Looking for a great tasting vegetable side dish? Air fryer cauliflower might be for you!
Made from freshly cut cauliflower and a few simple spices with a tad of oil, this easy to make recipe is a versatile side. We even like it served with a smoky, spicy dipping sauce.
There’s nothing like cauliflower that is crispy brown on the outside but still tender and soft on the inside!
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
When making this cauliflower air fryer recipe, be sure to consider the following:
- This recipe is for fresh cauliflower – but you can also make frozen cauliflower in the air fryer!
- Do your best to cut the florets into similar sized pieces. This will help the cauliflower cook evenly.
- Make sure to not overcrowd your air fryer. In ours, which has a 6-quart capacity – we can easily make one small head of cauliflower in one batch. However, if you have a very small air fryer, you might have to make it in two batches.
- We use avocado oil in our air fryer because it has a higher smoke point (it doesn’t smoke easily when heated). We don’t recommend using regular virgin olive oil in the air fryer because it has a lower smoke point. If you really want to use olive oil, make sure to use light olive oil.
We use this air fryer for our recipes and it has been great.
Step by Step Instructions
For those wanting to see visuals for how to make air fryer cauliflower, have a look at the recipe process photos in this section.
This way, you’ll have something to reference as you cook each step of the way!
First, cut the cauliflower into small, evenly sized florets.
Then rinse them and pat them dry really well. This is important since you don’t want to get extra moisture into your air fryer.
Add the florets into a bowl and then also add oil, salt, garlic powder (optional) and pepper. Toss well until the cauliflower florets are evenly coated.
Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. Our air fryer usually only needs 2-3 minutes to preheat, but your air fryer might be slightly different.
Once hot, evenly spread the cauliflower out on the air fryer tray.
Cook the florets for 7-9 minutes until tender and lightly brown. Shake approximately every 3 minutes.
Since every air fryer is slightly different, your cooking time might vary. Our cauliflower is usually done after 8 minutes.
If you have any leftover air-fried cauliflower, you can store it in a sealed container and place it in the fridge.
The cauliflower florets will still have a bit of moisture so it’s best to eat them sooner rather than later – otherwise, they can get soggy.
To reheat them, you can use the microwave or pop them back in the air fryer to dry them up a bit as they warm. Just keep an eye on them so you don’t burn the cauliflower!
What to Serve Air Fryer Cauliflower With
Since cauliflower in the air fryer is very light and simple in flavor, you’ll want to serve it as a side dish to more flavorful and rich dishes.
Grilled fish or chicken work well – as do saucy meat dishes like roast beef or roast duck with gravy.
You could even do up some air fryer broccoli and mix the two together in a serving bowl to create a two-vegetable side dish!
For more great vegetables recipes for the air fryer, try out these popular ones:
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Brussels Sprouts in the Air Fryer
- Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer Broccolini
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil, see notes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
- Cut the cauliflower into small, evenly sized florets. Rinse them, then pat dry.
- Add the florets into a bowl and then also add oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Toss well until the cauliflower florets are evenly coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once hot, evenly spread the cauliflower out on the air fryer tray.
- Cook the cauliflower for 7-9 minutes until tender and lightly brown. Shake approximately every 3 minutes. Every air fryer is slightly different, so your cooking time might vary. Our cauliflower is usually done after 8 minutes.
- For use in the air fryer, we don’t recommend virgin olive oil due the fact that it has a low smoke point. Instead, we’d suggest you use avocado oil, sesame oil or even canola oil.
- It’s important to not overcrowd the food in the air fryer. We have a 6 quart air fryer and can easily make one small head of cauliflower in one batch. If your air fryer is a lot smaller, you may have to fry the cauliflower in two batches.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.