Spicy Vegan BBQ Cauliflower Wings

If you are looking for a vegetarian and vegan substitute for chicken wings, you seriously need to try these spicy BBQ cauliflower wings! They are sticky, tasty, and satisfying which makes the perfect party snack or appetizer.

If you love the flavor of sticky BBQ sauce, this recipe is for you. Even if you’re not a big fan of cauliflower, this recipe may convert you because these “wings” are very crunchy, slightly spicy, and are loaded with the BBQ sauce that you don’t really taste the cauliflower.

What are BBQ Cauliflower Wings?

BBQ cauliflower wings is a vegetarian and vegan substitute for chicken wings which is ideal for an appetizer. It’s a fun and tasty way to switch things up and there is plenty of flavor in this recipe thanks to the seasoning and BBQ sauce.

This recipe works well because it has been tried and tested many times. For example, when I first attempted to make cauliflower wings, I felt they were too soggy as I used too much sauce and not enough cornstarch.

This recipe is perfect for game day snacks or party appetizer’s!

Recipe ingredients

  • Cauliflower – Great way to resemble the wings in terms of size. Simply remove florets from the cauliflower and cut them into smaller sizes.
  • BBQ Sauce – You can use store-bought BBQ sauce which will be heated, mixed with water and maple syrup. This is how you make these cauliflower wings sticky and tasty. This is optional, but I also added some sriracha sauce.
  • Flour – Simply use plain flour and corn starch. The latter is optional but will for sure make these cauliflower wings crunchy.
  • Seasoning – For basic seasoning, this recipe calls for salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. However, a spicy seasoning adds a kick. You can use paprika, smoked paprika, red chili powder, or chili flakes.
  • Milk – You can use any plant-based milk or milk. In this recipe, I used almond milk.
  • Breadcrumbs – For best results, use panko breadcrumbs. However, you can use regular breadcrumbs.
Top view of the recipe ingredients

How to make spicy BBQ cauliflower wings

  • Step one: Firstly, add to the mixing bowl the flour, milk, and seasoning. You may need to add more milk if the mixture gets too thick.
  • Step two: Simply, one at a time, add the cauliflower to the batter followed by the breadcrumbs.
Top view of the batter and breadcrumbs
  • Step three: Add the cauliflower wings to your baking tray or air fryer basket. You will need to bake it for 30 minutes, or air fry it for 20 minutes but do ensure it has been well preheated.
Top view of cauliflower on baking tray
  • Step four: Whilst they are cooking, this is the perfect time to prep the BBQ sauce. Simply add the BBQ sauce and maple syrup to a saucepan. You can also add water to make it more smooth.

Tip: Add a tablespoon of sriracha sauce or chili sauce for extra flavor.

Top view of bbq sauce in saucepan
Top view of cooking cauliflower wings
  • Step Five: Once they have been cooked, combine the BBQ sauce and cauliflower. Garnish with sliced spring onion and sesame seeds. These spicy BBQ cauliflower wings will taste amazing!
Top view of cauliflower wings added to mixing bowl with bbq sauce

Recipe tips

  • Add water to the BBQ sauce to make it smoother. You can also add a few tablespoons of hot sauce to make it spicy.
  • If you have an air fryer, it will cook the cauliflower faster and make it crisper, but you will need to cook them in several batches.
  • To prevent these cauliflower wings from going soggy, ensure you use the right amount of BBQ sauce and not too much.
  • To save time, you can throw the cooked cauliflower wings into the mixing bowl with the BBQ sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you reheat cauliflower BBQ wings?

Yes, you can reheat cauliflower BBQ wings in the oven or microwave. They will still taste great after 3-4 days but reheat them sooner than later for best results.

How long do cauliflower BBQ wings last?

Keep them stored in an air-tight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. They can be good for meal prep.

Can you make this recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs. Good substitutes are almond flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Do cauliflower wings taste like chicken wings?

No, cauliflower wings does not taste anything like chicken. However, the highlight of this recipe is the BBQ sauce, and it adds the sticky flavor and feel which resembles a tasty BBQ chicken wing. Also, the flour and seasoning makes it crispy, crunch and tasty. Overall, it’s a fantastic meat-free alternative to BBQ chicken wings.

Is this cauliflower wings recipe healthy?

Although cauliflower is a healthy vegetable, which is high in fiber, this recipe is not completely healthy, but it does not intend to be healthy either. This is simply a tasty appetizer and a great vegan substitute for chicken wings.

Love vegan recipes? Why not try these!

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top view of bbq cauliflower wings on a plate

Spicy Vegan BBQ Cauliflower Wings Recipe

  • Author: Mani
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If you are looking for a vegetarian and vegan substitute for chicken wings, you seriously need to try these spicy BBQ cauliflower wings! They are sticky, tasty, and satisfying which makes the perfect party snack or appetizer.

If you love the flavor of sticky BBQ sauce, this recipe is for you. Even if you’re not a big fan of cauliflower, this recipe may convert you because these “wings” are very crunchy, slightly spicy, and are loaded with the BBQ sauce that you don’t really taste the cauliflower.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • low-calorie oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f.
  2. Remove florets from the cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces. Keep it similar to the size of chicken wings.
  3. To make the batter, add to a separate mixing bowl the flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and milk. Keep the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and line it next to the batter bowl.
  4. Add the cauliflower in the batter, and remove one at a time, and transfer them to the breadcrumbs bowl. Once they are coated completely, transfer the cauliflower to your baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes – if you haven’t preheated your oven, you will need to cook it for longer.
  6. Prepare the BBQ sauce by heating a saucepan on medium-high heat, and add the BBQ sauce, maple syrup and sriracha sauce.
  7. Once the cauliflower has been cooked, transfer to a large bowl and coat completely with the BBQ sauce.
  8. Serve and garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

  • The maple syrup and sriracha sauce is optional. You can just use BBQ sauce.
  • The ground paprika is optional, but it will add some flavor to the batter.
  • The cornstarch is optional but will make these cauliflower wings crunchy.
  • The plant-based milk is optional, you can use any milk or water for the batter.
  • For best results, use panko breadcrumbs.
  • You can use an air-fryer for this recipe but cook the cauliflower in several batches to keep the cauliflower separated.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 411
  • Sugar: 30 g
  • Sodium: 1000 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 88 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Keywords: spicy vegan bbq cauliflower wings, cauliflower wings recipe, bbq cauliflower wings, spicy cauliflower wings, vegan bbq chicken wings