk food, and would, therefore, be considered SWYPO under the rules of the program. The main reason I would consider it SWYPO is because of the batter. If you were to simply coat the cauliflower with just the spices and sauce, it would be Whole30-compliant. The batter is the deal breaker in my opinion.
Nevertheless, it is very much Paleo-friendly and an excellent dish to incorporate into your Food Freedom!
Other Cauliflower Recipes
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into medium-sized florets
- ½ cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 scant cup cold water
- ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon ghee melted
- Dipping sauce of choice such as Ranch
- 1 stalk celery cut into matchsticks, for serving
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the cassava flour, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, paprika, turmeric, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the water and whisk until completely smooth – it should resemble a loose pancake batter. If it is too dense, whisk in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the correct consistency. If it is too loose, add 1 teaspoon of cassava flour at a time until it reaches the correct consistency.
- Working in batches, toss the cauliflower florets in the batter until they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess batter and lay the florets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining florets.
- Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake the cauliflower until the batter is slightly golden, 20 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the hot sauce and melted ghee. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and brush each floret with the Buffalo sauce mixture. Return the cauliflower to the oven and bake for until golden brown and crispy, another 20 minutes. Drizzle the cauliflower with some more Buffalo sauce and serve with dipping sauce of choice and celery sticks.