I’ve lived in Philly for over 10 years now. There are tons of amazing restaurants with all sorts of incredible dishes, and one of my all time favorite is Buffalo Cauliflower. if a bar ever has it, I ALWAYS get it. It’s crispy, soft, spicy, and SO satisfying, and an awesome meatless option. My Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower is a lighter, WW friendly version that you can enjoy as an appetizer, snack, or side dish!
Making Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
There are two main aspects to this recipe, cauliflower aside. The first is the batter, which is the coating on the cauliflower that gives it an almost meat-like consistency. The batter is soft, and when air fried, gets crispy around the edges. It’s a soft and crunchy mix that I adore. The batter is a combination of egg, corn starch, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and a dash of hot sauce. It’s super simple, high in protein from the egg, and sticks well to the cauliflower.
Once you’ve made your batter, take your cauliflower pieces and dip them into it. You want to make sure they’re fully coated, shaking off any excess. Place on a prepared air fryer tray and air fry at 370 for 15 minutes. *Note: by prepared I mean sprayed and sprayed WELL. Because you’re air frying a batter, these are on the sticky side and can be messy. I use a tray style air fryer and bought some parchment paper air fryer liners which are awesome – they’re non-stick and made clean up a breeze. You could also line with foil and spray that, etc.
Lightened up Buffalo Sauce
The second element of this recipe is buffalo sauce. Traditional buffalo sauce is a mixture of hot sauce, garlic, and lots of butter. It makes it thick and delicious, and offsets the heat. However, all that butter makes traditional buffalo sauce not-so-WW-friendly and high in fat/calories. My version uses hot sauce, a bit of Smart Balance (a vegetable oil butter-replacement), garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. You can also use a pre-made buffalo sauce if you have one you like – just use about 1/4 cup and track the points/calories accordingly.
Once your cauliflower is fully cooked, toss it in the sauce. At this point, you can totally serve it as is. It’s going to be a bit on the softer side, but the taste will be on point. After I sauce it, I air fry it again (yes, really) – just for 5 minutes. This helps it stay crispy and really binds the sauce to the outside. Then, I serve it with some cut celery and fat free ranch or blue cheese dressing.
You can totally mix this air fryer buffalo cauliflower recipe up to make it your own. If you’re not into the battered consistency and prefer something more bread-crumby, mix 1 tbsp hot sauce into 2 beaten eggs, toss your cauliflower in it, and then toss that in a mixture of 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs and 1/4 cup regular bread crumbs. Spray it with cooking spray and air fry at 370 for 12-14 minutes, until crispy. Then sauce it up and enjoy.
Another option is to mix up the sauce! If you want more indulgent, up the Smart Balance in the sauce. Like it hotter? More hot sauce. I’m all about tweaking a recipe to make it what YOU love!
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Mixing Bowls
- Air Fryer
- 24 oz Cauliflower florets About 2 heads, cut up
- 4 Eggs
- 1/3 cup Corn starch
- 6 tbsp Flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 4 tsp Hot sauce
- Pinch Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce or hot sauce of choice
- 2.5 tbsp Smart Balance
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- Cut up, wash, and dry your cauliflower. You want small and medium sized florets.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat eggs and mix in corn starch, flour, baking powder, and hot sauce until batter is smooth. It should be roughly the consistency of pancake batter.
- Spray air fryer trays well with cooking spray (or lined with parchment sheets, foil, etc). Preheat to 370.
- Dip each floret in the batter, coating entirely. Place on air fryer tray, spray well, and air fry at 370F for 14-15 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked.
- Melt Smart Balance in a microwave safe bowl (about 20 sec in the microwave).
- In a mixing bowl, combine hot sauce, melted Smart Balance, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Mix well to combine.
- Toss cooked cauliflower in sauce. Air fry again at 370 for 4-5 minutes, to crisp it up. Serve immediately and enjoy!