Get all of the flavor of your favorite chicken wings, in this healthy, vegan salad recipe! Baked buffalo cauliflower bites top this scrumptious salad, tossed in a creamy poblano ranch dressing. It's gluten free, low calorie and keto-friendly. And it's easy to make in just 30 minutes!
If you love buffalo sauce as much as I do, then this is the salad for you! The combination of cauliflower, coated in a thick layer of buffalo sauce, drizzled with creamy poblano ranch dressing, is insanely flavorful!
This is not a normal salad. This is a flavor bomb of a salad with a zesty kick of spice!
How to make buffalo cauliflower
Follow these 2 simple steps for perfect roasted buffalo cauliflower every time!
- Toss cauliflower florets in buffalo sauce, place them in an even layer on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet, then roast at 425°F for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss to coat with more buffalo sauce, then place under the broiler in the oven on low for 2-3 minutes.
Broiling the cauliflower at the end gives it a nice, crispy finish. Always keep your eye on anything under the broiler, as oven temperatures can vary and the broiler gets very hot!
Can you use frozen cauliflower?
Yes, frozen cauliflower florets can be used in this recipe instead of fresh cauliflower florets. No need to defrost the cauliflower, simply toss the frozen cauliflower with the buffalo wing sauce and roast as instructed in the recipe.
Step by step salad instructions
While the buffalo cauliflower is in the oven, prepare the other salad ingredients.
- Prepare the poblano ranch dressing. This vegan salad dressing is made with soaked cashews, so you will need to start soaking the cashews 8 hours before preparing the dressing. Once the cashews are soaked, the rest of the salad dressing comes together in 20 minutes.
- For a quicker and easier option, you can make this Vegan Ranch Dressing in just 5 minutes! Or, if you're open to a dressing that's vegetarian, but not vegan, this Creamy Avocado Dressing would also be scrumptious on this salad!
- Prepare the buffalo cauliflower using the instructions above.
- Prepare the salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine shredded carrots, diced celery, shredded cabbage, sliced jalapenos and fresh cilantro.
- Put the bowls together. Place 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce in the bottom of four bowls. Divide the prepared cabbage mix between the four bowls, then add the vegan buffalo cauliflower. Top with the poblano ranch dressing.
Is this salad whole 30 approved?
Yes, if a whole 30 approved buffalo sauce is used, this salad is compliant with the whole 30 diet. Tabasco Buffalo Sauce contains red cayenne pepper, distilled vinegar, water, salt and garlic, making it Whole30 approved and perfect for making this a Whole 30 salad!
Meal prep the salad
- For storage: roast the cauliflower as instructed, then divide it between four large storage containers. Place the lettuce and cabbage mix in a separate container or plastic Ziplock bag. Place the vegan ranch dressing in four small salad dressing containers and into the larger containers with the buffalo cauliflower.
- To reheat and eat: The cauliflower in this salad does not need to be reheated. It's just as delicious cold, as it is warm from the oven. But if you would like to reheat the cauliflower, place it in the microwave by itself for 90 seconds. Remove from the microwave, then add the lettuce and cabbage mix. Drizzle the poblano ranch dressing over the top.
Add a protein to the salad
- For an easy plant based protein addition to this salad, add 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds to each serving. This will double the protein in each salad, adding 6 grams of protein per salad for a total of 12 grams of protein per serving.
- For another plant based protein option, add buffalo tempeh to the salad. Adding 4 ounces of buffalo tempeh to each salad will add 18 grams of protein per salad, for a total of 24 grams of protein per serving.
- For a meat based protein addition to this salad, add 1 pound of buffalo shrimp or buffalo chicken. Adding ¼ pound buffalo shrimp to each serving will add 27 grams of protein per salad for a total of 33 grams of protein per serving. Adding ¼ pound buffalo chicken to each salad will add 25 grams of protein per serving for a total of 31 grams of protein per serving.
- To prepare the buffalo shrimp, toss 1 pound shrimp with ½ cup buffalo sauce. Saute in a large skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowls.
- To prepare the buffalo chicken, you can use shredded chicken or roasted chicken. For shredded buffalo chicken, try this Instant Pot buffalo chicken recipe. For roasted chicken pound 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they're 1 inch thick. Toss with ½ cup buffalo sauce. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven with the cauliflower. The chicken will cook at the same time and temperature in the oven as the cauliflower. Remove the chicken from the oven, dice and add to the bowls.
More plant based bowls and salads
Searching for more awesome plant based recipes? Check out these 5 scrumptious bowls & salads!
- Vegan Cobb Salad with Poblano Ranch Dressing
- Sweet Potato Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Za'atar Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl
- Indian Cauliflower Bowl with Roasted Chickpeas
- Grilled Vegetable Quinoa Bowls with Chimichurri Sauce
Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- ¾ cup buffalo sauce divided
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- ½ cup celery chopped
- 1 cup red cabbage shredded
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 8 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ cup roasted poblano ranch dressing
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Toss the cauliflower with ½ cup buffalo sauce.
- Place in an even layer on a baking sheet and into the oven to roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove the buffalo cauliflower from the oven and toss with the remaining ¼ cup buffalo sauce.
- Turn the broiler on the oven to low and place the cauliflower back in the oven directly under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, toss the carrots, celery, red cabbage, jalapenos and cilantro together in a medium bowl.
- Divide the romaine lettuce and cabbage mixture between four bowls, add the roasted buffalo cauliflower.
- Drizzle the poblano ranch dressing over the bowls.
- For an easier ranch dressing recipe, try this 5 minute Vegan Ranch Dressing.
- This recipe is Whole 30 approved when a whole 30 buffalo sauce is used, such as Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce.