Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe


Eating buffalo chicken wings while watching a sports event or as an appetizer has become something of an American tradition. Legend has it that buffalo wings were invented at a bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Chicken wings were normally thrown away or reserved for making stock, until the owner of the bar decided to deep fry them and toss them in cayenne hot sauce.

Since then, buffalo wings have been a staple in bars across the United States and Canada, but what if there was a more health conscious option? Good news — you can get the same flavors using cauliflower instead of fried chicken wings, and a slew of health benefits, too.

Buffalo Wings Are Better with Cauliflower

Typically, buffalo wings are deep-fried in vegetable or canola oil until they are well browned, then they are drained and mixed with sauce. I don’t like to eat anything that has been fried in canola oil because it’s a refined oil that’s often partially hydrogenated to increase its stability, but this increases its level of trans fats and negative health effects. Also, over 90 percent of canola oil is genetically modified. (1) Consuming genetically modified canola oil can lead to kidney and liver problems and life-threatening heart trouble, like high blood pressure and increased LDL cholesterol levels.

For my buffalo wings, I think cauliflower is better. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that’s rich in health-promoting phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds. (2) It also supplies essential vitamins and minerals, including 73 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. Go figure, cauliflower buffalo wings can actually boost your immune system!

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower

Not only is buffalo cauliflower incredibly healthy, but it’s also super easy to make, with the prep time being only 5 minutes. Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F and preparing a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a medium head of cauliflower to serve 4–6 people. Once you remove the stem of the cauliflower, you’ll notice that it naturally breaks apart into large florets. Then use your knife to chop these florets into smaller, bite-size pieces.

Once your cauliflower is chopped, spread the pieces out on your parchment paper-lined pan and prepare the ingredients for your sauce.

Add a teaspoon of both salt and pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder to the cauliflower. Spread the spices evenly and then use your hands to toss it all together.

Next, use 1/3 cup of Paleo buffalo sauce and with a basting brush, coat the cauliflower completely. Paleo buffalo sauce is typically made with chilies, onion, garlic, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. You can also find a Paleo-friendly sauce in your local health food store. If you want to dilute the sauce a bit, just add a bit of coconut oil ,which has a high smoke point and won’t oxidize when heated in the oven. 

Once your cauliflower is completely coated, pop the baking sheet into the oven for 30–40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it.

It’s as simple as that! Your Buffalo cauliflower is ready to go. You can eat it as is, or use it as part of a meal, like Buffalo cauliflower tacos, yum.

Enjoy this healthy alternative to Buffalo wings!

Prep Time

5 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes



Meal Type



  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup Paleo buffalo sauce
  • plain coconut yogurt, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add cauliflower, oil and spices to the baking sheet, using your hands to toss until evenly coated.
  4. Using a basting brush, brush the buffalo sauce onto the cauliflower until evenly covered.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve on a plate with yogurt for dipping OR add to your favorite taco.

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  1. Karen W. on

    I am so grateful to have found your site. As a busy mom of teens, I am off track with our nutrition and health. Recipes for healthy snacks and desserts will go a long way to help us get on track and stay there. I also enjoy spreading news to family and friends of the health benefits of natural treatments as often as I can. Thank you for providing a well-organized, research-based, and easy to navigate site.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Karen, Thank you for the kind words. I am so glad to hear the recipes have helped you. I am wishing you and your family the best on your health journey. Blessings to you and yours!

    • Amy on

      From one mom to another; you took the words out of my mouth. I share Dr. Axe with everyone I talk to. He’s my go-to for health treatment of symptoms I’d rather reverse before they end up somewhere I don’t want to go. Its a natural easy approach that’s doable. You’re a God-send Dr. Axe! I appreciate you.

    • Amy on

      Good to know! I was considering trying them. I’m not too much on spicy things but love the reasoning behind why we eat each ingredient. I could just put a little less chili, I guess. :)

  2. Susan on

    I enjoy many of your recipes and look forward to trying this one. I just wish you had a printable version without all the photos so I don’t have to copy them down. It would be nice to just be able to hit print on the recipe, and not have to try to adjust the page to eliminate photos. I don’t use pinterest, so I have to write each of them down. Thanks for good info and recipes, along with your health research.

    • Amy on

      :) I agree! I have messy papers stashed here and there where I copied them down. My handwriting starts out neat, then gets messy quickly. I sometimes put his cleanse plan on a chalkboard, but printable would be great.

  3. sdkdskjsdjkldsjk on

    just tried this recipe. i didn’t even put this in for 30 minutes and it started burning. definitely don’t put it in for 40 mins. might consider turning the temp down a bit.

    • Amy on

      Good to know. Maybe its the oven though? I have to cook everything 10 degrees higher and for longer temps in my oven. Do other things cook normally in your oven? I will keep an eye on my recipe as it bakes to make sure I rescue it before a burn. ;)

  4. Jennifer Castineira on

    I love buffalo flavor and have missed it so much since making healthy changes to my food. This recipe is amazing, and gives me the alternative I was looking for. My entire family loved this, including the picky 8 year old. Wonderful recipe addition to our collection. Thank you so much. Your recipes and emails are great inspiration and offer so many healthy alternatives. Blessings to you and your staff!!

  5. Kent on

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    I found your site looking for diabetes reversing foods. Although I’ve had nutritional classes at the VA, I’ve been neglecting my diet, until I realized my sugar is out of control, and I stand to lose, well, everything!
    My diet and exercise changes today, with getting myself up and doing something, not just being a chair potato! I finally understand that my being tired and out of breath from simple things is because I sit too much! Sitting begets sitting!
    Thank you for opening my eyes! I love your site!

  6. Barbara Morse on

    This helps me choose foods for my husband, his numbers have gone up, he watches what he eats, but to no avail. So this site I am going to try these recipes.


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