4.52 from 35 votes

Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Chilli Mayo

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Think of these as a low-calorie, vegetarian take on chicken nuggets. These crispy baked buffalo cauliflower bites are delicious, easy to make and packed full of nutrients.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£0.83
Makes: 4
Snack
British
Cauliflower Bites, Chilli Mayo, Crispy Baked Cauliflower

Table of Contents

  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to make buffalo cauliflower bites
  4. Which hot sauce shall I use?
  5. What can I pair this recipe with?
  6. FAQ

Why this recipe works

I love how this recipe works as a vegetarian substitute for what usually is a crispy battered meat. It incorporates a vegetable whilst still being super tasty. It’s healthy in two ways, we’re getting nutrients from the vegetable thanks to the cauliflower bites and they’re made crispy through baking rather than deep frying. 

The buffalo cauliflower bites are little crispy balls of spicy, smoky flavour which when dunked in some chili mayo, make for the best movie snack or side dish. 

cauliflower bites laying on a black baking tray

Ingredients

Cauliflower
The vegetarian star of the show. 

Hot sauce
Adds an extra layer of flavour and heat to the buffalo cauliflower bites. It also adds the most vibrant colour to give the batter that deep fried look. 

Flour
For the batter.

Soy Milk (Unsweetened)
I like the use of soy milk here, but feel free to use any unsweetened milk of your choosing. 

Honey
Adds sweetness and helps to crisp up the cauliflower bites when they’re being baked in the oven. 

Mayonnaise
Balances the smoky spicy buffalo bites nicely whilst still having a slight kick from the hot sauce that we add to the mayo. I, of course, opt for hellmans. 

Baking Powder
This activates the batter and causes it to rise slightly which helps to add crispiness in the oven. 

Seasoning
I go for a blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, onion salt and garlic granules. 

Rapeseed oil
Perfect for the high heat we want to cook at. It’s also a great neutral oil to use here as we don’t want the oil to add any flavour, just to help achieve the crispy cauliflower bites. 

Overhead shot of Crispy Cauliflower bites ingredients

How to make buffalo cauliflower bites

Preheat oven to 180°C FAN/ 200°C

Start by combining the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, onion salt, garlic granules and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

Flour and spices in large metal mixing bowl

Slowly stir the soy milk into the bowl and mix together to achieve a smooth thick batter, similar to the consistency of American pancake batter.

Wet mixture being mixed in metal bowl
Now pour the cauliflower florets into the batter and use a spatula to ensure all the pieces are evenly coated.

Cauliflower florets mixed with the batter

Using up any left over batter, throw in the cauliflower leaves and ensure evenly coated.

Cauliflower leaves in bowl with batter

On a 2 separate greased and lined baking sheets, drizzle around half of the rapeseed oil onto the foil (approx 1.5 tbsp on each of the trays) and spread evenly across the trays. Then add the florets one by one to one of the trays and evenly distribute them so they aren’t touching each other. On a separate tray, place the coated caulflower leaves and distribute evenly.After around 12 minutes, the caulflower florets should be golden brown but not starting to crisp. Remove both trays from the oven.

Cauliflower bites part roasted on foil lined baking tray

Drizzle with your favourite hot sauce and honey over the florets and leaves, moving the pieces around with the spatula to evenly coat.

Sauce being drizzle over cauliflower bites

Now pop back in the oven for around 5 minutes, keeping your eye on the florets and leaves. Remove when the cauliflower bites and leaves are crispy and golden brown. Season generously with flaky salt straight after removing the trays from the oven, as this will allow the salt to bind better.

Roasted cauliflower bites and cauliflower leaves on baking tray

Serve with your favourite hot sauce combined with mayo to make a chilli mayo.”

Which hot sauce shall I use?

I use Frank’s buffalo wings sauce, as it’s usually used on fried chicken, which is the hot and saucy vibe that we’re trying to create with the buffalo cauliflower bites. 

Any hot sauce that allows you to use a higher volume without it being too spicy would work here. For example, we don’t want to use a dripping hot sauce like regular franks or tabasco, as we’d have to use a whole bottle to coat our cauliflower and it would be far too spicy/tangy. 

You could use sriracha to coat the bites, but bear in mind that you’ll get more of a sweet/ asian flavoured undertone, rather than American/buffalo vibes.

cauliflower bites with chilli mayo in the background

What can I pair this recipe with?

If you want to make this side recipe into a main meal, you could serve the cauliflower bites with a protein such as:

  • Pork loins
  • Steak 
  • Grilled chicken 

Other foods you could pair it with: 

  • Grilled med veg skewers
  • Pasta salad
  • Tabbouleh 
  • Couscous

FAQ

Are these freezable?
No sadly not. If you froze them they would lose their crispiness and be very soggy. 

Can I make them ahead of time?
You could make the batter for the buffalo cauliflower bites ahead of time and prep the cauliflower ahead of time. That way, when you come to making the bites you can just combine everything and pop it in the oven. It’s best to eat them fresh out of the oven though, as to retain the crispiness, we don’t want to reheat them. 

Is this recipe vegan?
Switch the honey for maple syrup and ensure your hot sauce is vegan, then it’s vegan-friendly. 

Can I use an air fryer?
You can! If you preheat your air fryer to 190°C and then cook for 8 minutes, adding the hot sauce/honey and popping in for another 4 minutes or until golden and crispy. 

cauliflower dipped in mayo

 

Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Chilli Mayo

Print Pin It
4.52 from 35 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£0.83
Snack
British
Cauliflower Bites, Chilli Mayo, Crispy Baked Cauliflower
Servings: 4
Think of these as a low-calorie, vegetarian take on chicken nuggets. These crispy baked buffalo cauliflower bites are delicious, easy to make and packed full of nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower (£0.95)
  • 220 ml unsweetened soy milk (£0.85)
  • 4 tbsp hot sauce of choice (£1.00)
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise (£2.00/4)=(£0.50)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 150 g flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil onto foil

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C FAN/ 200°C

  • Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, onion salt, garlic granules and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir the soy milk into the bowl until you achieve a smooth thick batter, like the consistency of american pancake batter.
  • Pour the cauliflower florets into the mixing bowl and use a spatula to ensure all the pieces are evenly coated in the batter. Throw the cauliflower leaves into any left over batter and ensure evenly coated, before placing on a separate greased baking tray.
  • On two foil lined baking sheets, drizzle around half of the rapeseed oil onto the foil (approx 1.5 tbsp on each of the trays). Ensure the oil is spread evenly across the tray and then add the florets onto the tray. Add them one by one so you can evenly distribute them so they aren’t touching each other. Pop them in the oven.
  • After around 12 minutes, the batter should be golden brown but not starting to crisp. Remove the tray from the oven and use a slotted spatula (preferably a bendy plastic one) to rotate the pieces. Drizzle with your favourite hot sauce and honey, moving the pieces around with the spatula to evenly coat.
  • Pop back in the oven for around 5 minutes or until crispy and golden. If your oven is powerful it could be less than this so keep an eye out! Season generously with flakey salt immediately when you remove them from the oven, this will allow the salt to bind better with the c. bites. Serve with your favourite hot sauce combined with mayo to make a chilli mayo.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 23g
Calories: 420kcal
Carbohydrates: 49g
Protein: 9g

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