This Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe is the easiest way to enjoy cauliflower and is a healthy vegan veggie recipe.
Plus, this cauliflower recipe is also dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-carb, so you can share it with all the family members.
I have a passion for air fryer recipes and air frying vegetables makes delicious side dishes that we make almost every week. It’s so much easier to air fry cauliflower when making my roasted cauliflower salad.
If you’re used to roasting cauliflower in the oven, you’ll be amazed by this recipe. It’s faster, uses less oil, and leaves fewer dishes to clean. So lately, I air fry cauliflower, most of the time with the most simple coating or to make air fryer buffalo cauliflower.
It’s so easy to air fry cauliflower to make tender and crispy florets every time. The two common mistakes people make when air frying cauliflower are:
- Air frying florets of vastly different sizes – This results in some burnt florets and some undercooked ones.
- Air frying cauliflower at low temperatures – Resulting in mushy cauliflower pieces.
So first, cut the cauliflower into florets of the same size.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Next, gather the ingredients below.
- Head of Cauliflower – I always air fry fresh cauliflower florets and don’t have much experience with frozen cauliflower.
- Avocado Oil – This is the best oil for cooking as it has a high smoke point, keeping unhealthy smoke away!
- Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder – To season the cauliflower. You can also use any of the spice suggestions below.
Then, of course, you can season the cauliflower by adding some extra like:
- Chili Flakes or chili powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Dried Oregano
- Onion Powder
- Lemon Zest
Or simply serve the air-fried cauliflower florets with fresh chopped herbs like parsley or dill.
How To Air Fryer Cauliflower
- First, cut the cauliflower into small florets. Start by removing the green parts of the cauliflower head and discard or compost them.
- Then, run a small sharp knife around the base to release the cauliflower florets. Finally, cut each floret in a similar size to ensure even cooking.
- Place the florets in a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and any other dry spices you like. Then, toss the florets to evenly coat them. Now, you have two options. You can place the cauliflower florets directly in the air fryer basket or cover the basket with foil or parchment paper to make the basket easier to clean.
- You don’t need to preheat the air fryer before adding cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a single layer in the basket, so they roast evenly. If the cauliflower head you used is large, you may have to air fry the florets in batches.
- Air fry the cauliflower florets at 400°F (200°C) for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway to roast them evenly. To keep the air-fried cauliflower warm, place it in a large baking dish and cover it with foil. You can pop it in the oven at 210°F (100°C) to keep it warm while you air fry the remaining cauliflower. You know the cauliflower florets are ready when they are golden brown, crispy outside but firm in the center. Insert a knife blade in one of the florets to check if it goes through, but still firm, stop the air fryer.
Serving Fried Cauliflower
These crispy air fryer cauliflower bites are delicious on their own as a side dish or snack to dip in sauce like:
You can also use this recipe to make my roasted cauliflower salad or serve it as a side dish with a drizzle of lemon juice, vegan Parmesan cheese, or fresh chopped herbs on top.
I like to add all of the below ingredients on the cooked cauliflower:
- Chili Flakes
- Chopped Italian Parsley
- Sea Salt Flakes
- Ground Pepper
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to your most frequent questions about this recipe.
Yes, the ingredients and method are the same, except that you must increase temperature to 430°F (220°C) to roast cauliflower florets.
Place the florets on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper, shake halfway, and roast for about 12 to 15 minutes.
You can air fry cauliflower oil-free, but honestly it doesn’t make the recipe very tasty.
The florets dry out and don’t have much flavor as there’s nothing to stick the spices to the florets.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Below are some more air fryer recipes for you to try:
Did You Like This Recipe?
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Cut cauliflower head into small 2-inch florets. Set aside.
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the cauliflower florets, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the florets to coat evenly.
- Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the basket and work in batches if you have too many florets.
- Air fry for 12-15 minutes at 400°F (200°C), shaking the basket halfway. They are ready to remove from the air fryer when golden brown, crispy on the edges but not burnt, and still tender in the middle.
- Serve with cucumber dip, ranch dressing, or any sauce you love.
Storage InstructionsAir-fried cauliflower tends to have a strong sulfur smell as it cools down. So make sure you store leftovers in an airtight box or bag to avoid sharing the smell with all the other food in your fridge.
Allergy SwapsBelow are some ideas to make this recipe with other ingredients if you are allergic to some of them.
- Avocado Oil – Replace with olive oil or any oil you like to roast vegetables. I recommend avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and won’t smoke in the air fryer.
- Garlic – You can skip the garlic powder if you follow a low-fodmap diet.