These gluten free and dairy free cauliflower buffalo wings in the oven are a perfect healthy appetizer. They have a thick layer of breading, are soaked in sweet and spicy buffalo sauce and dipped in a paleo ranch you can whip up in minutes.
Is a party really a party without a buffalo-based appetizer? I'm the first one to reach for the healthy buffalo chicken dip when we have some around. And usually I'm the one to make it.
Buffalo flavored apps with ranch dressing are a staple. It can be tricky to find ones that are healthy or that won't make you feel blah after eating them. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about indulging if you're up for it, but if you want a lighter recipe then these cauliflower buffalo wings are for you!
Why are these cauliflower buffalo wings so healthy?
These vegan cauliflower buffalo wings are dairy free, gluten free and low carb so they fit really well into any anti-inflammatory diet. If you follow a paleo diet then this one is for you!
They're made with almond flour and tapioca flour so they're grain free and they're made with your favorite dairy free milk. If you want them to be completely vegan, use a vegan mayo for the ranch dressing and if you want them to be whole30 leave out the honey/maple syrup in the sauce.
Ingredients for this cauliflower buffalo wings recipe:
- Cauliflower is the main ingredient. Chop it gently to create small, bite-sized florets.
- Almond flour is the main flour for the breading.
- Tapioca flour is the other flour in the breading and adds even more crispy texture.
- Spices including garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper give the breading more flavor.
- Dairy free milk blends with the flours and creates a batter to dip the cauliflower.
- Hot sauce covers and coats the baked wings with spice.
- Honey or maple syrup adds just a bit of natural sugar for a spicy and sweet flavor.
What is tapioca flour?
Tapioca flour is finely ground cassava flour to create a starch-like consistency. Think of it similar to cornstarch. I often use it to thicken sauces like creamy chicken soup, but it makes a great breading for these cauliflower buffalo wings because it's the most similar to a traditional gluten flour.
Where to buy it: you can find it in the baking aisle at most grocery stores or on Amazon.
Homemade healthy ranch dressing:
You can't really have a buffalo recipe without some sort of creamy dressing. I'm a sucker for all things ranch and love to dunk my wings in it so I don't go easy on the healthy ranch here. The dressing is also completely dairy and gluten free, but it's not vegan.
The mayo has an egg in it so if you want it vegan you'll have to buy vegan mayo otherwise you can buy a paleo version here or find Primal's Kitchens at the store. I'm also including a 5 minute homemade mayo in the recipe below!
If you like blue cheese with your cauliflower buffalo wings then add some chunks right to the dressing!
If you love this recipe as much as I do, don't forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you.
More buffalo recipes:
Cauliflower buffalo wings
For the wings:
- 3-4 cups cauliflower florets 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- OR 1 cup gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¾ cup dairy free milk I used coconut but cashew or almond works
For the buffalo suace:
- ¾ cup Franks Hot Sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey (omit for whole30 option)
For the healthy Ranch:
- ½ cup paleo mayo*
- ¼ full-fat canned coconut milk shaken to mix together
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with silpat mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the almond flour, tapioca flour, garlic powder, paprik and salt and whisk gently. Add the dairy free milk and whisk until combined, creating a batter consistency.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, turning until it’s completely coated then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and turn gently then bake for another 10 minutes until batter is cooked and golden brown.
- While the cauliflower wings are baking, prepare the buffalo sauce. In a large bowl, mix the hot sauce with the honey or maple syrup then add the baked wings to the sauce. Stir gently to coat each wing with sauce, being careful not to remove the breading from the wings. Dump back onto the same baking sheet and spread out evenly then bake for another 10 minutes to absorb all the sauce.
- While they’re baking, make the healthy ranch. Add all of the ingredients to a medium-small bowl and whisk well. Serve immediately with fresh parsley, ranch and celery.