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Air Fryer Cauliflower

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This easy-to-make air fryer cauliflower is so delicious and crispy! The cauliflower is packed with flavor when roasted in the air fryer. This quick recipe is a perfect appetizer or side dish with only a few ingredients. The air fryer beautifully crisps the florets giving it a wonderful texture. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, especially when served alongside a creamy chipotle lime crema dipping sauce!

Roasted cauliflower in the air fryer is hands down one of the best ways to prepare this popular vegetable. When roasted, all the natural sweetness and flavors can enhance with a toasty, caramelized texture. The air fryer significantly shortens the cooking time for this process while still allowing the same delightful golden-brown exterior. Use the air fryer to your advantage and free up your oven so you can cook other parts of your meal simultaneously.

A serving bowl of air fryer cauliflower.

Why you will love this recipe

This air fryer cauliflower is fantastic and is hands down my favorite way to prepare cauliflower!

  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Super versatile and can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or salad topping
  • Enhances all of the healthy and tasty benefits cauliflower has to offer

Ingredients

This recipe calls for just a few essential ingredients that you likely already have on hand in your kitchen.

  • Cauliflower – this versatile vegetable is perfect when cooked to a slight crisp in the air fryer. Cauliflower is an excellent addition to many meals due and can be served raw, cooked, roasted, and of course, air fried.
  • Olive oil – full of healthy fats and immune-boosting antioxidants, this pantry staple provides the base of flavor and allows the cauliflower to attain a crunchy texture.
  • Garlic powder – this seasoning provides some added flavor and aromatics to this dish. Fresh or minced varieties can be incorporated as well when mixed into the olive oil while coating. Adding fresh garlic is an excellent option if you want a more garlicky flavor for your cauliflower. 
  • Salt – add to taste along with your other seasonings.
  • Italian seasoning – This commonly used spice blend often contains dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. All of these herbs provide flavor and extra dietary fiber in this recipe. You can also substitute with fresh herbs if you have any on hand for a more potent effect.
Ingredients used for air fryer cauliflower.
Ingredients for making air fryer cauliflower.

How to make air fryer cauliflower

This recipe is straightforward to prepare! Here are the steps you will need to follow to make healthy air-fried cauliflower at home.

Step 1: cut into florets

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut out the large stem at the bottom. Use your hands to break apart the cauliflower into large florets. Then cut the florets into smaller, bite-size pieces and place them in a bowl.

Step 2: toss in the seasoning

Toss with florets in olive oil and ensure they are well coated. Then sprinkle on the seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Toss again to coat completely. The seasoning will give the cauliflower an amazing flavor and help to intensify that air fryer crispiness.

Step 3: arrange in the air fryer

Place the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to cook them in separate batches. Be sure they are spaced out in the basket to get nice and crispy while they cook. If they are too close together, the steam released while cooking will make them less crispy.

Step 4: time to air fry

Cook in the air fryer at 380°F for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. For best results, toss the cauliflower halfway through the cooking time. If you like your cauliflower extra crispy, cook them at 400°F. The smaller pieces may char slightly, but they will still be tasty!

air fryer cauliflower process photo collage: cut into florets, toss in seasoning, air fry at 380°F for 12-18 minutes, transfer to bowl and garnish

Tips for success

  • To attain a darker crust on your cauliflower, increase the temperature to 400°F. The smaller bits of cauliflower will char, but they will still taste slightly sweet.
  • Add a crust such as panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, or coconut flakes for added texture and taste. To do so, coat the cauliflower florets with an egg wash and dip them into your preferred crust. A mixture of panko and parmesan taste delicious topped with some fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil.
  • Feel free to spice things up! Incorporate fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, cayenne, smoked paprika, or any other desired seasoning. This simple recipe is very versatile since you can prepare the cauliflower in just about any way.
  • For a barbecue version, try coating the cauliflower in this barbecue seasoning and serve it with this Kansas City-style barbeque sauce for dipping.
  • Sauces, such as buffalo or chipotle lime crema, also make scrumptious toppings on cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower in an air fryer basket.

FAQ

What can I serve with air fryer cauliflower?

            Cauliflower has high fiber content and makes a beautiful addition to a myriad of meals. Serve alone as an appetizer or quick snack alongside some dip. Roasted and air-fried cauliflower also tastes excellent in grain bowls mixed with other vegetables, like broccoli or mushrooms. These tasty vegetables also make a filling side dish with some protein, such as beef, salmon, or grilled chicken.

Can I make this recipe without an air fryer?

If you do not have an air fryer, you can apply the same steps to roast the cauliflower in the oven. Both methods result in crunchy and flavorful cauliflower that serves as a quick healthy snack. If you are using the oven, set the temperature to 400°F and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

What else is cooking?

These Traeger smoked cornish game hens are perfect with air fryer cauliflower. They are coated in a dry brine and stuffed with citrus and aromatics. The Traeger gives them just enough smoke and leaves them super juicy and tender.

I have been on a veggie kick lately, and this air fryer butternut squash with sage brown butter is one of my favorites! The butter soaks into the butternut squash, infusing it with a sweet caramelized flavor. The sage is fried to a crisp in the brown butter and sprinkled on top for a wonderful crispy garnish packed with flavor.

Try out these cowboy baked beans. They would pair perfectly with a barbecue rendition of the air fryer cauliflower.

Cauliflower in a bowl with parsley on a cutting board.

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Roasted cauliflower in an air fryer basket.

Air Fryer Cauliflower

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

The cauliflower is packed with flavor when roasted in the air fryer. This quick recipe is a perfect appetizer or side dish with only a few ingredients. The air fryer beautifully crisps the florets giving it a wonderful texture and a perfect caramelization in about half the time as the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the head of cauliflower into individual florets and place them in a bowl.
  2. Toss with the olive oil to get them coated, then sprinkle the seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and toss to coat.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to cook separate batches.
  4. Cook in the air fryer at 380°F for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. For best results, toss the cauliflower halfway through the cooking time.

Notes

  • If you like a darker crust on your cauliflower, increase the temperature to 400°F. The smaller bits of cauliflower will char, but they will still taste slightly sweet.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 551mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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