These BBQ Cauliflower Wings are a healthier alternative to traditional wings. They are baked with very simple ingredients & they are oil & gluten-free. Serve ’em up as an appetizer, snack or tasty side dish.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and I have a million and one recipes to share, but honestly I needed a little break from the festive food for a day. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more holiday noms very soon. But for now, I made some BBQ Cauliflower Wings to share with you guys. They aren’t very holiday-ish, but they are insanely delicious and worthy of a blog post.
These BBQ Cauliflower Wings are the perfect solution to chicken wing addiction. Yep, I used to be addicted to them, too. If you think about it, the addicting part is the sweet, spicy and tangy sauce, not the chicken wings themselves.
Nobody can argue that chicken wings are healthy, so why not make the switch to a healthier, kinder & mouth-watering appetizer? These “wings” are addictive too, but you won’t have to feel guilty about indulging in them. It’s a win-win situation!
So, how did I get the idea for these tasty noms?
I first saw these cauliflower wings on Pinterest a while back, but I didn’t feel compelled to make them for some reason. Maybe subconsciously, I felt they were too good to be true.
Well, a few months back, I finally tried them at a local restaurant and I instantly fell in love! They were reminiscent of my old-time favorite appetizer, but super healthy and most importantly, vegan. I loved them so much, that I wanted to make them at home for my family.
While I absolutely love the traditional “hot wing” sauce, my four-year old isn’t a big fan of the spiciness. So, I decided to make something we can all enjoy, and I used my tangy, sweet & mildly spicy barbecue sauce. These are now his new favorite snack, right next to my Vegan “Mozzarella” Sticks.
You won’t need much to make these yummy noms. You’ll just need a head of cauliflower, gluten-free flour, almond milk, water and seasonings.
They are so easy to make too… just cut up your cauliflower into bite-size pieces, dip them into the flour/milk/water mixture and let them crisp up in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
While that is happening, you can make the savory & sweet barbecue sauce. You’ll need ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, vegan Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and seasonings.
When the BBQ Cauliflower Wings are crispy, dip them in this sticky goodness. Pop them back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is caramelized and browned.
These barbecue cauliflower wings are tangy, sweet, tender and crispy. They have the perfect balance of flavors and textures to make your taste buds happy. They will keep you coming back for more, so you might want to make some extra. The gremlins in my home gobble these up fast, so I always bake twice as much.
They can be served as an appetizer, snack or side dish. Serve ’em up on game day and watch them disappear. Shhh…don’t even tell ’em it’s cauliflower, they will devour them without a peep. Side them with some ranch sauce, celery & carrot sticks. Oh, and don’t forget the vegan beer!
If you are interested in seeing more game day recipes, you might like these Fried Olives Stuffed w/ Roasted Garlic or these Zucchini Corn Fritters. They are both my go-to party favorites and are real crowd pleasers.
Alright, are you ready to try this deliciousness? Let’s do this!
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this recipe, I’d love to get your feedback. You can leave a comment below and let me know what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce *see note
- 2 teaspoons tamari sauce or soy sauce, low sodium (GF if preferred)
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or preferred salt) , more to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Combine flour, salt & garlic powder in a medium bowl. Add in milk and whisk together. Whisk in a tablespoon of water at a time, because you might not need much of it at all. Your mixture should be thick, but pourable. Similar to pancake batter. If your batter is too runny, add a little bit more flour.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with oil.
Fully emerge each floret into the batter and let the excess run off. Tap a few times to help it along (*see note). Place on your baking sheet and repeat until all pieces are battered. Leave a few inches in between each piece to prevent soggy bites.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crispy and flip once in between.
While the florets are baking, start the barbecue sauce. In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients over med-low heat. Bring to a slight simmer and turn heat to low. Stir often so it doesn't burn. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until it thickens up a bit. Cook longer for a deeper flavor. Set aside until florets are ready.
Remove baking sheet from oven. Using a fork, carefully dip each floret into the bbq sauce and tap off excess. You can also brush on the sauce. Place each piece back on your baking sheet and leave a few inches in between.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is browned and lightly caramelized.
Serve with extra bbq sauce or ranch dipping sauce. Enjoy!
*After the batter has run off the floret into the bowl, I place it on a grated rack until all florets are battered, and then I transfer them to the baking sheet. I do this because a little bit of excess batter seems to still run off, leaving a weird shaped cauliflower wing when cooked. I put a piece of parchment paper under it, so it doesn't make a mess on the counter. This step in not necessary, but can be helpful.
*Worcestershire isn't typically vegan, but there are vegan versions to choose from. I purchase Annie's Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce or The Wizard's Organic Worcestershire Sauce and there are others on the market. Make sure to read the labeling before purchase.
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