Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower

Not only am I from south of Buffalo from a tiny town in Western New York… my parents first met and lived together in downtown Buffalo in the heart of where the inspiration for this recipe comes from. Buffalo cauliflower instead of Buffalo wings. While I haven’t eaten meat or a chicken wing since I was maybe 17 or 18, the buffalo flavor is signature in my hometown region, so I feel a bit of pride making a recreation. The flavor has to be spot on for it to have this name.

Game day is on it’s way here in the US and I have to tell you that means basically nothing to me. Even though there was the tiniest glimmer of excitement / camaraderie this year with the Buffalo Bills making it so far. Granted I never watched a game. But it was kind of fun following along and I was rooting for them the most I’ve ever cheered on for football (unless it was actually soccer, which filled a good amount of my time in my younger years playing through high school). I was the one at high school Super Bowl parties that just went to go hang out with all my friends and annoyingly cheered on the other team for good fun.

That being said, I’m more than happy to always share yummy recipes and healthy alternatives to your favorite go-to’s. And these are delicious all year round. Whether you’re looking for an appetizer / snack or want to prep it in advance for a burrito, taco, or pizza topping / filling! YUMMMM.

This recipe is almost completely oil-free and can be made without oil if you need. However I don’t have an oil amp;/or nut-free version for my favorite dipping sauce choices yet. I’ll keep you posted in the future as I work on that.

I’ve been more focused on developing more oil-free recipes (that includes avocado, nuts, tahini) since last fall because my father experienced a heart attack and was in the hospital for a few days a couple times. We are SO grateful and fortunate that he is okay. However, it was a big wake up call for all, and once he was home and safe the first thing on my mind was to support both of my parents toward making more shifts toward a plant-based, oil-free diet. Fortunately they are both on board and making big changes (on top of their already healthier than most diets)! Reading the science definitely helped.

Did you know that 2/3 of the world’s population has never had to deal with heart disease even though it is the number 1 killer in the US?

Decades of research shows that is due to their low-fat (10% or less daily intake) and low-cholesterol (150 or less) plant-based diets. Clinical studies have shown that making this dietary change can not only prevent, but reverse and heal heart disease, even with some of the most severe cases.

If you’d like to learn more about this research, read the book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, JR., M.D.

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Buffalo Cauliflower

Yields 4 servings


florets from 1 large head cauliflower (about 5 cups)

1 cup filtered water

3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour (could probably use any flour)

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt (I use Himalayan pink fine ground)

1 cup gluten-free cornmeal or breadcrumbs, optional*

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (I also LOVE using Mazi’s Piri Piri sauce made in Asbury Park, NJ instead of Frank’s)

1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter)

1 tbsp maple syrup, optional (but helps stickiness)


 - I feel like the vegan butter could be left out of the hot sauce mix and be just fine, but I have not tested this


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius)

Add water, flour, salt, and garlic powder to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth

Toss the cauliflower in the batter until well coated

Place the cornmeal in a small bowl for dipping, if you’re using this step*

Roll each coated cauliflower floret in cornmeal and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Space the cauliflower out so they are not touching. If they touch, they will stick together.

Bake for 20 minutes

Flip them over and bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden amp; crisp

While the cauliflower are baking, prepare the hot sauce mixture. Melt the butter in a saucepan on stove over a medium heat. Once melted, add hot sauce, maple syrup, and stir.

Once cauliflower have cooked and are crisp, toss florets with the hot sauce mixture in a mixing bowl.

Serve immediately OR return to the pan and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. I personally prefer to bake them a bit longer to help them soak in the hot sauce and crisp a bit more.

Serve with vegan ranch or dipping sauce of choice. My favorite lazy recipe (not really a recipe) is to mix Follow Your Heart Soy-free Vegenaise with some fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and or basil, and a splash of lemon juice. As an appetizer I also like making it a platter with carrot amp; celery sticks.

If you happen to have any leftovers, store in a sealed container in the fridge. These can be used a a delicious filling for a quesadilla, burrito, a pizza topping, or even on a pretty bowl with some rice, greens, veggies, and sauce!

*you can make these without the cornmeal / breadcrumbs, but they won’t be as crispy

**If you prefer these super crispy, serve the hot sauce mixture on the side, as it will soften them.

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