No contest, buffalo wings are the painful pleasure most likely to make the MVP list at Super Bowl parties across the nation. From dive bars to family dinners, there’s truly no wrong place or time to put a wing on it. Cauliflower has somehow become the go-to alternative for vegan eaters, perhaps owing to their inherently neutral flavor, accessibility, or compact florets that hold on to that fiery hot sauce brilliantly. Whatever the reason, I’m here for it.
What Are The Alamo Drafthouse Cauliflower Wings?
Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings were one of the hottest recipes to come out of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema kitchens. The (no longer) secret formula was graciously released to starved movie-lovers in the early days of the pandemic. At least that’s one good thing to come from the initial lock down. Now, as they say, the show must go on. After a triumphant return, it’s absolutely a luxury to enjoy these spicy morsels from their place of origin, illuminated by the glow of the screen. Forget dry, stale popcorn; this is a substantial snack that could easily become the main event of the matinee.
That recipe is still a golden opportunity for innovation at home. Using the Alamo approach to kick-start the process, I daresay we can build an even better buffalo wing with just a little work.
How Can You Make Alamo Drafthouse Buffalo Cauliflower Even Better?
- Replace mushy frozen cauliflower with fresh.
- Cut the all-purpose flour with cornstarch for a crispier finish.
- Add more savory seasonings to the flour coating.
- Use any unsweetened non-dairy milk instead of soy for flexibility.
- Make a more well-rounded, seasoned sauce than using just straight hot sauce.
- Replace the thyme in the ranch dressing with dill, because who does that?
Granted, with all those modifications, it’s a substantially different recipe. To be frank, I find it very unlikely that the “real” version starts with frozen cauliflower in the first place, so maybe I’ve hit a better formula to come closer to the original, in an odd, roundabout sort of way. Regardless, it brings this vinegary, spicy snack to life in brilliant color. That should easily earn two thumbs up from the critics.
- 1 Head (About 2 Pounds) Fresh Cauliflower, Cut into Florets
- 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Hot Sauce, Such as Frank's Red Hot
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter, Melted
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
- 2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- Rinse the cauliflower florets well but don't completely dry them. It's important that they remain moist for the flour coating to stick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well to make sure all the seasonings are thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the non-dairy milk and vinegar into separate bowl. Finally, place the breadcrumbs into its own bowl as well. Now you're ready to start breading!
- This can be a messy process; for best results, try to keep one hand dry and one wet. Start by tossing a few cauliflower florets at a time into the seasoned flour. Once coated, dip them into the non-dairy milk, and finally into the breadcrumbs. Try to press the breadcrumbs in firmly for them to stick. Repeat until all the cauliflower is covered.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Alternately, you can air fry the cauliflower but will likely need to do so in multiple batches. Spread the breaded cauliflower on in an even layer on the sheet pan without the pieces overlapping. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or air fry at 370 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden brown and crispy. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the hot sauce, melted vegan butter, garlic powder, and maple syrup. Toss gently to coat.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the ranch by simply combining all the ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth. Add more or less non-dairy milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
- Serve while the cauliflower is hot and the ranch is cold!
To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 567Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1309mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 13g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.