I love cauliflower wings, but I especially love these Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings. The cauliflower is firm but tender and coated in a spicy lemon peppery sauce for the perfect finish. Your taste buds will thank you!Jump to Recipe
Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings (or as I like to call them, vegetarian chicken wings) are incredibly easy to make, and absolutely delicious. They're not vegan wings, but they ARE vegetarian, and they're also a great way to eat a more veggie heavy diet. Lemon pepper is one of my favourite flavour combinations, and for good reason.
These "wings" are the perfect balance of tart and savory with a slightly crispy crunch to them. They're one of my favorite easy recipes, and they're sure to become on of yours, too!
I made them in my air fryer, but you can easily make them in the oven instead with great results.
Other Recipe's You'll Love:
- Cauliflower - a medium head of cauliflower - try to cut the cauliflower florets into roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
- Flour - all purpose flour is the main part of the batter used to coat the wings.
- Water - the other part of the batter
- Butter - for the lemon pepper glaze
- Lemon - can't have lemon pepper wings without it!
- Black Pepper - the other necessity of lemon pepper wings!
- Other Seasonings - use your favorite! I used a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper (this goes into the batter coating)
- Hot sauce - goes into the batter and is totally optional.
PRO TIP: You can just add lemon pepper seasoning to the flour if you'd like, but I don't think it's as good.
Tips and Tricks
- You want the batter to be fairly loose and runny - like a thin pancake batter. You want it to coat the florets, but not too thickly.
- Try to keep the cauliflower from touching in the air fryer basket. It’s okay if it overlaps a little bit, but don’t crowd the basket too much, or it wont get crispy
- If you don't have an air fryer, or you want to make a lot of wings at once, you can definitely make these in the oven. I'll provide instructions for that in the recipe card.
How to make Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings
- Preheat your air fryer to 375. Using a sharp knife cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and set aside. In a separate large bowl, pour the flour into the bowl and add seasonings.
- Add water and hot sauce to the bowl, and stir. You want the batter to be fairly thin - sort of like a loose pancake batter. Start with ¾ of a cup, and add more water by the tablespoon full as needed.
- Dump the cauliflower florets into the batter, and toss to coat them well. Use a fork to pull the cauliflower out, letting any excess batter drip off of the pieces.
- Spread the cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes, tossing after 6-8 minutes.
- While the cauliflower cooks, melt the butter in a small pot, then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper.
- Once the wings are cooked, transfer them to a bowl, and pour the lemon pepper sauce over them. Toss to coat, and serve right away with your favorite dipping sauce.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Cauliflower in the Oven
- Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Batter the cauliflower as in the air fryer instructions, but then bake the wings for 20 minutes in the oven.
PRO TIP: USE FRESH GROUND PEPPER FOR THIS RECIPE - THE PREGROUND STUFF LOSES ITS FLAVOR OVER TIME, AND YOU'LL END UP WITH A MUCH TASTIER WING WITH FRESH GROUND.
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This particular sauce is not - I used butter as the base of the sauce. So while it's vegetarian friendly, it's not vegan. You could use vegan butter though. And while I haven't tested it, you could probably use a neutral oil in place of the butter.
They are! Cauliflower is free of cholesterol, and it's also low in fat and high in fiber and antioxidants. Eating them as prepared may not be as healthy as just a plate of cauliflower, but it's still healthier than a traditional chicken wing.
They do not. These are best eaten right after making them.
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Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings
For the Wings
- 1 medium head of cauliflower trimmed and cut into even 1 ½ inch florets
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ - 1 ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
For the Lemon Pepper Sauce
- 4 tablespoon butter
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
To Make the Cauliflower Wings
- Trim and cut up the cauliflower into evenly sizes pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper. Then add the water, starting with ¾ of a cup and adding a little at a time until you reach a pancake batter-like consistency. Add the hot sauce and stir.
- Air Fryer Instructions: heat to 375 and spray the basket with non-stick spray. Toss the cauliflower in the batter and toss to coat well, then using a spoon or tongs, transfer the pieces to the ready air fryer basket, shaking off as much of the excess batter as you can. Fry for 12 minutes, checking at 10 to make sure they're not burning.
- Oven Instructions: heat to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil and a cooling rack if you have one. Batter the cauliflower as above, then place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. If you don't have a cooling rack, that's okay - just place the cauliflower directly on the sheet.
To Make the Lemon Pepper Sauce
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once butter is melted, add the lemon juice and zest and the pepper. Stir to combine.
- Once the wings are cooked, drizzle the lemon pepper sauce over the wings and toss to combine. Serve right away with your favorite wing dipping sauce.