Home Side Dish Air Fryer Cauliflower (Easy and Crispy)

Air Fryer Cauliflower (Easy and Crispy)

Get ready for a winning side dish with this irresistible air fryer cauliflower recipe! 

In just 25 minutes, you’ll savor tender florets perfectly spiced with paprika and garlic. 

Air fried cauliflower in a white plate top view garnished with chopped parsley.
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Thanks to the air fryer, it’s easy and faster than traditional oven roasting. But it yields the same crispy, mouthwatering results. 

It’s the ultimate quick side dish or even a vegetarian-friendly main course.

Pair it with dipping sauces like tartar sauce or ranch for a mouthwatering experience. 

This air fryer cauliflower is simple, delicious, and sure to become a regular on your menu.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Cauliflower

Here are the ingredients you need for air fryer cauliflower. You’ll find the full recipe with measurements at the bottom of the page.

  • Cauliflower – Break it into small to medium-sized florets for perfect cooking.
  • Olive oil – It adds a rich flavor and helps achieve that crispy texture.
  • Garlic powder – For a savory and aromatic kick.
  • Paprika – To infuse a smoky taste.
  • Salt and Black pepper – To taste.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional) – If you like it spicy, these flakes will give your cauliflower a fiery twist.
  • Fresh parsley (optional) – Use chopped parsley for a fresh garnish to brighten up the dish.
Cauliflower in air fryer

How to Cut Cauliflower

Here’s how to cut cauliflower the easy way:

1. Remove the tough leaves at the bottom. Slice the cauliflower in half vertically with a sharp knife.

2. Gently break the cauliflower into small to medium florets for even cooking.

Tip: Don’t discard the stems and leaves. They’re versatile and can be used in smoothies for a veggie boost or saved for soup recipes. 

How to Air Fry Cauliflower

Here’s how to air fry cauliflower to crispy perfection:

1. Prep the cauliflower. Wash, dry, and cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

2. Season. Toss the florets in a seasoning mix of olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

3. Air fry. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Arrange the florets in a single layer and air fry them for 12-15 minutes, shaking halfway.

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4. Serve the dish hot, optionally garnished with fresh parsley. Enjoy this healthy, flavorful side dish!

Air fried cauliflower florets served on a white plate garnished with chopped parsley.

Recipe Tips and Variations

The key to perfect cauliflower is in the details. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Cleanse your cauliflower. Soak the florets to remove dirt and debris after cutting them.
  • Pat them dry. Before seasoning, ensure the cauliflower is dry to limit moisture in the basket and enhance crispiness.
  • Size matters. Uniform-sized florets ensure consistent cooking.
  • Work some olive oil magic. Olive oil is key for that crispy goodness. Without it, cauliflower won’t achieve the desired crunch.
  • Try some batch bliss. Arrange the florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each piece. Overcrowding leads to steaming, not crisping.
  • Take a shortcut. Use frozen cauliflower. Season it while still frozen, and proceed with the recipe. There’s no need to thaw it.
  • Shake, shake, shake! Halfway through cooking, give the basket a good shake for even crispness.
  • Do a tenderness test. Cooked cauliflower should be tender-crisp. Adjust cooking time to your texture preference.

Now, get creative with these variations:

  • Give it a good coating. Coat the florets in a parmesan and breadcrumb mixture for a delicious breaded version.
  • Add a pop of color. Mix in broccoli for a colorful veggie medley.
  • Season it up. Try chili powder, turmeric, or curry powder with fresh herbs like cilantro, dill, or thyme.
  • Add a partner. Serve with delicious dips like homemade ranch or blue cheese dip.
Air fried cauliflower with dipping sauce

How to Store

Storing and reheating leftover air fryer cauliflower is a breeze:

To Store: Place it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It’ll keep well for 3 to 4 days.

To Reheat: Use the air fryer or oven for a crispy revival or the microwave for a quick warm-up (though it won’t be crispy).

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Hash Browns

Air Fryer Sausage

Air Fryer Corn Dogs

Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Air Fryer Biscuits

Air Fryer Cauliflower

Course: Side DishCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total time

25

minutes

This air fryer cauliflower is a healthy and delicious side dish! Seasoned with paprika and garlic, it comes out of the fryer nice and crispy.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for a spicy kick (optional)

  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Begin by washing the cauliflower and drying it thoroughly. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss them until they’re evenly coated with the seasoning mix.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Once it’s heated, arrange the cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. You may need to cook in batches.
  • Air fry the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. The cauliflower should be golden brown and tender when done.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the air fryer and place it on a serving dish. If desired, garnish it with chopped fresh parsley. Serve it hot as a delicious and healthy side dish.

Notes

  • For extra crispy cauliflower, toss it with a tablespoon of cornstarch before air frying.
  • For a more flavorful cauliflower, marinate it in olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper for 30 minutes before air frying.
  • Serve air fryer cauliflower with your favorite dipping sauce, such as hummus, yogurt sauce, or tahini sauce.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Air Fryer Cauliflower (Easy and Crispy)”

    • Hi Linda, the air fryer is such a lifesaver! I can’t get over how nice and crispy the cauliflower comes out. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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