Pinky promise you will not be able to tell that these “cheesy” buffalo cauliflower bites are grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and even meat-free. They taste just like the real deal buffalo wings, but they are made out of veggies. Everyone is a winner!
Disclosure: This post is made in partnership with my friends at The Real Coconut and contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you). Please know it is so important for me to only work with brands that I love and that I know you will love to!
Here is one thing I’ve come to know since going 100% gluten-free in 2017 – you can definitely make things taste JUST as good as before, even if you have to use a little bit different set of ingredients. That’s OK.
The Real Coconut asked me to come up with a vegan game day appetizer using their crunchy tortilla chips. Something that is dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, grain-free, and not fried. So it takes a little bit of extra thinking but there are ways to make this happen. Insert these “cheesy” buffalo cauliflower bites.
So, first I tried to create these by thinking how to make regular buffalo wings. Typically you first cook the wings and then toss them in buffalo sauce. That didn’t work as well with this recipe because the breading is a little delicate. And I didn’t want all that crispiness I worked so hard to get to turn soggy.
Also, I wasn’t using eggs as a binder for the crispy coating. I needed to think about how to do this by using the buffalo sauce instead of the eggs. Coating the cauliflower in buffalo sauce and then dipping in the crunchy crushed chip coating worked great!
Another special ingredient in this appetizer is nutritional yeast. Now, what is the purpose of that? Nutritional yeast is used in the paleo community to give foods a “cheesy” flavor. It comes in the form of dry flakes, or a powder which is perfect for this recipe because you can add it into the dry coating. This is a completely optional ingredient so don’t feel like you need to use it.
If you are looking for nutritional yeast at the grocery store, look in the spice section or by the baking products. A good certified gluten-free brand is Bragg’s.
Included in this recipe are instructions for how to make a great vegan ranch dip. So easy and sooooo tasty!!
“Cheesy” Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- 2 Cups Fresh Cauliflower Florets – Equal to 1 bag of pre-cut florets or one head of cauliflower
- ¼ Cup Buffalo Sauce – Like Frank's Red Hot
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ Bag The Real Coconut Original Tortilla Chips – Equal to 1 cup crushed chips
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, pulse the coconut tortilla chips until they are finely crushed (similar to the consistency of almond flour).
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed chips, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buffalo sauce and olive oil.
- Make sure the cauliflower florets are completely dried. Pour the buffalo sauce mixture over the cauliflower florets until they are fully coated. You can do this in a mixing bowl with a large spoon or in a gallon plastic bag.
- After dipping the caulfilower florets in the wet mixture, roll them one-by-one in the chip mixture making sure they have a thick coating.
- Place the coated cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes until they are crispy.
- Serve immediately with a side of crunchy carrots/celery sticks or cucumnbers and dairy-free ranch (recipe below)!
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (the best brand I’ve found so far (in terms of ingredients and taste) is Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise) It’s really good!
- 1 Tablespoon coconut or almond milk
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ Teaspoon dried dill
- ½ Teaspoon dried chives
- ½ Teaspoon parsley
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ¼ Teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ Teaspoon pepper
My husband (an avid meat eater) came home and tried these and said, “Wow, these have just the right amount of spice. I would totally eat these over chicken wings.” There you have it. He would prefer cauliflower over chicken wings. The best compliment I could get!
Remember that you can PIN this recipe by clicking on any of the photos in this post.
If you’re looking for some more fun grain-free recipes check these out!