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A vegan buffalo cauliflower salad with creamy dressing and avocado.

Crispy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Salad


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5 from 1 review

Description

Say hello to your new favorite salad! This vegan buffalo cauliflower salad brings together crispy buffalo cauliflower, vibrant greens, and creamy avocado for a meal that’s bursting with flavor and texture. Perfect for any meal, it’s fresh, zesty, and irresistibly delicious.


Ingredients

for the buffalo cauliflower

  • 4 cups of bite-sized cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayo 
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 3 cups panko
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup vegan buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot – use more or less based on your preference)

for the salad

  • 1 head of romaine, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • plant-based creamy dressing (find great vegan options here)

Instructions

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Make the Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan mayo and soy milk. Add in the panko crumbs to create a thick batter, then let it sit for about 10 minutes to slightly thicken.
  3. Coat the Cauliflower: Using your hands, cover each cauliflower floret in the batter, patting it down with your fingers to help it adhere.
  4. Bake the Cauliflower: Place the battered florets onto the prepared baking sheet and mist the tops with cooking oil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove from the oven, flip the florets, and mist again with cooking spray. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until they are golden all over. Let them cool slightly.
  5. Toss with Sauce: Toss the slightly cooled buffalo cauliflower with your desired amount of vegan buffalo sauce.
  6. Air Fryer Tip: Looking to elevate the crispiness? Toss the sauced, baked cauliflower bites into an air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes until they’re golden around the edges. Give them a shake halfway through for even cooking. This step isn’t essential, but it works wonders for extra crunch!
  7. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, toss the romaine and cilantro together. Divide the mixture into 4 bowls and top with celery, carrots, and avocado slices.
  8. Combine and Dress: Add the buffalo cauliflower bites on top of each salad. Drizzle with creamy vegan dressing and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

Double-Bake for Extra Crispiness:

Want that extra crunch? After the first bake, let your cauliflower bites cool for a few minutes, then pop them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Double-baking is your ticket to crispy heaven.

Use an Air Fryer:

Got an air fryer? Perfect! Cook the battered cauliflower florets at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, giving the basket a good shake halfway through. This method guarantees an extra crispy finish without an oven.

Marinate the Cauliflower:

Craving more flavor? Marinate those cauliflower florets in buffalo sauce for at least 30 minutes before battering. This gives them a bold, spicy kick that’s worth the wait.

Homemade Buffalo Sauce:

For a personalized touch, whip up your own buffalo sauce with hot sauce, vegan butter, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Adjust the spice level to your liking and enjoy a sauce that’s perfectly tailored to your taste buds.

Chill the Batter:

Patience pays off! Let your batter rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before using it. This little trick helps the batter stick better to the cauliflower, giving you a more even and crispy coating.

Storage Tips:

Keep the cauliflower bites and salad components separate to maintain freshness. Reheat the cauliflower bites in the oven or air fryer to regain their crispiness before serving. Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner
  • Method: Battered, Baked
  • Cuisine: American