There are quite enough vegan Buffalo cauliflower wings recipes floating around. But this combination of flavors and textures works so well that they’ve been transposed into a vegan Buffalo cauliflower salad. With a protein boost from chickpeas this can be a main dish salad, or in smaller portions a hearty side dish.
Okay, you know the drill on Buffalo anything — a special hot sauce (most often, Frank’s) envelopes something chewy and is served with cooling, contrasting ranch or bleu cheese dressing and raw carrots and celery.
In the vegan realm, either tofu or cauliflower have been swapped in for wings, and the dressing is dairy free.
When it’s cold out, your palate might need some prodding to enjoy salad, which is so important to have all year round. This one is perfect for chilly weather, with the enticement of the hot (or warm) cauliflower and chickpea mixture.
The slaw-like salad, dressed in vegan ranch dressing (use bottled ranch dressing or make your own with our recipe for Vegan Ranch Dressing or dip), incorporates celery and carrots, the two indispensable veggies for the whole Buffalo flavor experience.
With just a few inexpensive ingredients, this yields a heaping portion, quickly and easily. Leftovers can be packed into containers for office or school lunches.
Below, see the salad served in fresh corn tortillas, like a soft taco.They’re a perfect accompaniment — just scoop a bit of the salad into the center, fold it over, and just like that, you’ve got Buffalo cauliflower soft tacos.
If you’d like a (vegan) “meatier” version of this salad, see Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
The hot Buffalo cauliflower and chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 to 4 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce, more or less to taste
- 16-ounce bag frozen cauliflower, completely thawed
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
The cool salad
- 2 packed cups thinly sliced cabbage (green or red)
- 2 packed cups thinly sliced lettuce
- 1 cup grated carrots or baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced or matchstick cut
- 1/2 cup vegan ranch dressing (see note), plus more for garnish
- Splash of lemon or lime juice
- For the Buffalo cauliflower and chickpeas: Heat the oil and hot sauce in a stir-fry pan or wide skillet. If you’re new to Frank’s hot sauce, start with 2 tablespoons and increase to taste once everything is in the skillet. It’s supposed to be hot and spicy, but not more so than you’d enjoy.
- Add the cauliflower (make sure it’s cut into bite-sized florets) and chickpeas and stir to coat with the hot sauce.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. The mixture should start to get lightly touched by brown here and there.
- For the salad: Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
- To serve: You can either serve the salad onto individual platters or shallow bowls, and then top with some of the cauliflower mixture straight from the pan; or, you can arrange the salad on a large platter and arrange the cauliflower mixture over it, letting everyone scoop their portions from it.
- Either way you serve it, add a drizzle of additional ranch dressing over the salad as a garnish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 9g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.
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