These buffalo cauliflower steaks are battered in a blend of vegan buttermilk, bourbon, flour, spices and hot sauce. Once chilled, they are air-fried to crispy perfection! Call it a vegan chicken sandwich, call it a fried cauliflower sandwich. Either way, it’s damn delicious.
Looking for crispy buffalo goodness without firing up a vat of hot oil? This buffalo cauliflower recipe uses a method that creates that crispy exterior with little ridges and ripples. It’s so good to bite into and holds up well when doused in sauce.
How to make this recipe
First, butcher your cauliflower, give it a quick boil, and allow it to chill. This will soften up your cauliflower just enough to give it a tender yet firm texture.
Next, batter your cauliflower. Make a dry batter in one bowl and a wet batter in another. Dust the cauliflower in your dry mixture, set aside. Next dunk it into the wet mixture. Add a little of the wet mixture into the dry batter, then pack it around the cauliflower. Chill it.
Air fry your cauliflower. Give all sides a generous blast of cooking spray. After 10 minutes in the air fryer, this happens! Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside.
Next, douse in your favorite prepared buffalo sauce (or prepare your own by melting 1:1 ratio of vegan butter with your favorite hot sauce). Air fry again to get this:
It’s perfect for piling onto a burger, or eating as is with some vegan bleu cheese dressing. Daiya and Follow Your Heart both make good ones. Serve the florets with celery and vegan bleu cheese as an appetizer if you like.
If you can’t cram it all into your face in one sitting, don’t fret. These can be tossed into the air fryer later … they’ll still come out super crispy and delicious as the first time!
More ways to serve these crispy cauliflower steaks!
If serving on a bun, slathering it with a little vegan butter and toasting it up is 100% essential. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to plain old buns. 🙂
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These buffalo cauliflower steaks are so crispy and perfect on a buttery toasted bun! This method involves battering softened cauliflower steaks, chilling them, and air frying. This process creates that ripply texture that’s so satisfying to bite into and holds up to sauces very well!
for the cauliflower
- one large head of cauliflower
- salt and pepper
for the dry ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1 TB onion powder
- 1 TB salt
- 1 TB paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne (optional)
for the wet ingredients
- 1 cup soymilk, with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar whisked in
- 2 TB Follow Your Heart VeganEgg powder, blended with 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 2 TB bourbon
- 1 TB hot sauce
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)
- toasted hamburger buns
- cabbage or lettuce
- red onion
- tomato and/or avocado
- vegan bleu cheese dressing
- extra buffalo sauce
to prep the cauliflower
- To cut your cauliflower steaks, place a head of cauliflower stem side down on a cutting board. Using a large knife, slice it down the very middle. Then cut down again on each half to create 3 or 4, 1-inch thick slabs. Chop up the leftover portion of the cauliflower into little, bite-sized florets.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the cauliflower 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. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Leave out for 30 minutes, or throw into your refrigerator to cool.
to make the breading
- Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Combine all of the wet ingredients into a separate medium-sized bowl.
- Working one piece at a time, coat the steaks and florets evenly in the dry mixture, tapping off any extra and placing it back onto the wire rack.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine with a rubber spatula.
- Working one piece at a time, dunk the steaks and florets into the wet mixture, then pack the moistened flour mixture firmly around it.
- 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
- Spray the cauliflower steaks evenly with cooking spray. Place into the air fryer at 400 degrees and cook for 10 minutes, flipping the slabs over halfway through the cooking time. Apply a little more spray over any areas that look dry and cook for an additional minute or two if needed to achieve a deeply golden color all over.
- Place the buffalo sauce into a bowl, then carefully turn the steaks around in the bowl to coat. Place back into the air fryer and fry on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until the edges look crispy.
- Repeat the process with the florets. Air fry time will take less with the florets since they are smaller. Just give them a shake halfway through the cook time, and spray any areas with cooking spray that look dry.
- Serve immediately on toasted hamburger buns or with celery and vegan bleu cheese dressing.
These can be made beforehand and recrisped in the air fryer at 400 at 5-7 minutes per side at 400 degrees for steaks and 6-8 minutes for florets, giving them a shake halfway through cooking time.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Chill Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Battered, Air-Fried
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: air-fried cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, buffalo cauliflower, how to batter cauliflower, air-fried cauliflower steaks