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Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

Instant Pot buffalo cauliflower makes perfectly tender and flavor packed buffalo cauliflower in a matter of minutes. This vegetarian recipe is the perfect game day snack and makes a fabulous lunch or quick dinner. Make some today!

 

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower on a plate with dressing in front of an Instant Pot on white marble

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

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Buffalo everything is a favorite in this house. I am all about buffalo cauliflower. Why? Well:

  • It’s easier to make than wings or buffalo chicken in my honest opinion.
  • I feel better about eating it. Veggies, ya know?

Until we got our Instant Pot, we made our buffalo cauliflower in the oven. And we did it a lot. Still do sometimes, if we are going to make a big batch of cauliflower. But now we use the Instant Pot to make this recipe at least 4 times a week. Chances are, if you were to come over to our house any given day around lunch time, you’re going to find us eating this buffalo cauliflower over some kale or quinoa. It’s hands down my favorite lunch because it’s warm and satisfying and loaded with that big buffalo flavor I love so much.

Plus making buffalo cauliflower in the Instant Pot is so fast! This is truly a set it and forget it recipe with the quickest prep making it the perfect vegetarian recipe for a quick meal anytime.

Perfect Cauliflower in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

So technically the Instant Pot works by steaming veggies. Normally, that’s not a super appealing thing to me. I find that steaming can create watery, somewhat unappealing vegetables. This Instant Pot cauliflower is not that!

I season the cauliflower pretty liberally prior to cooking it so it is full of delicious flavor before the buffalo sauce goes on. And the Instant Pot makes it so easy to adjust the cook time so you can get tender cauliflower that still has a bit of bite to it instead of falling apart, overcooked cauliflower.

And if the cauliflower comes out a little too hard, don’t fret! You’re going to turn your Instant Pot to saute mode at the end of the recipe to cook your sauce. You can just saute the cauliflower

Making Buffalo Cauliflower in a Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower on a plate sitting on white marble with a plate of carrots and celery in the background

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

This Instant Pot buffalo cauliflower is so easy! The most difficult part is removing the big stem on the bottom of the cauliflower head. To remove the stem, start by pulling off any of the green stalks around it so you can see the stem better.

Pull the leaves off the cauliflower

Then use a knife and cut around the stem.

Cut around the big stem

Once you’ve cut around the stem pull it out and discard it.

The cauliflower is ready to go into the trivet

Then, set the head of cauliflower on the metal steamer basket that came with your Instant Pot. (If you don’t have one, you can get one here.) Place the steamer basket with the head of cauliflower into the Pot. Now, you can pour in your water and then sprinkle on your seasoning.

To cook, put the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set your Instant Pot to manual for 2 minutes for al dente cauliflower (3 minutes if prefer softer cauliflower or have a larger head). When your Pot beeps, do a quick release. After the steam has released, remove the lid from the Pot and take the cauliflower out of the pot. When the liner is empty, drain the leftover water from the liner.

Give the cooked cauliflower a quick cut to make bite sized buffalo cauliflower pieces. Put them back in the Instant Pot. Now set the Pot to saute mode. With the Pot on saute mode, pour in the olive oil, hot sauce, and pressed garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken slightly.

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

That’s it! You’re ready to serve and enjoy!

Super Versatile Buffalo Cauliflower!

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

Part of what I absolutely love about this Instant Pot Buffalo cauliflower recipe is how versatile it is. You can eat it on it’s own as a snack or an appetizer. I often serve it over brown rice with some extra cheese, subbing it out for chicken in my cheesy buffalo chicken rice bowls. I also like to serve it in place of buffalo chicken in buffalo Caesar kale salad or use it in these cauliflower and quinoa lettuce wraps. Really, you have so many options for it for lots of variety.

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Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower

Instant Pot Buffalo Cauliflower


  • Author: jfletcher
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 2 lunch servings, 4 appetizer size servings 1x

Description

Instant Pot buffalo cauliflower makes perfectly tender and flavor packed buffalo cauliflower in a matter of minutes. This vegetarian recipe is the perfect game day snack and makes a fabulous lunch or quick dinner. Make some today!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium to large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup of hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Instructions

Remove the big stem from the bottom of the cauliflower. To remove the stem, peel away any of the green stalks and then cut the stem away as shown.

Place the destemmed cauliflower head into the basket that comes with the Instant Pot. Place the basket in the Pot.

Now add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Then season the cauliflower head with garlic powder, smoked paprika and cayenne. Finish seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the valve is set to sealed. Cook on manual for 3 minutes for a large head. For a small head, decrease the time to 2 minutes.

When the Pot beeps, do a quick release.

After the steam has released, remove the lid from the Pot and take the cauliflower out of the pot. When the liner is empty, drain the leftover water from the liner.

Give the cooked cauliflower a quick cut to make bite sized buffalo cauliflower pieces. Put them back in the Instant Pot. Now set the Pot to saute mode. With the Pot on saute mode, pour in the olive oil, hot sauce, and pressed garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken slightly.

Notes

For smaller heads of cauliflower, decrease your cook time by one to two minutes. With larger heads, add an extra minute of cook time. Don’t add more than a minute or you run the risk of overcooking the cauliflower. If you find the cauliflower isn’t done enough for you, you can increase the length of saute time.

  • Category: appetizer, lunch, dinner, vegetarian
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot buffalo cauliflower, vegetarian buffalo wings, buffalo cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower wings

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Recipe rating

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Angela Sackett

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Haven't tried it yet, but all the Instant Pot instructions I've read say a minimum of 1 cup water is needed to cook in the pressure cooker mode. I'm a little concerned about safety and either burning or over-cooking. Have you had experience with that?

jfletcher

Friday 19th of March 2021

Hi Angela! Thanks for your comment. For cauliflower 1/2 cup of water is plenty. And just set it on the trivet so it isn't touching the bottom. It shouldn't burn and it won't overcook like that. If you are concerned about over cooking you could adjust the cook time down one minute especially if it's a smaller head of cauliflower.

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