Try this crisp, golden air fryer cauliflower roasted to perfection in just minutes for a quick and easy veggie side dish. The high heat brings out nutty, sweet notes while the exterior gets crispy. Sprinkle with any herbs/spices for an easy, tasty side to please everyone at the table.
Why you’ll love air fryer cauliflower
- It’s delicious. Air frying brings out cauliflower’s natural sweetness when roasted. It caramelizes and crisps up nicely.
- It’s quick and convenient. It roasts beautifully without needing to heat up the oven – just pop it in the air fryer, and it’s ready in minutes.
- It’s versatile. Easy to dress up with spices, sauces, cheeses for endless flavor options that everyone will love.
Scroll down for the printable card for this recipe for air fryer cauliflower, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
You will need one medium-sized head of cauliflower for around four servings. Choose a cauliflower head that is heavy and compact, with densely packed florets. The florets should be creamy white in color with no brown spots or yellow discoloration.
The recipe below uses light olive oil, but you can use any cooking oil with a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Vegetable oil or avocado oil are good options.
When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
This recipe uses simple salt and pepper for seasoning to enhance the natural flavor of the cauliflower.
For an extra kick of flavor, you can add some of these optional seasonings to your cauliflower:
- Garlic powder: About half a teaspoon, to provide a subtle hint of garlic flavor.
- Smoked paprika: Around a quarter teaspoon, for a smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
- Paprika and turmeric for a warming earthy flavor.
- Cayenne pepper and paprika for air fryer buffalo cauliflower
How to roast cauliflower in the air fryer
This recipe is very simple to prepare, there are just a few key steps to getting it just right:
- To prepare cauliflower, you just need to give it a quick rinse and pat dry, and then cut it into florets.
- Preheat your air fryer to 390°F / 195°C. Then place the cut cauliflower in the air fryer basket in a single layer. It’s essential not to overcrowd the basket and allow space for proper air circulation and even cooking. You may need to cook the cauliflower in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Drizzle the cauliflower with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add any other seasonings or spices by sprinkling them over the cauliflower for even coverage.
- Air fry the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes, until it is fork tender and starting to turn golden brown. Keep an eye on it during cooking and give the basket a shake once or twice during cooking to ensure even roasting.
- Top baked cauliflower with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for added flavor, or add nutritional yeast for a cheesy, vegan alternative.
- Serve cauliflower “wings” with a spicy buffalo style sauce and ranch sauce for dipping.
- Drizzle with pesto and top with flaked almonds
- Adding air fried cauliflower to salads, tacos, wraps, or grain bowls for extra crunch.
Storing and reheating
Allow any leftovers to cool down, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge. use within 3 days.
You can use the air fryer to reheat the cauliflower. Place in the basket and air fry for 3-4 minutes or until the cauliflower is heated through and crispy.
Or, for a quick and easy method, use the microwave. Place the cauliflower on a microwave-safe plate, and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or another plate to create a steaming effect. Heat the cauliflower in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until it’s heated through.
Air Fryer Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons seasoning of your choice optional
- Rinse califlower and pat dry. Cut into florets.
- Place cauliflower in air fryer basket drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over other seasonings if using.
- Air fry cauliflower at 390°F/ 195°C for 12-15 minutes until tender. Shake the basket once or twice during cooking to redistribute the cauliflower and ensure that it cooks evenly.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.