Air fryer cauliflower is a quick, tasty, and versatile recipe you can make with four ingredients in less than 15 minutes.
You can use the air-fried cauliflower florets as a side dish or to make other delicious recipes such as cauliflower salads, pasta, rice, and more.
Check out our best vegetable sides recipe collection!
When roasting vegetables, one can rarely beat an air fryer. While this air fryer cauliflower recipe is pretty much the same as oven-roasted cauliflower florets, you can make it in half the time!
Thanks to the hot air fanned onto the food; the air fryer can cook cauliflower florets in 12 to 15 minutes.
And the result is perfectly roasted air fryer cauliflower, slightly charred outside for maximum taste, tender-crisp, and retaining most of their nutritional properties.
Being able to cook heads of cauliflower so quickly gives us the option to eat it more often and make more recipes with it.
And while air fryer cauliflower is delicious as a snack or side dish, with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, it's even better when mixed into a cauliflower salad or cauliflower pasta.
Let's see how to make it!
Get a large fresh cauliflower head. Fresh cauliflower is white, without brown spots, and with a firm texture.
Brown spots are common on cauliflower, and they are due to oxidation. It happens when the cauliflower is exposed to air for too long.
The good news is that brown spots are not harmful once the cauliflower is cooked. They are just a cosmetic problem. However, if you don't like to eat them, you can slice the brown part off with a paring knife.
Note: we only use the cauliflower florets for this recipe. However, you can save the stem for making cauliflower rice and the leaves for making cauliflower soup.
We recommend using extra virgin olive oil. Its fruity and nutty flavor matches cauliflower perfectly. In addition, its high antioxidant content makes it stable at high temperatures so that it won't burn.
Salt and Black Pepper
All you need to season cauliflower is a pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt) and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.
Suppose you want to add more flavor to the roasted air fryer cauliflower. In that case, we recommend garlic powder, sweet or smoked paprika, chipotle powder, chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder, or turmeric powder.
Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 400°F or 200°C. Rinse the cauliflower head, then cut off small florets with a paring knife.
Add the florets to a large bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Tip: you can add the cauliflower stem if you like, or you can save it for another day and make cauliflower rice with it.
Add the cauliflower florets to the air fryer basket. The cauliflower CAN overlap. It does not have to be on a single layer.
Tip: you don't have to cook cauliflower florets in batches. Air fryers are designed to cook buckets of food, not single layers. The hot air pushed by the air fryer fan can flow through the layers of foods, cooking them evenly.
All you have to do is shake the air fryer basket every 4 to 5 minutes. But, of course, don't stuff your air fryer basket to the brim.
Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 12 to 15 minutes until slightly charred outside and tender-crisp, with a slight bite.
Shake the air fryer basket every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.
You can serve air-fried cauliflower florets as a snack, as an appetizer on a platter with other Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern recipes, or as a side dish to your dinner.
Serve it with a squeeze of lemon, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of tahini sauce. Or use your favorite dipping sauce, such as buffalo sauce or ranch dressing.
Some delicious dips that go well with it are:
- Creamy-dreamy chickpea hummus
- Eggplant dip or baba ganoush
- Hot and smoky chipotle sauce
- One-minute homemade vegan mayo
- Incredible avocado dip with tahini and garlic
- Easy and creamy white bean dip
- Zaalouk - a Moroccan eggplant dip
- Greek tzatziki sauce with cucumber and garlic
Alternatively, you can make some other delicious recipes with it. For example:
- Creamy red pepper pasta with roasted cauliflower
- Cauliflower salad with tahini and lemon dressing
- Mediterranean lentil cauliflower salad with cumin dressing
- Add it to our homemade tofu curry
Store leftover air fryer cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or in the air fryer for 5 minutes before serving.
You can also eat it cold with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped parsley.
We don't recommend freezing air fryer cauliflower.
Yes! Air-fried cauliflower is healthy, as this cooking method preserves most of the cauliflower's nutritional content. Also, thanks to air frying, we can minimize the use of oil.
Cauliflower leaves are often tossed away; however, they are edible like the florets and the stem. The best way to use cauliflower leaves is to make a delicious and creamy cauliflower soup.
The best way to use a cauliflower stem is to grate it to make cauliflower rice. Check out our cauliflower rice recipe.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy air fryer chickpeas
- Tender and caramelized air fryer sweet potato
- Easy air fryer eggplant cubes
- Crunchy homemade air fryer croutons
- Nutritious air fryer tofu to add protein to your meals
- Tender-crisp air fryer zucchini
- Juicy air fryer asparagus
- Quick and easy air fryer green beans
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air fryer
- 1 large cauliflower (about 2½ pounds or 1.2 kg)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
SERVE IT WITH
- 1 lemon cut into wedges, to squeeze on top
- 1 hanfdul flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1 serving tahini sauce to drizzle on top
- Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 400°F or 200°C. Rinse the cauliflower head, then cut off small florets with a paring knife.Add the florets to a large bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the cauliflower florets to the air fryer basket. The cauliflower CAN overlap. It does not have to be on a single layer.
- Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 12 to 15 minutes until slightly charred outside and tender-crisp, with a slight bite.Shake the air fryer basket every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- You can serve air-fried cauliflower florets as a snack, as an appetizer on a platter with other Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern recipes, or as a side dish to your dinner.Serve it with a squeeze of lemon, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of tahini sauce. Or use your favorite dipping sauce.Check out our "serving suggestions" chapter for dips ideas.
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