Project Description

These BBQ Cauliflower and Tofu Wings are a tasty and cruelty-free alternative to traditional wings. They are baked to perfection with a crispy panko coating and a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce. Serve ’em up as an appetizer, main course or tasty side dish. They will keep everybody coming back for more!

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

CHEF

Sara St. Dennis

CUISINE

American

DIFFICULITY

Easy / Beginner

SOCIAL

leafy.glow

I used to be a server at a popular pub on 17 ave here in Calgary, and on most game nights I would get a few people who would eat up to 50 chicken wings in one sitting! It’s a terrible truth. I wish the wings were on for the same special as the cauliflower bites, as they are just as good, healthier and cruelty free; it’s a win-win-win! If you have never tried cauliflower wings, you may be surprised at the almost “meaty” texture baked cauliflower can have. With the right prep, batter and coatings, I can assure you that these cauliflower wings will satisfy your cravings on game night the same way traditional wings can!

Do Cauliflower Wings Taste Like Chicken?

They definitely do not taste like chicken nor do they have the same texture. However, I still feel like they are the perfect alternative for chicken wings. They have a remarkable texture (almost meaty) after being battered, coated with panko bread crumbs and baked to crispy goodness!

What Do I Need?

Just 10 simple ingredients! You will need a head of cauliflower, flour, non-dairy milk, water, panko breadcrumbs, barbecue sauce, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and salt. That’s it! And this is completely optional, but you could also add green onion and sesame seeds as a topping for some added flavour and texture.

How Do You Make BBQ Cauliflower and Tofu Wings?

First, get your cauliflower florets cut and ready and the tofu pressed and torn into bite sized pieces. Then mix the water, plant milk, flour, spices and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate, smaller bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs. Line a large baking sheet (or two if needed) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Add the cauliflower and tofu to the bowl with the water/flour batter and stir to coat all the florets well. One floret at a time, roll in the panko breadcrumbs, and then place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and toss the baked florets and tofu with about 2 cups of barbecue sauce (using a large bowl). Coat well, then return to the pan and place back in the oven to cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Brush a little more barbecue sauce onto the cooked cauliflower and tofu bites, if desired and serve immediately with vegan ranch for dipping.

What Are Panko Bread Crumbs?

Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods such as tonkatsu. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs is that panko is made from bread without crusts, and it tends to be flakier than normal bread crumbs which is what we want for this recipe. The panko is what makes the cauliflower and tofu get super crispy!

BBQ CAULIFLOWER + TOFU WINGS AND VEGAN RANCH DIP

BBQ Cauliflower Wings are such a perfect appetizer or snack for game day. Made with a handful of ingredients, these will keep everyone coming back for more! The tofu is optional, this recipe can be done without it, but I like to add it for some extra protein.

GUIDE & MACROS (WITH TOFU)
  • Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes

  • Calories: 192kcal
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbs: 35g

  • Protein: 26g

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu (optional)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp onion powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (add 1/2 cup for tofu)

  • About 1 1/2 cups your favourite barbecue sauce (2 cups if using tofu)

  • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

  • Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Leave some of the cauliflower stem on each piece so it is easier to pick up when eating. If you are using the tofu, press it with a tofu presser or dry tea towel to get as much water as possible out of the tofu. Once dried, tear it apart with your fingers into thumb-sized pieces. This step is key to get a chewy texture from the tofu!

  • In a large bowl, add water, plant milk, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt. Whisk until well combined. In a second, smaller bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.

  • Add the cauliflower and tofu separately to the batter in the large bowl, and toss to coat. Remove the pieces of cauliflower and tofu, one by one, and tap off the excess batter a few times on the side of the bowl. Roll them in the breadcrumbs, coating on all sides, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake for 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 10 more minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.

  • Toss the florets and tofu with aprox 2 cups barbecue sauce to coat in a large bowl, then return to the pan. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven, brush with more barbecue sauce before serving, if desired. Top with green onions and/or sesame seeds (optional). Serve with Vegan Ranch for dipping, and enjoy!
NOTES

1. To make gluten free, use chickpea flour or other gluten-free flour. You could omit the breadcrumbs, use gluten free breadcrumbs, or try to use cornmeal instead.

2. Panko breadcrumbs work the best for this recipe, but you could substitute for other breadcrumbs if desired.

3. To store leftovers, keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warm.

4. You can use your favourite store-bought barbecue sauce (check ingredients to ensure vegan). You will need about 18 ounces for the cauliflower only, or 28 ounces if using the tofu.

5. I linked the Vegan Ranch that I used in the instructions – it is my favourite!