Air Fryer Cauliflower will forever change the way you view boring and bland cauliflower! It’s coated in olive oil, Italian seasoning, and an array of aromatic powders that provide a depth of flavor that will have you begging for more! You only need simple seasonings to achieve restaurant-quality crispy cauliflower.
The air fryer does a fantastic job of producing tender florets of cauliflower that come out crispy on the exterior with a golden brown finish. Serve your air fryer cauliflower as a low-carb snack, party appetizer, or veggie side dish.
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Why It's Yummy
- This is a quick and easy recipe to start using as a way to add more vegetables to every meal.
- This serves well as a side dish or as a tasty appetizer for parties and other events.
- Anyone following a low-carb or ketogenic diet will know how important it is to include this precious vegetable in the diet. While cauliflower can be boring and bland on its own, it certainly ticks all the boxes of an irresistible dish when seasoned and air fried!
If you love this Air Fryer Cauliflower be sure to try my Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with Chipotle Aioli next!
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
In our family, we love easy dishes made from scratch, that's why for this recipe you only need simple ingredients.
- Cauliflower - you’ll need 1 medium whole head of cauliflower which equates to 5-6 cups in florets. Make sure to properly prepare the cauliflower by cutting out the thick steam and removing the leaves.
- Oil - I’ve used olive oil to coat the cauliflower florets with seasoning as I enjoy the taste but you could also use vegetable oil or even an unscented coconut oil instead if you wish.
- Italian seasoning - this is my go-to seasoning when it comes to air frying cauliflower. Of course, feel free to use a different seasoning. Something like Ranch or BBQ seasoning would be equally delicious.
- Garlic, onion, and paprika powder - these all provide a depth of flavor that’ll make you come back for more! For a deeper flavor, use 1 medium garlic clove (minced) instead of the garlic powder.
- Optional extras - these could include sauces such as ketchup or burger sauce, dressing such as ranch dressing, sour cream, Parmesan, or freshly chopped herbs.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 F according to manufacturer instructions. (Mine was 400 F for 5 minutes) Cosori 5.8 quart
Trim the cauliflower head by cutting out the thick stem and removing the leaves. Cut cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces.
In a large or medium bowl combine cauliflower, oil, and spices (or you can use a zip lock bag for this). Make sure cauliflower is coated nicely.
Once the air fryer is preheated, arrange the veggies in the air fryer basket in a single layer basket. Make sure there is enough room between those florets!.
Fry for 5-7 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through a couple of times to ensure even frying. The cauliflower should be slightly charred and crisp by that time.
If you want more charred, leave to air fry for a couple of more minutes. You may need some additional minutes if the florets are too big.
The cauliflower should taste crisp and crunchy, not overcooked. The exterior should be slightly charred but not overly darkened.
You only need 5-7 minutes to air fry it and then if needed to brown more fry for 2 or so minutes extra.
Serve these crispy cauliflower bites as an appetizer on their own with a tasty dipping sauce such as:
- Chipotle Aioli from my Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts recipe
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce
- Vegan Nacho Cheese
- Cold Spinach Dip With Cream Cheese
Don't forget a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice right before serving.
Otherwise, it is a perfect side dish for any occasion and main dish.
- 5.8 quart Air Fryer Cosori- one of the great air fryers on the market at the moment. It's not small and not overly big air fryer which is great for any kind of dish. You can air fry just for two people or make a 5 portion side dish using this basket. To keep your air fryer basket going use parchment liners.
- Mixing Bowls - every kitchen essential item.
- You can tell that the cauliflower florets are done cooking when the exterior is slightly charred by not overly darkened. 5-7 minutes is all that’s needed but if additional browning is required then extend the cooking for 1-2 minutes.
- Space the cauliflower florets out in the air fryer basket so that they are not overcrowded. This will ensure an even cook on all sides.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe if serving to a larger crowd. You will likely then need to fry these florets in batches.
- Make spicy air fryer cauliflower by adding some cayenne pepper to the olive oil and seasoning mixture.
- Make parmesan cauliflower by adding the cheese in the last 4-5 minutes in the air fryer. Alternatively, you can add some mozzarella cheese too!
Oven Baked Cauliflower
You can make this air fryer cauliflower bites in a regular oven too.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the vegetables in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with spices, parmesan cheese (optional), and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they start becoming golden brown. Or you can use a broiling function for the last 5-10 minutes to make the outer layer even crispier and darker.
Don't leave them unattended as they will burn rather quickly!
Freezing And Storing Instructions
These delicious cauliflower crispy bites like any other fried food will not last for long and I recommend making as much as you need to consume right away.
Store the cauliflower bites in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Besides, cooking a good portion of healthy vegetables takes an only a short amount of time, so it makes sense to make them fresh.
To make your prep easier, make cauliflower ahead by cutting them in advance, adding seasoning.
On the day, Air fry as much as you need and refrigerate the uncooked cauliflower until next time.
Frozen cauliflower in air fryer - you can make this recipe both with fresh or frozen cauliflower. Let the cauliflower thaw slightly until softened but not overly frozen. It may take a little longer to air fry, so be sure to taste towards the end of cooking.
Absolutely! Cauliflower is well known among those who follow a ketogenic diet since it’s extremely low in carbs and is a great way to bulk up any meal without adding unnecessary calories.
While there may be carbs in some spices and seasonings, it’s so minimal that it doesn’t cause this recipe to fall outside a keto-appropriate option.
You could season the cauliflower an hour or so prior to frying or you could even air fry the prepared cauliflower a day before but then it will start to lose the delicious crispy crunch on the exterior due to storage.
If you do opt to air fry the cauliflower a day ahead of time, simply pop them back into the air fryer for 1-2 minutes to help get back some of that crispiness.
You can enjoy this air fryer cauliflower as a tasty snack or satisfying party appetizer alongside dipping sauces or dressings.
It’s just as good served as a side dish to grilled meats, roasts, a vegan dish or casseroles.
Easy Air Fryer Recipes
The air fryer has become my new favorite way of enjoying food, in particular veggies. The cooking time is reduced in half, texture crispy and flavor incredible. I use my Cosori a lot!
Want to explore more air fryer recipes? Please visit my Air Fryer recipe index right here.
I hope you'll enjoy this Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
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Air Fryer Cauliflower
- 1 medium head whole cauliflower (about 5-6 cups in florets)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika powder
- ¼ cup olive oil or more if needed (depending on the size of your cauliflower you may need a bit more oil)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (for deeper flavor, use 1 medium garlic clove, minced)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 F according to manufacturer instructions. (Mine was 400 F for 5 minutes) Cosori 5.8 quart
- Trim the cauliflower head by cutting out the thick stem and removing the leaves. Cut cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces.
- In a large or medium bowl combine cauliflower, oil, and spices (or you can use a zip lock bag for this). Make sure cauliflower is coated nicely.
- Once the air fryer is preheated, arrange the veggies in the air fryer basket in a single layer basket. Make sure there is enough room between those florets!.
- Fry for 5-7 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through a couple of times to ensure even frying. The cauliflower should be slightly charred and crisp by that time. If you want more charred, leave to air fry for a couple of more minutes. You may need some additional minutes if the florets are too big.
- The cauliflower should taste crisp and crunchy, not overcooked. The exterior should be slightly charred but not overly darkened. You only need 5-7 minutes to air fry it and then if needed to brown more fry for 2 or so minutes extra.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)