A top-down shot of a buffalo cauliflower salad

The Best Buffalo Cauliflower: Crispy, Spicy, Air Fried!

  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x


The best buffalo cauliflower: toss into a salad, pack into a taco, or pile onto a burger.



for the cauliflower

  • one head of cauliflower, cut into evenly sized florets

for the dry ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1 TB onion powder
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne (optional)

for the wet ingredients

for frying and coating

  • Spray oil
  • at least one cup of prepared buffalo sauce. (You can also make your own by mixing a 1:1 ratio of melted vegan butter with a vinegar-based hot sauce)

to serve

  • arugula
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • cilantro
  • 12 TB chopped red onion
  • vegan bleu cheese dressing (I used Daiya)


to prep the cauliflower

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the cauliflower florets into the pot, let the boil return, wait about a minute, then transfer the florets to a cookie sheet with a wire rack over it to cool. Leave out until cooled, or throw into your refrigerator.

to make the breading

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Combine all of the wet ingredients into a separate medium-sized bowl.
  3. Working one piece at a time, coat the florets evenly in the dry mixture, tapping off any extra and placing them back onto the wire rack.
  4. Working one piece at a time, dunk the florets into the wet mixture, then coat evenly with the flour mixture.
  5. Return the battered cauliflower back onto the wire rack and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

to air fry the cauliflower

  1. Spray the cauliflower florets evenly with cooking spray. Place into the air fryer in a single layer (you will need to work in batches based on the size of your cauliflower and air fryer) at 400 degrees and cook for 8 minutes. Respray, flip and spray again over any areas that look dry and cook for an additional 4 minutes to achieve a deeply golden color and crinkly texture all over.
  2. Place the buffalo sauce into a bowl, add the florets to gently toss, then place back into the air fryer for 2 minutes. Toss again in the buffalo sauce right before serving, if desired.
  3. Serve immediately in a salad, burger or taco.