Today is day four of super Super Bowl snacks and I have a vegetarian option for you! Instead of using chicken for Buffalo bites, these are Cauliflower Buffalo Bites; as a bonus the method for this recipe can be used for chicken, too. Be sure to have options for your non-meat-eating friends! Super easy, super tasty, it’s a super Super Bowl snack!
Every year we are forewarned that the favorite snacking option for the Super Bowl, the chicken wing, will be in short supply. This year, it’s being reported that there will be…hold onto your seats here…1.25 billion, yes billion with a B, chicken wings consumed during the Super Bowl. That is a lot of chicken wings!
My thinking is that your vegetarian friends shouldn’t be left out of enjoying that favorite Super Bowl snack, and we would all probably benefit from a healthier version. While I have used my recipe for the Buffalo Wing Sauce found in this post, these Cauliflower Buffalo Bites are baked, not fried.
I took the cauliflower and separated it into bite-sized florets. These were dipped into the buffalo wing sauce and then rolled in Panko crumbs. Panko crumbs are a variety of flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods; they work beautifully for a crusty coating on baked foods, as well. Panko crumbs can be found now in most large grocery stores; I find mine on the International Foods aisle and always have them on-hand.
The coated florets are then placed on a baking sheet and oven-roasted. The result looks a lot like chicken bites and they taste just amazing! The roasting of the cauliflower imparts a very nutty flavor, and the Buffalo wing sauce coating with the crispy Panko crust is just perfection.
So, if you’re looking for a healthier version of that favorite Super Bowl snack, here it is! I hope you’ll try it!
p.s.: This method works beautifully with chicken pieces also.
p.p.s: This recipe was featured by Upwave, a brand of Turner Broadcasting.
- 1 small head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets (about 5 cups)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons Frank's Hot Sauce (or similar hot sauce of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Panko crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, add the melted butter, hot sauce, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine.
- Place the Panko crumbs in a small, shallow bowl.
- Make an assembly line with the cauliflower florets, the sauce and the Panko crumbs.
- Use one hand to dip the florets into the sauce then drop it into the crumbs.
- Using the other hand, coat the floret well with the crumbs and place it on the baking sheet.
- Once all of the florets are coated, use a very light spray of cooking oil to coat the tops. This will help hold the crumbs in place, as well as aid in their browning. (I use a cooking spray atomizer instead of the aerosol cans.)
- Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
- If you have any remaining sauce, that can be lightly brushed onto the tops of the florets.
- Serve hot with Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing, carrot and celery sticks.