This buffalo cauliflower recipe is LONG OVERDUE. We wanted to get this one out before Memorial Day because it is a fan favorite around the office at Smoked Bros. This recipe is a twist on traditional buffalo wings, featuring caramelized roasted cauliflower with an irresistibly spicy coating. With the cost of meat on the rise, we wanted to share an option that was sure to stretch your dollar and bring the flavor. Buffalo Cauliflower is a quick party appetizer that everyone will love.
Before we jump right in, typical restaurant-style buffalo cauliflower is deep fried, however, we oven roast our buffalo cauliflower. We have tried it every which way to get the flavor and texture just right, and have had many renditions that were simply not good. The cauliflower was either soggy, too saucy, too salty, or otherwise not worthy of serving to guests.
*TECHNICAL NOTE - Many buffalo cauliflower recipes feature cauliflower tossed in a flour and water mixture before baking, with the idea of creating a breaded crust. However, that isn't how it works, it would be way cool if that tricked worked, but.. you only end up with sad flour coated sogiflower. So we attempted to roast raw cauliflower thinking it should firm up and provide a nice crunch, NOPE... doesn’t yield crispy-enough results, and tossing the cauliflower in sauce after baking negates all crispness anyway. What's the fix you ask?
Cornstarch is the answer to pulling moisture from vegetables when baking, roasting, and broiling. This technique brings a crispy outside while allowing the inside to maintain a high-moisture content without frying. Using cornstarch also makes this recipe gluten free.
HOW DO I CHOOSE CAULIFLOWER?
Its a sad day when you go to make roasted cauliflower and your beautifully creamy white cauliflower is now spotty bad news. To pick cauliflower that will stay fresh longest, pick a head that is free from browning, wet spots or “sun burned spots.” The cauliflower should be firm, heavy for its size with densely packed florets. The leaves should be fresh and vibrant green which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested.
1 - Large Cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
1 - Tbsp. cornstarch
1 - Tbsp. melted coconut oil
3 - Tbsp. Agent Orange Buffalo Seasoning
HOW TO MAKE ROASTED BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER:
Preheat the oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut one large cauliflower (about 3 pounds) into medium florets
Mix ingredients together in a medium sized bowl (1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 2 Tbsp. Agent Orange Buffalo Seasoning, and 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (for high smoke point and a subtle light sweetness, but you can substitute any neutral oil).
Toss florets in a bowl with the mixture.
Spread in an even layer: Spread the cauliflower in an evenly layer on a baking sheet so they are not touching. This ensures the florets will cook evenly and so they will roast and not steam.
Roast for 20 minutes, then stir and roast again until tender tender and the tips are slightly charred. The cornstarch does wonders for oven-roasted texture, giving it a crispy boost. Do a little taste test for seasoning and texture before removing.
Once removed, take the remaining 1 Tbsp. Agent Orange Buffalo Seasoning and dust the freshly roasted florets while on the baking pan.
Serve Fresh! You have to serve the roasted cauliflower hot, so plan accordingly.
*OPTIONAL - Flip cauliflower: Flipping your cauliflower halfway through is optional – we often skip it. It promotes even cooking, but if you skip flipping then one side will get extra crispy, which is how I prefer it cooked.
*WET TECHNIQUE - If you like sauce on your wings, then you probably want your cauliflower done that way. Once you have your roasted cauliflower crispy toss it with homemade hot sauce. Here is a recipe to make Homemade Hot Sauce own with Agent Orange Buffalo Seasoning. You will want to place it back in the oven for 10 minutes or so to caramelize the hot sauce and prevent soggy florets.
The Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe linked is a 15 minute guide to making your own hot sauce and you can tailor the heat level very simply. You can't beat the spicy, rich flavor of homemade hot sauce. It's a fun kitchen experiment that you can completely customize to make it mild or make it hot as you can stand! Then bottle to use later or to give as a gift to a handmade food gift. The recipe below is bursting with layered flavor with a vinegary, sweet, and smokey heat.
OTHER FLAVOR PROFILES: We also love serving oven Roasted Cauliflower prepared in the exact same manner using Cherry Blast, Point Man, and Honey Badger. It is also fabulous prepared with Spooky Hot Sea Salt, and Shellback.
Please share your thoughts or any adjustments that you made for your own flavor!
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