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!
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!