Dripping in flavor, crunch and spice, this is the Ultimate Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich! Instructions for both baked and fried versions included.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a sneak peak of this bad boy on my stories last week. I was just too freaking excited about it not to share a snippet with you.
But I couldn't leave you hanging any longer.
The recipe is finally here!!!
If you have been around TSV for a while, then you know buffalo sauce is a favorite around here. So far we have made Roasted Cauliflower Buffalo Pizza, Roasted Cauliflower Buffalo Quesadillas, Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos, Beer Battered Cauliflower Buffalo Wings.
As you can see there is a common thread through all of these recipes - our good 'ol friend CAULIFLOWER.
I know some of you have an aversion to cauliflower (I think when people think of cauliflower they think of the steamed kind, in a bag, with no seasoning - yuck). But I promise that when you season and cook cauliflower the right way, it is one of the most tasty foods EVER! It has a "meaty" texture which makes it the perfect swap for recipes that would normally call for chicken.
And it is hearty, so it can be battered and fried (or baked) like a champ.
In all of my past buffalo cauliflower recipes we have cut it up into florets. But today, we're making cauliflower steaks. Oh ya, we're getting crazy.
TSP TIP: When picking a cauliflower, look for one on the smaller side. This will allow your steaks to fit on your buns and not have too much overhang. Can't find a smaller cauliflower? Don't worry about it. You can cut your steaks in half and cook them that way.
To help with the overflow I also went with ciabatta buns. They were wider than a traditional burger bun, so the cauliflower steaks fit perfectly. But use whatever buns you like. Again, you can always cut your steaks to fit your buns perfectly.
Now let's talk about frying vs. baking.
I am going to share both methods with you, and let me say that they are both AMAZING.
I literally devoured both!
The perk of frying these is of course the "crunch" factor. Obviously, when you fry something over baking it, you get a really crisp outer layer. There's just no denying it. But, I get it. I don't love the smell of frying oil taking over my house either.
So, if you want to forego the oil, go ahead and bake your steaks. They will still get a nice crunchy crust on them - it will just be a different texture than the fried version.
And again, they are both drool-worthy.
Once your steaks are ready, serve these with your favorite sandwich toppings - I opted for lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and of course...vegan ranch. Because what is a buffalo sandwich without ranch?
I hope you love these as much as I do. Say goodbye to fast-food veggie burgers and say hello to comfort food at home!
Ultimate Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich
- 1 head cauliflower* cut in ½ inch steaks
- 1 cup buffalo sauce separated
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder separated
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 3 tbsp water
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup sparkling water
- oil for frying
- 4 ciabatta rolls
- Optional Toppings lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, vegan ranch
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare cauliflower by destemming and cutting it into ½ inch steaks (from top to bottom).
- Combine ½ cup buffalo sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, chili powder and olive oil in a bowl.
- Dip each steak in the sauce and allow excess to drip off. Place on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the steaks. Baste with leftover sauce and cook in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the batter.
- Combine flax meal and 3 tbsp (flat) water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup buffalo sauce, ½ tsp garlic powder, flour, sparkling water and flax "egg" to a bowl.
- IF FRYING: Heat oil in a shallow pan until it reaches 360 degrees. Dip each steak in the batter and allow excess to drip off. Working in batches, carefully add battered steaks to the oil and fry until golden on both sides (approx. 4-7 minutes). Remove from the oil and place on paper towel-lined plate until ready to serve.
- IF BAKING: Place a new sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet. Dip each steak in the batter and allow excess to drip off. Place steaks on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the steaks. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until browned and crispy.** Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- For serving, toast the buns and layer with cauliflower steaks, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and vegan ranch.
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