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Vegan Planet: Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza

Welcome to my latest installment of “You made WHAT with cauliflower???”  This time, I used the dependable crucifer to make a version of spicy plant-based Buffalo wings. And while I was at it, I thought it would be fun to use it as a pizza topping. Recalling that classic Buffalo wings are often served with ranch dressing, I made a ranch-style sauce to spread on the pizza dough before topping it with the spicy cauliflower.

Jon is used to my cooking experiments, but even he thought this was a bit odd – until he tasted it, that is.  In his words, “Wow, this is really, really good!”  Fact is, we couldn’t stop eating it!  Spicy, creamy, doughy, crisp, delicious – all in one luscious pizza.

This recipe uses a very straightforward classic-style Buffalo wing sauce for the cauliflower, but it would be equally good coated with your favorite barbecue sauce.  Likewise, the Buffalo cauliflower can be enjoyed without the pizza crust, with the Ranch sauce used for dipping. (Note: if you don't like cauliflower (gasp) you can instead use strips of seitan, tempeh, or extra-firm tofu that has been baked or sauteed and slathered with the hot sauce.)

I had some roasted asparagus on hand, so I arranged a few thin spears as spokes between the pieces of cauliflower. You can make your favorite pizza dough (such as the one in Vegan on the Cheap) or save time and use the pizza dough from Trader Joes or another source.  Here’s the recipe:

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
If you like lots of hot sauce, you can double up on that part of the recipe (it freezes well, too).

Ranch Sauce:
Hot Sauce: 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Remove the leaves and tough core from the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, cored side down and cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread.  Arrange the cauliflower slices on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper, lightly oiled, or sprayed with cooking spray. (You may need more than one pan.) Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper to taste and roast until tender and nicely browned, about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through with a large metal spatula. 
While the cauliflower is roasting, stretch the pizza dough onto the pizza pan and set aside, then make the hot sauce and Ranch sauce.
For the Ranch Sauce: In a food processor, combine the Ranch Sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Set aside.
For the Hot Sauce: Combine the hot sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring until hot and the Earth Balance is melted.  Set aside.

To assemble the pizza: Keep the oven at 425 degrees F. Spread a layer of the ranch sauce on top of the pizza dough and set aside. Pour the hot sauce over the roasted cauliflower, turning to coat.  Arrange the coated cauliflower on top of the pizza, drizzling any remaining hot sauce onto the cauliflower. Bake until the crust is nicely browned, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

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Cauliflower is the best veggie EVER! Although Cauli and I are actually on a break right now. I was eating a $4-5 head of cauli every day for several weeks there...I miss it already.
Maybe you should have an all-cauliflower, all-the-time blog ;) Or someone should!
An all-cauliflower blog is a great idea, Amber. I was on a price-induced hiatus from this beloved vegetable for awhile, but it's been back at a decent price for the last few weeks, so I've been going a little crazy with cauli-centric meals.
I love different pizza ideas like this. I'll definitely be trying this one!
Hope you enjoy it, Paula. Let me know!
I make pizza a lot, it's my favourite dish.... Awesome recipe thanks for sharing!

Pizza Menu
As I've gotten older, I've found myself more drawn to hot-spicy food and flavor-spicy food, and Buffalo sauce is one of those flavors I really quite enjoy. I've never actually had Buffalo wings themselves, but I've had Buffalo chicken samiches and salads and what have you, and I love that sharp-hot combination of hot sauce and vinegar!

The idea of using cauliflower with Buffalo sauce is inspired!
I absolutely love cauliflower AND pizza; this pizza looks heavenly! I'm on my way to the store to pick up some cauliflower and asparagus. Yummy!
Made this Friday night and it is terrific. I will definitely make it again.
That's great, Tom. I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know.
I agree Karen. When you love cauliflower and pizza AND spicy hot sauce -- this is hard to beat!
I made this last night and it's definitely a keeper! My GF who was skeptical at first even asked for the recipe. The only problem I had was getting the cauliflower into 1/4 inch slices. I kind of just ended up with a bunch of florets and 4 or 5 larger pieces. Still mad a great topping, though.
Just made this pizza tonight - YUM! Made the oh-so-delicious ranch sauce a bit thicker by using more beans (and have some left over for dipping later!). In the final minutes of roasting the cauli, I coated it with BBQ sauce mixed with chipotle and let it caramelize on the cauli. Also, added chopped green pepper and thinly sliced red onion as additional toppings. Pre-baked crust @ 450 for 15 mins, final baking (with toppings) @ 450 for 15 more minutes. Used a pizza stone and it was crispy and delicious! Your books and recipes are the ones that I use, and trust, the most. This recipe did not disappoint! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!
Glad you enjoyed it,Nicklovin. btw, even though the cauliflower might not stay in large "slices" (especially if you core it fairly deeply, I still find it best to cut into 1/4-inch slices with a serrated knife, so that the pieces can lay flat and cook evenly when roasting.
Yum, Beth! It sounds so good with the bbq sauce -- it's definitely next on my list to try. Good idea to make the Ranch sauce thicker to use as a dip -- it's sooo good!
I'm amazed that you baked it at 450 for so long -- my oven would have burnt it up after about 15 minutes!
Going to have to make this soon. I didn't think you could beat the Manchurian cauliflower pizza, which blew my mind. Can't wait to try!
Hi Robin, Last night I made buffalo wing style wheatballs (wheatballs recipe from your vegan on the cheap). They came out awesome and I highly reccomend trying it!
This is amazing. We can't wait to try it!
I saved this recipe because it was different, but I was almost positive we wouldn't like it...boy was I wrong! This was the best vegan pizza I've ever had, and it's officially on the rotation! Thanks for an amazing recipe!
Britni, So happy it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know!
A brilliant idea! We make a buffalo "chicken wing" salad with tofu---but cauliflower would be even better. Yum! Will use the buffalo cauliflower over salad greens, and then use a dressing of BBQ sauce and ranch dressing (I know that sounds terrible, but they mesh well together).
Ellen, I totally "get" that combination. Sounds good to me!
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