These sweet chili cauliflower wings are going to be a hit at your next Wing Wednesday. They are spicy, sweet, and crispy. Who knew cauliflower could be such a go-getter? The cauliflower mimics a meaty texture, while the vegan sweet chili sauce coats the cauliflower with a plethora of flavours.
My vegan onion rings are one of mine and Adams’s favourite recipes. We have them at least once a month. I was inspired by that recipe because we love it so much, to create a crispy cauliflower wing recipe. So the batter and the breadcrumb mixture in these sweet chili wings are similar to the onion rings. The outside of the cauliflower is toasty, and the inside is soft and baked. And once the crispy cauliflower is topped with the sweet chili sauce, you’ll be smacking your lips and digging in for more.
That vegan sweet chili sauce
I found using a basting brush worked the best when coating the sweet chili wings. If you don’t have one, you can still toss the cauliflower in the pan and then tap any excess sauce off the side. The brush worked the best because you have more control over how much is covering the cauliflower. When the cauliflower is soaked in the sauce it tends to make the breaded coating a little soggy.
here are a few reasons I love these sweet chili cauliflower wings, so listen up!
- If you are speedy and efficient you can have these sweet chili wings made in 35 minutes. They are best served fresh. If they sit out for awhile in the sauce they will become a little soggy and no one wants that. So before you are ready to eat them that’s when you dowse them in the vegan sweet chili sauce.
- The second time I tested these I added 1/3 cup of vinegar instead of 3 tbsps and I couldn’t figure out why the kitchen reeked of vinegar so bad. The sauce was actually still really yummy but just had a bit of a vinegary after taste. They were still a hit with Adam but he suggested lowering the vinegar amount. When I went back to my recipe, I saw that I had added in the wrong amount and we had a good laugh about it. Our house smelled of vinegar for like 4 hours after that. So lesson learned.
- This crispy cauliflower recipe is not gluten free. At least it wasn’t tested gluten free. I find organic spelt bread doesn’t have any negative digestive issues for me so that is usually my go-to bread. In this recipe, I use fresh bread and then process it into fine breadcrumbs. That is what I toss the battered cauliflower in. Needless to say, I feel quite confident my gluten free friends out there could substitute the spelt breadcrumbs for GF breadcrumbs and would have a positive outcome with these sweet chili wings. The batter itself is gluten free so you’ll be off to a good start!
picky husband approved
Adam does eat meat and is known to enjoy the odd chicken wing. But he has such an open mind to my way of eating and constantly gives me honest feedback which I really appreciate. If you are making some transitions in your life and are really missing your classic wing Wednesday than trying cauliflower wings might just be the best path to go down. These sweet chili cauliflower wings are Picky Husband Approved and were even requested by Adam in the first place as a recipe to develop. Adam, who isn’t even a huge cauliflower fan, loved the texture and the sauce. They are a good wing alternative for us vegetarians and are lip-smackingly delicious.
These crispy cauliflower wings are garlicky, sweet and they pack a punch. So straightforward to make and if you’ve tried my vegan onion rings you are bound to love this sweet chili cauliflower because it was inspired by them dang rings! These sweet chili wings are full of crunch, spice and everything nice, so it’s time to get your fingers a little sticky- you won’t regret it!
sweet chili cauliflower wings
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/3-2/-3 cup plantbased milk
- 2 cup fresh spelt breadcrumbs (or sub GF breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp red chili flakes
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tbsps rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp ginger (finely grated)
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If making your own bread crumbs, as I have for this recipe, add 2-3 pieces of fresh spelt bread to your food processor and process until breadcrumbs have formed. Place breadcrumbs in a separate bowl with the garlic powder.
- Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder, and plant-based milk to a bowl. Start with 1/3 of a cup of milk and add another 1/3 cup if needed. You want the batter to be smooth but on the thicker side.
- Wash and cut the cauliflower into medium florets. Separate the breadcrumbs into two bowls (otherwise the breadcrumbs with clump together during the battering process).
- One at a time, cover a cauliflower floret with batter and then cover it in breadcrumbs, place on the baking sheet. Dunk the next floret in the batter, tapping it on the side to remove any excess batter and then dunk it in the breadcrumbs mixture. Continue this process until all the cauliflower is battered and breaded. Place in the oven for 25 minutes until the bread crumbs are golden on top. While the cauliflower bakes, prepare the sauce.
sweet chili sauce
- Combine the 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder with 2 tbsps of water. Mix and then let it sit creating the slurry for the sauce. Set aside.
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, chili flakes, garlic and ginger to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then add the slurry, whisking constantly. The slurry should thicken the sauce very quickly so keep whisking. Once it has thickened, take it off the stove. Set aside until the cauliflower is ready.
- Once the cauliflower is done baking, you can either brush the cauliflower with the sweet chili sauce using a basting brush. Or using a fork dunk the cauliflower (one at a time) in the pot of sauce and tap it on the side to remove the excess sauce so the cauliflower will become slightly soggy. I found using the brush was the best method as the cauliflower doesn’t get soggy.
- Brush with the sauce and keep a bowl of extra sauce to the side to dip the cauliflower in. Serve immediately.