overhead photo of buffalo cauliflower on a blue plate next to a bowl of creamy dipping sauce

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

This version of crunchy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower is light on the batter and simple to make. Dip it in vegan ranch or your favorite creamy vegan dressing.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword air fryer cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings (as an appetizer)
Calories 200kcal
Author Becky Striepe



For the Cauliflower

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets Each one should be approx. the size of two baby carrots, if you put the baby carrots side-by-side.
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon sea salt I would not use regular salt here. Sea salt grains are bigger, and they add a little extra crunch to the breading.

For the Buffalo Coating

  • 1/4 cup melted vegan butter 1/4 cup after melting
  • 1/4 cup vegan Buffalo sauce Check the ingredients for butter. I used Frank's Red Hot

For Dipping

  • vegan mayo Cashew Ranch, or your favorite creamy salad dressing


  • Melt the vegan butter in a mug in the microwave, then whisk in the buffalo sauce.
  • Holding by the stem, dip each floret in the butter/buffalo sauce mixture, getting most of the floret coated in sauce. It's fine if a bit of the stem doesn't get saucy. Hold the floret over the mug until it pretty much stops dripping. A few drips are OK, but if it's raining sauce, your panko is going to get clumpy and stop sticking as well.
  • Dredge the dipped floret in the panko/salt mixture, coating as much as you like, then place in the air fryer. No need to worry about a single layer. Just place it in there.
  • Air fry at 350F (do not preheat) for 14-17 minutes, shaking gently a few times (see note), and checking their progress when you shake. Your cauliflower is done when the florets are a little bit browned.
  • Serve with your dipping sauce of choice.



  • About the Prep Time: The 5-minute prep time assumes that you bought pre-cut, fresh cauliflower. If you're using a whole head, they will take longer. Frozen cauliflower will not work in this recipe.
  • About the Shaking: You'll want to shake these gently, especially at first. The batter will get firmer as it cooks, but if you shake too vigorously, it will fall off in the early stages of cooking.
  • How to Reheat: Buffalo cauliflower doesn't stay crunchy for long, so eat these immediately for maximum goodness. You can reheat these in the air fryer, so they'll get crunchy again. I gave some of these to my neighbor during testing, and he reheated them in the oven with good results, also. If you reheat in the microwave, they'll definitely be mushy.


Calories: 200kcal