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Vegan Buffalo Style Cauliflower and Ranch Dipping Sauce

February 8, 2013

This is one of those recipes that I pinned, like months ago and finally got around to making. The original pin was from The Curvy Carrot (check it out here) and was just vegetarian and did not include a ranch sauce recipe. I did a little more research and ended up blending a couple recipes, including one from I played around quite a bit, so the recipe below is my edited version.

Also, I guess now would be a good time (albeit a little weird) to tell you that I don’t actually like Buffalo sauce or wings. In fact, I think I can count the total number of wings I’ve eaten in my life on one hand. My husband on the other hand…is unhealthily addicted. Moving within 40 miles of Buffalo, New York basically cancelled out his only planned pilgrimage in life. I’m a barbeque sauce kind of person. So, you will see here, that I actually did half buffalo sauce and half barbeque. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can easily alter it to different tastes.

Vegan Buffalo Style Cauliflower

Time: 30 minutes. Feeds: 2 people


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup flour (I used cornmeal, b/c well, I’m can’t ever get enough cornbread)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • a little salt
  • 3/4 cup Buffalo Sauce (or in my case…barbeque sauce)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Wash the cauliflower and cut up into bite size pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, water and salt. Put cauliflower pieces in mixture and coat evenly.
  4. Transfer the battered pieces into the oven. Cook 15-20 minutes or until the batter is slightly hardened.
  5. After they are finished cooking, take the pan out of the oven and brush (I doused) Buffalo sauce all over the cauliflower. Return to oven for another 5 minutes.
  6. That’s it. You’re done. It your delicious work of art.


Battered and in the oven


My 15 minutes are up. Time to sauce up.


I ended up using the sauces and not the spice packet. It would be fun to try out the spice packet as an alternative though. It may add some nice crunch…


After the last five minutes are up. While I waited for these to cook I made the ranch.

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes. Serves: 4 people


  • 1 medium sized container of cashews
  • a Ranch packet (oh I know, we cheated and it’s probably not vegan, but laziness won out.)
  • Almond milk (or other non dairy milk of your choice)
  • Arrowroot Starch (use this if you thin out the dressing too much)


  1. Soak cashews in warm water for about an hour.
  2. (an hour later…) Drain cashews and put in food processor. Add HALF (pay attention here) of the ranch packet and about 1/2 cup almond milk. Blend until pureed.
  3. Okay, I’m not going to lie. I kind of just made all this up, so take this measurements lightly (and play around a bit yourself!). I made the mistake of putting the whole ranch packet in and it was way too…ranchy. Let’s just say, the Hidden Valley was no longer hidden. I advise starting with half the packet and then adding the rest to your taste.
  4. Keep adding milk until the dressing is thinned to how you want it. I actually thinned it out too much (whoops), so I had to put it on the stovetop and add some arrowroot to thicken it up a little bit.
  5. When it tastes like how you like it, put it in the refrigerator and get it nice and cold before you serve it with the hot wings blooms?


Left: with only a little bit of milk. Right: Milk overload. See how watery it is? Try to avoid that. The white powder is arrowroot.


To thicken it up, I added the arrowroot (left) and put it on the stove over medium heat until thick.

Side note: Here is the easy peazy processed way to make vegan ranch = Buy vegan sour cream. Add the ranch packet. Voila, you are finished. I choose to make my own because a) I like to make things difficult and b) I like to cut back on the processed stuff.

Now for the pretty stuff…presentation!


Getting ready for the cauliflower to come out of the over. Plates are from Anthropologie, Ramekins are from Crate and Barrel.


Voila!!! C’est fini et tres facile!! The plate on the left are my barbeque blooms and the plate on the right is Andrew’s buffalo deliciousness. Ramekins have ranch dressing.


Andrew had a friend over to play banjo (I know, he sounds like a 12 year old, but he’s my husband) so I made them a little platter and then escaped. Please note the copious amount of napkins.

And in conclusion: There is a reason I didn’t call these Vegetarian Buffalo Wings…because it’s misleading. Don’t try to make vegetables be something that they aren’t. They are wonderful on their own…let veggies be veggies and celebrate it. This recipe is a fun and tasty project that I think both carnivores and herbivores can agree on.



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