This Cauliflower Hot Wings Recipe Is the Ultimate Healthy Game Day Snack

Add some plants to your game day eats with this delicious cauliflower hot wings recipe, they're sure to convert even the most skeptical of carnivores.

Healthy and delicious cauliflower hot wings on parchment paper.
Credit: Image by Kate Gavlick.

*Affiliate disclosure.

Let’s be honest: No one’s convinced by cauliflower as a chicken substitute. But let’s continue in that vein of honesty: When it comes to hot wings, what we really care about ain’t the chicken – it’s the sauce! And it’s for that reason that in the world of healthier Super Bowl recipes, cauliflower hot “wings” reign supreme (although this black bean layered dip is really, really good too as is this vegan burrito bowl). And these homemade crispy potato chips would round out your spread just right. 

To make these “wings,” cauliflower florets are coated in a simple combo of chickpea flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; the resulting breading is crisp and gluten-free to boot. To ensure crispiness, make sure you use a big enough baking sheet to ensure the cauliflower doesn’t just steam. We love this extra large baking sheet by Caraway. and see this guide for more non-toxic bakeware options (all chef-tested and approved).

Are Cauliflower Wings Healthier for You?

These aren’t just delicious, they are nutritious: Chickpea flour (also known as gram flour or besan) is abundant in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, just like garbanzo beans themselves. The flour contains folate, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as antioxidants and protein.

Image of cauliflower hot wings recipe served in a white bowl on a white marble conter.
Is there a better way to get in your cruciferous veggies than cauliflower buffalo wings? We can’t think of any.Credit: Photo by Kate Gavlick

Cauliflower a Nutritional Powerhouse

In addition to the breading, the star ingredient of this recipe is a true nutritional powerhouse: Cauliflower (along with cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and bok choy, by the way) are members of the ultra-healthy group of cruciferous veggies. Crucifers are a rich source of phytonutrients, specifically, glucosinolates1, which, according to Frontiers in Pharmacology, are thought to be anti-inflammatory and protective against certain diseases including cancer.

Extra Crispy Cauliflower Wings

Healthy and delicious cauliflower hot wings recipe on parchment paper.
Ooh, just look at the yummy char on these babies! These cauliflower buffalo wings get legitimately crispy.Credit: Photo by Kate Gavlick

Once coated in their nutrient-dense breading, these “wings” are baked and then tossed in the hot sauce of your choice. To make these wings extra crispy and caramelized, we then put the cauliflower wings back in the oven to roast a second time.

If you’re buying your hot sauce choose one that is minimally processed that isn’t packed full of sugar and other ingredients and additives, or make your own hot sauce at home! Serve alongside of your favorite ranch dressing (see our recipe for homemade plant-based ranch dressing) and celery sticks for the best game day snack, ever. 

How to Make This Easy Cauliflower Wings Recipe

Image of cauliflower hot wings recipe served in a white bowl on a white marble conter.
This cauliflower buffalo wing recipe is so good even the carnivores go back for seconds.Credit: Photo by Kate Gavlick
15 min. Prep
40 min. Cook
55 min. Total
4 Servings

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (we love this extra large pan by Caraway so you can spread the cauliflower out).
  2. In a medium bowl combine the garbanzo flour, spices, salt, pepper, and water. Whisk until smooth and creamy, with no lumps remaining.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets to the batter mixture, and coat each piece completely.
  4. Place the coated cauliflower florets in an even layer on on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  6. While the cauliflower roasts, mix together the melted ghee and hot sauce.
  7. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, and drizzle with the hot sauce mixture. Gently stir the cauliflower to coat in the hot sauce.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower becomes crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve!

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Sources
1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.767975/full

Kate Gavlick is a nutritionist with a masters degree in nutrition. Hailing from Portland Oregon, and has a passion... More about Kate Gavlick

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