Air Fryer Cauliflower
Published Dec 28, 2021, Updated Nov 14, 2022
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Make cauliflower in the air fryer in under 20 minutes with this simple recipe. It’s crispy, delicious and works as a side dish with just about any main entree.
We all know I love cauliflower and how versatile it is. Pair that with my latest obsession, my air fryer, and you’ve got a winning combination!
I just love how veggies get so crispy in the air fryer without a ton of oil and cauliflower is no exception. The end result is deliciously crisp cauliflower that cooks up in just 20 minutes.
Like roasted cauliflower, air fryer cauliflower is the perfect side dish for any dinner, but is also a great snack! Just pair it with your favorite dipping sauce and dive in.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a quick and easy side dish.
- Cauliflower is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
- It’s low in calories making it a great for volume eaters.
- You can pair it with just about any main entree!
- cauliflower – you need a whole head of cauliflower, about 4 cups of 1-inch florets. When picking cauliflower at the grocery store, look for heads that are firm and tightly closed. They should be pale without dark spots. Cauliflower is extremely perishable so avoid any heads that are soft or brown, which is a sign of spoilage.
- olive oil – avocado oil works as well.
- nutritional yeast – amps up the nutrition and gives the cauliflower a delicious, chessy flavor!
- seasonings – a little paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper make this cauliflower pop.
How to Make Air Fryer Cauliflower
To start, wash the cauliflower and then chop into 1-inch florets. Aim to make the florets the same size so that they cook evenly in the air fryer.
Add your chopped cauliflower to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients: olive oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Preheat your air fryer if required or simply add the cauliflower and set it to 390ºF. Cook for about 18-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is brown and crispy. Make sure to give the basket a good toss every 5 or so minutes so the cauliflower doesn’t overcook or burn.
Try my air fryer buffalo cauliflower for a delicious appetizer perfect for game day!
pro tip! Make sure to cut all of the cauliflower florets around the same size so they cook evenly in the air fryer!
Totally! I recommend using fresh for added crispiness, but you can definitely use frozen if that’s what you have on hand. No need to thaw the cauliflower before cooking.
That depends on your air fryer! Some recommend preheating and others do not require it. Check your owners’ manual to see what they recommend. If you don’t have a preheat setting, just set your air fryer to the required temperature about 3 minutes before adding your food.
It depends on the size of your basket. You’ll want to make sure you don’t overcrowd the basket or your food will not get crispy. You may need to cook in batches.
I do not recommend spraying aerosol spray directly on your air fryer! Like most non-stick items, it’s best to avoid sprays like Pam as it can mess with the finish. You can however use an oil mister or non aerosol sprays. I really like the Chosen Foods avocado oil spray.
How to Serve Air Fryer Cauliflower
This cauliflower is the perfect side dish (or snack!) Here are some ideas to serve alongside air fryer cauliflower:
- Make BBQ chicken breasts or baked chicken tenders and a simple side salad like my garlicky kale salad.
- Top this roasted harvest chicken bowl with air fryer cauliflower for some extra veggies!
- Try this Kung Pao tofu and use air fryer cauliflower instead of roasting!
- Dip it in my homemade vegan ranch or even my healthy chick-fil-a sauce!
How to Store and Meal Prep
Air fryer cauliflower isn’t the best for meal prep, as it will lose its crispiness. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it! I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. I personally love leftover air fried veggies cold straight from the fridge, but you can also reheat them. To reheat just place the cauliflower back in the air fryer on 390°F for 3-4 minutes or until warm.
If you’re interested in meal prepping this recipe, you could clean and chop the cauliflower 1-3 days in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to air fry! Another option for quick and easy prep is to buy pre-chopped cauliflower. It’s more expensive, but it’s already chopped and washed so it does save time.
Looking For More Air Fryer Recipes?
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Pasta Chips
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Tofu
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Breakfast Potatoes
More Recipes With Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Rice
- Healthy Mashed Cauliflower
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
- Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Gratin
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Be sure to check out all of my cauliflower recipes as well as all of the air fryer recipes here on EBF!
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, about 4 cups of florets, cut into 1-inch florets
- 2 Tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- pinch of pepper, plus more to taste
- Wash and chop cauliflower into 1-inch florets. Try to make all the florets about the same size so that they cook evenly.
- Add cauliflower to a bowl and toss with oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat air fryer if required. Add cauliflower to the air fryer and cook on 390°F until golden and crispy, about 18-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Be sure to watch the cauliflower closely near the end so it doesn't overcook or burn.
- Serve cauliflower immediately.
- If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand you can omit it from the recipe but you’ll likely want to increase the other seasonings for more flavor. I’d start by upping the garlic powder and paprika to 1 teaspoon.
- Be sure to dry your cauliflower well after washing. If it’s still wet it will steam instead of roast/air fry. You can wash and prep the cauliflower 1-3 days in advance to help with this.
- Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to air fry the cauliflower in batches to ensure crispiness.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I had some sad, looking cauliflower and was not sure what to do with it… searched your web site and found this recipe. It is soooo good. I will definitely be making this again.
Yay! I’m happy to hear this recipe was a hit, Lisa! Thanks for leaving a review, I really appreciate it.