Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
An overhead shot of a large bowl of grilled buffalo cauliflower salad with wooden serving spoons atop a striped dish towel on a white marbled surface. A bowl of herbed yogurt ranch and small bowls of herbs sit beside it.

Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower Salad

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Entrée Salads & Bowl Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This stunning Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower Salad is the perfect Buffalo-inspired summer dinner!

The star of the show is a head of grilled buffalo cauliflower, which is so fun to make! Simply quarter a whole head of cauliflower through the stem, season it with smoked paprika & garlic powder, & toss it right on the grill grates. It’s beautifully tender after about 12 minutes, at which point it’s ready to baste with a simple homemade buffalo sauce of Frank’s RedHot & butter. Not only is the grilled cauliflower completely stunning, it’s deliciously smoky & spiced, all with the signature tangy heat of buffalo sauce.

From there, simply toss it into a hearty salad with greens, fresh veggies like cucumber, tomato, & carrot for texture, quinoa for plant-based protein, & a heavy drizzle of homemade yogurt ranch dressing for a seriously craveable summer salad!

As is the case with any hearty salad or bowl-style meal, a little bit of prep is involved to pull together all of the components. Feel free to take or leave any component depending on how much time you have (e.g. skip the quinoa, use store-bought ranch dressing, work with a base of your favorite store-bought salad kit, etc.). This is a flexible recipe – have fun with it!

Easily vegan & majorly meal prep-friendly. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for the full how-to! ♡ Happy grilling!


Ingredients

Scale
  • grilled buffalo cauliflower, below
  • herbed yogurt ranch dressing, below
  • 5 ounces spring mix or greens of choice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (⅓ cup dry quinoa cooked according to package directions)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled as desired & cut into matchsticks or shredded
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 avocado, pitted & diced
  • optional:4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese or shredded sharp white cheddar

for the grilled buffalo cauliflower: 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, outer leaves removed & sliced into quarters through the stem
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or high smoke point oil of choice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • ⅓ cup Franks RedHot Original or buffalo sauce of choice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

for the herbed yogurt ranch dressing:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or 2% is best)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 34 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill: Prepare the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat oven to 425 degrees F, ensuring one rack is positioned in the upper third of the oven.)Weber Genesis II Propane Grill on a deck.
  2. Prep the cauliflower & buffalo sauce for the grill: Meanwhile, as the grill preheats, prep the cauliflower & buffalo sauce. Place the quartered cauliflower on a small baking sheet. Use a brush to coat the entire surface of the cauliflower with avocado oil. Sprinkle the entire surface of the cauliflower with garlic powder, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Set aside. To mix up the buffalo sauce, simply add the Frank’s RedHot Original & melted butter to a small bowl & mix to combine well. Set aside.

    An overhead shot of seasoned cauliflower on a small sheet pan atop a white and grey marbled surface. A small bowl of buffalo sauce and a pastry brush sit alongside the pan.

  3. Optional: Prepare the herby yogurt ranch dressing: Meanwhile, as the grill preheats, prep the ranch yogurt. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, garlic, chive or green onions, dill, & apple cider vinegar. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk to combine well. Thin the mixture out with water, just until your desired consistency is reached. Set aside for serving, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.An overhead shot of herbed yogurt ranch dressing in a stoneware bowl atop a white surface.
  4. Grill the buffalo cauliflower: Place the cauliflower on the preheated grill. Close the lid. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Once the grilled cauliflower is tender, generously brush the entire surface of the cauliflower with the prepared buffalo sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes per side longer, basting the cauliflower with extra buffalo sauce as desired. Remove from the grill & allow to cool slightly.An overhead shot of grilled buffalo cauliflower on a small sheet pan atop a white and grey marbled surface.
  5. Grilled buffalo cauliflower salad assembly: Chop the grilled buffalo cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Place the salad greens in a large bowl, topping with the cooked quinoa, green onions, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, & cheese (if using). Place the grilled buffalo cauliflower over top. Drizzle the yogurt ranch dressing over top, then toss to combine well. Taste & season with additional salt & ground black pepper as needed. Serve immediately. Enjoy!An overhead shot of a large bowl of grilled buffalo cauliflower salad with wooden serving spoons atop a striped dish towel on a white marbled surface. A bowl of herbed yogurt ranch and small bowls of herbs sit beside it.

Notes

  • Dairy-free &/or vegan buffalo cauliflower salads: This grilled buffalo cauliflower salad is naturally vegetarian, but very easily made vegan as well with a few simple dairy-free subs. Swap butter for your favorite plant butter in the buffalo sauce, yogurt for your favorite dairy-free yogurt in the ranch dressing, & be sure to omit cheese or use your favorite dairy-free variety in the salads.
  • Make-Ahead & Storage: Prepared grilled buffalo cauliflower salad components will keep, stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. If desired, reheat the grilled cauliflower in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through, then assemble salads as desired.
  • Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work for these grilled buffalo cauliflower salads comes from prepping the veggies & the yogurt ranch dressing. Prep either or both in advance to get a head start on your grilled buffalo cauliflower salads – it takes 20 minutes, tops:
    • Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool slightly then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (>5 minutes active)
    • Vegetable prep: Break down 1 large head of cauliflower according to the Ingredients List, above, then grate 1 large carrots, dice ½ English cucumber, & halve or quarter 8 ounces cherry tomatoes. Transfer to individual airtight containers & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (>10 minutes active prep)
    • Prepare the herby ranch dressing according to Step 3 of Recipe Directions above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (>10 minutes active prep)