Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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These vegetarian air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites are an easy and healthy snack to serve at your next Super Bowl party!

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If you’re looking for delicious vegetarian food options to serve at your next Super Bowl party, you’re in luck – this recipe for air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites is the perfect solution for meatless snacking on game day! With all the flavor of your favorite buffalo wings and a texture that’s almost like chicken nuggets, these poppable bite-sized balls of crispy breaded cauliflower will be the hit of your Super Bowl gathering.

These buffalo cauliflower bites taste almost as unhealthy as most game day snacks – but they’re a fairly healthy option that’s so easy to make at home! Cauliflower takes on whatever flavor you add to it, so some crispy breading and Frank’s Red Hot really transform this healthy veggie into a football-worthy snack. Serve them as an appetizer during the big game or as a side dish with pizza, and enjoy eating homemade vegetarian buffalo bites that don’t taste like vegetables.

A dish of healthy air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites served with ranch and hot sauce

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe Ingredients

You’ll only need 8 simple ingredients to make these buffalo cauliflower bites:

  • Cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Plain breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Paprika
  • Ground red cayenne pepper
  • Frank’s Red Hot (or your favorite buffalo sauce)

The paprika and cayenne pepper add some heat to the cauliflower nuggets, but the real flavor in this recipe comes from our favorite hot sauce, Frank’s Red Hot. Since hot sauce is the main source of buffalo flavor in these cauliflower bites, you can easily substitute with any of your favorite hot sauce or buffalo sauce brands.

Unlike some other buffalo cauliflower bites, there’s no flour needed for this recipe – breadcrumbs and egg act as a binder with the roasted cauliflower for easy shaping, and give these bites a flavor and texture that’s reminiscent of chicken nuggets!

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites served with ranch and extra hot sauce

How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

To make these easy air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites, you’ll need to start by roasting cauliflower florets in the oven. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and cook them at 425 degrees F until they’re super tender.

Then comes the fun part: transforming healthy cauliflower into little buffalo bites that have the texture of chicken nuggets 🙂 Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Let the roasted cauliflower cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Then, add it to a food processor and pulse until it’s broken up into smaller pieces and has a consistent texture (i.e. no big lumps). 
  2. Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and add the plain breadcrumbs, egg, paprika, and cayenne. Mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and have a slightly sticky consistency.
  3. Squeeze the cauliflower mixture into small rounds, about 1 inch in diameter. Squeezing (instead of rolling) helps compact the mixture so the buffalo bites hold their shape.

Once you’ve got a good amount of cauliflower bites rolled, start preheating the air fryer and cook them in batches. You can continue rolling more buffalo bites while the first batch cooks to save time!

Here’s how to make delicious, crispy bites of buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F and grease the basket with cooking spray.
  2. Add the cauliflower bites to the basket in a single layer, leaving a little bit of space between them (about a half-inch to an inch). 
  3. Grease the cauliflower bites with cooking spray, then cook for about 10 minutes, giving them a shake halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. Transfer cooked cauliflower bites to a large bowl. Once they’re all cooked, toss with Frank’s Red Hot to coat.

You’ll know the cauliflower bites are done cooking when the outsides are super crispy and browned – just like chicken nuggets. We recommend tossing the cauliflower bites in Frank’s to really infuse that delicious, spicy buffalo flavor – but note that this will make them a little less crispy, especially the longer they sit. If you want a crispier texture, you can skip tossing them in the sauce and simply dip instead!

Air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites served with ranch and extra hot sauce

What To Pair With Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Serving buffalo cauliflower bites is as easy as serving chicken nuggets! Whether you toss your buffalo bites in Frank’s or serve it on the side for dipping, these vegetarian buffalo bites go great with so many things.

Here are a few suggestions for what to serve with buffalo cauliflower bites:

  • A side of buffalo sauce, if you want to control the amount of spice and skip tossing them in Frank’s Red Hot
  • A creamy buffalo ranch dip like the one we serve with our air fryer buffalo chicken taquitos
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing to cool your mouth down
  • Veggies like carrots and celery
  • French fries or tater tots
  • Pizza, with these buffalo cauliflower bites as a side dish (just like pizza & wings, a classic combo!)

Recipe Variations

Since our air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites get most of their spicy buffalo flavor from the Frank’s Red Hot, you can easily customize this recipe with any of your favorite sauces or condiments! Skip tossing them in the sauce and serve them with a side of dips like barbecue sauce, ketchup, or Chick-fil-A sauce.

A fork picking up an air fryer buffalo cauliflower bite

Try the recipe below for easy air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share if you love it!


Love this recipe? You may enjoy these other vegetarian game day recipes, too:

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Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

These vegetarian air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites are an easy and healthy snack to serve at your next Super Bowl party!
Servings 28 bites
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 to 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup Frank's Red Hot

Instructions

  • First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the cauliflower into florets, removing the stalk, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Once the cauliflower is tender, let it cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it breaks up into smaller pieces and has a consistent texture (check that no large pieces are left).
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, paprika, and cayenne pepper and then mix until thoroughly combined and slightly sticky.
  • Next, squeeze the cauliflower mixture into small rounds, about 1 inch in diameter. Squeezing (instead of rolling) helps compact the mixture so the buffalo bites hold their shape. Set them aside on a large plate or sheet of parchment paper as you work.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F and grease the basket with cooking spray. Cook the cauliflower bites in batches, adding them to the basket in a single layer and leaving about a half-inch to an inch of space between them. Grease the cauliflower bites with cooking spray, then air fry for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  • Once the cauliflower bites are cooked, add them to a bowl and toss with Frank's Red Hot. Serve immediately.

Notes

Time-saving tips: You can always roast the cauliflower ahead of time for this recipe, and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make the cauliflower bites. We also recommend shaping a batch of bites, tossing them in the air fryer, and then continuing to shape the rest of the bites while the first batch starts to cook. Our 3-quart air fryer can fit about 10 of these bites at a time, for reference.
Serving suggestions: Tossing the cauliflower bites in Frank’s Red Hot before serving infuses them with spicy buffalo flavor. Alternatively, you can skip this step and serve them with Frank’s (or your favorite buffalo sauce) on the side for dipping. You can also serve them with ranch, blue cheese, or any of your other favorite condiments – check out our blog post above for more suggestions!
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 20kcal
Course: Appetizer, Appetizers, Side Dish, Sides, Snack, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, breadcrumbs, cauliflower, cayenne, food processor, frank’s red hot, game day, olive oil, paprika, party snack, super bowl, vegetarian

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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