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cauliflower-wings-recipe

After years of taking a back seat to its greener counterpart, cauliflower’s popularity has been raging for quite some time. I’ve seen everything from cauliflower fried rice to cauliflower tater tots. (Do yourself a favor and grab a bag of cauliflower gnocchi at Trader Joe’s!) But today, I’m taking it back to an original vegan favorite: the cauliflower wing. For extra flavor, we’re cooking these “wings” with three different sauces: original Buffalo, ginger scallion and honey bbq.

With the correct cooking process, cauliflower wings are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Cauliflower itself has a very mild flavor; it takes on the flavors that surround it, which is why I couldn’t help but do a few variations for this recipe. Whichever flavor you decide to make, the healthfulness of this humble veggie makes these wings a totally binge-able snack for parties or just a regular night in. 

Making cauliflower wings involves quite a few steps, but the recipe is pretty straightforward.

More: How to make vegan beer-battered fried pickles

First comes the prep. After washing the cauliflower, break it into bite-sized florets. (Keep them on the larger side so they don’t cook too quickly and become mushy.) Next, set up a dredging station with three separate bowls: one for flour, salt, and arrowroot flour; one with nondairy milk; and one with breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast.

Dip the cauliflower in the flour mixture, followed by the non-dairy milk, and lastly into the breadcrumb mixture. Lay the breaded cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake it at 450F for 25 minutes.

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While the cauliflower is cooking, make the sauces for the wings. For the honey barbecue sauce, mix your favorite store-bought brand with agave syrup or vegan honey (or check out the homemade barbecue sauce we used in our pulled barbecue jackfruit sliders!). The ginger scallion sauce is a mix of soy sauce, ginger, scallions, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, agave and sesame seeds. The Buffalo sauce consists of Louisiana-style hot sauce and vegan butter.

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When the first round of cooking is done, separate the cauliflower into three bowls and mix with each different sauce. Toss each bowl of cauliflower until it’s fully covered with sauce, and then bake it for an additional 15 minutes, or until it starts to brown.

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While the cauliflower is in the oven for the second time, make the vegan ranch dip with vegan mayo (I like Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise), lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and a whole lot of fresh herbs — parsley, chives, and dill — and stir until fully incorporated.

More: This beet-burger hybrid recipe is almost too good to be true

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They might not be real wings, but these crunchy little morsels always please a crowd. They’re an outrageously tasty vegan side or main dish that the whole family can enjoy for any holiday (or football-watching) celebration.

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MORE: See 6 of the best vegan recipes to try

Vegan cauliflower wings

Yield 4-6 servings

Ingredients

Vegan ranch dip:

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste

Cauliflower wings:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegan honey or agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Wash cauliflower and separate into bite-sized florets.
  3. Prepare dredging station by mixing flours and salt in one bowl; nondairy milk in the second; and panko and nutritional yeast in the third.
  4. Individually dip cauliflower florets into flour mixture, then nondairy milk, then breadcrumb mixture, and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. While cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauces. For honey barbecue sauce, mix barbecue sauce and vegan honey or agave. 
  7. For ginger scallion sauce, mix scallions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and agave.
  8. For Buffalo sauce, heat vegan butter and hot sauce in saucepan over medium heat and stir until fully incorporated.
  9. After 25 minutes, remove cauliflower from oven and separate into three bowls.
  10. Toss each portion of cauliflower in its respective sauce and mix until each bite is fully covered.
  11. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until cauliflower begins to brown.
  12. While cauliflower bakes, place all ranch ingredients in a small bowl and mix until fully incorporated.

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