CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN’S | Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower

by RRR

I am fortunate to live in an area with many great and popular restaurants.  California Pizza Kitchen is one of those and it is right down the street from my house.  My husband and I like to sit at the bar and order a bunch of their appetizers (and of course, cocktails).  We always order the Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower.  Always.

And while I don’t follow a vegetarian diet, I appreciate that this dish as a delicious, vegetarian alternative to Buffalo chicken.  And in fact, I like it better.

California Pizza Kitchen's Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower

Serves: 2-4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets of uniform size
  • 2 scallions, julienned thinly and cut 2 inches in length
  • 2 celery stalks, julienned thinly and cut 2 inches in length
  • Marie’s Creamy Ranch Dressing (or your favorite bottled Ranch)
  • 3 TBL crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 TBL fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 TBL unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Hoy Fong Sriracha
  • 3 dashes of soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 TBL sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 pinches Kosher salt
  • 3 cranks of cracked black pepper
  • Canola Oil for frying


Drop cauliflower florets into a steam bath for 4 minutes (until fork tender). Remove from steam and refrigerate.

On a low heat, in a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add the Sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Reduce by 1/3 for 1 ½ minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.

Batter and Fry Instructions:
Mix, until smooth, the flour, buttermilk, salt, and black pepper.

In a wok or large stock pot, heat 2” of canola oil to 365 degrees. Coat, completely, each floret in the batter and carefully drop the battered florets into the fry oil. Work in batches, so to not overcrowd the fry oil. Once the cauliflower is a golden-brown color, about 3 minutes, remove from the oil and set aside on a drainage rack. Use a splatter screen to reduce the fry mess. Repeat the process until all the florets are crispy-fried.

In a large stainless-steel bowl, toss the fried cauliflower florets with the Spicy Buffalo Sauce until well coated.

To Plate:
Spoon 2 TBL of Marie's Ranch Dressing over the surface of the plate. Top the Ranch with the Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower. Sprinkle crumbled gorgonzola and fresh cilantro over the top. Lay the celery and scallions over the cauliflower.
*Tip: To make the celery and scallions “curl” like they do at CPK, place them in an ice bath for ½ hour.

Serve with California Pizza Kitchen’s Shishito Peppers and California Pizza Kitchen’s Mexican Street Corn and Enjoy!


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