Perfect air fryer cauliflower wings with a soft center and crispy crust ready to be dipped in our creamy garlicky vegan aioli. Easy to make, no breading, no batter, no butter needed, naturally gluten free and vegan, these delicious cauliflower bites are not to be missed.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
Your new favorite game day appetizer boss, finger licking good delicious cauliflower wings that you won’t want to share. They must be eaten hot as soon as they come out of the air fryer, so make sure to have all your favorite dipping sauces lined up and ready to go! Great served alongside our fan favorite roasted broccoli + vegan spinach artichoke dip.
How to Air Fry Cauliflower Wings
- Preheat Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer to 450”F.
- Cut the cauliflower into large florets, coat them in a light spray of olive oil and toss with the spices.
- Arrange the florets in the air fryer tray / basket without touching each other. Work in batches if needed.
- Air fry until golden brown with crispy edges and enjoy hot with our Vegan Aioli or your favorite dipping sauces.
- Which air fryer do you use? I started with the Cuisineart toaster oven/ air fryer which broke in a year boohoo then switched to the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer and we absolutely love it. It’s perfect for our recipe testing, endless batches of this Peanut Tofu, heats up extremely quick but can also fit a few full trays of goodies. (Watch unboxing video).
- Do cauliflower wings taste like chicken? No kids, they taste like super yummy cauliflower bites. If you are after a chicken substitute make sure to try our vegan fried chicken instead + our vegan chicken with broccoli.
- Can I use batter in the air fryer ? Yes, but Don’t do it! I specifically created this recipe without a batter so it is perfect for the air fryer. If you want to use batter i suggest baking that batch instead, or line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. However, using parchment paper will sort of defeat the purpose of air frying because the air can’t circulate through the paper for that extra crispy crust finish. All that being said, If you have the toaster oven air fryer you could place a catch all tray on the bottom and do a batter.
Air Frying Tips
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer tray / basket.
- Use high heat, I air fried mine at 450”F using Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer which yields those crispy edges and soft interior.
- Don’t worry about overcooking, I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to overcook cauliflower.
- If you want a tempura like coating on your cauliflower florets, sprinkle in 1/4 cup of tapioca together with your spices and toss everything to coat well before air frying.
- Oven Method: Don’t have an air fryer? No problem, you can use this exact recipe and bake them in the oven like these cauliflower steaks, making sure to flip them half way. Alternatively they can be baked on top of a cooling rack to allow maximum air circulation just like a convection oven.
- Leftovers – Can be stored in the fridge in lidded glass containers for up to 5 days, but let’s not kid ourselves here. What leftovers?!
Cauliflower Dipping Sauces
- Vegan Aioli
- Cashew Queso
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Vegan Ranch or BBQ Sauce
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Mango Avocado Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
- Lemon or lime wedges, vegan aioli, cashew queso, chimichurri sauce.
- Cut or tear the cauliflower head into florets. Place them in a large bowl. (make decent size florets not baby ones).
- Use an olive oil spray and give the cauliflower a quick spray all over. Alternatively use about one tablespoon of olive oil. (for WFPB & Plantricious diets omit oil and use a drizzle of tahini or water instead).
- Sprinkle with the paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper and chili powder if using. Toss to coat well all over.
- Preheat your air fryer to 450”F. (NOTE: I'm using the Breville Smart Oven Air-Fryer, if you are using a different model or brand you need to keep a close eye on it, check for doneness halfway, it might cook quicker or might need extra time).
- Spread the seasoned cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket/ tray without touching each other. Air fry for 25-30 minutes shaking the tray/ basket half way or carefully flip them using a pair of kitchen tongs. (Note: I used my Breville air fryer / toaster oven so the tray fit all my pieces perfectly. If using a different model with a small basket make sure to work in batches so your cauliflower wings crisp up nicely and not steam.)
- Serve with this vegan aioli, cashew queso or chimichurri sauce.
WFPB + Plantricious
- To make this recipe WFPB + Plantricious compliant make sure to omit all oil and replace with a splash of water or a drizzle of tahini instead.
- Which air fryer do you use? For this recipe I used my Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer. If you are using a different air fryer model or brand, you need to keep a close eye on your cauliflower, check halfway, it might cook quicker or might need extra time. Adjust accordingly, the cauliflower success is all on you, do it right baby 😉
- Can I use batter in the air fryer ? Yes but Don’t do it! I specifically created this recipe without a batter so it is perfect for the air fryer. If you want to use batter i suggest baking that batch or line your air fryer basket with parchment paper before adding the florets. However, having the parchment paper there will sort of defeat the purpose of air frying because the air can’t circulate through the parchment paper for that crispy crust finish. All that being said, If you have the toaster oven air fryer you could place a catch all tray on the bottom and do a batter.
- Oven Method: Don’t have an air fryer? No problem, you can use this exact recipe and bake them in the oven making sure to flip them half way and check for doneness.