Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta Salad

Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta Salad

Tangy, slightly-crisp buffalo cauliflower florets pair perfectly with cool ranch dressing and pasta. Bake it for an entrée or serve cold or room temperature as a pasta salad – either way, this is no mere side dish!

I used brown rice pasta, but have also made this with chickpea pasta. Use any kind you prefer.

The dressing recipe calls for vegan mayonnaise. Store-bought vegan mayo usually contains a lot of oil, so if you want oil-free mayo, I like this recipe.

This recipe can also be baked and served as a pasta casserole.

I like to add sliced green olives; they add a nice contrast to the buffalo cauliflower and remind me of my mom’s macaroni salad. If you don’t care for olives, try pickled jalapeño pepper slices, diced cucumbers, or sweet pickle relish.

Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta Salad

You, On Plants
Both tangy and creamy, this buffalo cauliflower pasta salad can be a side dish or a main course.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 small head cauliflower (1/2 large head)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free hot sauce (I used Frank's)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 box pasta of your choice
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • optional: pickled jalapeño slices, sliced green olives, diced cucumbers, or sweet pickle relish

Vegan Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup Cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic (1/2 tsp powdered)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Whisk together the hot sauce and tahini in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cauliflower and mix to coat.
  • Transfer cauliflower to a baking sheet and roast 40 minutes, turning halfway. (Or air fry if you have one.)
  • While cauliflower roasts, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain, and make the ranch dressing (if you are not using prepared dressing) by placing all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
  • When cauliflower is done, remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  • Combine drained pasta, ranch dressing, chickpeas, and celery in a large mixing bowl and combine. Add in the cauliflower florets and one of the optional ingredients, if desired.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Alternatively, you can transfer to a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake 20 minutes to serve as a casserole.
Keyword Buffalo Cauliflower, Pasta Salad, Plant-Based, Vegan

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