Recipe—Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I am a girl who loves her boneless buffalo wings, just not all the calories that come with the batter fried chicken. This is a fabulous adaptation of the classic American appetizer. My husband isn’t really a fan of buffalo chicken but he really enjoyed these to my surprise. To be honest, the two of us finished off the entire batch over some Sunday football and I was guilt free! This is a really great appetizer that is not only quick but incredibly easy. Enjoy!

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c flour
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 c buffalo sauce (I love Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce!)
1 tbsp butter, melted

bleu cheese dressing
celery and/or carrots


  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk, flour, and garlic salt until smooth. (If the batter seems too thick add more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time. You want it to be slightly thick so that it sticks to the cauliflower. If it is too runny the batter will all drip off while baking.)
  • Place the cauliflower into the bowl of batter and gently toss to coat.
  • Spread the battered cauliflower out on a greased baking dish making sure to shake off any excess batter.
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes turning once until some of the edges turn a nice golden color.
  • While the cauliflower is baking combine the buffalo sauce and melted butter in a small bowl.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and drizzle the buffalo sauce mixture over the top and toss to coat.
  • Return the cauliflower to the oven and bake for an additional 5–10 minutes.
  • Remove the finished cauliflower from the oven and plate with some fresh veggies and a side of bleu cheese dressing.


Note (added 01/13/14): Many people have asked about the texture. The batter becomes more like a soft breading on the outside rather than crispy. To get a crispy texture try frying the battered cauliflower. And be sure to shake of excess batter as you place it on the baking sheet so that the cauliflower is lightly coated.


145 thoughts on “Recipe—Buffalo Cauliflower Bites”

      1. I want to try this but use some boneless skinless chicken breast pieces as well as the cauliflower, brown rice flour, olive oil, and almond milk for the batter.

    1. I made these but they came out soggy . followed recipe even turned up heat to 425 for over 30 mins did not crisp up.. coating was light what went wrong .. are they suppose to be crispy??

      1. Typically baking something rather than frying it won’t give you the same crispy results. I found it was more like a soft breading. Frying it will give you a more crunchy texture. It gets the crunchy texture from the cauliflower itself. If you cook it too long the cauliflower will definitely get soft.

      2. Bake on a rack on a backing sheet. Don’t bake directly on the sheet. I do the same with chicken wings and they come out crispy as well.

      3. try using parchment paper and spray olive oil use a broil setting for the last 5-7 minutes it browns them and crisps a little better than just baking. But take the parchment paper off before you use the broiler or else it will catch fire!

      4. Maybe try using the broiler if you don’t want to fry, but watch them closely so that they don’t burn!

      1. Wow, Greg. There are a lot of us who do *not* eat meat, but I guess that never occurred to you, huh?

    2. I bet if you bake it on a piece of parchment paper rather than a greased dish it would get crispy without frying it.

      1. I find that buffalo sauces are usually pretty strong so that is certainly the dominant flavor in this recipe. Try going light on the sauce the first time you make it if that is a concern of yours.

  1. Butter…. flour….buttermilk? Is this really a “healthier” recipe? Do you have a calorie count for a specific serving size?

      1. here’s count for whole recipe. can depending on your serving size 🙂
        Total: calories 503 carbs 75 fat 15

      2. This could also be made for vegans by using Earth Balance to replace butter, and making a buttermilk substitute with almond or soy milk and cider vinegar (google exact proportion). Could also use other flours if one has issues with gluten. I’m gonna try it tomorrow!

    1. Replace butter with olive oil, buttermilk with non-fat milk (1tbsp lemon juice added to 1C milk and allowed to sit at least 15 mins). Flour? Use whole wheat if you want to be as health as possible I guess.
      For cauliflower:
      and use that site for any other nutrition facts you need. You can even adjust the portion size to fit your use. It takes a little work to figure out a whole recipe but can be easily done, I promise it doesn’t even take any algebra.

      1. robby.. according to the lastest research , whole wheat is just as bad as table sugar.. as a matter of fact, its worse.. olive oil will not give the same taste and mouthfeel as butter. butter made from grass fed cows milk would be a good are stuck in the old way of thinking.. nonfat milk is absorbed like pure sugar.. we need fats in our bodies.

      2. Whole wheat is not a healthy option. It has been misleading for many of us. Read Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis, MD for great info as to what to supplement with. I am learning that our Wheat has been genetically altered with doubling and quadrupling the chromosomes. No wonder we are all having health issues. A Must And Easy Read!

      3. Vinny and Monica are spot on. Using alternative flours like brown rice, sweet rice, white rice or even millet are all better options than using whole wheat or white flours. Use organic flours when possible to avoid GMOs. I see a lot of people posting comments are stuck in the old way of thinking…regarding the buttermilk or any other cow’s milk you plan to substitute 1%, fat free, etc., forget about counting calories or the fat…think about using a milk that is organic if you have to use cows milk at all. I have yet to find a buttermilk that is organic (at my grocery store) and I won’t use it because it is loaded with RBGH (Recombinant bovine growth hormone). Avoid non organic milks otherwise you are drinking and eating all the hormones and antibiotics that the cows were given to keep them alive while the farmers overfed them and fed them the wrong things.

        Eat foods that have no chemicals, no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no nitrates…avoid gluten found in today’s wheat products. Buy organic and non gmo when possible. When someone shares a recipe with you…make it with all the ingredients that are safe. I am going to try to make this but I will make it with sweet rice flour or rice flour and I might use organic whipping cream instead of buttermilk or I might try homemade almond milk.

        Don’t worry so much about calories and fat…worry about chemicals and GMOs in our food. That is what is given us cancer not calories and fat per se.

      4. I love people who read a book like “Wheat Belly” and suddenly think they’re nutritional experts. Whole grains and whole wheat are not bad for you unless you have an allergy or unless you have Celiac disease. The three of you are ridiculous.

    2. Buttermilk is actually low in calorie, it is what is left after the butter is made. And it looks like there is only 1 TB of butter in the recipe, you maybe could substitute a butter substitute or canola oil might work.

      1. second the buttermilk thought. 1 cup of buttermilk only has about 15 more calories than a cup of non-fat milk. A tbsp of olive oil has about 15 calories more than a tbsp of butter. Seems like the original recipe would be lower calorie that the first posters suggestions and probably taste considerably better.

    3. Buttermilk is not high fat. It has half the fat of 2% milk, if not less. The reason it’s called buttermilk is that traditionally it’s the milk left after the butter (the milk fat) is gone. And a tablespoon of butter for a recipe this size is really not terribly significant. I’m sure the absence of fatty chicken skin more than compensates for it. I’m sure a substitute flour would work, but regardless, Buffalo wings are typically dredged in flour too. Overall, yes, I would say it’s a far healthier recipe.

    4. 1TBS of butter beats deep fat frying any day of the week and buttermilk contains no butter, it is the byproduct of butter making, it has about the same amount of fat as milk. These are WAY healthier!!!

  2. Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 86 g
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 76
    Calories from Fat 20 % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 2.2g 3%
    Saturated Fat 1.4g 7%
    Cholesterol 6mg 2%
    Sodium 80mg 3%
    Total Carbohydrates 11.7g 4%
    Dietary Fiber 1.4g 6%
    Sugars 2.2g
    Protein 2.7g
    Vitamin A 1% • Vitamin C 35%
    Calcium 4% • Iron 4%
    Nutrition Grade B+
    * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

  3. The reason we use butter mixed with Franks is to cut the heat (mild,med,hot), but more importantly help adhere the sauce to the wing.. Or in this case Cauliflower.. To replace the butter with olive oil may work against this principle.. If your using the Franks Wing Sauce (not Franks Hot Sauce) the butter quality is already added, so you can skip the butter all together..

    1. I have never tried freezing the leftovers. I’m sure it would be okay but I would bake them rather than microwave to be sure they crisp back up. If you try it, would you please check back and let me know how it goes? I’m definitely interested in the results. 🙂

    1. I don’t typically provide nutritional information but a few other people have commented with what they came up with for this recipe. See above comments. Thanks for checking out my blog! 🙂

  4. Sounds great but can i use 2% milk instead of buttermilk? I hate buttermilk and dont want to buy just for 1/2 cup.

    1. you can buy buttermilk and put the excess in ice cube trays and freeze pop out in a bag and keep in the freezer. Works great, I do it all the time. Just melt what you need mix good and you are ready to go.

  5. i made this tonight my only issue was the 1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup buttermilk made the batter very very thick so I increased the buttermilk to 1 cup and it coated a whole head evenly and baked up amazing thanks for sharing 🙂 Really loved this idea

  6. I tried to follow this recipe and it doesn’t work at all. You need more buttermilk/liquid in the batter. The cook time is nonsense. It needed 15 minutes extra and was still not really browned. It tasted decent in the end but too many alterations needed.

    1. I found that if the batter was too runny it did not adhere to the cauliflower and it all dripped off onto the cookie sheet. I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you.

  7. I made these tonight but I wrapped them in bacon and ham, and used three cups of heavy whipping cream instead of buttermilk. I then threw them away and took a long look at my life, decided to just eat raw cauliflower instead

    1. Well shit, “alex”? If you ‘threw them away,’ (?) – how’d you have any left to eat raw in order to write your profound “review”???

      *eye roll*

      Some try to eliminate calories for their new year “resolutions” … others try to eliminate negativity. The more I see, the more I choose to stick with the latter.

      Thanks for a great recipe, Diva … can’t wait to try! 🙂

  8. I found if you cool the crunchy cauliflower before you dip it into the sauce, then reheat it , the crunch holds on better .

    1. Not sure. If you want them really crunchy then I recommend frying them. Not sure if you can get the texture you are looking for by baking. If you try adding an egg let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  9. Love Frank’s Red Hot, which is the whole reason to be eating those chicken wings so definitely as soon as i get the ingredients i shall be trying this recipe. Thank you for sharing

  10. I’m a big fan of Moore’s buffalo wing sauce. They have it in the grocery stores and I think it’s the next best thing to restaurant style!!

    1. Moore’s is amazing. I try not to tell anyone because they only sell it in 1 store in my area so I try to keep it quiet. But great stuff for sure!

  11. Wow!!! I don’t get how some people have nothing better to do than nit pik. Diva is just sharing a recipe for people to enjoy. It is fine to share substitutions but keep all the other negative comments to yourself. Have a great day! 🙂

  12. For those who don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can simply add 1tbs of vinegar and enough milk to bring up to one cup. Any type of milk will work.

  13. You can skip the flour,buttermilk step just toss with olive oil salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Take it out and toss with buffalo sauce. Same delicious results!

  14. Your recipe is great and it tasted wonderful. I made this recipe for a long time but without the hot sauce. My husband is not fond of the hot stuff. Anyway, I can not understand why people analyse the crap out of everything. Why can’t you just try it. If you like it fine, if you don’t like it, don’t make it again. My grandparents ate pork fat on the bread and lived without any health problems into their 80s. I think we should eat all we like, but in moderation. More fruits and veggies help because one week butter is good, the next is bad. We concern our selfs with every calorie. No wonder we need therapy. Be happy and eat healthy but don’t obsess over the most minute things. That is why stress is so prevalent in our lives.
    Diva di Cucina you rock! Your recipe is excellent!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Glad to hear you have enjoyed this recipe. Sounds like we have the same attitude about our diets. Everything is fine, in moderation. And Sylvia, you rock! 😉

  15. There is an awesome baking product that is dried buttermilk.. Much more useful to this one person family going to mix with some pinko crumbs n have it for dinner also

  16. If you use fat-free buttermilk, this recipe will serve 4 (good size portions) for 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus points – don’t forget your condiments will add points, though. Not bad for 3 points.

  17. Did you try frozen Cauliflower? I’m guessing it would be soggy/mushy.

    I will definitely be trying to make a gluten free version of this recipe

  18. I found that using 1/2 cup of each of buttermilk and flour resulted in a thick, wallpaper-paste consistency. I kept slowly adding extra buttermilk until I got what looked like a reasonable batter. Never browned up but did taste good.

  19. I made these tonight but the batter was so thick that it clung to the cauliflower and we had huge clumps of it in our mouths. Is it supposed to be like that? I’m thinking the next time I will use a cup of buttermilk or omit the flour/buttermilk batter entirely. Thanks for the recipe though!

  20. I am going to have to try this! 🙂 — my kids LOVE cauliflower ! So this looks like a great snack — and in fact I might make it this week!

  21. I am eating low carb so I made this and used 1/2 cup of Heavy Cream mixed with 1/2 cup almond flour. I added just a tablespoon or so of water because the cream is so thick. These came out really well and will be a welcomed addition to my low carb life style. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I was just going to type something like this. You could also try coconut flour too. Buttermilk is now fat and low carb, so I will stick with that but replace the flour to lower the carbs and calories. Soy flour might work too.

  22. I used plain yogurt thinned out with some skim milk and brown rice flour.. I even skipped the butter and just used the hot sause… they turned out yummy…… I am so glad I saw this…. I would have never thought to use cauliflower…I don’t miss wings anymore!!! Thanks

    1. Sounds great, will try! For all of those who are analyzing everything, please remember that not everyone responds to foods the same. Those who are very active and not sensitive to flours, can ingest as is. Those who aren’t as sensative to dairy products, can use buttermilk. Everything should be assessed individually and we must not forget about how we think and feel while ingesting foodstuff. The future of healing and health will prove that the latter suggestions are more important and play a larger role in our health that the foodstuff itselfl! Food for thought! Enjoy!

  23. Love – Love – Love – Always looking for alternative choices with full flavor and no guilt. We have a home where the kitchen is always open and friends and family always welcome. This will definately be a favorite go to for late night/ guilt free munching!! We have 4 daughters and they all take after their daddy, hot sauce on everything!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  24. if soggy is your problem, try replacing some tof the flour with cornmeal and/or parmesan cheese both will add some texture, and dipping the battered veg in panko will help as well

  25. I tryed this following the recipe (minus buttermilk because my store had none. Used whole milk) and I have to say it was everything I was expecting. It was delious and very easy to make. My husband also pesterd me to try it in the frying pan… frying it was AMAZING. Bakeing it was good… but frying was solo much better… so much for being healthy. Still better then chicken wings hopefully. Great recipe. I will be serving this with meals and at party’s from now on. ^_^

  26. How about we try this… ENJOY. Enjoy your food. Stop overthinking EVERYTHING. Life is fleeting. It can end (as you know it, or completely) in the blink of an eye. It won’t matter if your cauliflower was GMO or not, or if you chose white flour or garbanzo flour. My grandma lived to 96 yrs old, dying peacefully in her sleep, never thinking about ANY of this. What she did do right was: no smoking, exercise daily, no alcohol, kept her mind sharp (no loafing!), traveled, ate foods her mother made for her – and then she made them for us, too (recipes from the Great Depression), she loved and was loved, she rarely had to go to the doctor and she certainly didn’t go over a little cough or fever for pete’s sake (she toughed it out), and she had happy hobbies. She baked, she fried, she indulged… and lived. So stop raking this recipe over the coals. Ain’t crunchy enough for you? Well WHY do you think that happened? Doesn’t take a brain surgeon. Are you a GMO activist? Then take it to your facebook, and let this recipe just BE. Tweak it all you want – share if it worked out. But for heaven’s sake — ENJOY LIFE and leave to each his own. BTW – thanks for this recipe – looks delicious!

  27. We love this recipie! Made it tonight and found that the cauliflower got crispy before the buffalo sauce went on. You could just use the sauce as a dip if you want the veggie to remain very crisp. This is such a great alternative to ck wings! It’s the best idea we have to date. Thanks so much. Gonna make it again for football Sunday!!

  28. I finally put in a couple hours to try my variations of this recipe, which I’ve been excited about ever since I saw someone link it on facebook. Thanks Rebecca!

    I was doing this in half batches because I was trying to do this gluten free and wasn’t sure how the gluten free flour I was using would fare. I was using Stashu’s gluten free flour substitute. (By far the best gluten free products I’ve found, but they are a local company, not sure of availability outside of my area)

    I started with 1/4 cup half/half, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/4 cup GF flour substitute, 1 tsp garlic salt. This ended up being very thick and ended up adding another 1/4 cup of half/half. Next time I plan on making it even thinner.

    I also used frozen cauliflower instead of fresh because I always have some in the freezer and was hoping it would work out so I didn’t have to plan ahead if I made this again.

    1st batch I baked them on a cooling rack so I didn’t have to rotate them during the cooking, but found out that left the breading soft. I also had to cook them about 35min at 350. The increased cooking time also made the cauliflower mushy.

    2nd batch I placed them directly on the cookie sheet. This left the breading with more of a crunchy texture which I think everyone is looking for. I still cooked these for 35min and chose to just dip them in buffalo to keep as much crunchy texture as I could, but the long cook time still left the cauliflower mushy.

    3rd batch! I decided to move the cooking to a skillet. This lowered the total cook time so the frozen cauliflower inside didn’t get mushy, and also left a good crisp on the batter. I did have to use some olive oil to keep it from sticking but they didn’t feel oily when done. Total cook time was around 5min on low/medium heat and had to flip/rotate every 1-2 min. This was my favorite batch, and my wife agreed, though all batches were pretty good.

    Next time, which will be the “big game,” I will be using fresh cauliflower to see if that will make the difference with the texture. I will also continue with the skillet cooking. The largest downfall of doing it this way is small batches.

    …. whew, sorry for the long post!!

  29. I made this tonight….YUMMY! For some reason, the grocery store that I was at didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted 1/2 cup of sour cream and added about 1/8 cup of water, whisked together to get a buttermilk-like texture and then added the garlic salt and flour. It produced a nice, thick creamy batter that perfectly adhered to the cauliflower and didn’t run off. It browned nicely and was not at all mushy. I will definitely make this again!

  30. Just made this recipe tonight and loved it! It turned out just like the picture and even my husband liked it enough to eat half. I also used the new Bolthouse Farms yogurt blue cheese dressing. Only 35 calories and 2.5 grams of fat for 2 TB, no bizarre ingrediants, and it was delicious. I was skeptical, but couldn’t tell the difference from regular blue cheese other than it was a little thinner. Completely inspired by your recipe, I decided to invent healthy smoked turkey Reubens to go with it. I used the small party rye bread and brushed olive oil on one side and spread a little Bolthouse farms yogurt thousand island dressing (same calories and fat as the blue cheese) on the other. Then I topped with a two small pieces of smoked turkey and Swiss cheese each, a spoonful of vinegar coleslaw and then browned in a dry frying pan. They were delicious and a much healthier take on a full fat classic.

    1. So happy to hear it was such a hit! LOVE your idea for reubens! Reubens are one of my all time favorite sandwiches. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Definitely going to have to give it a try. 🙂

  31. Hi, I can’t seem to make the Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe print –tried several times. Could you email it to me (it wouldn’t let me email it either?) Maybe I can print your email. Thanks!

  32. This was excellent for vegetarians! The recipe is a keeper. So delicious and super quick and easy. Don’t sweat the batter texture people. After it’s baked with the wing sauce it almost perfectly mimics chicken meat and skin texture, the batter has a bit of chewiness and the cauliflower comes out soft and dense. There’s no missing the chicken here! Super Bowl party – YES!

  33. I just made this recipe. We are snowed in so I decided it was time to try it! I didn’t have buttermilk yet I took sour cream and added little milk for consistency. The bites turned out great! I love them and I didn’t have a problme with the batter.

    I will be sharing this recipe with my daughters and other friends. Thanks for sharing!

  34. I grew up in the Buffalo area in the 70s when chicken wings became popular. I worked at a pizza place that also sold chicken wings and, being a vegetarian, I was not excited to be making them. Nonetheless, I loved the sauce with celery, carrots & the bleu cheese dressing. We mad our sauce with Frank’s Hot Sauce, butter, garlic powder, & cayenne pepper (dried powder form). The amount of cayenne made the difference between mild, medium & hot. I like that sauce on many things, & look forward to using it with cauliflower per your directions.

  35. Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job.

    I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.

    I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

  36. I just made these and it was absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe as is. Thank you sooo much for sharing!

  37. Hi all,
    Late to the game here, but the best way to make these is with a batter of cornstarch and seltzer (plain or lime). Bake until crispy, then add the sauce. Enjoy!

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