These honey BBQ cauliflower wings are sticky, smoky and sweet - dig in with your hands and get sauce all over your fingers! A great party appetiser.
I've eaten cauliflower wings a few times in various places, and they're always delicious. I can't believe a few years ago I thought I didn't like cauliflower! Once you try it cooked like these honey BBQ cauliflower wings, you'll be a cauli lover for life.
What are cauliflower wings?
Cauliflower wings are a bit like chicken wings, except... they're made from cauliflower.
Now, of course, they don't taste anything like chicken. I'll say it again: they're made from cauliflower. There is nothing remotely chicken-y about these wings.
I've actually never eaten a chicken wing in my life, but I'm still pretty confident that if you feed these cauliflower wings to a meat-eater, they will not think they're chicken.
So why are they called cauliflower wings?
Despite tasting nothing like chicken wings, these are called cauliflower wings because they do bear some similarities to the chicken version:
- you can smother them in all the same sauces you'd use on chicken wings
- you can serve them in the same way you'd serve chicken wings, as a fun party appetiser
- you can dig in with your fingers, dunk them in a big bowl of creamy dip, and get sticky sauce all over your fingers... just like with chicken wings
And honestly, considering the major flavour of these wings is the sticky honey BBQ sauce anyway (the cauliflower is really just a way of getting it into your mouth in a slightly more socially acceptable way than just eating sauce straight from a bowl...), these cauliflower wings will definitely scratch the itch if you're craving wings.
To make these baked cauliflower wings, start by mixing up a simple batter - just flour and milk, plus some seasonings. I used dried herbs, garlic granules, and salt and pepper.
Dunk in the cauliflower florets, make sure they're all well coated, then place each piece on a baking tray to roast.
This batter just helps the roasted cauliflower to get extra crispy, as well as imparting all those yummy flavours.
Honey BBQ sauce
Then, it's time for the second layer of flavour - the honey BBQ sauce! This stuff is incredible. Just BBQ sauce, mixed with a bit of honey to make it extra sweet and sticky - unreal.
You could make homemade BBQ sauce from scratch if you like, but at this time in my life (two self-employed adults + two tiny kids + no childcare), there was zero chance I was going to do that, so I took the easy route - just shop-bought BBQ sauce with added runny honey. It's quick and easy, which I'm sure is a major plus for most of us!
Dip each piece of roasted cauliflower into the sauce, and pop them back in the oven.
Sticky honey BBQ cauliflower wings
After their second bake, the cauliflower wings will be so sticky, smoky and sweet - the flavour is amazing.
The cauliflower itself is soft, and takes on so much flavour from the honey BBQ sauce. I'm sure smothering your vegetables in a sugary sauce isn't the healthiest way to eat them, but oh my gosh, it tastes amazing.
How to serve cauliflower wings
These cauliflower wings have so much flavour that I personally think they're best served on their own, rather than as a side dish alongside something else - they'd end up overpowering whatever else is on your plate.
Instead, pile them up in a bowl, add a dip, and dig in. I used a sour cream and chive dip, which worked amazingly.
I know I photographed these honey BBQ cauliflower wings being daintily dipped with a fork, but it's so much more fun to get your hands right in there, the sticky sauce coating your fingers. Then you get to lick them clean afterwards!
Honey BBQ cauliflower wings
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- 1 large head cauliflower
- Spray oil
- 75 g (~ ½ cup) plain flour
- 150 ml (~ ⅔ cup) milk
- ½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- ½ teaspoon garlic granules
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 125 ml (~ ½ cup) BBQ sauce
- 75 ml (~ ⅓ cup) runny honey
- To serve: a creamy dip like sour cream and chive
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and cut the rest into individual florets (1-2 bites each). Spray a baking tray with oil.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, milk, dried herbs, garlic granules, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with a fork until smooth. Throughly toss the cauliflower florets in the batter, then lift up each piece of cauliflower in turn, allow any excess batter to drip off, and place on the baking tray. Don't tip the cauliflower straight onto the baking tray from the bowl, or you'll end up with lots of excess batter on the tray.
- Roast the cauliflower at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 20 minutes, until starting to crisp up.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, add the BBQ sauce and honey to another bowl, and mix well to combine.
- As before, coat each piece of roasted cauliflower in the honey BBQ sauce, allow the excess to drip off, and return to the baking tray (or use a clean baking tray, if needed). Bake for a further 15 minutes, until the cauliflower wings are hot and sticky. You can baste them with a little more honey BBQ sauce after 10 minutes, if you like.
- Serve immediately, with a pot of creamy dip.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.