A perfect combination of sweet, spicy, and sticky, these Vegan Cauliflower Wings with “Honey” Garlic Sauce is perfect for any occasion. Enjoy this recipe for game night, potlucks, or as a weeknight side-dish.
Trust me when I say you’re going to want to double this recipe. These vegan cauliflower wings are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and they disappear fast whenever I put them out on the table. To kick this up a notch, I even have a homemade chipotle aioli that you can pair with the “wings.” It’s optional but very much recommended! You’re going to absolutely love these “wings”.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
Whether you’re making this vegan wings recipe for vegans or meat-eaters, everyone will be reaching for more. Need more reasons why this cauli-wings recipe works?
- Made with pantry staples
- Full of flavour
- Works as a meal, a snack, or as an appetizer
- Kids love it
- Gluten free optional
Cauliflower — We use a whole head of cauliflower for this vegan cauliflower wings recipe so get the largest one you can find! While you can use frozen cauliflower if you prefer, we highly recommend using fresh cauliflower to avoid having to thaw and dry them. Cauliflower is also a great source of B-vitamins and is high in fiber.
Seasoning — To give the wings a flavourful batter, we mix together cayenne pepper and garlic powder to the cornstarch and flour.
Maple syrup — Use real maple syrup when making the “honey” garlic sauce. Pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and maple flavouring whereas maple syrup is simply just maple tree sap.
Flour – We are using a regular whole wheat purpose flour, but you can totally experiment with what you have on hand.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: In a large bowl combine the wet and dry ingredients. Whisk to form a thick batter before adding in the cauliflower florets.
Step 2: Transfer the cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet, ensuring that there is about ½ inch space between the florets and bake for 20-25 minutes at 450F.
Step 3: Meanwhile, combine the “honey” garlic sauce ingredients and bring to a boil before adding in a cornstarch slurry.
Step 4: Once the cauliflower is baked, remove and let it cool. Transfer the par-baked cauliflower to a large bowl, pour about 1/2 cup of the honey garlic sauce. Add the cauliflower back to the tray and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the edges become slightly dark. Remove from the oven, brush the remaining sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.
Step 5: To make the chipotle aioli, add raw cashews to a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, Carefully drain the cashews and blend along with the remaining ingredients and water. Blend till you have a smooth consistency.
Make sure you aren’t pouring your cauliflower into the tray, along with excessive batter. Extra batter will make your vegan cauliflower wings soggy and stick to the parchment paper.
If you’d like to use frozen cauliflower, be sure to let it thaw completely so they cook evenly, and then pat the florets dry if they are damp.
Did you open a new can of chipotles to make the aioli and you’re not sure what to do with the rest? You can freeze them in an ice cube tray and thaw them as needed!
The soy sauce can be substituted with liquid aminos or tamari. You’ll also have to swap the flour for a gluten-free flour.
For the best-tasting cauli-wings, you should enjoy these immediately after you’ve made them. However, you can make components of this vegan cauliflower wings ahead of time. For example, you can prepare the batter, “honey” garlic sauce, and chipotle aioli ahead of time and assemble the “wings” the day of.
These wings are definitely best enjoyed right away but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container. To reheat, I suggest using an air fryer or placing them in a single layer on a sheet pan and baking them til they’re warm. These way they don’t get soggy.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you loved these vegan cauliflower wings, then you are going to love more of our favourite cauliflower recipes on the blog!
- Buffalo Pasta Salad with Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Rice Casserole with Chicken and Broccoli
- Orange Chicken and Cauliflower (Instant Pot Recipe)
- Walnut Tacos with Cauliflower and Beets
- Cauliflower Tots
Have you tried cauli-wings like this vegan cauliflower wings before? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!
Vegan Cauliflower Wings with “Honey” Garlic Sauce
For the Cauliflower Wings
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 to 11/2 cup water
For the Honey Garlic Sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 inch piece ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Sesame seeds and scallions for garnish optional
For the Chipotle Aioli
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup cashew soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 450. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients, all purpose whole wheat flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Then add in the wet ingredients – 1 cup water and sesame oil. Whisk to form a thick batter. The batter should be thick enough to cling to the cauliflower, if it is too thick add a bit of water, tablespoon at a time, till it is the right consistency.
- Drop the cauliflower florets into the batter, stir until the pieces are coated. Transfer the cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet, ensure that there is about ½ inch space between the florets. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan combine soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar and sriracha. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Mix cornstarch in the water and add this cornstarch slurry to the sauce and continue to boil for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Take off heat.
- Once the cauliflower is baked, remove and let it cool. Transfer the par baked cauliflower to a large bowl, pour about 1/2 cup of the honey garlic sauce. Toss to thoroughly coat the cauliflower.
- Arrange the cauliflower once again on the tray and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the edges become slightly dark. Remove from the oven, brush the remaining sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and scallions, and serve with the creamy chipotle aioli.
For the Chipotle Aioli:
- Add raw cashews to a heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Carefully drain the cashews and add to a high speed blender along with the remaining ingredients and water. Blend till you have a smooth consistency.
- Make sure you aren’t pouring your cauliflower into the tray, along with the excessive batter. Extra batter will make your vegan cauliflower wings soggy and stick to the parchment paper.
- If you’d like to use frozen cauliflower, be sure to let it thaw completely so they cook evenly, and then pat the florets dry if they are damp.
- Did you open a new can of chipotles to make the aioli and you’re not sure what to do with the rest? You can freeze them in an ice cube tray and thaw them as needed!
- The calorie estimated does not include the chipotle aioli.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.
Absolutely delicious! I made this for my mom and I, and we demolished it. In the past I haven’t really cared for cauliflower, but this recipe has changed my mind completely. This will be a staple in our household! Also, the recipe is easy to follow for beginners!
Hi! Is it a 1/2 cup of soy sauce? The recipe just says “½ soy sauce or tamari” – assuming it’s 1/2 a cup. Thanks!
Abbey Sharp says
Thanks for catching that! Yes it’s 1/2 cup.