Air Fryer Cauliflower

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.

An overhead photo looking down at a bowl of air fryer cauliflower. There is a small wooden bowl inside the larger bowl containing ranch dipping sauce.

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!
Ingredients measured out to make air fryer cauliflower: cauliflower, oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Ingredients Needed

  • 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.
Side by side photos of seasoned cauliflower in an air fryer before and after being cooked.

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!
An overhead photo looking down at a bowl containing air fried cauliflower. There is a smaller bowl resting inside the larger bowl with some ranch dip.

FAQ

Can I Air Fry Frozen Cauliflower?

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.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

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.

How much can I put into my air fryer?

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.

Can I use aerosol spray on my air fryer?

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.

An overhead photo looking down at a bowl containing air fried cauliflower. There is a smaller bowl resting inside the larger bowl with some ranch dip.

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:

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.

A bowl containing air fried cauliflower. There is a smaller bowl resting inside the larger bowl with some ranch dip and a small wooden spoon.

Looking For More Air Fryer Recipes?

More Recipes With 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

3 from 32 votes
Learn how to 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.
cropped-air-fryer-cauliflower-hero.jpg
Print RecipePin Recipe
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 25minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1medium head of cauliflower, about 4 cups of florets, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2Tablespoonsavocado or olive oil
  • ¼cupnutritional yeast
  • ½teaspoonpaprika
  • ½teaspoongarlic powder
  • ½teaspoonsea salt, plus more to taste
  • pinchof pepper, plus more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop cauliflower into 1-inch florets. Try to make all the florets about the same size so that they cook evenly.
    Cauliflower florets on a wooden cutting board. A knife is laying next to the cutting board.
  • Add cauliflower to a bowl and toss with oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    Cauliflower florets tossed in seasoning in a glass mixing bowl.
  • 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.
    An air fryer basket containing seasoned cauliflower.
  • Serve cauliflower immediately.
    An air fryer basket containing air fried cauliflower.

Video

Equipment

  • air fryer

Notes

  • 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

Serving: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 360mgPotassium: 642mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3g
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer cauliflower
Web Story: https://atrivialmindatwork.com/web-stories/air-fryer-cauliflower/

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    2 comments
    1. Lisa
      February 24, 2022 AT 7:37 pm

      5 stars
      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.

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 25, 2022 AT 9:48 am

        Yay! I’m happy to hear this recipe was a hit, Lisa! Thanks for leaving a review, I really appreciate it.

        Reply
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