LOADED Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Prep Time 5 min.
Cook Time 18 min.
Total Time 23 min.
Yields 5 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (about 11-12 cups) medium-large cauliflower florets (I often buy pre-cut, bagged cauliflower florets)
  • 3/4 cup thin red bell pepper strips
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 cup jarred/pickled banana pepper rings, halved (we use mild)
  • optional: crumbled blue cheese (can use reduced-fat), and ranch dressing (preferably reduced-fat or Greek-yogurt-based) for drizzling or dipping

Directions

Preheat oven to 475ยบ F.

On two parchment-lined baking sheets, toss the cauliflower florets and red pepper strips with the olive oil, and then again with the salt and pepper, making sure the oil and seasonings are evenly distributed. (I like to use my hands for this, to be sure there's a gloss of oil and a bit of seasoning on every bit of the vegetables.) Group all the red pepper strips to one area of the baking sheets and spread the vegetables out evenly, so they're not heaped on top of each other (this will ensure they roast properly, instead of steaming).

Roast the vegetables for about 10 minutes. Remove the red peppers, set aside, and keep warm. Stir the cauliflower and continue roasting for about 8 minutes longer, until it has toasty, browned, roasted spots but isn't burned or mushy.

Toss the cauliflower with Frank's RedHot Sauce (I do this right on a baking sheet) and pile it on a serving platter, intermingled with the roasted red pepper strips and banana peppers.

Optionally, sprinkle with blue cheese and drizzle with ranch dressing before serving. Alternately, either of these can be served on the side for those who don't like them.

Serve immediately with additional ranch dressing for dipping, if desired.

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Recipe Notes

Make-ahead steps: I almost always save a little time by purchasing bagged, pre-cut cauliflower in my store's produce section. (Sometimes there are a few really big pieces that still need to be cut slightly smaller, though.) If you choose to buy whole heads of cauliflower, you can cut the florets apart several days in advance. You can also cut the pepper strips and slice the banana pepper rings a day ahead. Store each vegetable in separate containers in the refrigerator so they're all ready to go.

Gluten-free note: Although blue cheese has not always been considered gluten free, evidence now seems to indicate that it is generally acceptable in gluten free diets (you can read more about that HERE). In addition, while many purchased ranch dressings may be gluten free, some are not. So, if you are following a gluten free diet, be sure to carefully check labeling on purchased products and select those that are clearly noted as gluten free.

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