It’s so easy to fall into ruts with our food choices, no matter what type of diet we live or what type of food we eat. But especially in vegan and plant-based diets, we can tend to get stuck on our favorites or our most simple go-to’s.
And this cauliflower buffalo bites with vegan blue cheese dip recipe is quickly becoming one of my go-to’s.
I tend to fall back on lots of smoothies, veggie burgers/sandwiches/wraps, salads, and rice/bean combos. But a well-balanced diet is important for meat-eaters and vegans alike. So, when I found a recipe for Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’, I knew I had to give it a try.
I haven’t made anything quite like this since going vegan. But the hubs loves anything coated in buffalo sauce, and I was looking to switch things up, so why not give it a go? And vegan blue cheese dressing – well that had me intrigued.
And I’m happy to report that this was a very successful recipe when put to the test! No, the cauliflower did not magically taste like chicken. But it was still quite tasty – and so was the blue cheese dressing. It’s amazing how the textures in this recipe are so similar to the real thing. I would definitely make this again.
Plus the buffalo cauliflower recipe outcome was was hubs approved ;) It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite vegan recipes.
Health Benefits of Vegan Buffalo Bites
Cauliflower and roasted cauliflower is your friend. So buffalo cauliflower buffalo bites vegan are a great choice for your appetizer cuisine. They are packed full 0f vitamin c which boosts immunity and helps prevent illness.
Which let’s be honest, we could all use right now. It’s also high in fiber, a great source of antioxidants, and can even help aid in digestion and weight loss.
Cauliflower buffalo wings and buffalo cauliflower dip are also low in saturated fat unlike buffalo chicken dip or buffalo chicken wings.
Plus using non-dairy cheese for the dip is far healthier than using mozzarella cheese which is loaded with saturated fats.
Pro Tip: Start with the Buffalo Bites first, then make the dressing while the bites are baking.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN BUFFALO BITES:
- 1 cup water or soy milk (I used 1/2 cup of each) You can also use oat milk or almond milk.
- 1 cup flour (any kind of flour will work – even gluten-free!)
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces or cauliflower florets(frozen cauliflower florets can work too but personally I love fresh.)
- 1 cup buffalo or hot sauces*
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine
*Be sure to check the ingredients in the buffalo/ hot sauce and bbq sauce because not all are fully vegan, also if you have food allergies make sure to double-check the labels. I used Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce in Buffalo flavor, there’s also plain Franks Hot Sauce.
I personally love buffalo sauce, so that’s what I went with. But if you don’t like spicy food, try a mild flavor like Frank’s Sweet Chili Sauce. Or make your own sauce and combine a few to make your own unique rich flavor. You can also add maple syrup for additional sweetness and cohesive tendencies.
Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Bites Recipe:
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine the water and/or soy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a large bowl and mix well.
Grease a shallow baking dish/pan (I used two small ones) or baking sheet(although a baking sheet might not work as well) with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
Dip each piece of cauliflower into the flour mixture, let the excess drip off, and place it in the greased baking dish. As you can see in my photo, I didn’t let the excess drip off well enough. I had to cut off the rubbery batter spills from some of the pieces after they cooked.
Bake for 18 minutes.*
While this is baking, make the blue cheese dressing (see recipe further below).
Mix the buffalo wing sauce or barbecue sauce and olive oil or vegan margarine in a small bowl (I used a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup). You can also add bread crumbs or panko crumbs if you want to give the vegan buffalo wings some additional texture.
Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for another 5 to 8 minutes.
Serve with Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe below) and celery sticks.
To store you can wrap in parchment paper before putting it in a container and refrigerator.
*I baked mine for 20 minutes since my oven is a little slow. However, I think they could go even longer – like maybe 25 to 30 minutes? I didn’t care for them right out of the oven. Instead, I waited until they cooled, and then I crisped them up a bit in the toaster oven at about 300º for a few minutes.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:
- 1/4 block of firm or extra firm tofu*
- Dash of garlic or onion powder
- 1 cup of vegan mayo (I used original Vegenaise)
- 1/4 tsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)*
- Fresh lemon juice*
*Regarding the tofu, it didn’t say whether to press it or not, so I did not press it (just drained it).
*Regarding the tahini… get ready to laugh. I thought it said 1/4 CUP (see my ingredients photo above?!). Believe it or not, it still turned out fine. The original recipe can be made without this ingredient, but it’s better with it.
*Regarding the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, you’ll have to taste as you go, adding just a teaspoon at a time until you are happy with the taste. Even with using 1/4 CUP of tahini, I only used 1 and a half teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Channel your inner chef and just go by taste.
*To make the dish creamier and more tasteful you can also add vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, or anything else you feel would add taste and texture
Vegan Blue Cheese Dip Instructions:
In a medium-size bowl, mix all ingredients except the tofu. Mix until it has a nice, smooth consistency.
Crumble tofu (see photo above). This will be the ‘lumps’ in your dressing. Add crumbled tofu to the dressing mixture and stir until combined. Feel free to top with dried dill for presentation and an extra boost of flavor.
Mine probably looks thicker and darker in color because of the extra tahini. You can also serve this with vegan ‘chicken nuggets’, salads, raw veggies, etc. It’s a great dip option and far healthier than classic ranch dressing and of course is dairy-free and gluten-free!
Buffalo dip is always a crowd-pleaser whether as an appetizer for your dinner party or as a dish for game day. Any place you find chicken wings, sub in these awesome cauliflower bites, and watch people become believers! They are also a great lunch treat or snack option.
Your partner, boyfriend, husband’s or friends will thank you so much for this amazing recipe that will kick chicken wings to the curb because buffalo cauliflower wings and bites are absolutely delicious and are here to stay!
Thank you to Ashley Palmer for the Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’ recipe and to “Munchy” on Group Recipes for the Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing recipe! You can also use the same “buffalo wings” recipe to make some scrumptious buffalo cauliflower dip. Buffalo cauliflower recipes are pretty similar as far as ingredients go so it’s easy to mix and match.
Now… what else can I coat in ‘batter’ and buffalo sauce? Hmm…
P.S. Looking for a game day dessert to go with your fan-favorite cauliflower bites? Check out this Vegan Apple Tart. It’s the perfect sweet treat to add to your vegan game day spread!d