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When you see how easy it is to make Air Fryer Cauliflower, you’ll never want to heat up your oven again to make roasted veggies. It turns out perfectly crispy but tender inside, and a simple blend of common pantry seasonings makes it extra flavorful. Plus it is gluten free, keto-friendly, and vegan.
Easy Air Fryer Cauliflower
If you know anything about me, you know I am all about cauliflower. Yes, I make cauliflower tots and cauliflower bread sticks. But most often I just make basic roasted cauliflower. That is until I got my air fryer.
Now it’s all about air-fried cauliflower. Well, actually it’s all about air-fried everything, but I am partial to the cauliflower. The air fryer heats up in minutes, compared to waiting for the oven to get hot enough for roasting. And you end up with those perfectly charred, crispy bits that make roasted veggies so amazing.
Plus, from prep time to cooking, you can have everything done in under 15 minutes. It takes my oven that long to preheat!
With a few seasonings from your pantry, you can turn simple cauliflower into something spectacular. And the best part is that once you’ve mastered the technique, you can change up the herbs and spices to match whatever you are serving with it. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Cauliflower: You’ll need one medium head. Whe, you cut it, you should end up with about 5-6 cups of florets.
- Olive oil: Make sure you use enough to fully coat the florets.
- Italian seasoning: A common dried herb blend that contains some combinatiob of oregano, marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary, and savory.
- Paprika: Adds a hint of sweet smokiness and nice color. You can omit it, if you like.
- Garlic powder: For a more intense garlic flavor you can use minced fresh garlic.
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
Cutting Cauliflower into Florets
Wash and dry your head of cauliflower thoroughly. Start trimming the cauliflower head by removing the leaves and cutting out the thick stem. Use a paring knife or kitchen knife to cut it off of the stem and into bite-size florets. Now you are ready to make your air fryer cauliflower.
How to Make Air Fried Cauliflower
Preheat air fryer. Follow the instructions for your air fryer model to preheat it to 400°F.
Season the cauliflower. In a large bowl or zip lock bag, combine the cauliflower florets, oil, and spices. Toss everything around until the cauliflower is coated nicely. Transfer it to the air fryer basket.
Air fry the cauliflower. Air fry at 400°F for 7 minutes shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even frying. The cauliflower should be crisp-tender and slightly charred but not too dark all over. If you want it more charred, give it another 2 or 3 minutes.
Tips for Success
Make sure it’s dry. If you don’t dry the cauliflower well, it will steam instead of roasting.
Coat it well with oil. This helps you end up with nice, crisp air fryer cauliflower. But feel free to use more or less, depending on your needs. Just make sure you coat it well. If you want to use less oil, you ca try a spritzer bottle.
Give it a shake. Shaking the basket two or three times while it cooks ensures that it browns evenly.
Store leftovers. While air fried cauliflower is best eaten right away, you can keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.
Change up the seasonings. Feel free to keep it simple with just salt and pepper. Try chili powder and cumin, then give it a squeeze of lime. Or even add Everything But the Bagel seasoning. Get creative!
Use the oven if you prefer. You can season the cauliflower and roast it in the oven at 450°F for 35-40 minutes, flipping 2 or 3 times. I like to cover it with foil for the first 15-20 minutes to get it nice and tender before uncovering to get a nice char on the edges.
Try it as a snack with your favorite dip:
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- Homemade Ketchup
- Balsamic BBQ Sauce
- Easy Gluten Free Cheese Sauce
- Burger Sauce
- 7-Layer Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
Or serve it as a side dish with easy weeknight dinners:
- Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
- Honey Balsamic Steak Bites
- Air Fryer Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken
- Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts
- Mexican Hot Dogs
The Air Fryer I Recommend
This easy air fried cauliflower should turn out amazing in any air fryer. However, I use and recommend the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL. It is large enough to fit plenty of food inside, so you won’t always have to work in batches. And I like the basket models because it is easy to shake everything around part of the way through the cooking time so that it all cooks evenly.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 5-6 cups in florets)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed (depending on the size of your cauliflower you may need another 2 or 3 Tablespoons to coat it thoroughly)
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (for stronger flavor, use 1 medium garlic clove, minced)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley or parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
- Ketchup , ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce, if desired
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F according to manufacturer instructions.
- Trim the cauliflower head by cutting out the thick stem and removing the leaves. Cut into bite-size florets.
- In a large bowl or zip lock back, combine cauliflower, oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Toss everything around to make sure cauliflower is coated thoroughly.
- Once the air fryer is preheated, transfer the veggies into the basket and air fry at 400°F for 7 minutes shaking the basket halfway through a couple of times to ensure even frying. The cauliflower should be crisp-tender and slightly charred, but not overly darkened. If you want more charred, leave to air fry for another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve on its own or with your favorite dips.
More Air Fryer Vegetables
- Air Fryer Green Beans – season with salt and pepper or add sliced almonds and lemon.
- Air Fryer Asparagus – season with salt and pepper or add a parmesan crust.
- Caprese Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters – with an easy tomato topping.
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts – made even better with bacon.
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob – dressed up with delicious herb butter.