Air Fryer Gluten-Free Starter Vegan

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

Just in time for football season! We know how frustrating it can be eating a plant-based diet and having to watch everyone eat all this “great” food at a party – while their idea of vegan food is a vegetable tray from Publix. Well, I refuse to be on the sidelines any longer! So here’s our first of many great snack ideas for your tailgate parties: Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings!

The Process

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Add all dry ingredients to large mixing bowl.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Combine dry ingredients with a whisk.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Whisk in water and milk until batter has no lumps.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Add cauliflower florets to batter.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Mix well to evenly coat with batter.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Remove florets one at a time and transfer to a separate dish so that excess batter can run off.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Add battered florets to air fryer basket in a single layer. Also, try to keep them from touching (if possible) so that all sides can get direct heat.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

Meanwhile, in a small pot (or in microwave) – bring hot sauce, butter, and molasses to low simmer, mixing well to combine. Once cauliflower is done cooking, transfer to a bowl and cover with sauce, then toss to coat.

 

And This is the Amazing Result!

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

More vegan recipes:

 

And as Always… Please Pin & Share the Love!

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings | The Foodie Eats

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!

4.45 from 18 votes
Print

Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 241 kcal
Author The Foodie Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup milk we used soy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour we used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free baking 1-to-1
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frank's red hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. butter we used earth balance buttery spread
  • 1/4 cup molasses

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl - combine all dry ingredients (flour, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper) then whisk in water and milk until batter has no lumps.
  2. Add fresh cauliflower florets to batter and mix well to evenly coat with batter. Remove florets one at a time and transfer to a separate dish so that excess batter can run off.

  3. Add battered florets to air fryer basket in a single layer. Also, try to keep them from touching (if possible) so that all sides can get direct heat.
  4. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, in a small pot (or in microwave) - bring hot sauce, butter, and molasses to low simmer, mixing well to combine. Then remove from heat.
  6. Once cauliflower is done cooking, transfer to a bowl and cover with sauce, then toss to coat.
  7. Serve with your dipping sauce of choice, or none at all. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 2165mg 90%
Potassium 523mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 18g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 16.8%
Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 9.5%
Iron 14.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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49 Comments

  • Reply
    Lucy
    August 28, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Where does the molasses come in?

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      August 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

      In step 5, you incorporate it into the sauce. Makes for a minimally sweet sauce, so it’s not just spicy. We are big fans of layers of flavor!

  • Reply
    Brenda Mueller
    August 29, 2017 at 7:06 pm


    Those wings look delicious and crispy! How do you like using the air fryer? I have thought about purchasing one, but I read a review that said it worked like a convection oven. I have one of those, so I think I’ll skip the air fryer for now. bb

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      August 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

      I’ve only had the fryer for about a week, but I love it! The idea of it is similar in nature to a convection oven, but the way the air moves around is much different, which is why you can get that “fried” quality in food. Highly recommend!

      • Reply
        Doug B
        May 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm


        OMG BEST CAULIFLOWER I HAVE EVER HAD.
        I’m not big on heat so I substituted maple syrup for Franks hot sauce and molasses and then used Tabasco sauce to give it a little kick. Who needs potatoes, my only regret is I didn’t make a bigger serving.

  • Reply
    Heidi
    December 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Just made these! Delicious and satisfying, thank you for sharing your recipe. Did not use the molasses since I did not have any but still great nonetheless.

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      December 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

      So glad you liked them!

  • Reply
    alisa
    January 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm


    wow, I thought I would not have a good outcome given I only had whole wheat flour and almond milk… but it worked really well – and you’re so right, with this being the first recipe where I used the Air fryer – what a hit!

    thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      SFerd
      January 24, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Alisa–Thanks for commenting that the recipe works with WW flour since that’s what I was planning to use.

  • Reply
    BeeZee
    January 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Look awesome – however we avoid oil (vegan butter) and sugar (molasses). Other suggestions? Maybe I will try my date paste and applesauce with a little hot sauce???

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      January 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Lol.. That’s a tough one. This recipe was definitely designed for taste, not necessarily health. So I’m not sure how other substitutions will work. (And I thought I was doing good to replace the sugar. Ha!)

      Let me know how it turns out for you though, if you try it. I’d love to hear.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    January 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm


    Can I use butter milk? That’s all I have.

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      January 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      I think that should work. I love buttermilk!

  • Reply
    Sissy
    January 20, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I tried making air fryer Cauliflower but they did not come out good. I want to try this one. Mine wouldn’t cook and they dried out. Does your recipe cook them tender or do they stay hard. I like the good ole fried cauliflower but really want to try a food airfryer recipe.

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      January 24, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Tender inside, slightly crispy outside. Please let me know how it comes out if you try it!

      • Reply
        Cauliflower lover
        May 8, 2019 at 11:59 pm


        the batter is awesome and the cauliflower cooked well. I’m not a fan of the sauce. I think there is something missing – the slight sweetness is good, but the flavor falls flat for me. I mostly get a lot of saltiness from the Frank’s Red hot but not enough heat. Definitely going to play with it more. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Jessica Dugas
      March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm


      Oh my gosh. These are SO freaking amazing!! We have done these baked before but just bought my air fryer and it is so much faster. Worked well for the “cutlet” size cauliflower too for sandwiches. Paired perfectly with aome sunflower seed ranch! … Oh and the molasses… NICE TOUCH!!

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Should you boil the cauliflower first to make more moist & tender?

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      January 28, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      No, definitely not.

  • Reply
    Mae
    March 12, 2018 at 6:51 pm


    I just made these using romanesco instead of cauliflower. They came out super crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Perfect! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      March 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Kudos for being creative and switching things up! And I’m so glad that you liked it!

  • Reply
    Carla
    April 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

    What I love about the Air Fryer is I don’t have to wait to hear up a big oven & waste my propane has on it! It saves time & money! Especially when you are only cooking for 2!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      April 7, 2018 at 9:48 am

      We feel the same way! That’s why we use it so often. It’s very versatile.

  • Reply
    Peggy Scroggins
    May 1, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Keep putting off getting an air fryer because I just dont know what one will make food crisp. HELP

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      May 2, 2018 at 11:34 am

      We have the GoWise USA and we love it! I’ve also heard great things about the Philips brand.

  • Reply
    Teressa Thompson
    June 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I’m making this for the first time and I’m a little nervous l. It smells amazing though. I used almond milk and I have a premade buffalo sauce. I use my air fryer almost daily (Christmas gift) so I hope this can be one of our regular recipes!

  • Reply
    mary
    August 18, 2018 at 11:23 am


    Just made this Absolutely delicious!!!! I added a tablespoon of nutritional yeast which gave it a cheesy flavor. I am going to a cook out today and think I will take some with me. Thanks Much!!!

  • Reply
    maryoung
    August 18, 2018 at 11:40 am


    Just made this Absolutely delicious!!!! I added a tablespoon of nutritional yeast which gave it a cheesy flavor. I am going to a cook out today and think I will take some with me. Thanks Much!!!

  • Reply
    Ticia
    December 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    my batter doesn’t stick to the cauliflower, what am I doing wrong?

    • Reply
      Rachael
      December 12, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Is it thin and runny? Or is it thick? It should be on the thicker side.

  • Reply
    Mireille McKenna
    December 27, 2018 at 7:59 pm


    I modified the sauce to my normal buffalo sauce, but this is great! Will definitely make again!

  • Reply
    Louise Hardman
    December 30, 2018 at 7:47 pm


    The worst tasting thing I’ve had in a long time. Just have the chicken wing.

    • Reply
      Gary
      December 31, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      It’s cauliflower, not chicken. Maybe you should try a chicken wing recipe? https://thefoodieeats.com/air-fryer-chicken-wings/

      • Reply
        Andrew
        January 17, 2019 at 10:48 am


        Chef Gary we use a Ninja air fryer and this will be our next recipe to try! Me and my girlfriend love buffalo cauliflower and the air fryer is perfect because it cooks just enough for 2 people. By the way your response to Louise was alot more diplomatic than mine would have been lol.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Marisa
    January 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Where does the 2165mg of sodium come from? Seems like a lot per serving or am I just doing the math wrong?

    • Reply
      Gary
      January 25, 2019 at 7:04 pm

      It comes from Frank’s Redhot Wing Sauce.

      • Reply
        Marisa
        January 26, 2019 at 3:54 pm

        Seems like soo much for a serving. But thanks for in info!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    February 4, 2019 at 9:07 am


    This recipe turned out perfect!! I used Franks Buffalo sauce instead of making my own but it was a big hit at the superbowl party that I went to!!

  • Reply
    Olivia
    February 19, 2019 at 10:06 am

    This was a disaster for me…it was mushy and soggy and not good…the taste was ok but the texture had me spitting it out. I’ve never substituted cauliflower for “wings”. maybe I was expecting too much.

    • Reply
      Gary
      February 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Sorry to hear that. While the texture of cauliflower is very different from chicken, it shouldn’t have been mushy or soggy. Did you use fresh, uncooked cauliflower?

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    February 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Going to give these a try. I have a head of cauliflower that I need to use up this weekend. I also heard of a tip where after you coat in the batter, you toss in panko bread crumbs. Makes it crispy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Iisa
    February 25, 2019 at 2:49 pm


    This recipe gets 3 stars… and only 3 for taste. I cooked my cauliflower exactly according to directions. They all stuck to the basket. And they were not crispy. They did taste great though which is why I give the 3 stars.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kimberly J
    March 17, 2019 at 6:23 pm


    Thank You for this amazing recipe! I have tried many times to get crispy cauliflower buffalo wings but it never quite came out they way I like, your recipe and my air fryer was the winning combination! Thank You

  • Reply
    Tom
    March 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm


    Came out crispy. Until sauce was put on, then outside got soft. Didn’t care for it being that soft, almost soggy. Lol I’ll try once more with the batter a bit thinner. Was maybe too thick, made it as recipe called for.

  • Reply
    pete snortum
    June 7, 2019 at 9:51 pm


    this is my go to recipe, I do add the step of shaking the battered cauliflower in panko bread crumbs then air frying. I use parm garlic, and asian zing with blue cheese dressing. I think the panko helps to get a good firm result,

  • Reply
    Wendy
    June 7, 2019 at 11:23 pm


    …and another one! I cooked this tonight; it turned out absolutely scrumptiously delicious. This recipe is easy to follow- The sauce was amazing. The buffalo cauliflower wings won and the warriors lost.

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