Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings

By Rena |

Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings will be your new favorite (secretly healthy) party appetizer! Crunchy on the outside and coated in sweet sticky BBQ sauce, they are decedent with far fewer calories. Make a batch to share or have them all to yourself.

top view bbq cauliflower wings on a plate

You will like these Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings better than chicken wings. They taste so amazing. These BBQ cauliflower wings come together in minutes and are perfect for sharing so they make for a perfect appetizer to make for a crowd. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The texture is just perfect.

I like to toss mine in Honey BBQ sauce, however, you can use whatever BBQ sauce you have on hand. Smoky, spicy, sweet, they are all winners!

My favorite part is that they’re made in the air fryer which means no deep-frying, or coating in large amounts of oil and baking them in the oven. You could never tell though! They may be super light, but they taste decadent. Try sharing these Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings at your next party!

side shot of cauliflower wings

Why you will love this cauliflower wings recipe

  • Easy: These are easier and quicker than regular chicken wings! They don’t need to be brined, and the cauliflower cooks super quickly in the air fryer.
  • Light: No deep fryer here! These cauliflower wings are made in an air fryer so all you’ll use is a spray or two of oil.
  • Vegetarian: Made of cauliflower making them perfect to share as an appetizer with vegetarian friends.
  • Tastes SO good: These Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings taste like a treat but they’re actually really good for you! Crunchy on the outside and soft inside, they are addictive!
hand reaching for cauliflower wing from a plate

Ingredients for BBQ Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

  • Cauliflower: I used one whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets. This recipe would also work with broccoli if you’re not a fan of cauliflower.
  • Buttermilk: Classic chicken wings are marinated in buttermilk to tenderize the meat, and also give it that delicious tart and rich buttermilk flavor. Cauliflower doesn’t need to tenderize. Simply dip it in the buttermilk for the taste!
  • Egg: Egg is a binding ingredient that helps the other ingredients stick together.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is perfect for this recipe. Use gluten-free all-purpose flour if you’d prefer.
  • Seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, and salt season these BBQ cauliflower wings perfectly. Feel free to add a little black pepper or smoked paprika!
  • Breadcrumbs: I added panko breadcrumbs to give these air fryer wings a crunchy texture. It is addictive!
  • BBQ sauce: Choose your favorite kind of BBQ sauce! I like honey BBQ sauce or a spicy smoky bbq sauce. You can always make your own if you have a little extra time. It’s super easy!
Ingredients on a grey table.

How to make Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

1. Begin by cutting the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

Raw cauliflower florets.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk together with the egg, flour, and seasonings.

3. Place the cauliflower florets into the buttermilk mixture and stir to completely coat.

Cauliflower being added to a white bowl of buttermilk sauce.

4. Transfer each piece into the breadcrumbs and gently press to adhere on all sides; place into the air fryer basket. 

Cauliflower being dipped into breadcrumbs.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer to 390°F. 

6. Spray the coated cauliflower from the air fryer with cooking oil spray.

7. Air fry the cauliflower in two batches for 14-16 minutes, shaking the basket halfway. Shake the basket to ensure that the cauliflower is evenly cooked.

8. Meanwhile, add the BBQ sauce to a large bowl.

9. You will be able to tell the cauliflower is ready with it has turned golden-brown and crunchy. Once the cauliflower is done air frying, transfer it to the bowl with the BBQ sauce, tossing it to coat.

side shot of air fried bbq cauliflower wings in a white bowl with a side of celery sticks

Tips for Success

  • If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, use broccoli instead! It’s a great way to add extra greens to your day.
  • Switch up the BBQ sauce flavor. Try honey BBQ, sweet mustard BBQ, hoisin BBQ for an Asian twist, or classic Carolina, Memphis, or Kansas City BBQ sauce!
  • Serve with a side of my homemade Ranch Dressing! It’s so creamy, tangy, and easy to throw together.
  • Store these cauliflower wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes to crisp them back up.
top view of air-fried bbq cauliflower on a white dish

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook cauliflower wings in an air fryer?

Yes, it is the best way to cook them! Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings turn out crispy on the outside, and soft inside. They use very little oil making them a healthy vegetarian option.

How long do I Airfry cauliflower wings?

I air-fry my cauliflower wings for about 14-16 minutes, giving the basket a little shake halfway to make sure they are all evenly cooked.

Can you put frozen cauliflower in the air fryer?

Yes. You can absolutely place frozen cauliflower in the air fryer. They will just need an additional 3-5 minutes to get them crispy and ready.

Are cauliflower wings fried?

Most cauliflower wings you order at restuarants will most likely be fried unless indicated that they are baked. You can always air fryer your buffalo cauliflower wings at home for a much healthier option.

top view of air fryer bbq cauliflower

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side shot of air fried bbq cauliflower wings in a white bowl with a side of celery sticks

Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings

Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings will be your new favorite (secretly healthy) party appetizer! Crunchy on the outside and coated in sweet sticky BBQ sauce, they are decedent with far fewer calories. Make a batch to share or have them all to yourself.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or oat flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
  • cooking oil spray

Instructions

  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk together with the egg, flour, and seasonings.
  • Place the cauliflower florets into the buttermilk mixture and stir to completely coat.
  • Transfer each piece into the breadcrumbs and gently press to adhere on all sides; place into the air fryer basket.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer to 390°F.
  • Spray the coated cauliflower from the air fryer with cooking oil spray.
  • Air fry the cauliflower in two batches for 14-16 minutes, shaking the basket halfway.
  • Meanwhile, add the BBQ sauce to a large bowl.
  • Once the cauliflower is done air frying, transfer to the bowl with the BBQ sauce and toss to coat.

Notes

  1. If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, use broccoli instead! 
  2. Serve with a side of my homemade Ranch Dressing.
  3. Store these cauliflower wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  4. Reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes to crisp them back up.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 2186mg | Potassium: 617mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 2mg
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