Make this super easy & healthy air fryer cauliflower wings with bbq sauce without deep-frying. Perfect for a healthy appetizer or side dish. These cauliflower bites are made without breading, meaning no need to layer the florets with panko breadcrumbs in a classic way.
- Cauliflower – get a medium-sized cauliflower head and cut it into florets. Buy organic cauliflower whenever possible.
- Flour – for a wholesome appetizer, I use a mixture of whole wheat flour and cornstarch.
- BBQ sauce – to flavor the roasted cauliflower bites. I also mix some hot sauce into the bbq sauce for hotter wings.
- Salt – use as per your taste.
Cut cauliflower florets
Keep cauliflower head upside down on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, remove all the leafy parts from the thicker stem. Then start separating big chunks of the florets from the stem one by one. Then finally, cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets or wings.
How to cook cauliflower in air fryer
Preparing cauliflower wings
Clean cauliflower florets under running water and drain the excess water. In a mixing bowl, take wet cauliflower florets and add the flour and corn starch mixture. Toss the florets a few times to coat them evenly. Do not add all the flour at once; it may create lumps. Also, at the end drizzle or spray some cooking oil to get a nice roasted golden brown color after cooking.
In a small mixing bowl, combine BBQ sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to coat the air-fried cauliflower later.
Roasting cauliflower in Air Fryer
Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper. Also, punch some holes in the parchment paper to keep the hot air circulating. Then place the flour-coated cauliflower florets in a single layer and roast them until they are golden brown in color. Using a basting brush, coat the cooked pieces with a thin layer of the bbq sauce mixture, and continue cooking them for a few more minutes. Serve warm with some dipping sauce.
- Serve these air fryer cauliflower wings for an appetizer with some dipping sauce like light ranch or light sour cream or greek yogurt. You can also prepare this simple and easy avocado dip.
- Use them to prepare a wholesome bowl for a nutritious lunch or dinner. For this, pair it with zucchini rice or plain quinoa, or healthy cilantro lime brown rice.
- There is no need to prepare a batter for coating the cauliflower florets. Just clean the florets and drain the excess water and immediately sprinkle flour to coat on the wet surface. Also, add flour bit by bit instead of all the flour at once. Sprinkle some flour on the florets, then toss a few times and repeat until all the flour is used. If neccessary, drizzle or spray little water to coat all the dry flour.
- Use of parchment paper – cut the parchment paper to fit at the bottom of the air fryer basket. Punch small holes at several places to keep the air circulating while cooking. It will help with cleanup later.
Instead of coating with the barbecue sauce, use roasted cauliflower florets in preparing vegetarian tikka masala or chili garlic Asian cauliflower.
Preferably store flour-coated cauliflower wings before cooking. Store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Air-fry before serving them the next time. This way, you can get a fresh taste and a crunchy appetizer the next day or so.
You can also store the finished air fryer bbq cauliflower wings in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
If you are using leftover battered cauliflower, simply follow the cooking time and temperature given in the recipe instructions above.
For already roasted cauliflower bites, reheat them in an air fryer for about 2 min. You can microwave them for 1-2 min in a safe container or bowl.
Yes, this recipe for a low-fat appetizer does not contain any dairy products.
Healthy Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into 1-2” florets
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil or use oil spray
- ⅓ cup bbq sauce or more
- 2 teaspoon hot sauce or more
- salt according to taste
- In a small bowl combine bbq sauce, hot sauce, and salt. Mix well and keep it aside.
- In another bowl mix flour and cornstarch.
- Rinse cauliflower florets under running water and drain the excess water.
- Add the wet florets to a large mixing bowl. Gradually add flour and cornstarch mixture and toss the florets to coat evenly. If necessary, drizzle a teaspoon of water to create a wet surface.
- Drizzle or spray some oil on the flour coated florets.
- Line the air-fryer basket with parchment paper. Place florets into a single layer and roast them at 360F for 8 min, shake or flip them, and continue cooking for another 4 min (see notes).
- Using a basting brush coat barbeque sauce mixture on the roasted florets. Then cook them for another 3 min.
- Serve warm with dipping sauce like light ranch or sour cream or greek yogurt.
- Parchment paper – its use creates less mess and helps with the cleanup later. Also, punch holes in the parchment paper to keep the hot air circulating.
- Do not let cauliflower florets get dry and add the coating flour while the surface is still wet. Or else, wet the cauliflower before adding the flour.
- Also, do not add salt to the florets before cooking them. This way you can store leftover flour-coated wings. Otherwise, the salt will make them soggy during storage.
- Depending on the cauliflower size, make the wings in 2-3 batches.
My hubby is a vegan and he loved every bite of these cauli wings!!