Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

It took a lot of trial and error to find the right coating that would not draw out the moisture and would make the florets crisp, so I am pleased that it has turned out to be a very simple recipe. You will not need to add salt as the sauces have enough salt to season them. Either a smoky barbecue sauce or Frank’s hot sauce would work well, but if you are like me and prefer sweet and spicy, then try a little bit of both. Serve with ranch or Caesar dressing on the side if you wish, or whip up a batch of Spinach Ranch Dip. Note: The buffalo cauliflower bites will get softer once they are coated with the sauce, so hold off tossing until the very last minute

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • ⅔ cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
  • ⅓ cup Frank’s hot sauce or barbecue sauce
  • Spinach Ranch Dip


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the brown rice flour, almond flour, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and ⅔ cup of water in a blender. Puree until the batter is smooth and thick. Transfer to a bowl and add the cauliflower florets; toss until the florets are well coated with the batter.
  • Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, making sure that the florets do not touch one another. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp on the edges. They will not get crispy all over while still in the oven.
  • Remove from the heat and let stand for 3 minutes to crisp up a bit more. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Comments (92)

(5 from 52 votes)

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Wow! These were a fam favorite


I used 3 tbsp corn flour and 1 tbsp rice flour 2 tbsp peanut butter 1 tomato and 1 clove garlic little salt and paprika and grided to a paste and mixed to 1 cauliflower florets And baked Really tasty


Followed the recipe exactly as stated - batter was too thick. I had to keep adding water. Also a bit bland & did not get crispy.


Is the almond flour mandatory? I don't have on hand and hate to purchase for 2 tablespoons worth...

Megan Edwards

Hi Sandee, You're welcome to use another type of flour in place of the almond flour, such as oat, chickpea, or whole wheat flour. Using two different types of flour creates a more interesting texture and enhances the flavor of the batter so that there isn't just one tasting note. You're welcome to use only brown rice flour if that's what you have on hand, but try subbing the the portion of almond flour for something else so you still get the tasty benefits of a flour blend. Let us know how it goes!


Wow, this veg recipe look absolutely delicious! I'm always on the lookout for new plant-based meal ideas, thanks

Brian Dannelly

This is one of my favorite recipes. Omg- it’s so good and healthy. I use this recipe to sell people on becoming vegan. Lol. I love it.

Doug Gordy

The coating was initially too thick for me also - it should be the consistency of thin pancake batter - and I'd suggest using 3/4 cup water rather than the 2/3 called for - that came out MUCH better! As I am not a great fan of smoked paprika, I halved the amount of that also - and it was still a bit much for my taste. Next time I'll use 1/2 teas. I am also NOT a fan of spicy/hot food, so substituted a Bourbon Dipping Sauce (Pinky Cole's recipe) and that worked very nicely in lieu of Buffalo Dip.


What are the amount of calories in this?


This was a great game-day treat. The batter was thick but the instructions do indicate that it should be. It coated the cauliflower great and came out crisp and delicious. Next time i will experiment with trying some hot sauce in the batter.

Claire Whitham

Great!! I did use a bit of grated onion instead of powder..

Chili Dave

I thought this recipe was excellent. We really liked the breaded crunchiness of the batter. That really made it. I used Texas Pete hot sauce and made vegan blue cheese dressing. With Follow your heart, Vegan blue cheese and Vegenaise , Follow your heart vegan Mayo.

Philip Harrison

I can't have anything but a liquid diet for now. It looks very good and that Dr Esselstyn (of Cleveland Clinic) would approve of it.


Batter was way too thick and tasted bland and odd. Cauliflower would have tasted much better without it.


I'm also one of the few that the batter came out way too thick. I kept adding water and adding water and it still was so thick that my Ninja couldn't mix it. I ended up mixing it by hand and then it took me literally an hour trying to coat each piece of cauliflower, because it was so thick that it wouldn't even coat the cauliflower. It was just a slab of half dry mud in the bowl and no matter how much I mixed it, it would just be on in clumps, which half of the cauliflower not having any at all. Nothing like the picture. So I coated each cauliflower piece by piece and as it was okay, it did not work out well for me with all the work I put into it. I would REALLY like to be able to figure this recipe out. If someone can give me some advice, that would be great. I used the recipe offered to a tee, so what can I do differently to get the cauliflower in the picture? Also, I cannot eat gluten, so no wheat flower.


Hi, I added about 1 and a bit cups of water overall and turned out good.


Hi Marcia, Here is a suggestion...FOK usually does not add any water needed in the recipe to the ingredient list but puts it in the step by step text portion of the recipe. Also, before coating the cauliflower (or any vegetables in this type of recipe) make sure the vegetables are dry. If they are damp or wet from washing the batter has a very difficult time adhering to the veggies. I often times look at different recipe authors for a similar recipe and see what they do similarly or differently in their preparations. That helps me to adjust some recipes and bring out the best of ingredients and directions. Hope this helps. Leslie


It's a delicious way to get some healthy cauliflower in yourself!


I made these using whole wheat flour (didn't have anything else) with the spices and additional water, as I had no barbeque or hot sauce. The batter was thin enough and covered all pieces very well. I did them at 400F for about 10 min in my air fryer, then turned them all and did another 5 or 8 min, depending on sizes. I used tin foil on the air fryer pan. Perhaps they might have been crispier had I skipped the tin foil, or used strips instead of a big piece, but I didn't want the batter dripping down through the pan holes. Even so, they were very tasty and well cooked. I'll do these again, experimenting a bit more. I think chickpea flour would help make them crispier as it's not as heavy as whole wheat flour. I didn't bother with dip.


This recipe turned out perfectly. Crispy, flavorful, buffalo cauli-bites! I did sub millet flour for the rice flour, as that's what I had on hand, otherwise followed directions as written.


I used a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower and they were both delicious!

Kjellaug Thornhom

Love this recipe!

Clarissa McCombs

User error made the coating thick and they did not get super crispy. However super easy and it fooled the toddlers they thought it was chicken lol.


Excellent recipe! Had these last night for the first time and they were delicious. The batter stuck to the cauliflower perfectly. I used vegetable stock rather than water and it added extra flavor to the batter. I also added a little more liquid to the batter as it was very thick as directed. I cooked them a little longer than the recipe called for to get the right crispness. Rather than drizzle the sauce over the entire meal, we just added whatever sauce we wanted at the table over individual portions. I like spicy and my partner doesn't! lol

Monica Sundström

Sounds sooo good but I would love it If you could put the measurements and temperature in the Metric system as well as in Centigrades. I am absolutely certain that there are quite a lot of us here that are not American….


I'm in the US, when I want to use a recipe that's in metric, I do a quick Google search for a conversion calculator and I'm cooking in no time!

Grace Aguilar

Can this be done in an air fryer?


Can one use an air fryer for this?

Donna Buggs

None for now


I made this up wanting something spicy hot and this did not disappoint. I used chickpea flour, I ground up myself, used spices I like and whatever hotsauce we had in the cabinet. It was really easy to coat the cauliflower with the batter. I used the air fryer and kept adding minutes beyond the recommended, until they were the crispness I wanted. They were delish. Hit the spot. I had no sides or other condiments, just the "wings" and it was a meal


I used chickpea flour with some wheat flour in place of the almond (nut allergy) and the cauliflower coated nicely and crisped up in the oven. Nice to feel like I'm having wings which I've missed! They only took 15 mins in my convection oven. Definitely becoming a staple here!

Melissa Leslie

I don’t care for spicy. Any ideas how to do this one with bbq? New to FOK - appreciate all info.

Melissa Leslie

I don’t like spicy. Is there a bbq flavor I can use? New to FOK - thanks for the help.

Amy Taylor-Brill

The Date Lady makes BBQ sauce that is totally compliant, and very yummy.


Use any bbq sauce you like.

Deborah Treijs

Really loved this recipe, I used chickpea flour and it was tasty and crisped up nicely but next time will try rice flour to see the difference. I tried it with zucchini too which was also really good. This was really a treat. Thank you!

Emily Del Real

I replaced the rice and almond flour with whole wheat flour. Other than that, I made the recipe as written. It turned out great - tender crisp cauliflower and just the right amount of Frank's hot sauce.

Jackie Spano

Thanks for this recipe! Is Frank's Hot Sauce high in sodium? I would've thought it'd be much too high


If tanks does not have sodium as far I know.


Yes, Franks has 190 mg per teaspoon


I followed the recipe precisely. The batter was *way* too thick. I thinned it for the next batch. It was still way too thick. In my mind, a batter is best when it thinly coats. I will not be making this again. It was very disappointing


Thanks for your input. Im about to try recipe for first time. I don't have brown or almond flour so will be using regular flour and will adjust amount based on your comment.


I agree it didn’t blend AT ALL . Had to add water and bbq to try to get the right creamy texture. Tasted funny. Did not have the flavor I was expecting following the denominations exactly. Maybe I’d do without the tomato paste next time-too bland


Its supposed to thick it comes out like crispy fried chicken z


I cooked these with my convection oven setting in my regular oven. Took 15 minutes and were cooked perfectly. Nicely crisped. I made sure the cauliflower were dry before adding the coating, no problem with it not sticking. Family liked them, but not the spinach dip.

Marilyn C

Made this and it is good. However, be aware that the bottoms of the cauliflower might burn. After my first batch, I tried foil instead of parchment paper and avoided coating the bottom of the florets. Same burnt bottom result. I used the second from the bottom rack hoping it would have good results-but no. I scraped off the bottom of the florets. Very black. Maybe due to such high heat. It also did not crisp up as shown in the photo, but, once again, this is a good recipe.

Jane Hubbard

Is it possible to substitute something for the brown rice flour? I have a rice allergy

Elizabeth Barnes

Sharon, why are you here?


I echo DLP here. Sharon, there's no need to leave cutting remarks at a person who developed and shared a recipe, just because you don't keep those ingredients around. Like many who must avoid gluten, I have them, and I appreciate that the recipe is gluten-free without making substitutions. Those two flours also probably increase nutritional value, compared to wheat.


HELP !! We have a nut and bean allergy in the family.. Please advise what I can use instead. Many thanks. The recipe looks incredible !


No reason to personally attack someone who makes different choices in the kitchen. And what makes it a personal attack is “I never use Darshana Thacker’s recipes.” Next time, if you must make a critical comment, say “This can made with such and such flour if you don’t want to use almond and brown rice flour.” As your comments stands now, you have added no value to the conversation.


Very yummy. I am trying an Asian version tonight. Serving over rice with an Asian sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

Ninni Mattoo

Hi, I have made with chickpea flour, superb results and added tsp ginger garlic paste, thyme powder and salt pepper, after I made them, I sprinkled chat masala one it. Very delicious. I did half cook steam them in micro before applying the batter. This can be done in air fryer.


The cauliflower didn't end up becoming crispy and the coating didn't taste like anything. Maybe I made an error converting cups into grams?!


Chick pea flour works well as a coating! The consistency should be like a thick-ish pancake batter and you can add water as needed to reach a consistency that suits you. Bakes super well on parchment.


Did you use only chick pea flour (which I have!) or a combo as the recipe has?


How do you get the coating to stick to the cauliflower? I followed the recipe and the coating would not stick at all.


Hi Dana, Try chick pea flour! All you need is water ...nice "pakora" like covering but baked not fried.


Haters will always be haters, even on a recipe page. ‍♀️


Hardly exotic, I get mine from the bulk bins at winco or bobs red mill bags in the baking isle of every grocery store.

Elizabeth Wilbur

This was so crispy and delicious! I wanna try this method on other veggies. I think zucchini, green beans and broccoli could all be yummy like this. I used my coffee/spice grinder to make the rice and almond flour. My ‘flour’ was a bit grainy but I think it made my bites even crunchier. Great recipe as written.




Is this recipe trying to be gluten-free? Wouldn't whole wheat flour work instead of rice and almond flours?


I didn't have brown rice flour, so I used chickpea flour and it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


Does anyone know what to substitute the almond flour with if we have a nut allergy?


Scroll up. One user substituted gram (chick pea) flour.

Kathi MacNaughton

These are delicious!

LISA Torres

garbanzo bean flour oat flour


Made this and my family (who doesn't like cauliflower) loves it! Instead of Frank's (which we use and also love), there is an even better buffalo sauce that everyone in my household raves about. It's Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce made from cashews! Also, TIP: Make this by a few batchfuls at a time if you can...while this doesn't keep well in the fridge because it will get soggy the next day, pop them in the air fryer!!! It makes these SO CRISPY - crispier than right out of the oven. So much so that I've started including time in making dinner to pull them out of the oven and finish them in the air fryer to get them crispiest! Seriously, leftovers are just as great. I've not tried freezing them to use this way, but I imagine they'd turn out like Chicken Tenders my kids pull out of the freezer and cook in the air will NOT be disappointed! Happy eating!

Danielle Canise Larkins

What is brown rice flour? I can't find it.

Lauri Payne

I find it on the baking aisle usually Bob's Red Mill.


Hey, just grind brown rice into powder, great authentic home made brown rice powder. I made them at home, easy.

Debbie Johnson

Delicious!!! I did a heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika instead of 2 teaspoons. A little spicy but loved the dish. Will make again and only use a 1/4 cup of Frank's hot sauce.


I added a splash more water to the batter. The “wings” crisped up nicely. I will definitely make this recipe again. I didn’t have any rice flour. So, I ground some rice in my Nutribullet and that worked really well too!

Patty Huckabee

Yum & Crunch!! Just now made. Didn’t have parsley, but it was great. Added sriracha into our vegan ranch and WOOEEE GOOD!! Our 14 yr old daughter asked for me to make it for her to take to her youth conference at church, since there are only SAD food there. Think I might add more seasoning into the batter next time.


Any flour I can use instead of brown rice flour?

Sheila H.

I have made this using chickpea flour and also made using 1/3 white flour & 1/3 cornmeal stirred together they are both amazing!

Ellie Kennard

I wonder if this can be made in an air fryer?


Yes, so we love this recipe and make it all the time with a side of wfpb ranch dressing, carrot and celery. We also make it into a delicious pasta dish... the cauliflower bites, ranch dressing and chopped up carrots and celery all mixed in with a multi grain pasta and it makes a fantastic dinner.

Christine L Limbrunner

So LOVE this! Great munchie and not so hot you cannot enjoy it.


So easy to make and really impressed with the result despite no oil or frying! Will be making them again for sure!


I can't eat cauliflower any other kind of way! Super yummy

Merry Touch

Highly recommend trying this without the dip and serving it over rice. So good!

John B.

Can eat these little guys all day!

ian h.

It's hard to find a vegan wing recipe that's also crispy and this one really does the trick!

Ash Colcott

Absolutely loving anything cauliflower right now! this is definitely up there as one of my favorites!


YUM!! This was so delicious and definitely make it with the sauce!


Perfect for vegans and meat eaters alike.


Try these with vegan hot sauce


Oh my, we are gonna make this one - looks delicious!

Brooke Bennett

My favorite snack!


we can't wait to try it out!

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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