January 29, 2022

Nashville Hot Cauliflower Sandwich

Nashville Hot Cauliflower
Perfectly crispy + spicy cauliflower takes the place of chicken in this vegetarian-friendly take on the iconic sandwich. Cauliflower is double-dredged with seasoned flour and a hot-sauce infused buttermilk mixture, and then pan-fried to perfection, topped with a lemon-garlic aioli and sandwiched between a soft potato roll.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


For the Cauliflower

  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into “steaks”
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • Oil to brush on the cauliflower

For the Lemon Garlic Aioli

  • ½ cup mayo
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the Sandwiches

  • 4 Potato Buns (or buns of your choice)
  • Pickle chips


  • In a medium bowl, mix the cayenne, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Add the cornstarch, mix well, and set aside.
  • Toss the cauliflower in the spiced cornstarch, lightly coating each piece. In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Shaking off most of the cornstarch from the cauliflower, transfer them to the buttermilk mixture, tossing them to coat. Dip one cauliflower steak at a time back into the spiced flour and then place on a baking sheet or large plate. Repeat with the remaining pieces and then let sit for 10 minutes, allowing the buttermilk to hydrate the cornstarch for a crispier crust
  • While the cauliflower is resting, make the aioli by whisking together the mayo, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • To fry the cauliflower, add a couple inches of canola oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat to about 350°F. Fry the cauliflower in batches until golden-brown and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • To assemble the sandwiches, place the cauliflower steak on the bottom bun. Add a few pickle chips. Generously spread the aioli on the top bun and place on the sandwich. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and serve immediately.
Keyword 30 minute meal, game-day, gluten-free, vegetarian


  1. Teresa May 22, 2023 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    How much garlic For the Lemon Garlic Aioli?

    • Deniz May 22, 2023 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Teresa! 1 clove. Thanks for checking!

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