15 Delicious Vegetarian Smokey Sweet Barbecue Cauliflower Bites Recipes

Cauliflower gets a bad rep for being bland. Many people think that the only way to enjoy this vegetable is with a thick cheese sauce but it is actually much more versatile. One way to spice up a head of cauliflower is to chop it up into small pieces and make it into a healthy alternative to chicken wings. 

These wings are delightful when seasoned with barbeque sauce and can be fried, roasted, or baked depending on how healthy you want to be. These sumptuous little vegetable bites can be enjoyed alone or with a larger meal and offer a great way to use up a spare head of cauliflower in your fridge.

If you like the sound of tasty vegan barbecue wings, then read on and discover 15 recipes for making smokey and sweet cauliflower bites. 

1. Vegan BBQ Wings

Many of the recipes in this list will be suitable for vegans, and if not it shouldn’t be hard to supplement out certain ingredients to make them so. This recipe teaches you how to make your own vegan, smokey barbecue sauce which can be easily used for other recipes besides cauliflower wings. 

One of the best things about this dish is that it is so quick to make. Once you have chopped up your cauliflower into bitesize florets, you only need to dip them in a runny dough and cook them in the oven. The batter contains smoked paprika and white pepper powder for that extra spicy kick.

2. BBQ Cauliflower Wings

These wings can be made using a homemade barbecue sauce, or one bought from the shops if you prefer. As a side note, vegans should always check the ingredients on shop-bought sauces in case they contain honey. 

As well as being battered in flour, onions, and garlic, the cauliflower wings in this recipe are also breaded to make them more crispy. To prepare this dish properly you will need to buy panko breadcrumbs and have a brush for painting the BBQ sauce onto your wings. 

3. Smoky BBQ Cauliflower Wings

Although they take a while to properly cook, the beautiful thing about BBQ cauliflower wings is that they require very little time to prepare. In fact, you can make these smokey vegetable bites with only five minutes of prep.  

This recipe is super healthy, but that doesn’t stop it from also being delicious. It uses no oil and can incorporate gluten-free oat flour instead of the regular variety. The end result is a smokey cauliflower wing flavored with smoked paprika and black pepper that tastes way too good to be enjoyed in moderation. 

4. Honey BBQ Cauliflower Wings

If you are vegetarian rather than vegan, then you may want to sweeten your homemade BBQ wings with a bit of honey. That’s exactly what this next recipe does, by mixing shop-bought barbecue sauce with a healthy spoon full of honey to make vegetable bites that are both sweet and sticky. 

After you have made the batter and cooked the florets for a few minutes, they need to be basted in the honey BBQ sauce and cooked again until crispy. This dish goes wonderfully with sour cream and chive dip for an explosion of delicious flavors with every bite. 

5. Gluten-Free Cauliflower Bites 

These vegetable bites are gluten-free and baked instead of fried to make them extra healthy. To cook them, you will need to have a basting brush for painting on the barbecue sauce at the end. 

Flavored with black pepper, and paprika, these cauliflower wings are suitable for anyone with a low tolerance for spice. Of course, if you do like your food with a spicy kick, you can easily add a few red pepper flakes into the batter as well. With a suitably sized head of cauliflower, this recipe makes 30 mouth-watering wings for passing around at your next party. 

6. Baked Barbecue Cauliflower Bites

Whether you are using storebought or homemade barbecue sauce for this recipe, you will need to mix it with some melted-down vegan margarine before putting it on your florets. This is to help it stick to the cauliflower better, and you can further enhance this dressing with a few drops of hot sauce should you wish. 

Since cauliflower is very good at taking on other flavors, the batter for these wings is filled with lots of delicious seasonings. Aside from the usual black pepper and smoked paprika, this recipe also makes use of red pepper flakes and cumin for some truly irresistible barbecue bites. 

7. Savory and Sweet Cauliflower bites

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, and this recipe is one of the simplest on this list. You will only need about 7 ingredients and 40 spare minutes to prepare these delicious sweet BBQ wings. 

Because it is so simple, this recipe can be very easily customized. You can personalize this dish by adding a different mix of spices, making your own barbecue sauce, or using rice flour instead of all-purpose to make your wings gluten-free. 

8. BBQ Cauliflower Bites With Ranch Sauce 

As well as all-purpose flour, the batter for this recipe uses cornmeal to make your cauliflower bites extra crispy.  These wings aren’t the sweetest, but they certainly pack a punch, with unsweetened milk in the batter alongside thyme, and two varieties of pepper. 

These wings only take 30 minutes to cook which makes them a great option if you are pressed for time. They can be enjoyed as a side dish, by themselves, or even as part of a tasty sandwich. At the end of this recipe, you can find a link for making delicious vegan ranch sauce to dip your bits in. 

9. Extra Crispy Cauliflower wings 

If you like your wings extra crispy and crunchy then this is the recipe for you. With breadcrumbs mixed into the batter alongside gluten-free flour, these cauliflower bites have a great texture as well as a sumptuous taste. 

This dish is lightly coated in honey for a sweet flavor, but you can use maple syrup or Agave nectar instead if you want to make them vegan. As well as the honey, the batter is infused with cayenne peppers and parsley for a mild herby edge that compliments the spice very well. 

10. Vegan and Gluten-Free BBQ Cauliflower florets 

This is a recipe for creating not only delicious cauliflower wings but also your own vegan and gluten-free BBQ sauce. Incorporating mustard, hot sauce, paprika, and apple cider vinegar, the sauce used in this dish is better than most of the products you can find in the shops. 

The batter for the wings themselves uses soy milk and chickpea flour so it is both gluten-free and vegan. These ingredients make the dough slightly thicker which will provide more even coverage over your florets. 

11. Crispy Baked BBQ Cauliflower Bowl

A great way to enjoy your spicy and sweet cauliflower delicacies is with a bowl of brown rice. That’s exactly what this recipe does, and it helps to make this dish into less of an appetizer and more of a full meal. 

While this dish requires slightly more prep time than the others on this list, once you are done preparing your wings they will only take about 15 minutes to cook. This recipe also teaches you how to make your own vegan coleslaw to enjoy alongside your wings. 

12. Vegan Smokey Cauliflower Bites With Cashew Nut Sour Cream 

One of the best ways to enjoy cauliflower wings is with a good dipping sauce like sour cream. Unfortunately, most vegans can’t enjoy this particular condiment but thankfully this recipe will teach you how to make your own version from cashew nuts. 

This delicious dip is mixed with lemon juice and cider vinegar to create an amazingly simple vegan alternative to sour cream that can be used with other recipes as well. The wings themselves are dipped in a batter that uses two different types of paprika for a dish that is both smokey and sweet.  

13. Baked Smokey Cauliflower Wings 

The advantage of baking your cauliflower wings is that they will use less oil. These baked BBQ cauliflower bites make a great treat for anyone trying to stick to a low-fat diet. For this dish, the florets are battered and then breaded to provide a great texture with plenty of crunch. 

The smokey flavor is achieved with lots of paprika. Once they are done these wings go great with a vegetable platter or bowl of rice. Before serving, you can garnish this dish with fresh parsley to make it even tastier. 

14. Breaded Cauliflower Bites With Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Getting barbecue sauce from the shops is easy and convenient, but at the end of the day, you can’t beat a good homemade sauce. With chopped tomatoes, cumin, fresh chillis, and a little bit of honey or maple syrup, this is one of the best sauces you can learn to make by yourself on this list.  

The batter for this recipe isn’t vegan, as it requires eggs to get the right consistency. That said it is still perfectly suitable for vegetarians and uses both almond milk and flour for a unique nutty flavor. 

15. Air Fried BBQ Cauliflower Wings

The final batch of barbecue cauliflower wings on this list takes only 34 minutes to prepare and cook. This makes them a great choice for those days when you can’t be bothered to prepare a full meal. 

Using an airfryer not only saves on time but also makes these battered cauliflower florets very crispy and satisfying to snack on. As well as learning how to make the wings themselves, there is a link at the end of this recipe for making a coffee-infused barbecue sauce that sounds absolutely delicious. 

Brett White
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