Win Gameday with Buffalo Cauliflower Sammies

It’s Groundhog Day, and while at first glance this may seem like a recipe you’ve seen all over Pinterest, it’s a new day and a new way! The Super Bowl was the inspiration for this Buffalo Cauliflower Sammie, which is the love child of buffalo cauliflower wings and cauliflower steaks. Topped with a dairy-free blue cheese spread and thinly sliced celery, you’ll want this one for your next gameday!

Buffalo Cauliflower Sammie

Trending: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Cauliflower Steaks

You’ve seen it before, cauliflower florets dunked in a light batter and baked before being tossed in buffalo sauce. I’ve even tried them before, sadly, with miserable results. The batter never seemed to get as crispy as I wanted it, and left me with a gummy mess. They lacked flavor and truly did not remind me of the wing nights of years past. I moved on, deciding to retire the attempt to the garbage.

Just recently I discovered cauliflower steaks and loved the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the Roasted Cauliflower dish at Schilling in NYC back in March of 2015. Now, roasting cauliflower florets and cauliflower halves is nothing new to me, but, I had yet to make it into a steak.

A Cut Above the Florets

I’ll be honest, cutting the cauliflower into steaks without it falling apart was not easy for me at first, but then I discovered a trick. Peel away the larger leaves, leaving the smaller leaves on the remaining stalk. Trim off one rounded side of the cauliflower, then, with the stalk side up, position your knife on the stalk to create about a 1/2-inch steak and cut through. It’s important to use the stalk and keep it intact as best as possible to keep the steak from falling apart! Once the steaks are cut, use a paring knife to cut away the smaller leaves. You can get 2-3 steaks from each cauliflower, depending on its size, but don’t throw away those rounded ends! There are plenty of uses for them from Alfredo sauce to pizza crust!


When I make cauliflower steaks, I treat them just as I would a steak. Marinating them in balsamic vinaigrette and roasting in the oven is my favorite way to go… But, what if I treated it like chicken. Marinate it in a tangy-milky marinade, dredge, and fry. The wheels start turning until… “Bingo!”, a Buffalo Cauliflower Sammie! But… flashback to the failed buffalo cauliflower wings… No. This time would be different. This time, fry the cauliflower, dunk it in a standard wing sauce and throw it on a bun! But don’t let the appearance fool you, this sandwich is just as messy as it’s finger food cousin!

The Process

Start prepping your sandwiches at least a day in advanced.The acid and salt in the marinade will help to tenderize the cauliflower prior to cooking. You can also make your wing sauce and blue cheese spread in advanced, the flavors will develop with time. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, you could try replacing the dressing in the spread with ranch. When you’re ready to make your sammies, pull the cauliflower steaks from the fridge and set up the dredging station. I kept it gluten free by using rice flour, a rice flour tempura batter, and gluten free panko. Then into the fryer it goes until it is golden brown and tender. Drain and assemble! I added sliced celery and iceberg lettuce for the classic combo and bun protection! Not a fan of too much heat? You could always opt for a BBQ sauce version.

Stacked Buffalo Cauliflower Sammies with Blue Cheese Spread

Stacked Buffalo Cauliflower Sammies with Blue Cheese Spread


  • 1 Large head of Cauliflower, cut into 3 steaks
    For Marinade:
  • 2 cups Non-dairy Milk
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Vegan Chicken bouillon or broth powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cracked Pepper
    For Dredge Station
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup Rice Flour (keep separate)
  • 1 cup Cold Water + 12 Ice Cubes (keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs (use gluten free panko to keep this recipe GF)
    For the Hot Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 6 TBSP Earth Balance Margarine
    For the Spread:
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Daiya Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 1/2 container of Kite Hill Ricotta
  • Pepper to taste
    For Assembling Sammies:
  • Celery, thinly sliced on the bias
  • Hamburger style buns, lightly toasted
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Blue Cheese Spread
  • Extra Wing Sauce


    For the Marinade:
  1. Combine non-dairy milk, vinegar, hot sauce, bouillon/broth powder, garlic powder and S&P in a large glass bowl. In a large casserole dish lay cauliflower steaks in a single layer and cover with milk mixture.
  2. Let sit for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, turning the cauliflower steaks over at least once. Once ready to cook, remove the cauliflower from the refrigerator.
    For the Blue Cheese Spread:
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of Daiya Blue Cheese Dressing with Kite Hill Ricotta and Pepper. Mix in more dressing as necessary to achieve a thick consistency that is similar to guacamole. Feel free to leave some chunks of ricotta, it mimics the chunkiness of blue cheese crumbles! Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    For the Buffalo Sauce:
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt together the Earth Balance and Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Stirring until combined. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and transfer to a plastic container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    For the Tempura Batter:
  1. Combine 1 cup rice flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and baking soda, in a medium mixing bowl. When ready to start frying, remove water from the fridge and mix into dry mix. Batter should be similar to pancake batter.
    To Fry Cauliflower:
  1. In a pan with deep sides, slowly heat neutral flavored oil over medium heat to 325 degrees F.
  2. Set up a standard dredging station:
  3. Fill one tray with 1/2 cup rice flour; Remove Cauliflower from marinade and lightly pat dry with paper towels. Then dredge cauliflower in rice flour, carefully shaking off the excess.
  4. Dip the cauliflower steaks into the wet tempura batter. Let the excess drip off before moving to the next tray.
  5. Fill a third tray with panko breadcrumbs; coat the cauliflower in breading. Gently press the food into the breading, shaking off the excess.
  6. Carefully drop cauliflower steaks in the 325 degree oil and fry until golden brown, turning once or twice. Remove from oil with a spider strainer and allow to drain on a cooling rack set over paper towels.
  7. Cut steaks into even halves, cutting vertically through the stalk. Dunk the fried cauliflower in buffalo sauce (or drizzle the cauliflower with sauce).
  8. Build each sammie with a layer of iceberg lettuce between the bottom bun and the cauliflower, top with celery slices. Smear a thick layer of blue cheese spread on the top bun and cap off the sammie.
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Can someone pass the napkins and toss me a beer? Between this sammie and my Chick’n Broccoli Quesadillas, I’m all set for Sunday’s big game!

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