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These cauliflower buffalo wings are one of my all time favorites! They’re extra crispy on the outside, tender in the middle and the perfect amount of spicy! Cool down the heat by dipping them in the homemade tahini ranch. The perfect appetizer for hosting or game days (remember those?)! These wings have a long bake time to make them extra tender, but they require very little hands on time!
I know cauliflower buffalo wings are not a new or original idea. I have seen them circulating the internet, particularly among vegan food blogs for quite a while now! The first time I had seem them was on Lauren Toyota’s Hot for Food Youtube Channel. I don’t know if she is the original genius behind the cauliflower buffalo wings, but I’ll give her credit as she introduced me to this amazing, meaty but not meaty at all substitute.
the best method for making cauliflower wings
I did want to share my take, or I might say my mom’s take on cauliflower wings as they are a bit easier than Lauren’s original method. Lauren’s original method calls for dipping each cauliflower in the batter one by one and tapping the excess off on the side.
I honestly don’t think my mom would have the patience to do it that way if you were to pay her twenty dollars.
Instead she just throws all the florets and batter together in a bowl with a lid and shakes it until they are all coated. Not only is this way faster and easier, I’ve also found it helps get off the excess batter much better.
When I have dipped them one by one in the past, excess batter always pooled around the floret on the baking mat. This ended up sticking to the mat during baking and ripping off the floret no matter how careful I was. Losing precious delicious wing batter is sad no matter how you look at it.
As you can see above, no pooling of excess batter! This is KEY to getting them extra crispy.
Another key to making these extra crispy is getting your oven super hot! For a while I used to bake these at 400 degrees, Fahrenheit and while it worked, I noticed they did stick to the pan more. Increasing the heat to 450 degrees, Fahrenheit will prevent the sticking and make them as crispy as possible!
making the tahini ranch
Now, making this tahini ranch is super simple! But I want to give you a little disclaimer first and tell you this does not taste like ranch. I also want to tell you that if you have never had tahini before, it has a strong, sometimes bitter taste. I really like tahini it but it is a taste that takes some getting used to!
Some brands of tahini are more mild than others so it may take you some time to find the one you personally like, but it is a great nut butter substitute as it is more neutral tasting. It is also a good creamy, healthier replacement for popular non-vegan foods like ranch dressing and does really well in baked dessserts.
To make this tahini ranch, all you need to do is mix together all of the ingredients. Super simple. Give it time to chill in the fridge so it is cool when the wings are ready!
A few key ingredients are the chives, parsley and dill. Adding in herbs will give it that ranch flavor! You can use fresh parsley and dill as well if you have it on hand!
YUM! Doesn’t that look meaty?!
I can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe! It’s pretty amazing all the wonderful things cauliflower can do.
If you give this recipe a try, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! And as always you can pin this recipe for later.
And if you need more spicy recipes, check out my Easy Salsa Brava!
Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings with tahini ranch. The perfect game day or hosting snack. Spicy, crispy, and tangy from the tahini ranch!
CAULIFLOWER WING BATTER
- 1 large cauliflower broken into florets (about 8 loosely packed cups)
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup plant based milk (can substitute water)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper sauce (or other comparable buffalo sauce)
- 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup tahini (very smooth and runny)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons chives, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease well.
- Chop your head of cauliflower into bite sized florets.
- To a large mixing bowl with a lid (can also use a Tupperware), add the all-purpose flour, plant based milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper to make the batter. Whisk well.
- Add the cauliflower florets to the batter and the lid, and shake well until all florets are covered well in batter.
- In a second large mixing bowl with a lid (can also use a large Tupperware) add the breadcrumbs. Transfer the battered cauliflower into bowl with bread crumbs. Add the lid and shake until all florets are well coated in bread crumbs.
- Divide the breaded cauliflower florets between two baking sheets. Make sure they are spaced out enough to allow them to crisp up. If they are too close together they will steam and not get nearly as crispy.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- While the cauliflower wings are baking, prepare the tahini ranch and buffalo sauce.
- To make the tahini ranch, simply mix together all tahini ranch ingredients listed above until well combined. Transfer ranch to the fridge to chill.
- After 25 minutes of baking, carefully transfer the florets back into your large mixing bowl that you used for the breadcrumbs (does not need to be clean) and add the buffalo sauce mixture. Add the lid and shake to coat all florets in buffalo sauce. Transfer florets back to your baking sheets and bake again for another 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove from oven and enjoy immediately.
- These cauliflower buffalo wings are really best fresh but will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
- This tahini ranch does not taste like traditional ranch but is a great dairy-free, oil-free alternative. Follow Your Heart makes a good store-bought vegan ranch.
- I have not tried making these wings with gluten free flour or gluten free bread crumbs but if you give it a try, please let me know!
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cauliflower buffalo wings, vegan buffalo wings, cauliflower wings, tahini ranch, vegan ranch, vegan appetizers