Buffalo Cauli-Tots

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Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Tots add that hot wing you love to these cheesy little veggie-packed bites. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and with a kicked up flavor that is just begging to be dipped into Ranch or blue cheese dressing. The family will be asking for seconds of this easy gluten free side dish!

Spicy cauliflower tots on a red plate with bowls of ranch and blue cheese dressing and raw carrots and celer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. Originally Published June 22, 2014. Updated on March 23, 2021.

Spicy Cauliflower Tots – Taste like Buffalo Wings

Like most families, we have different wants and needs, likes and dislikes for each person in the family. But, of course, I still want to feed my family healthy, nutritious food.

One of the things I try to do is to get them to eat as many vegetables as possible. Naturally, I do want to make sure my kids enjoy eating vegetables in as close to their original form as possible – salads, peas and carrots, sliced cucumbers, roasted broccoli and more all make daily appearances on our lunch and dinner plates.

But it never hurts to squeeze in some extra. And the best way to squeeze in extra is to make it fun. Like turning cauliflower into cauli tots. Especially when those tots taste like spicy chicken wings!

Not only do they make a fun finger food side dish, but when you set them out on a platter with some dips and a pile of carrot and celery sticks you have a great game day snack or party appetizer!

Buffalo cauli tots on a turquoise plate with blue cheese dressing dripping over them

Buffalo Cauliflower Tots Recipe

This kicked up version is based on my original cheesy Cauliflower Tots recipe. I’m going to give you an overview of the recipe here, plus all the detailed steps you need in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. But if you want to know all of my tips and tricks for tot perfection, be sure to check out that original recipe.


  • Cauliflower: You’ll need about half a head of cauliflower so that after it is shredded you end up with about 4 cups of raw, shredded cauliflower.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: I usually Cabot sharp cheddar, but use your favorite.
  • Buffalo hot sauce: Frank’s Red Hot is our favorite.
  • Egg: Just one to help bind everything together.
  • Cornmeal: If you are gluten free, check the label of your cornmeal that is is gluten free and not cross-contaminated.

How to Make Spicy Cauliflower Tots

  1. Preparations: Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a mini muffin tin thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. The key step is removing all excess moisture, so place the shredded cauliflower in a kitchen towel and twist and squeeze to drain out as much liquid as possible.
  2. Make the mixture: Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to use a fork.
  3. Divide and bake: Using a spoon or scoop, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and be sure to press it down firmly into the cups. You’ll fill all 24 cups in the muffin tin. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Buffalo cauliflower tots on a red plate with bowls of ranch and blue cheese dressing and raw carrot and celery sticks

Can you use frozen cauliflower rice?

I have not tested this, but I suspect you would have to thaw and drain it thoroughly and squeeze it out very well, as frozen vegetables tend to retain more moisture.

Can you make these low carb?

I have used 1/2 cups almond meal in place of cornmeal and they are still delicious, but have a slightly softer texture because the cornmeal helps to bind it. If you do want to make them keto-friendly, I recommend trying 1/4 cup of almond meal and 2 Tablespoons coconut flour. I have not tested that substitution in the tots, but it works perfectly in my Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole, as the coconut flour helps to absorb moisture much like the cornmeal.

What do you dip Buffalo Cauli Tots in?

Whether you want to use your favorite wing dip or tot dip, go to the store and grab a bottle or try my homemade versions.

Make it a Meal – What to Serve Spicy Cauliflower Tots With

Buffalo cauliflower tots on a small rectangular plate with blue cheese dressing dripping over them
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A food processor with shredding blade is the fastest and easiest way to shred the cauliflower and cheese. I use the one linked here from Hamilton Beach.

This 24-cup mini muffin tin is just the right size for one batch of cauliflower tots.

Using a small cookie scoop makes quick work of filling the mini muffin tin.

Buffalo cauliflower tots on a small rectangular plate with blue cheese dressing dripping over them
5 from 1 vote

Buffalo Cauliflower Tots

Crispy, cheesy tots are kicked up with your favorite Buffalo hot sauce for a delicious spicy wing flavor in a healthy veggie side dish or party snack.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes


  • 4 cups shredded raw cauliflower (about half of a large head), see Note
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • Your favorite Blue Cheese or Ranch dip or dressing for dipping, such as my Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip, if desired


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a mini muffin tin thoroughly with oil or cooking spray.
  • Place the shredded cauliflower in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Be sure to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Combine all of the ingredients (except the Blue Cheese or Ranch dip) in a large bowl, and mix together thoroughly. I like to use a fork to toss it all together.
  • Using a spoon or scoop, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cups.
  • Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Let cool slightly before using the tip of a butter knife or mini spatula to loosen and pop the tots out of the muffin tin.
  • Serve with Blue Cheese or Ranch Dip for dipping.


I use the shredding blade on my food processor to shred the cauliflower. You can use the stems as well, not just the florets, since it is all being shredded and mixed together.
Nutrition Facts
Buffalo Cauliflower Tots
Amount Per Serving (4 tots)
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 630mg26%
Potassium 410mg12%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 166IU3%
Vitamin C 66mg80%
Calcium 98mg10%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


More Cauliflower Tots Recipes

  1. alixandra

    These look so amazing! Curious if you know of anything that could be used to bind everything together in place of the egg? Or, if they would hold up with just leaving the egg out altogether? Would love to make a vegan version of these!

  2. Shasta

    I realize you’re using mini muffin tins, but how many tots should this make? Hard to know how much to pack into each cup…..

  3. These look delicious! And who doesn’t love tots!! I made something similar with cauliflower florets one time, but they were pretty messing when eating. These looks like they’d be a whole lot easier to eat! I can’t wait to try these!!

  4. My kids also always know what’s in the food we eat and is has paid off that both of them love fruits as well as veggies alike.

    Oh, and your buffalo cauliflower tots looks absolutely fantastic!

  5. Katie

    I remember you telling me about making cauli-tots when we were at BlogHer Food, and I have been wanting to make a batch ever since! Loving this new version with a kick – right up my alley!

      1. Melvene Tardy

        Hi Brianne,

        Can you tell me how many cauli-tots this recipe makes? I’m having a party in two weeks with lots of little bites and want to serve these. They sound delicious. Also, are they still good at room temp?

        Thank you, Melvene Tardy

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