These vegan cauliflower wings with an easy almond dip are crispy outside and soft on the inside. They are an ideal snack, side dish or appetizer that's easy to make with simple ingredients. Gluten-free and oil-free.
Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables. On the one hand, unlike tomatoes and peppers, it's not that fun to eat it by itself. But - with the right preparation, as you've probably heard, you can turn it into just about anything. From pizza bases to crispy bites of deliciousness, there's an option for just about everyone.
So I'm hoping that you will love these vegan cauliflower wings as much as I do! They're a great alternative to chicken wings that vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy.
Vegan cauliflower wings
Cauliflower may not be everyone's favourite vegetable, but this recipe can convert even those who classify themselves as categorically opposed to cauliflower.
These vegan cauliflower wings are a great meat-free and dairy-free alternative to normal wings. They are also healthier and allow you to get in a serving of vegetables without eating salad. I've nothing against salad at all, but it's not everyone's cup of tea and turning veggies into 'chicken' wings may be a better alternative for a lot of people.
The batter gives it a crunchy, savoury outside that will keep you and everyone else coming back for more. Serve them as a snack, appetiser or side dish. The great thing about vegan cauliflower wings is just how versatile they are! I also like using them as a filling for wraps, tacos and sandwiches.
How to make cauliflower wings crispy
Now, no one likes cauliflower that's soggy, undercooked or just downright flavourless. But don't worry, because these wings are soft on the inside, with an almost meaty texture, and perfectly crunchy on the outside thanks to a breadcrumb coating.
The first step is to dip the cauliflower florets into a thick batter that will give them a nice flavour and help the breadcrumbs adhere. Then there are the breadcrumbs themselves. To keep this dish gluten-free, I used store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs, but you can make your own or use ordinary breadcrumbs if not avoiding gluten.
In terms of baking time, I find that around 25-27 minutes is the best to achieve a soft texture and ensure that the outside doesn't burn. You can test for readiness by carefully lifting one piece of cauliflower off the baking tray, waiting for it to cool down completely and then testing with a toothpick or a fork.
Easy almond butter dip
Of course, no snacky food feels complete without a good dip to go along with it. That's why we're serving these baked cauliflower bites with an easy almond sauce. Sweetness and tanginess intersect in perfect proportion, making it an excellent compliment to the mild, nutty cauliflower.
However, feel free to switch up the sauce according to your preference. For example, you can use something as simple as ketchup or mashed avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper.
What's to love about this recipe?
These vegan cauliflower wings are:
- Incredibly tasty. If you're looking for a way to make cauliflower taste good, this is your answer.
- Great for snacking. They make an ideal treat for a move night!
- Non-vegan approved. This is the sort of recipe that everyone will love, regardless of their dietary preferences.
- Gluten-free. If you avoid gluten in your diet, this may be a perfect cauliflower recipe for you.
- Easy to make. These vegan cauliflower wings require minimal effort and time spent standing around in the kitchen.
- Versatile. You can switch things up by adding your favourite spices to the batter, or serving them with a variety of dips.
How to make vegan cauliflower bites
(See the recipe card for full ingredient amounts)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Prepare the batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, salt, onion, and plant-based milk. Make sure the ingredients are well-combined and no lumps remain.
Prepare the breading. In another bowl, mix together the gluten-free breadcrumbs, paprika, cumin, turmeric and nutritional yeast.
Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, making sure that it is well coated on all sides. Then, coat in the breading and lay out on a sheet of parchment paper.
Once you have breaded all of the cauliflower, bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Simply whisk together almond butter, maple syrup, tamari and paprika.
Serve the cauliflower with the almond dip. It is best served immediately or after a period of cooling of 15-30 minutes.
Helpful tips for the best result
- Make sure to bake them enough so that the crispy outside forms. Keep in mind that baking times may vary between ovens.
- Switch up the flavours by adding spices of your choice to the breading and/or the batter.
- Make sure that the cauliflower pieces are all around the same size and not too big, because otherwise some may end up being overcooked while others could burn.
- Breaded cauliflower is best consumed straight away. If you leave it in the fridge, it will still be delicious, but just not as crispy.
Other recipes you might like
- How about making some vegan croquettes for your movie night as well?
- ... or simple and flavourful cabbage rolls.
- Serve four-ingredient fudge for a dessert!
Let me know in the comments: what's your favourite way to serve cauliflower? If you give this vegan cauliflower wings recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your recreations, and leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts, together with a star rating.
- Conventional oven
- Two mixing bowls
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
For the breading
- 5 cups cauliflower florets (around 1 large head cauliflower)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Prepare the batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, salt, onion, and plant-based milk. Make sure the ingredients are well-combined and no lumps remain.
- Prepare the breading. In another bowl, mix together the gluten-free breadcrumbs, paprika, cumin, turmeric and nutritional yeast.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, making sure that it is well coated on all sides. Then, coat in the breading and lay out on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Once you have breaded all of the cauliflower, bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Simply whisk together almond butter, maple syrup, tamari and paprika.
- Serve the cauliflower with the almond dip. It is best served immediately or after a period of cooling of 15-30 minutes.