Crispy, chewy, and super delicious, these Vegan Bang Bang Cauliflower Wings are a super easy app, side, or even an entree when served with rice. The cauliflower can be breaded or plain with the sauce--both ways are delicious and easy--cook in the oven or air fryer!
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While I give instructions for both battered and non, I think battered is more impressive but super easy. However, if you’re in a rush or want a lighter dish, it’s very easy to make delish bang bang cauliflower with just my simple bang bang sauce and a few other ingredients.
And I’m sure none of you are thinking this, but I am… wait, don’t I already have a bang bang recipe? As mentioned above, I have a bang bang tofu recipe, yes. But I thought it would be great as cauliflower too and I was right!
Plus it’s EXTRA amazing as bang bang cauliflower tacos! You could stick some onion in there, maybe a little cilantro if that’s your thing (it’s my thing, but not my husband’s!)…
And cauliflower shines in this recipe. If you’re not a fan, you may be by the time you make/devour this recipe. You could sub broccoli too, though, now I really want to make some bang bang broccoli (coming soon!).
But for now, let’s talk about how to make this cauliflower.
What You’ll Need
- Cauliflower: I used a small head of cauliflower which got me around 3 cups or one pan of cauliflower (spaced a few inches apart so they can crisp). You can also buy bags of cauliflower florets if you prefer to skip the chopping. You can easily double this amount with two small heads or a very large head of cauliflower if you want to make a double batch.
- Flour of choice: Either regular flour or a gluten-free 1:1 flour will work well for this recipe--I’ve used both King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free flour with success, and heard good things about Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour. You could also use chickpea flour (otherwise known as garbanzo bean or besan/gram flour).
- Spices: I spiced my batter with garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger, and sea salt.
- Unsweetened non-dairy milk: You can use any plant milk. I will say that even unsweetened oat milk tastes a little sweet to me so you may want to avoid that. Otherwise unsweetened almond, soy, flax, etc. milk are great for this recipe. Just make sure you get “original” flavor and not “vanilla” or something like that.
- Panko bread crumbs: I used Panko bread crumbs--but you can use gluten-free Panko if you need to--just make sure to check the label because sometimes they might have egg or something in there. I can usually find GF Panko with no issue, though. I recommend Panko over regular bread crumbs for a crispier wing. If you can't find any kind of Panko, you could also try pulsing some crackers in the food processor. Otherwise this recipe will still work with regular breadcrumbs. Gluten-free folks can also try rice crumbs which I’ve seen at Trader Joe’s.
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: Sweet chili sauce is the main flavor component here and is easily found in the Asian section of grocery stores, at Asian markets, or in health food stores. You can also buy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce online or try making it yourself. I found this recipe online that looks pretty good--I’d use organic sugar to keep it vegan (non-organic sugar is sometimes filtered through animal bone char). It’s actually not super spicy on its own.
- Vegan mayo: You can buy it at the store, but I also have a really good vegan mayo recipe on my site. Use tofu as suggested or use cashews, sunflower seeds, or even hemp seeds as the base and make it in less than 5 minutes.
- Sriracha: It’s optional, but I highly recommend adding some sriracha to taste if you like spicy food.
- Nutritional yeast: This is NOT traditional but I like the savory boost a little nutritional yeast added to the sauce, plus it helps thicken it up some.
- Sea salt: Salt may not be necessary if you use store bought vegan mayo, but I find that I miss a little saltiness in this recipe so I add a pinch. Feel free to omit if desired.
- If NOT battering the cauliflower, you may want to use a little olive or avocado oil to get your cauliflower to crisp in the oven.
How to Make Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius). You can also use an air fryer for this but it may take a bit longer (you may have to work in batches since it's best to cook these in a single layer). Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. I find that the silicone mat works a little better to get the most crispy cauliflower wings, but parchment works pretty well too.
- Method if you do NOT wish to batter your cauliflower: Mix together a little olive oil (to get it to stick, 2 tablespoons of the sweet chili sauce, salt and pepper, and about ¾ teaspoon of garlic powder (optional). Pour this mixture over your bowl of cauliflower florets and mix together. Lay the cauliflower florets on a lined baking tray, an inch or two between each piece so they can crisp. Roast 30-40 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius), flipping halfway through, or air fry around 15-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius), shaking the basket halfway through, until crispy. Mix together approximately half of the indicated ingredients for the bang bang sauce (you need less sauce with this method). Toss cooked cauliflower in the bang bang sauce and enjoy over rice or on its own.
- In a medium large bowl, mix together your chosen flour and spices. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the non dairy milk. Whisk until smooth. You’re looking for a thick batter that still drips so you can let the excess drip off each piece of cauliflower.
- Add some of the Panko bread crumbs to a medium wide bowl. I only like to add a bit of the Panko at a time, since the rest of it can get kind of wet from the batter. This way, when the remaining crumbs get too wet to adhere nicely to the cauliflower, you can dump them without losing too much of your supply and add a little fresh Panko to the bowl.
- After cutting your cauliflower into large florets, you can put together your dipping and rolling station. I like to organize it so I work left to right (if you're a lefty you may want to reverse it!). I put the bowl of cauliflower florets on the far left, then the batter, then the Panko, and finally the pan.
- Using a fork or your fingers , dip a floret first in the batter and flip it, making sure all sides get coated. Then, let it drip a moment over the bowl.
- Place in the Panko and use your fingers to sprinkle the Panko on top. You can use another fork or your fingers to roll the cauliflower in the Panko until it is completely coated.
- Now just use your Panko fork or fingers to place the cauliflower wing on the lined baking tray. Repeat with all remaining cauliflower, adding more Panko to the bowl only as necessary.
- Baking Method: Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it, flip each wing (you may need a fork or small cookie spatula to help you (at this point they might stick a little but that's OK). Cook for 15 more minutes. The cauliflower will be lightly golden brown and crispy when finished. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Air Frying Method: Place cauliflower in a single layer and give them a bit or breathing room. Cook for 15-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius), shaking the basket halfway through, until crispy. You may need to do multiple batches, so that’s why I prefer the oven for this recipe.
- While the cauliflower cooks, assemble the bang bang sauce by mixing together the vegan mayo, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, nutritional yeast (if using), and sea salt (if using). Set aside until ready to use.
- Toss the coated cauliflower wings with the vegan bang bang sauce. I recommend sprinkling with green onion and perhaps some sesame seeds. Serve bang bang cauliflower by itself or over rice for a nice meal.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
More Delish Vegan Apps
- Vegan Egg Rolls
- Vegan Baked Brie
- Bang Bang Tofu
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Vegan Pierogi with Potato and Leek
- Mushroom Lentil Pate
- Vegan Charcuterie Board
- Vegan Ceviche
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This Vegan Bang Bang Cauliflower is:
- Perfect for serving to guests
- And oh so delicious!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!