These spicy vegan cauliflower burger can be air fried or deep fried and is absolutely delicious. You will be shocked at how amazing the texture of this vegan sandwich is when you bite into it!
Recently, we posted the most delicious vegan bbq cauliflower wings. When we did that a few people mentioned that they’d love to put it onto a sandwich. We knew that those wings would be perfect for that, so we are bringing you these delicious spicy vegan cauliflower burgers.
Now, before we get into anything, no it doesn’t have to be spicy (keep reading for that).
Our goal here was a soft interior piece of cauliflower with the crispy outer crunch layer from the breading. We followed the same process as far as breading goes with the wings but did switch up the seasonings a bit.
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SPICY VEGAN CAULIFLOWER BURGER INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make these vegan cauliflower sandwich:
- Cauliflower – The star of this dish is cauliflower. It’s inexpensive, easily accessible, and easy to use. When used with this cooking method, you’ll be shocked at how good it is.
- Flour – We use all purpose flour as part of the breading method to add a nice coating and give the perfect texture
- Corn Flour – A must for the golden texture and the absolute crunchiness vegan cauliflower sandwich you’ve had
- Bread Crumbs – We prefer panko bread crumbs for this recipe. Just make sure whether you use panko or traditional that it is vegan as many regular breadcrumbs contain milk.
- Hot Sauce – We start infusing the spicy flavor right into the batter.
- Dairy Free Milk – We lean towards oat or almond, but any dairy free milk works here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – When you combine vinegar with dairy free milk you get a vegan buttermilk and we wanted those flavors here together.
- Oil – We are using vegetable oil because it’s a great neutral oil that is great for deep frying and allows the food to retain it’s flavor without any compromise.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- “Meat” Base – While we love cauliflower and thing you will too, you can definitely play around with the base of this recipe with the batter. Try oyster mushrooms, tofu, seitan, jackfruit, and more.
- Flour – You can use whole wheat flour for this recipe, in addition to gluten free 1:1 blend like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill
- Corn Flour – You can replace this with all flour but the texture will be different. It will still be good though.
- Bread Crumbs – Most breadcrumbs contain dairy so are not vegan, but if you do have regular breadcrumbs you can use those. Alternatively you could switch it up and try crushed chips, cornflakes, and more.
- Hot Sauce – If you don’t want this to be spicy, you can omit this.
- Liquid – While not as much flavor, you could swap the dairy free milk with water
- Acid – you can use white vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice as well
- Oil – You want to use a high heat oil that is neutral in flavor – other options would be canola, corn, peanut, soybean or avocado oil.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME?
This dish is best served fresh out of the skillet. But good news is that you can heat that back up! We recommend doing so in an air fryer for 7-10 minutes. We recommend not adding any sauce if possible for the ones that you aren’t going to eat. Consume within 3-5 days.
Can vegan cauliflower patties be frozen?
Yes! You can freeze vegan cauliflower steaks for up to 3 months at a time. Store in an air tight freezer bag or container.
Can I make half a batch? (or can I double, triple, etc)?
Yes! If making half a batch, then you can halve the batter ingredients. Similarly if you are doubling the recipe, you will add twice as much of every ingredient.
CAN I MAKE THIS TOP 8 ALLERGEN FREE?
Yes. You’ll want to use both Gluten Free 1:1 flour and breadcrumbs. For the vegan mayo, use a soy free version.
Why do you have to boil the cauliflower first?
Often time when people make cauliflower steaks, the inside is still a bit firm. To get the best, closest to meat texture, we boil the cauliflower to get it a bit softer first. The end result is the perfect texture both inside and out.
Can I make this oil free in an air fryer?
Yes! We suggest not overcrowding the pan or basket of your air fryer. Then work in batches to cook at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until desired texture. It will not be as golden brown as the ones in the photos, but these are still great!
WHAT OTHER SAUCES SHOULD I USE TO SPREAD OVER THE CAULIFLOWER IF I DON’T WANT SPICY MAYO?
Try swapping the vegan spicy mayo with one of our vegan homemade BBQ sauce recipes, but here’s all our flavors:
- 10 minute vegan cheese sauce
- vegan peach BBQ Sauce.
- vegan blueberry BBQ sauce
- traditional homemade vegan BBQ sauce
Any of these can be used and they are absolutely delicious! Of course you can use your own homemade version as well.
WHAT DO I EAT WITH A SPICY VEGAN CAULIFLOWER BURGER?
You can definitely eat these just buy themselves; however, here’s a few side dish ideas:
- Easy Vegan Garlic Parmesan Fries
- Vegan Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Easy Vegan Broccoli Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegan Lemon Garlic Butter Asparagus
What other vegan cauliflower recipes would I like?
Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for a variety of dishes! Here’s a few we think you would like:
- Easy Vegan Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- Vegan Cauliflower Tinga Tacos (photo above)
- Vegan Cauliflower Coconut Curry
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower
- Vegan Orange Cauliflower
Spicy Vegan Cauliflower Burger
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 3-4 steaks
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup corn flour
- 1 – 1 ½ cups dairy free milk
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon hot sauce (make sure it's vegan)
For the Breading
- 3 cups vegan panko breadcrumbs
Vegan Spicy Mayo
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (make sure it's vegan)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 sandwich buns
- additional sandwich toppings of choice
- Rinse cauliflower. Cut into steaks by slicing head into ¾-inch-thick slices. *The outer slices will fall apart – you can simply cook them as florets together with the steaks. Plan on getting three (possibly 4) steaks out of each cauliflower head.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and boil steak for 4-5 minutes. Drain immediately.
- In a wide bowl, add flour and corn flour. Whisk together. Add in dairy free milk, vinegar and hot sauce. Whisk together. You want a thick pancake like batter. If you have more of a dough, add a little more dairy free milk at a time up to an additional ½ cup.
- In another wide bowl add the breadcrumbs.
- Add a cauliflower steak to the wet mixture and move around to coat everything evenly. Let excess batter run off. Next, dip and cover the cauliflower in breadcrumbs.
- To Fry: Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (About 350 degrees F). Fry the cauliflower in batches for 4-5 minutes or until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove and drain on a wire rack with paper towels underneath.
- Alternative cooking: After coating, air fryer in batches for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, or until crispy on all sides. If needed at 15 minutes, flip and cook until thickest part is tender.
For the Spicy Mayo
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spread over the bun with additional toppings.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
Another great, innovative, recipe. Would cauliflower lend itself to layers in a lasagna type casserole?
I’m sure you could add cauliflower to lasagna