Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower Wings

January 30, 2021

My favorite snack of all time happens to be crunchy cauliflower wings, so of course I had to create the most perfect BBQ cauliflower wings right in time for Super Bowl Sunday! These bites of heaven are gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, with all the crunch coming from crushed tortilla chips.

See what I did there? Forget the bread crumbs, trade them for tortilla chips!

What you need to make these Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower Wings

As you can see below, the ingredient list for these cauliflower wings is super simple. You need the following:

  • Cauliflower: Of course you need cauliflower for this recipe. I always look for the largest head of cauliflower I can find.
  • Tortilla chips: Tortilla chips are the secret ingredient in this recipe. I always use Siete Foods sea salt tortilla chips, because they are thin and crush easily, and they are gluten-free! But any tortilla chips will work.
  • Gluten free flour: You can use gluten-free flour or regular all purpose flour. It’s up to you – I always use gluten-free, because that’s what I have on hand 99% of the time.
  • Tapioca flour: Tapioca flour is interchangeable with arrow root flour and corn starch, so just pick the one you have on hand.
  • Non-dairy milk: Pick your favorite non-dairy milk! Or if you consume dairy, you can go with that too.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder adds a little extra zest to these bad boys, so I never skip it.
  • BBQ sauce: Use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe. I typically use the Primal Kitchen brand or The New Primal, but go with what you like and can find!
  • Ranch dressing: Ranch dressing is optional, but for me, it’s not. I love dipping these crunchy cauliflower bites into ranch dressing, but every other family member of mine eats them plain, with no added sauce. Taste and experiment and find what you like!

How to make these cauliflower wings so they turn out perfect

These cauliflower wings are actually so easy to make, and if you follow my steps exactly, they will turn out perfect! 

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with a silicone sheet or parchment paper or greased foil.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into small florets, making sure they are all relatively even in size.
  3. Crush the tortilla chips in a blender, making sure to leave some textured crumbs, then transfer the crushed chips to a shallow bowl.
  4. Next, prepare the batter. In a medium/large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, milk, pepper, salt and garlic powder, making sure there are no clumps. If the batter is too thick, feel free to thin it out with some more milk and vice versa.
  5. Toss the cauliflower in the batter mixture (you can add them all at once), using a spatula or spoon to coat them all.
  6. Transfer the coated cauliflower to the crushed tortilla chips to coat completely, then place them onto the baking sheet one at a time, giving each piece enough space to bake.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. While the cauliflower is baking, pour the bbq sauce into a large shallow bowl. If the sauce is very thick, add a few tablespoons water.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  10. Dip the cauliflower pieces into the bbq mixture and return to the baking sheet. You can also use a brush to paint the bbq sauce on; just make sure the cauliflower are coated very well in the sauce.
  11. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and serve with a side of ranch dressing.

These cauliflower wings are best enjoyed right away so that they retain their crunchiness! Keep that in mind if you are making these for Super Bowl Sunday or any other occasion.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And of course, since I practically live on Instagram, tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower Wings

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
SERVES 4 people
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My favorite snack of all time happens to be crunchy cauliflower wings, so of course I had to create the most perfect BBQ cauliflower wings right in time for Super Bowl Sunday! These bites of heaven are gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, with all the crunch coming from crushed tortilla chips instead of panko or breadcrumbs!

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower chopped into even-size florets
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips any kind will work, I like Siete foods brand
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour or regular, all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour or arrowroot or corn starch
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 2/3 cups store-bought bbq sauce
  • 1 bottle of ranch dressing optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with a silicone sheet or parchment paper or greased foil.
  • Chop the cauliflower into small florets, making sure they are relatively the same size.
  • Crush the tortilla chips in a blender, making sure to leave some textured crumbs, then transfer the crushed chips to a shallow bowl.
  • Next, prepare the batter.
  • In a medium/large bowl, whisk together the flour, tapioca flour, milk, pepper, salt and garlic powder, making sure there are no clumps. If the batter is too thick, feel free to thin it out with some more milk and vice versa.
  • Toss the cauliflower in the batter mixture (you can add them all at once), using a spatula or spoon to coat them all.
  • Transfer them to the crushed tortilla chips to coat completely, then place them onto the baking sheet one at a time, giving each wing enough space to bake.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is baking, pour the bbq sauce into a large shallow bowl. If the sauce is very thick, add a few tablespoons water.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  • Dip the cauliflower into the bbq mixture and return to the baking sheet. You can also use a brush to paint the bbq sauce on; just make sure the cauliflower are coated very well in the sauce.
  • Bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, serve with the ranch dressing, and enjoy immediately.

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in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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    • Oh, I’m so happy these are one of your favorites!! Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Hannah!

  1. These were seriously incredible! My whole family enjoyed, even the meat lovers. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • I am honored and so happy to hear that! I love them too! Look out for new variations on this recipe coming soon!