Sticky Chipotle Cauliflower Wings – FINALLY, an appetizer that lets you stuff your face without the guilt! This recipe shows you the healthy, low-fat way to cure your junk food cravings!
Most of us have moments when all we want to do is be a couch potato, which inevitably leads to symptoms of junk food junkie-itis… Personally, my weakness is late Saturday night movies with my husband after the little one has been tucked in for the night. And if I were to pick a junk food, it would be wings of all kinds with a creamy, fattening dipping sauce. From where I sit, along the American East Coast, the months after the winter holidays until the time the first spring robin appears mean lots of chilly days, cabin fever, and heightened cases of couch potato syndrome. It gets dark at 5 o’clock and it’s stinking cold outside! If you’re reading this and you don’t think you’re ever susceptible to this kind of unhealthy behavior, are you sure you’re being honest with yourself? It’s okay, I won’t tell! Plus, it just makes you pretty normal.
Lazy movie nights and game days aren’t a bad thing from time to time. In fact, a little relaxation is healthy. Stuffing my face with 700 calories of saucy wings and blue cheese dip, on the other hand, isn’t healthy. I looked up a well-known U.S. restaurant chain’s nutritional information for their wings and blue cheese sauce. An 8-count “side” of chicken wings will run you 490 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 2,720 milligrams of sodium. And then, of course, a person needs dipping sauce… One serving of blue cheese has 240 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 310 milligrams of sodium. That’s a total of over FIFTY grams of fat in one sitting. And I won’t even go into how bad consuming that much sodium is. BLAH!
That’s where my decision to develop this Sticky Chipotle Cauliflower Wing recipe came into play. Don’t be thrown by the “meatless” part of this appetizer. These babies are sweet, savory, and spicy (minus all that fat and sodium, of course). Smother them in my rich Avocado Lime Yogurt Dipping Dressing and you’ll treat that junk food junkie-itis without feeling like you’ve been gypped. Go ahead and keep popping them. They’re vegetables!
- 1 head cauliflower
- ½ C flour
- ½ C water
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ C water
- ¼ C tomato paste
- ¼ C honey*
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ tsp chipotle chili powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp corn starch
- Preheat oven to 450º F. Cut up cauliflower into bite-sized pieces then blanch them. Do this by adding them to a pot of cold water. Over high heat bring the water up to a boil and then immediately drain the cauliflower and run them under very cold water. If your tap water doesn't get painfully cold, place the hot cauliflower into a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, place your cauliflower onto an absorbent paper towel or dish towel to dry.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, water, and oil and then toss the cauliflower into the bowl until all of the pieces are coated. Place the cauliflower onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 450º F for 18-20 minutes, or until the batter begins to turn golden brown.
- While the cauliflower is baking, combine all of the sticky chipotle sauce ingredients, except for the apple cider vinegar, together in a sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat and then simmer for 1 minute while stirring frequently. Then remove from the heat and mix in the apple cider vinegar. Set aside until the cauliflower is done baking.
- Once the cauliflower is done, keep it on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, coat it in the sticky chipotle sauce, and then place it back into the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce is hot, bubbling, and sticky. Serve immediately. I recommend serving with my Avocado Lime Yogurt Dipping Dressing.
Manal Obieda says
Oh yes!!! I pinned this…I love to be a couch potato whenever my life allows…and you are so right..it is the time when you crave all the wrong things…I need to try this for sure…thank you Rachel for sharing.
Thanks for pinning! Happy couch potato-ing and healthy eating!
I need to try these! Cauliflower is awesome 🙂
Thanks Ashley! Cauliflower really is awesome!
Love this idea – and great when veggie friends are visiting too!
PS love your blue rectangular plate 😉
Thanks for noticing my plate! My mom gave it to me for Christmas. She though it would be good for food photos and she was right!
Looks delicious, Rachel! The photos (which are brilliant) are making me super hungry! What kind of movies to you watch?
My husband and I recently had a Harry Potter marathon, which ended-up taking us 3 weekends! Typically I like comedies, period pieces, or adventure/spy movies. But never anything too dark or scary. Harry Potter is about as scary as I can handle!
April @ Girl Gone Gourmet says
I’m not usually a fan of lightened up “healthy” junk food, but I have to say these look and sound delicious – I happen to love cauliflower, so I can totally see myself curling up with a plate of these for my next Real Housewives marathon.
Yeah… these are made of cauliflower, but a guarantee that the sauce is the really deal as far as spicy and sticky wing sauce goes! I love marathon watching shows after a stressful week!
Daniela Apostol says
What a great dish! Your photos are stunning!
Meghan | Fox and Briar says
Yes! My hubs and I love making buffalo cauliflower, but this chipotle sauce looks right up my alley! I love being able to have my snacks and eat them too 🙂 Pinning this, so perfect for football season (or Harry Potter movies, in my case).
We totally ate these while watching a Harry Potter movie! I promise that they go well together!
Molly Kumar says
This will be such a big HIT at our place. We love cauliflower and always looking for recipes to use them in appetizer. Thanks for sharing, looks delicious.
Awesome Molly! You’ll have to let me know what everyone thinks of the recipe!
Tania @ COOKTORIA says
Love this, Rachel. You have taken cauliflower to the next level. Awesome dish! Pinned and Yummed!
Thanks Tania, and thanks so much for the social shares!
zouhair najjar says
Hi, very nice recipe. please i need the recipe of the side dressing, thank you very much
Thanks Zouhair! Click here to get the recipe for the dressing. It’s a vegetarian dressing, but if you’re interested in dairy-free directions, I include those at the bottom of the recipe as well.
Do you think it would work out fine if I just bake them with oil and no flour/water coating? Or do you have a substitute for the flour? Thanks 🙂
I’m glad you asked, because as I was writing this I thought some readers would be looking for a gluten-free and/or grain free way to make this recipe. I like using a coating on the cauliflower because it becomes a vehicle for holding more of the sauce. In your situation, you could always use a gluten-free flour. On the other hand, I think cooking the cauliflower in a Tbsp of olive oil would be almost as good. If you give this a try without the coating, be sure to come back and let me know how you like it!