buffalo air fryer cauliflower
Small Bites + Sides

Buffalo Air-Fried Cauliflower Bites

If you’re looking for calorie-friendly tailgate flavors at home, try these delicious and spicy Buffalo air-fried cauliflower bites on for size! No breading, no oil, just flavor – it’s a win-win!

buffalo air fryer cauliflower bites

There are lots of things happening in Fall 2020 that are a shock to me. No, not the politicians behaving badly or the mask deniers – honestly, are those a surprise anymore? I expect those, even if they make me shake my head or roll my eyes. But right now, I’m pretty shocked that, for one, the Cleveland Browns have a winning record {and were on a streak, except the Steelers trounced them yesterday}. And that I can make a tailgate recipe out of cauliflower that the carnivorous man-creatures in my house will devour in a single sitting.

We love the Browns in this house. Scott grew up in a house that moved a lot {his dad was in the Army and then in commercial aviation} but his parents grew up in Ohio as Browns fans. We’ve moved a lot ourselves, so while we don’t really have a professional team we think of as “our team,” we’ve adopted the Browns as one of our favorites. I’ve never seen a more devoted fan base to a team that disappoints them over and over again {seriously, watch the Factory of Sadness video – it’s hilarious and true}, except maybe the devotion we Army fans have to my own West Point team. Sigh.

As much as I’d like to say when we move to Florida, we might be able to join a winning team fandom, we’ll still be supporting the poor stubborn Browns. And Army, poor Army. They’re 3-1 this year so far, so that’s not bad, but they always make you chew your nails off each game. At least my husband went to West Virginia, and the Mountaineers usually deliver a solid season!

buffalo air fryer cauliflower

Urgh. So let’s not talk about football. As much as I love it, it depresses me. Let’s talk instead about the unlikely clearing of the veggie plate by my meat-loving spouse and offspring.

It appears that all I have to do with veggies is coat them in a lot of spicy paprika, cayenne, chipotle chili powder, white pepper, and butter, throw them in an air fryer, and serve them up with some fresh homemade ranch dressing and they’ll all be gobbled down in no time flat.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

You can fry these in the traditional way if you don’t have an air fryer – just prepare them the same way I have in the instructions and fry them lightly in veggie oil until the cauliflower is tender and let them dry on paper towels. But the air fryer is so much cleaner. And since you don’t have any breading on these florets {you could add bread crumbs or Panko, but I like them without}, you get the same level of crispiness with an air fryer that you get with traditional frying.

buffalo air fryer cauliflower

Then all you have to do is serve them up with some good ranch or blue cheese dressing {highly recommend my homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, which I’ve published as a companion to this post} and you’ve got an awesome healthy football tailgate snack.

Here are the critical stats on this recipe for your enjoyment.

[lt_recipe name=”Buffalo Air-Fried Cauliflower Bites” summary=”If you’re looking for calorie-friendly tailgate flavors at home, try these delicious and spicy Buffalo air-fried cauliflower bites on for size! No breading, no oil, just flavor – it’s a win-win!” servings=”4-6″ total_time=”45″ print=”yes” image=”https://homefrontcooking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Buffalo-Air-Fryer-Cauliflower-1501-1024×683.jpg” ingredients=”1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets;8 tbsp butter, melted;3 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper;2 tsp ground smoked paprika;1 tsp ground white pepper;2 tsp Santa Maria seasoning;2 tbsp apple cider vinegar;2 tsp Worcestershire sauce;1 cup ranch dressing for dipping” ]Set your oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.;Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, spices, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Santa Maria seasoning until well combined. Pour it over the cauliflower. Toss to coat and make sure all of the cauliflower is covered.;Transfer a third of the coated cauliflower to your air fryer. Set to 350F and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower edges are golden brown.;Set the cooked cauliflower on the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Cook the rest of the cauliflower in batches until you’ve cooked it all.;Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping![/lt_recipe]

Okay, the Santa Maria seasoning is my ever-present California touch in this recipe. You can find my favorite version right here. It finds its way into just about everything in my kitchen, and I always have a bottle of it on hand. I might be an Ohio team fan, a Virginia resident, and a soon-to-be Florida transplant, but part of me will always be a California girl at heart.

buffalo air fryer cauliflower

What are your favorite game day recipes?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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