Eating comfort food is an awesome feeling, eating it with your fingers makes it even better! Soft and tender on the inside, crispy on the outside – our vegan chicken wings are almost too delicious to be a healthy treat!
Indeed, their texture resembles meat so much, it can get scary. That’s why it’s a great substitution for Buffalo wings! Made from scratch in just about 30 minutes, they are the perfect dinner choice for your next blockbuster night or a great meal to bring to a garden party. What they are made of? Mainly just cauliflower.
You can bake them in your oven without using any oil which makes them so much healthier and easier on the waistline. But still, they are a vegan favorite for all the meat lovers out there! Kids always love finger food and making a mess while dipping stuff, so this is a huge win for the whole family.
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We all could need some more veggies in our daily diet – and these wings are one of the sneakiest and most delicious ways of getting more health promoting vegetables on our plate, even the plates of picky eaters. Most of the ingredients for this recipe will already be in any semi-well-stocked kitchen. So if you’re ready to get your fingers dirty while preparing your future favorite finger food, keep on reading!
The key to making these wings crispy on the outside is by dipping them in a delicious batter. Using a few common spices for extra flavor and mixing them with flour and soy milk, your wings will get a super nice coating that’ll be both crunchy and chewy.
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When preparing the batter, make sure you whisk it thoroughly, so little to no lumps are left. It shouldn’t be so thick that it doesn’t drip, but also not so thin that it doesn’t coat or stick to the cauliflower. If you want to make this recipe gluten free, simply use rice flour instead of other whole grain flour and add a little more liquid to get the right consistency.
And here’s our secret to giving the wings a nice crunch: corn flakes! This might seem strange in the beginning, but trust us. You could also use breadcrumbs if they are easier to get your hands on right now. Because you really need to try these wings, like, tonight.
You first need to dip the cauliflower into your batter, one by one works best here. Coat it evenly and tap off the excess a couple of times on the side of the bowl. Then, move on to coating them with the corn flakes crumbs. Lay your coated florets on a parchment lined baking sheet while making sure they don’t touch each other.
If you’re not using non-stick cookware just yet (you really need to try it!), having some parchment paper or a silicone baking mat is essential for preventing the batter from coming off during the baking or when placing them on your plate.
Finally, put them into the oven for around 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown. You might need to flip them over half way through to get all sides crispy, depending on how your oven works. While the cauliflower is baking, it’s time to prepare your dip or sauce! There are different options here.
We like to make our own Buffalo sauce, using tomato paste as a base and adding a few spices. You can find the details in the recipe box below. Another option would be to make some ketchup or buy your favorite plant-strong sauce at the store!
When the cauliflower in the oven is done, you have two options: eating the vegan chicken wings right away, dipping them in your favorite sauce… or coating them with the Buffalo sauce and baking them for another 10 minutes! It’s really tempting to just start munching on them but if you’re in for taking it up another notch, definitely put on the Buffalo sauce first and rebake them.
Now, since your mouth is probably watering already, let's get into the recipe!
Crispy Vegan Chicken Wings with Buffalo Sauce (Healthy & Oil-Free)
Your next favorite finger food to bring to a garden party or devour while binge-watching Netflix at home. A must-have for super bowl and birthday parties for the kids! Disguising vegetables has never been so delicious.
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1.5 cups flour (whole grain or brown rice and chickpea for GF version)
- 1.25 cups soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup unsweetened corn flakes
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce OR self-made:
- ½ small cup tomato paste (150g)
- ¾ cup water
- 2.5 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
For the batter, mix all dry ingredients (except for the corn flakes) together in a bowl, then add the soy milk and whisk everything until smooth. The batter should be thick and not drip – adjust soy milk and flour if needed.
Preheat oven to 450 F / 230 C.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and, in a bowl, crumble the corn flakes finely so they resemble bread crumbs.
Dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter so that they’re evenly covered (shake off any excess batter), then coat them with the corn flakes crumbs and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this is important so they don’t stick). Make sure to leave a little bit of space between the cauliflower pieces.
Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce (if you’re not using ready-made) by putting all sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisking well.
When the 20 minutes have elapsed, take the cauliflower florets out of the oven and scrape them off into a bowl.
If you’re impatient, you can eat them right away and simply use the sauce as dip, but we like to bake them for a second round:
Coat the florets with the sauce by dipping them in, shaking off any excess sauce, and placing them back on the parchment paper.
Bake for another 10 minutes until the cauliflower wings are crisp and browned.
What's your favorite finger food? Have you been trying vegan chicken wings made from cauliflower before? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
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