These crispy air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites are nothing short of amazing – tangy, spicy and delish! Packed full of vitamin C and fiber, this versatile recipe can be served on its own as an appy or added to a main as the star of a dish (like in this baked buffalo cauliflower bowl). Batch prep these lil nuggets and use them throughout the week to add an extra dose of flavor to your meals!
I absolutely love these air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites! As a Registered Dietitian, I’m always looking for ways to make nutritious recipes that are fun and exciting, and this recipe really checks all the boxes.
I love that you can whip these up in an air fryer – you get that crispy texture without any of the mess of traditional frying. Plus it’s so quick and easy!
But the best part about these cauliflower bites is the flavor. The combo of tangy buffalo sauce and crispy panko breading is absolutely irresistible – it’s the perfect balance of spicy and savory. What’s not to love?
What You Need For These Crispy Cauliflower Bites & Substitutions
Cauliflower: I used one medium head of cauliflower and broke it into little bite-sized pieces. You can use pre-cut cauliflower or you can swap for another veggie. Broccoli or green beans would be delish in this. If you’re looking to completely change it up you can substitute for strips of chicken or cubed tofu (like this crispy tofu). Note: If you are substituting the star of this recipe, make sure you modify the cooking time.
Buffalo Sauce: I love adding some spice to a dish so of course these crispy bites are coated in buffalo sauce. Buffalo sauce adds a bold and tangy flavor and takes this dish to the next level (I love it in my Buffalo Tofu Caesar Wrap). If you don’t have buffalo sauce on hand, you can use any hot sauce of choice like sriracha. If you prefer something less spicy, you can try another sauce all together like honey garlic or teriyaki.
Panko & All-purpose Flour Breading: I used a combo of panko and flour to create that crunch after you air fry the cauliflower. I usually use this combo to crisp-ify a dish (like in these X) because the panko adds the crunch and the flour fills in any gaps creating a consistent layer of breading. You can substitute the flour for another flour or even cornstarch. If you don’t have panko, you can use bread crumbs or crushed up crackers.
Avocado Oil & Butter: I added the avocado oil and butter to the buffalo sauce to balance out the flavor and mellow out the spiciness of the sauce. The butter helps caramelize the cauliflower while the avocado oil helps with the crispiness. You can substitute the avocado oil for another high smoking point oil like grapeseed oil (you can learn more about oils and their smoking points here). The butter can be substituted for ghee or left out.
How to Make this Crispy Cauliflower
Wash and dry the cauliflower as well as possible (Note: the drier, the crispier it will be!)
Melt the butter in a small bowl. Whisk in the avocado oil and hot sauce until fully combined and pour over the cauliflower until all the pieces are coated.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Pour over the cauliflower pieces, mixing to coat all pieces evenly.
Cook the cauliflower in batches: Brush the airfryer with avocado oil and spread the cauliflower pieces out in a single layer (leaving room so they crisp, not steam). Cook at 375 F for 18 minutes, flipping halfway. Serve with celery and your favorite dipping sauce like blue cheese or ranch.
The Nutritional Benefits of Cauliflower
I love how the cauliflower provides a deliciously satisfying crunch, while also being a great source of nutrition. Full of fiber, this cruciferous vegetable will keep you feeling full and satisfied while also supporting healthy digestion.
It’s also a great source of Vitamin C and K which helps with immune and bone health. But that’s not all – cauliflower also contains a range of other vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium and magnesium. It packs a powerful nutrition punch and, as a dietitian, I love including it in meals throughout the week.
How to Enjoy These Crispy Nuggets
I’ve always been a fan of developing recipes that can be used in a variety of dishes. These are no different. Serve as a snack or appetizer, a side dish, or add to a main course and take it to the next level.
Here are a few fun ways to use this recipe:
On a salad: Add some spice to my Famous Caesar Salad. The buffalo sauce mixed in with the creamy caesar dressing is *chef’s kiss*.
Add some crunch to a wrap: Add a couple of florets into this buffalo tofu wrap. If you like an extra crunch, you’ll love this combo.
Spice up a taco: Love my Cauliflower and Crispy Chickpea Tacos? Try them with this cauliflower instead for an extra boost of flavor.
If you make this crispy air fryer buffalo cauliflower, it would make my day if you would leave a comment and/or star rating below— I love hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @lindsaypleskot so I can see your versions! It makes me so happy to see these recipes come to life in your kitchens! xoPrint
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 cup buffalo sauce (I like Frank’s)
- 1 ¼ cups panko bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and dry the cauliflower as much as possible (Note: the drier, the crispier it will be!).
- Melt the butter in a small bowl and add the avocado oil and buffalo sauce, stirring until fully combined.
- Pour over the cauliflower until all the pieces are coated.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flour, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Pour over the cauliflower pieces, mixing to coat all pieces evenly.
- Cook the cauliflower in batches: Brush the air fryer with avocado oil and spread the cauliflower pieces out in a single layer, making sure to leave room so the cauliflower crisps and doesn’t steam.
- Cook in the air fryer at 375 F for 18 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Serve with celery and your favorite dipping sauce like blue cheese or ranch.