These baked buffalo cauliflower bites will have you asking, "who needs chicken when there's cauliflower?!" They're that good! My favorite way to eat these is simple: dipping them in ranch dressing! But they also make a great taco filling if you cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces.
1headcauliflowerCut into approx. one inch pieces. I try to remove as much of the stem as possible.
¾cupmilkI use skim but whatever you have will work.
1cuppanko breading(divided into ¾ cup and ¼ cup)
1 teaspoononion powder
¾ to 1cupbuffalo sauceIf you want a saucier dish, use a full cup. For a lighter coating, ¾ of a cup will work
½teaspoonsaltor more, to taste
Preheat your oven to 350F. Wash your cauliflower and cut into approx. one-inch sized pieces. I like to remove as much of the stem as I can so it really feels like a little piece of "meat" but you can definitely keep the stems longer if you want. (If you're going to be using the buffalo cauliflower bites as taco filling, I recommend chopping the pieces quite small)
Melt the butter in the microwave. Toss the cauliflower pieces with the melted butter.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, paprika, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.Add milk and water to the flour mixture and whisk until mostly smooth, without big clumps left over.
Add the cauliflower into the flour/milk mixture. Toss with your hands or tools to make sure the pieces are evenly coated in the batter!
In a separate bowl, add ¾ cup of your panko breading. Pour the coated cauliflower into the panko breading and gently toss with your hands, making sure each piece is evenly coated. Then, add your other ¼ cup of panko to the cauliflower. (Doing this in two steps help make it more evenly-coated).
Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place the coated cauliflower on the baking sheet, and spread evenly so the pieces aren't clumped together. Or, you can place a wire rack over your baking sheet (spray it with oil if you use a wire rack instead of placing the cauliflower bites directly on the baking sheet)Add to heated oven and bake for 20 minutes, stirring the cauliflower halfway through so the pieces cook evenly.
While the cauliflower bakes, add your buffalo sauce and olive oil and stir to combine.When the cauliflower has baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven (but keep the oven on).Take the cauliflower from the pan and add it to the bowl with the buffalo sauce. Mix well (careful — it will be hot!) until the pieces are evenly coated.
Return the buffalo cauliflower to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes (stirring halfway through) OR until pieces are crisped to your liking!Serve and enjoy! (Toss with more buffalo sauce before serving if you want them extra saucy)
I encourage you to read the recipe notes in this post before you make these for the first time to ensure the best result!