Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

This Buffalo cauliflower recipe, while not Buffalo chicken wings, is easy, healthy, paleo, and crowd-pleasingly good, especially when smothered in blue cheese dip.

Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

With this Buffalo cauliflower recipe from Thistle Hill Tavern, you can have it all–all the awesomeness of Buffalo wings and all the virtuousness of cauliflower not to mention all the accolades from everyone who tries it. We’re not suggesting you try to pass this roasted cauliflower off as chicken wings. We’re simply saying that chances are you’re not going to recall any other cauliflower recipe from the past. This is crowd-pleasingly good and ridiculously easy. This recipe has been updated. Originally published on January 30, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 2 to 4


  • 1 head (about 1 1/2 pounds) cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce (or substitute a different brand hot sauce at your own peril)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade Sriracha sauce
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into smallish dice
  • Blue cheese, crumbled, to taste, and/or Blue Cheese Dip


  • 1. Crank up the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 2. Trim the stem end and any leaves from the cauliflower and toss the trimmings in the compost. Leave the rest of the head of cauliflower whole. Place the entire cauliflower head on a rimmed baking sheet and coat the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender and somewhat browned, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your cauliflower.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the Frank’s RedHot Sauce and Sriracha to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then slowly whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until everything is melted and incorporated and bubbly. Remove from the heat.
  • 4. Cut the cauliflower head into florets. (You don’t want the florets to be too teensy or dainty; rather, you want them to be the proper size to enable you to easily snatch one up from a platter. You know, the size of a chicken wing. Just don’t pop the entire floret in your mouth at once, you heathen.)
  • 5. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the remaining teaspoon canola oil, then add the cauliflower and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until the cauliflower is warmed through. Carefully add the sauce and until everything is hot and the cauliflower is completely coated, about a minute or so. Plunk the Buffalo cauliflower on a platter and finish with a sprinkling of blue cheese and/or the Blue Cheese Dip on the side.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Kate H. Knapp

Jan 29, 2016

Hmmmm. Buttery, spicy, Buffalo sauce slathered over sinfully delicious...cauliflower? Yup, cauliflower. Move over chicken wings, there's a new game day snack in town, and it's a guaranteed winner. This crunchy and curiously shaped vegetable is first roasted to bring out its sweeter side, then sautéed and drenched in Buffalo sauce with a special Sriracha kick before being topped with cool, creamy blue cheese. Watch out, things are about to get saucy. I found that 30 minutes wasn't long enough to get the cauliflower very brown or tender, so I roasted it for another 15 minutes. Perfection. I tasted the Buffalo cauliflower without the sauce after roasting. It was sooo good, I might just make it like this in the future. I made the sauce in a sauté pan, and then when I took the cauliflower out the oven, I added the florets directly to that pan. (I'm always looking for ways to reduce the number of dishes I have to wash.) I cut the cauliflower into florets before adding them to the sauté pan, and the sauce seemed to coat them pretty well. One suggestion is to keep the florets big, since you can pick them up and eat them like you would a chicken wing that way. I made the mistake of cutting them small and it was a little awkward eating them. This is key for a party. Serving size is a little tricky. I shared this with my husband and we were able to eat most of it between the 2 of us, so I think 4 might be a bit generous. If, however, this is served with other snacks, it might be perfect. I'll definitely make this Buffalo cauliflower again, especially for my vegetarian friends.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Jan 29, 2016

This Buffalo cauliflower is quite possibly one of the best ways to prepare cauliflower. It's quick, simple, healthful, and beautiful. The proportions for the sauce are perfect. I thought it was going to be way too spicy, but it was fantastic. The blue cheese is a nice touch but not necessary. The recipe reads it could feed 4, but I used a 1 1/2 pound head of cauliflower and I could have eaten the entire dish myself. It was that good. I roasted my head of cauliflower about 45 minutes to cook it through. When it cooled, I broke it into florets and sautéed them in oil. The one warning I would give is to be careful when adding the hot sauce to the sauté pan. When the sauce hits the pan, it gives off a very spicy aroma—I could feel it in the back of my throat. I'll hold my breath for that part next time. This was really everyone’s favorite at the last party we had. I can imagine cooking up a head of it just for me.

Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

Jan 29, 2016

I should start by saying I love cauliflower but my family hates it. I've attempted to convert them several times, but failed. I decided I had to try one more time—plus, who can resist seeing if baking an entire head of cauliflower really works? Well, it works fabulously! When removing the leaves from my cauliflower head, I cut a small cone shape from the core to remove all the leaves and their stems, and this made it very easy to break the head apart into florets once cooked. I used my new oven feature—convection set at 375°F— understanding that it could cook faster than normal. After 30 minutes, it was really starting to brown on the outside. I decided to keep a close eye on it and let it go the full 45 minutes, and I'm so glad I did. I really hated to break it up at this point because it looked so pretty. (It also tasted great just like this—I couldn't help myself.) But wanting to convert my family, I made the sauce and followed the remainder of the recipe. I understand now why you don't want to make the florets too small, as the sauce is hot enough that if you do, the florets are a little too spicy, in my opinion. I had to do a little coaxing to get my family to try this, knowing there was a high chance they would take one tiny bite and stop. To my surprise, they all gave it a thumbs up. "It doesn't even taste like cauliflower!" was the consensus. Only problem is, I really wanted to eat the entire head myself. And I'm now afraid I'll have to share in the future.

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Jan 29, 2016

To give you a little context, I love cauliflower. And I think this recipe is a winner for cruciferous veggie lovers and consummate wing-eaters alike. This Buffalo cauliflower recipe is easy and could be streamlined even further. My cauliflower needed about 40 minutes in the oven to become a combination of tender inside and browned outside. While the cauliflower was resting, I made the sauce. The blue cheese looked pretty atop the now-red cauliflower, although my suggestion would be to add the blue cheese dip and an abundant supply of celery sticks to complete the presentation. One more note on ingredients: Buy a wedge of blue cheese and crumble it yourself. Pre-crumbled blue cheese will never taste as good as a cheese crumbled just before serving. Also, definitely use unsalted butter, as there are two opportunities for seasoning this dish as you prepare it, so there's no need to begin with salted butter. Does this serve 4? Much depends on the size of your cauliflower and the portion size of your diners, but sure, it could.

Testers Choice
Sita Krishnaswamy

Jan 29, 2016

I love baked cauliflower, so I was excited to make this Buffalo cauliflower recipe. My head of cauliflower weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces. I baked it for 50 minutes. Though it was brown, it was not very tender. It was a bit crunchy, but I like my vegetables a bit crunchy, so it was fine for me. For those who like their cauliflower more tender, you may have to bake it longer. The sauce came together quickly. The flavor of the sauce was excellent; however, I wonder if we need to add so much butter. I cut the cauliflower into florets and sautéed them in a saucepan, then I added 1/2 cup sauce and sautéed it for a few minutes more. I crumbled blue cheese on top and served it as a side to a main meal. I certainly enjoyed this spicy dish.

Testers Choice
Joel Jenkins

Jan 29, 2016

Always looking for healthy yet tasty alternatives to comfort food, I thought this Buffalo cauliflower recipe would be a good option for this Sunday's Super Bowl. It does taste like a chicken wing–-well, actually, it tastes like chicken wing seasoning. You wouldn't fool anyone in a blind taste test, but the sauce is very good. I'll be using the same sauce on my chicken wings this Sunday for Super Bowl. I baked the cauliflower for 30 minutes and it was starting to color, but it wasn't brown. I didn't want it to lose its texture, so I removed it from the oven and let it cool, and it softened a bit. I cut the head into bite-sized florets, which I then sautéed for about 3 minutes to rewarm. I suggest using 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled cheese, depending on your love of blue cheese. I dumped the wings, er, cauliflower in a bowl and served them with plenty napkins. I also left my florets large enough to pick up without needing to fish around in the sauce that inevitably pooled in the bottom of the bowl. It would serve 4 as indicated, but only if this was part of a lot of other foods being snacked on. It will NOT feed 4 people for the duration of the snackfest called Super Bowl. I could probably eat the entire thing myself in that case.

Testers Choice
Robert Castagna

Jan 29, 2016

The Buffalo sauce worked well with cauliflower and was a pleasant surprise considering my previous food memories of Buffalo sauce. I sliced the whole head of cauliflower into 4 sections, sautéed each section on both sides till brown, then place everything in an oven preheated to 400°F until tender, abouut 12 minutes. The cauliflower was tender inside and brown outside.

  1. Andrea Calhoun says:

    Being vegetarian and surrounded by wings this weekend, I was excited about the Buffalo Cauliflower recipe. It was awesome. I used 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance and 1 tablespoon of butter just to health it up a wee bit. Thumbs up!

    Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

    • David Leite says:

      Andrea, I gotta say, you’re picture looks great. And I’m delighted that in the midst of all those carnivores, you found your Zen.

    • Susan says:

      Sounds good except for the canola oil. You can substitute it with avocado oil or other healthy oils. Canola oil is not paleo and not good for you!!

  2. Marsha says:

    Is it possible to make this entire dish in advance and re-heat just before serving. I’m bringing it to a party. Alternatively , could I cook up the cauliflower, cook the hot sauces and then heat and combine later on at the party? Could it be reheated in a microwave ?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Marsha, I’d be inclined to roast the cauliflower ahead of time then toss it a sauté pan with oil and Frank’s hot sauce just before serving.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Is this calling for frank’s regular reg hot or the buffalo sauce?

  4. This sounds good! Another way to cook this vegetable! Thanks for sharing! Yum!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re welcome, Rita! Many thanks for taking the time to leave such kind words!

  5. Susan says:

    Yes, except for vegetable oil. Vegetable oil has proven to be very bad for your health. It is the main cause of the health decline since they came out with it!!

  6. irene seales says:

    Never let a good sauce go to waste! I had a bit of the sauce left over from making this previously, and used it to marinate raw cauliflower florets for a couple of hours, then placed them in a hot oven (375℉ convection) for 30-40 minutes, for a no fuss meal. lined the sheet pan with parchment, and while it was roasting, mixed up a yogurt-labneh blend with some fresh lemon zest and juice, a tiny splash of evoo and we were set! Next words I heard were “when can we have this again?” ;-)

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