Easy Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings Recipe

Chicken wings may be the king of savory snacks, but not everyone eats meat — and some people simply fancy a healthier option from time to time. For those folks, certified wellness coach Miriam Hahn of YouCare-SelfCare has you covered thanks to her air fryer BBQ cauliflower wings recipe. Best part? It's not extremely tough to make.

"This is a pretty easy recipe," Hahn said. "Just a little messy, but not hard at all."

While wings don't need any fancy bells and whistles, little additions can take them to the next level. "I think these pair well with any type of dip, but ranch and blue cheese are the most popular," Hahn said. "I love to put this out with my homemade hummus and hearts of palm ceviche!" 

Gather the ingredients for the cauliflower wings

Before you can start the air fryer BBQ cauliflower wings recipe, you'll need to gather the ingredients. You'll need cauliflower, almond milk, all-purpose flour, and nutritional yeast. You'll also need onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, Panko crumbs, and of course, barbecue sauce.

Although any type of milk will suffice, almond milk helps keep these wings on the healthier side. "I use almond milk because it is healthier, and usually make all recipes with some sort of plant milk," Hahn said. "But any milk will work." 

Cut the cauliflower, prepare the batter

Now that the ingredients are prepped, you'll need to cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets, or smaller if you prefer. It really depends on if you want your cauliflower wings to be bite-sized or consumed in a couple of bites.

In a medium bowl, add milk, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Whisk all ingredients until a thick batter is formed. 

Once the batter is finished, add the Panko crumbs to a separate bowl. This is where the real fun begins!

Prepare the florets for air frying

Next, dip the florets in the batter and roll them in the Panko crumbs. Place about half of the florets in a single layer in the air fryer tray.

"Most air fryers have a small cooking basket," Hahn said. "I did these in two batches. You have to lay them out in a single layer versus just piling them in."

If you have small cooking basket, and need to air fry the wings in more than one batch, adjust the cooking time accordingly. For example, if you need to cook in two batches as Hahn did, the cooking time will end up being around 40 minutes total, instead of 20.  

Cook the cauliflower at 400 F for 20 minutes or until browned. "You know they are done when they look golden brown and almost blackened in some areas," Hahn said.

Assemble the BBQ cauliflower wings

When the florets are done cooking, place them in a large bowl. 

Next, add barbecue sauce and toss until the florets are fully coated. You can also serve the barbecue sauce as a dip and skip the tossing step altogether. They're now ready for serving. 

Not only do these wings deliver on taste, they have added health benefits. Hahn says cauliflower is one of her favorite vegetables because it is a cruciferous vegetable and full of sulforaphane, which has been shown to be a potential cancer-inhibiting compound.  

These may be vegan, but they'll likely win over any carnivore! 

Easy Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings Recipe
4.9 from 13 ratings
Chicken wings may be the king of savory snacks, but not everyone eats meat. Give these easy air fryer BBQ cauliflower wings a go. Nobody loses with this recipe.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
glistening cauliflower wings on plate
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower or 2 (10-ounce) bags pre-cut cauliflower
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or any milk type)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour such as millet)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ cups organic Panko crumbs
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
Directions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets (or smaller if you prefer).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. This will form a thick batter.
  3. Place the Panko crumbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Dip the florets in the batter and roll them in the Panko crumbs.
  5. Place about half of the florets in a single layer in the air fryer tray.
  6. Set the temperature to 400 F and cook for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. When done, place them in a large bowl and toss with barbecue sauce. (You can also serve the barbecue sauce on the side).
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 218
Total Fat 1.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 18.3 g
Sodium 560.6 mg
Protein 6.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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