This buffalo cauliflower has a tasty spicy kick that will knock your socks off, and the creamy feta dip will help cool the spice and amp up the flavor! Who said buffalo has to be limited to chicken wings? It's delicious as a snack, light meal, or side dish. Once you start, you won't be able to stop!
We've all heard of buffalo wings...but what about buffalo cauliflower??
Don't get me wrong...I love buffalo wings...but no one said that that buffalo flavor can only be on wings.
Nor did anyone ever say that it had to be a sauce.
So I came up with a dry buffalo seasoning that would still go great on wings, but it would also go great on something else...like cauliflower!
Cauliflower that has been simply seasoned with oil, salt and pepper and roasted is one of the best things ever. But I began to think about how I could play around different seasonings to make cauliflower more exciting!
Roasted cauliflower is substantial without being heavy on carbs, and it is also a blank slate sort of vegetable that can be prepared simply or fancied up easily with delicious results.
And of course, cauliflower is perfect if you are vegetarian or vegan, but even if you're not, you're going to really love this!
Preparing the Cauliflower
It is important to cut the cauliflower into chunks that you might consider slightly bigger than bite-sized. This is because the cauliflower pieces will shrink a bit while roasting, so cut them a bit bigger to keep them substantial.
Pro Tip: A "cleaner" way to cut into cauliflower is to cut through the stalk and then pull the cauliflower apart so it doesn't leave as many bits all over your cutting board or counter.
Wash and rinse the cauliflower chunks well, and be sure to drain/spin them to get them as dry as possible. We want to roast them, not steam them.
Look up a lot of buffalo recipes and many of them will say to buy Frank's Red Hot Sauce, which is basically buffalo sauce in a bottle (minus the butter that often gets mixed in). While I do think it's awesome to have that spicy magic bottled and sold for convenience, I didn't want the cauliflower to be saucy.
So I mixed up a bunch of spices to simulate the buffalo flavor! It's a combination of fairly common spices...salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Can I use coat other foods with this spice blend?
Yes! An obvious alternative would be to coat chicken pieces or chicken wings with this dry rub before roasting! If using chicken, I would use skin-on pieces so that it crisps up nicely from the spices. Coat other meats, fish, shrimp, etc.
How To Make the Feta Dip
Buffalo wings are traditionally served with a side of creamy blue cheese dip. The blue cheese helps to cool down the spiciness of the wings while also adding another tasty layer of flavor.
Not everyone likes blue cheese, though, especially when they know that there is actually mold in the cheese! It can also be costly and may also not be easy to find. So I came up with the idea to use FETA and it is so good!
While the two cheeses are not identical in taste, the feta still does a fabulous job for this creamy dip. (If you want to read more about the differences between blue cheese and feta, check out this article by Foodiosity.)
Crumble the feta and mix it with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. What you end up with is a nice fresh blend of salt and tang in this thick and creamy dip.
Just like how blue cheese dip helps mellow the heat and adds another delicious layer of flavor for buffalo wings, this feta dip works perfectly in the same way with the spicy cauliflower.
How To Make Buffalo Cauliflower
Toss the cauliflower chunks with some oil in a large bowl. I use extra light olive oil for all my basic oil needs because of its high smoke point and neutral flavor.
Sprinkle ⅓ of the buffalo seasoning on the cauliflower and toss/mix. Repeat with another third and then another, tossing between each addition, to make sure the cauliflower is well-coated.
Spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet and bake at 400F/200C for 15 minutes.
Flip the cauliflower pieces over and roast for another 15 minutes.
And there you have it! Transfer the buffalo cauliflower to a platter, don't forget the feta dip, garnish with some fresh parsley and maybe a couple of lemon wedges and it's time to dig in!
What Can I Serve It With?
You could certainly enjoy this as a meal in itself, just like buffalo wings. But because cauliflower is lighter, this actually makes a great side dish.
It would also go great stuffed into a pita pocket, maybe with some pulled pork, and drizzled with the feta dip? YUM!
And if you are a big cauliflower fan, check out my Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, Roasted Cauliflower Hummus, or Sweet Potato Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie. These are just a few recipes that show how versatile and delicious cauliflower can be.
If you're looking for a new and exciting veggie dish with a bit of zing, or wondering what to do with that head of cauliflower you've got in the fridge, look no further! One bite of buffalo cauliflower with a dollop of feta dip and you'll be glad you tried it!
Buffalo Cauliflower with Feta Dip
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons extra light olive oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley (dried okay)
- Preheat oven 400F/200C.
- Combine all the dip ingredients and mix together well, mashing the feta crumbles well. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Remove leaves from the head of cauliflower and cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss cauliflower pieces with oil so they are well-coated.
- Combine all the Buffalo Seasoning ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle the seasoning on the cauliflower, ⅓ at a time, tossing the cauliflower after each addition to get the cauliflower evenly coated.
- Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes uncovered.
- Flip cauliflower pieces and bake another 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with the Feta Dip. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges, if desired.
- Increase the amount of cayenne if you like more spice
- Increasing the cayenne pepper by ¼ teaspoon makes a big difference to the spice level, so be conservative!
- Replace the feta with blue cheese, if desired.
- Adjust the feta dip ingredients to your taste.
- Store extra feta dip in the refrigerator.
- Omit the feta dip to make the dish vegan, vegetarian, keto, and paleo. Serve with your favorite non-dairy dip, if desired.
- Try the dry seasoning on chicken wings!
- For an even more authentic buffalo flavor, substitute the oil with melted butter for coating the cauliflower before adding the spices.
- Make the buffalo spice blend in quantity and keep it in an airtight container in the cupboard for whenever you want buffalo seasoning!