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Where are all my cauliflower lovers? As the most versatile low carb veggie ever, it’s one of my favorites. And, it goes surprisingly well with everything and anything buffalo. Combine the two, and say hello to baked healthy buffalo cauliflower bites. (You can call them buffalo cauliflower wings if you want!)
What better time of year to feature low carb buffalo recipes than just in time for the Super Bowl?
We’re actually not big on watching football. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to say that, until a couple weeks ago, I didn’t even know that it’s going to be in our home state this year.
But the low carb tailgating food? Now that is something I’m passionate about. So, here I am to make your (keto or not!) Super Bowl food super memorable.
You’re going to love this low carb buffalo cauliflower…
What Are Buffalo Cauliflower Bites?
Before I go any further, you may be wondering, what are buffalo cauliflower bites? Or, how can you call something buffalo cauliflower wings if they don’t have any chicken?
Maybe you already know. Various versions of them have been floating around Pinterest for the past few years. There are battered versions and then there’s gluten-free buffalo cauliflower without flour. I wonder which ones came first?
The idea is simple. Instead of chicken wings in buffalo sauce, make cauliflower in buffalo sauce instead!
And if you ask me, it’s the most amazing idea ever. I’ve never been big on cuts of chicken or meat with bones in it.
And, chicken wings are so messy. It’s the very reason that I made buffalo turkey meatballs a couple years ago.
Spicy buffalo cauliflower bites make another great alternative to chicken wings if you are vegetarian, or have friends who are. They have the same flavor, without the meat.
I’m far from vegetarian, and I still love them.
Even if you’re a carnivore like me and steak bites are more your style, buffalo style cauliflower is awesome. They make a delicious side dish or just a yummy appetizer. These baked zucchini fries are also a very popular appetizer.
Options for Making Buffalo Cauliflower Healthy Without Flour
There are a bunch of different methods for how to make buffalo cauliflower bites. You can roast them in the oven, fry them on the stove, or even use your Crock Pot or Instant Pot.
But, some techniques work better than others.
When I first started on this healthy buffalo cauliflower recipe, I wanted to get creative and try the Instant Pot. For those who are interested, I used a combination of the saute and pressure functions.
I tried to saute the cauliflower first in attempt to get it to brown, then set the pressure cooker to zero minutes. The cauliflower was already soft by the time the Instant Pot reached pressure. I coated the cauliflower in the buffalo sauce mixture afterward.
This version turned out okay, but it’s not my recommended method. The saute function on a pressure cooker doesn’t brown the cauliflower enough. Then, even the time it takes to reach pressure made the cauliflower a little softer than I would have liked.
Don’t get me wrong, they were still good! You can definitely use this method if you want to. I really wanted to make them even better.
I tried the slow cooker, stove, and oven. As expected, the slow cooker had similar results to the pressure cooker. And, I couldn’t get any browning on the cauliflower unless I pan fried it first.
Pan fried buffalo cauliflower was also pretty good. The only issue was that it worked better without any breading, because some of the breading fell off when I tried to include it. That method still works okay if you’re careful.
But, I really, really wanted the roasted flavor that you get from the oven.
The baked buffalo cauliflower bites version was the winner! I was able to get the cauliflower crisp-tender and browned at the same time. And, there were no issues with the breading.
For cauliflower buffalo wings, I really think they should be a little crispy. And, there’s no getting around this – the best buffalo cauliflower bites are breaded!
You may be wondering about the breading. Isn’t this supposed to be keto low carb buffalo cauliflower?
Don’t worry, you can still make your baked buffalo cauliflower paleo, healthy, and without any wheat flour. I’ll show you how…
How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower Wings Paleo
So, how to make buffalo cauliflower paleo and low carb? Sure, you could omit breading altogether, but they are really, really good with it!
The answer is simple. Almond flour!
Now, because I wanted to make this keto buffalo cauliflower recipe very accessible for everyone, I used almonds instead. Simply grind them up in a food processor, and you can use them as breading!
If you haven’t used almond flour or almonds as breading before, don’t worry. It’s super easy, and the taste won’t be an issue. After combining with garlic powder and sea salt, and later coating your buffalo cauliflower wings in sauce, you won’t be able to tell at all.
Many low carb recipes differentiate between almond flour and ground almonds, because they work different in baking. Finely ground blanched almond flour is critical in baking recipes. Fortunately, the texture is less important for breading.
In this case, it doesn’t matter if you have almond flour, almond meal, or whole almonds. The end result will be similar. Just use whatever you’ve got. It’s all good!
The rest of the ingredients are simple, too. Aside from the almond flour mixture, you just need egg, cauliflower, buffalo sauce and butter.
The process for making the low carb buffalo cauliflower bites is similar to shake-and-bake chicken. Dip cauliflower florets in egg, then shake them in a bag with the breading. Roast in the oven until browned and tender.
Once the cauliflower is crispy and browned, toss it in a mixture of melted butter and buffalo sauce.
You can dip the bites into blue cheese to finish your keto appetizer. Or, for a completely paleo version, try paleo ranch dressing.
See? Buffalo cauliflower wings are not so different from buffalo chicken wings. Even if you’re on the fence, give them a try!
Baked Healthy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Wings Recipe:
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Baked Healthy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Wings Recipe - Paleo & Keto
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the almonds, garlic powder (if using), and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until the consistency is finely ground. Do not over-process, or you'll end up with nut butter. Alternatively, if using almond flour instead of almonds, skip this step and just place the same ingredients into the bag in the next step.
- Place the almond mixture into a bag that will be large enough to hold the cauliflower, or a large bowl with a lid. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat. Make sure all florets are coated. To make it easier, you can use a bowl with a lid and shake it.
- Immediately add the cauliflower to the bag or bowl that has the almond mixture. Seal or fold over the bag (or cover the bowl), and shake to coat the cauliflower. (This is similar to the process of "shake and bake" chicken.)
- Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until browned and tender.
Meanwhile, toward the end of the oven time, heat together the butter (or ghee) and buffalo sauce. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove over medium-low heat. Whisk to combine.
- When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to a serving bowl. Evenly pour the buttery sauce mixture over it, and gently toss to coat. (Don't be too rough, so that the breading stays on.) Serve with blue cheese (if not dairy-free) and garnish with green onions.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
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