Skip to Content

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Ranch Dressing

$10.44 Recipe/$2.61 Serving

Buffalo cauliflower salad with tahini ranch dressing is the perfect weeknight salad. Spicy, creamy, crunchy and super filling, this vegan salad is packed with veggies and is filling enough to be a full meal!

Large bowl filled with buffalo cauliflower salad with tahini ranch.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Buffalo wings in a salad – all the flavors you love from wings: buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and carrots and celery but in a salad form! The buffalo cauliflower is crunchy, crispy and will satisfy all your buffalo wing desires!
  • It’s packed with veggies – if you struggle with getting your veggies in, you have to try this salad. The tahini ranch dressing will make any veggies you pair it will disappear!
  • You cam make the buffalo cauliflower in the oven or in the air fryer! This recipe can be made in under 30 minutes using the air fryer! Check out my tips on how to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower bites in the air fryer.
Ingredients to make buffalo cauliflower salad.
This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and more about affiliate links.

Ingredients

Buffalo Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower – you want a small to medium size cauliflower for this recipe. Remove the florets from the stalk and cut the florets into similar size pieces so they all cook at the same time.
  • Almond flour – almond flour helps to give the buffalo cauliflower a crispy, crunchy coating.
  • Tapioca flour (or arrowroot powder or cornstarch) – this helps to really coat the cauliflower and give it that crispy texture on the outside the cauliflower and gives the sauce something to stick to.
  • Water – to help make the batter with the almond flour and tapioca flour. Other people like to use almond milk or oat milk to keep this as budget friendly as possible, I just recommend water.
  • Spices: garlic powder, salt – these spices get added to the batter to help season the cauliflower before buffalo sauce is added.
  • Hot sauce  – use your favorite hot sauce for this. I like Texas Pete but  I have also made this with the chipotle hot sauce from Trader Joe’s and it was excellent!
  • Olive oil – this helps the cauliflower get crispy and helps to reduce some of the spice from the hot sauce.
  • Spices: Salt, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes – these spices are added to the buffalo sauce to enhance the flavor.

Tahini Ranch Dressing

  • Tahini – tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds (just like peanut butter or almond butter). It’s available in most stores and is the perfect base for a creamy salad dressing.
  • Water – water is used to help thin out the dressing.
  • Apple cider vinegar – this gives the dressing the kick you typically get from buttermilk in traditional ranch dressing.
  • Spices: Dried chives, dried parsley, dried dill, garlic powder, salt – these are all the typical ranch seasoning spices and are always in my pantry. If you don’t have dried chives, you can use a bit more garlic powder.

Salad Ingredients

  • Romaine lettuce – I love romaine for this salad because it’s crunchy, refreshing and I think pairs really well with the tahini ranch dressing. You could use whatever your favorite salad greens are though!
  • Carrots (sliced or shredded) and celery – the carrots and celery help enhance that buffalo wing dinner experience! They also provide added crunch to the salad!

How to make buffalo cauliflower salad

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Make the tahini ranch dressing:

  • Combine all the ingredients (be sure to get all the tahini, it can stick to the sides of bowls/jars). Once the dressing is well incorporated store it in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad.
Steps to make tahini ranch dressing.

Make the buffalo cauliflower:

  • Start by combining the almond flour, tapioca flour, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Cut the cauliflower florets into similar size pieces (not too small) and place them directly in the batter.
  • Stir well with tongs 2-3 minutes to ensure all pieces are coated well.
  • Place the battered cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in 425F oven for 30 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is cooking, make the buffalo sauce in a medium to large sized bowl by combining the hot sauce, olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • After 30 minutes in the oven, remove the cauliflower florets and toss them directly in the buffalo sauce.
  • Transfer the buffalo cauliflower back to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake again for 7-10 minutes to help the crust of the cauliflower get as crispy as possible.
  • Remove and allow to cool 3-5 minutes before adding to the salad.
Steps to make buffalo cauliflower.

Make the salad:

While the cauliflower is cooking, make the rest of the salad. Chop the lettuce, thinly slice the carrots and chop the celery. Add all the veggies to a large bowl.

Divide the salad into 2 or 4 portions (depending on how much salad you eat at once). Top with buffalo cauliflower and the tahini ranch dressing.

Steps to make buffalo cauliflower salad.
get my 10 greatest recipes ebook by signing up for my newsletterGET 10 OF MY ALL TIME GREATEST RECIPES
IN THIS FREE EBOOK

Top tips

  • Be sure to cut the cauliflower florets into similar size pieces or some will burn while others do not cook all the way through. It’s important that the florets not be too small or they may burn with these cooking instructions, so keep an eye on them if you aren’t sure.
  • Make the dressing first so it has time to get cold in the fridge and the flavors can come together well.
  • To make this salad lower in calories and easier to prepare, you can simply roast the cauliflower (no batter) with the buffalo sauce. The cauliflower will not be as crunchy but it is still very tasty!
  • If you need to use frozen cauliflower, be sure to use the method mentioned above, do not try to coat them in batter as the batter will likely fall off or stay mushy as the cauliflower defrosts when cooking.
  • You can also use store bought buffalo sauce or ranch dressing to save time/dishes.
  • If you think you will have leftovers, don’t combine the salad greens with the dressing or the cauliflower. You can reheat the buffalo cauliflower in the oven or air fryer to crisp them back up before eating as leftovers.

Other additions to this salad

  • Croutons or lentil flatbread cut into strips and toasted.
  • Chickpeas or white beans (optional to toss buffalo sauce and roast with the cauliflower florets for 20 minutes or so).
  • Shredded chicken (optional to toss in more buffalo sauce)
  • Grilled buffalo shrimp (can be made on the grill or on the stove using a grill pan).
  • Hemp hearts for added protein and healthy fats
  • Pumpkin seeds for added protein and healthy fats
  • Slivered almonds for crunch
  • Red onion or pickled red onion
  • Avocado for healthy fats and to add another creamy element to the salad
  • Sliced jalapenos for more heat.
Fork with a bite of buffalo cauliflower salad.

Common questions

Do you have to use breaded cauliflower?

No, if you prefer to not bread the cauliflower you can still make this recipe (it’s delicious I just prefer the crunch from the breading) but I make it both ways! 

How to make buffalo cauliflower without breading:

  • Toss raw cauliflower in the buffalo sauce and bake in a 425F oven for about 30 minutes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. After 30 minutes, remove the cauliflower from the oven and stir the cauliflower to move it around.
  • Return to the oven for 7-10 more minutes to finish roasting.
    • Tip: You can also use frozen cauliflower if you decide to make it this way! 

Store bought buffalo sauce recommendations

If you don’t have hot sauce on hand or want to use a store bought sauce instead, you can try The New Primal Buffalo Sauce, Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce or the Thrive Market Brand all have great ingredients and are Whole30 approved and vegan.

What are other ways you can use leftover tahini?

Buffalo cauliflower on salad greens before dressing is added.

Storage

Fridge: Store the salad ingredients (lettuce, carrots and celery) separate from the dressing and the buffalo cauliflower. The dressing will start to wilt the lettuce if added before storing the salad for later.

Reheat the buffalo cauliflower using a 400F oven for 10 minutes or the air fryer at 390 for 3-5 minutes to make the coating crispy and crunchy again.

Substitutions

  • Almond flour: If you need this recipe to be nut free, you can use sunflower seed meal/flour in place of almond flour. Simply grind roasted sunflower seeds in a food processor until they resemble fine grains of sand. Don’t run the food processor too long or it will start to make sunbutter.
  • Tapioca flour: you can also use arrowroot powder or cornstarch in place of tapioca flour/starch.
  • Spices: If you don’t have any of the spices, simply omit them.
  • Hot sauce: If you don’t have hot sauce, use a premade buffalo sauce and omit the olive oil as well.
  • Olive oil: You can also use avocado oil or melted butter or ghee. I would not recommend melted coconut oil as it tends to have a sweet coconut flavor.
  • Tahini: If you don’t have tahini on hand, you could use cashew butter in place of the tahini. Otherwise, I would recommend you can make my cashew based vegan dairy free ranch dressing instead. You will need to soak the cashews in hot water to soften them up and will need a high speed blender.  You could also use your favorite store bought ranch as well.  
  • Apple cider vinegar: You could also use lemon juice (juice from ½ a large lemon or an entire small lemon) or white wine vinegar in place of the ACV.
  • Ranch seasoning spices: If you don’t have any of the spices to make your own ranch seasoning, you can omit them and this salad will still be delicious!
  • Romaine lettuce: I love romaine because it’s crunchy and easy to find. Use whatever salad greens you love though! If you are using kale, chop it as finely as you can and you may want to massage it in some olive oil + apple cider vinegar ahead to break down the kale.
  • Carrots and celery:  If you don’t love these or don’t have them on hand, you can use whatever veggies you have. Cucumber, radish, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. whatever you love!
Tahini ranch dressing being poured over buffalo cauliflower salad.

More salad recipes you may love

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Tahini ranch dressing over buffalo cauliflower salad.

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad

$10.44 Recipe/$2.61 Serving
Buffalo cauliflower salad with tahini ranch dressing is the perfect filling salad great for lunch or dinner! Slightly spicy, crunchy, creamy and so delicious, this salad will quickly make it's way into weekly rotation. You can make the cauliflower in the oven or air fryer.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buffalo cauliflower salad, tahini ranch dressing
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Buffalo Cauliflower

Tahini Ranch Dressing

Salad Ingredients

  • 3 medium heads romaine lettuce - $2.99
  • 1 cup carrots (sliced or shredded) - $0.76
  • 1 cup celery, chopped - $0.50

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.

Tahini Ranch Dressing

  • Make the tahini ranch dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl or jar. Stir well until well incorporated and starting to thicken. Be sure to get all the tahini off the bottom of the jar/bowl as it can stick.

Buffalo Cauliflower

  • In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, water, salt and garlic powder. Stir well until there are no lumps and everything is combined.
  • Remove the florets from the cauliflower. Cut the florets into similar size pieces so they will cook evenly.
  • Toss the florets directly into the almond flour batter. Toss well with tongs 2-3 minutes to ensure they are well coated.
  • Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a 425F oven for 30 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is baking, make the buffalo sauce. Combine the hot sauce, olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl large enough to toss the cauliflower in.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the cauliflower from the oven and put the cauliflower directly in the buffalo sauce mixture. Toss well with tongs until well coated.
  • Put the buffalo cauliflower back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake again 425F for 7-10 minutes until crispy.

Salad

  • While the cauliflower is cooking, you can cut up the salad ingredients and add them to a large bowl.
  • After the cauliflower is done cooking, all the cauliflower to rest 3-5 minutes to cool before adding it to the salad.
  • Divide up the salad greens between 2-4 bowls (depending on how large you like your salads). Add the cauliflower to each individual bowl. Top with the tahini ranch dressing.

Notes

You can also make buffalo cauliflower in the air fryer. You will likely need to make it in batches. Cook at 390F for 16-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the post for all the instructions/tips. 
To make the salad without breading the cauliflower: 
  • Toss raw cauliflower in the buffalo sauce and bake in a 425F oven for about 30 minutes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. After 30 minutes, remove the cauliflower from the oven and stir the cauliflower to move it around.
  • Return to the oven for 7-10 more minutes to finish roasting.
    • Tip: You can also use frozen cauliflower if you decide to make it this way! 
Storage
Fridge: Store the salad ingredients (lettuce, carrots and celery) separate from the dressing and the buffalo cauliflower.
The dressing will start to wilt the lettuce if added before storing the salad for later.
Reheat the buffalo cauliflower using a 400F oven for 10 minutes or the air fryer at 390 for 3-5 minutes to make the coating crispy and crunchy again.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
287
Fat
 
19
g
Carbohydrates
 
26
g
Fiber
 
7
g
Sugar
 
6
g
Protein
 
9
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!

Roasted roma tomatoes in the air fryer basket.
Air Fryer Tomatoes
← Read Last Post
Sriracha brussel sprouts in a white bowl.
Sriracha Brussel Sprouts
Read Next Post →
Recipe Rating