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Air Fryer Cauliflower

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cauliflower garnished with parsley in a air fryer
Air fryer cauliflower features crispy edges and plenty of flavor from a blend of spices and extra virgin olive oil.
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Table of Contents
  1. Air Fryer Cauliflower Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions for Air Fried Cauliflower
  3. How To Make This Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe
  4. How To Serve Cauliflower in Air Fryer
  5. Storage Tips for Air Fryer Cauliflower
  6. Why This is the Best Air Fryer Cauliflower
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. More Favorite Recipes You’ll Love
  9. JUMP TO RECIPE
  10. More Recipes to Try

If you’re on the hunt for a nutritious snack or delicious side dish, look no further than our air fryer cauliflower recipe. With a medley of spices and a satisfying crunch, this dish is a flavor-packed winner.

overhead shot of cauliflower garnished with parsley in a air fryer

Air Fryer Cauliflower Ingredients

Air Fryer Cauliflower raw ingredients that are labeled
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Cauliflower is the main ingredient, offering a mild, earthy flavor and a satisfying crunch, making it versatile and perfect for absorbing the spices. 

A blend of smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, garlic powder, and kosher salt adds depth. The paprika provides a smoky note while cumin and turmeric add warmth. 

With its delicious, bold flavor and crispy edges, this will be your new favorite way to serve cauliflower. Add a dipping sauce like our copycat Chick Fil A sauce or ranch dressing when serving.

You’ll need these basic ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized head of fresh cauliflower, washed, dried, cored, and cut into florets (about 1½ pounds after cutting into florets)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley (optional garnish)

Substitutions and Additions for Air Fried Cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER: You can experiment with different cauliflower varieties, like purple or orange, for a colorful twist.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: Swap with avocado oil for a milder taste or melted coconut oil for a hint of coconut flavor.

SPICES: Customize the seasoning blend to your liking. Add a pinch of cayenne for some heat, or swap out turmeric for curry powder for an Indian-inspired flavor. Onion powder or Italian seasoning would work well, too.

You can experiment with your favorite seasonings when making these!

FRESH CHOPPED PARSLEY: Substitute with cilantro or chives for a unique herbaceous touch.

How To Make This Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe

Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to make this irresistible crispy air fryer cauliflower recipe. We’re confident this will become your go-to method to make this perfect side dish.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure to check your air fryer manual for cooking time guidelines for your specific model, as times and temperatures vary depending on the type of air fryer you have.

STEP ONE: Add the fresh-cut cauliflower florets to a large bowl or a gallon-size ziplock bag. 

STEP TWO: Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the cauliflower florets. 

If using a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower and oil to coat the cauliflower completely.

If you are using the ziplock bag, drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower. 

Seal the bag and “massage” the cauliflower and olive oil to coat the cauliflower completely. 

PRO TIP:

Using the Ziploc bag to coat the cauliflower means less cleaning up!

oil drizzled over the cauliflower in a bowl

STEP THREE: Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and kosher salt to a small bowl. Stir to combine. 

Sprinkle the dry spice mixture over the cauliflower. Stir or shake to coat. 

PRO TIP:

If you are stirring the cauliflower, I recommend that you use a large spoon, or if you choose to use your hands, wear gloves.

dry spice mix sprinkled over the cauliflower in a bowl

STEP FOUR: If your air fryer requires a preheat, then preheat your air fryer to 400°F for three to four minutes. 

Otherwise, add the seasoned cauliflower to the air fryer basket in a single layer.

If you have a smaller air fryer, you will need to cook the cauliflower in batches. The cauliflower must be in an even layer to allow for uniform cooking.

Shake or turn the cauliflower in five-minute increments until it is golden brown. It’s okay to have a few darker brown speckles over the cauliflower. Serve immediately. 

cauliflower being cooked in a air fryer

How To Serve Cauliflower in Air Fryer

Looking to elevate your air fryer cauliflower bites? Here are some serving ideas:

This cauliflower would make a great side dish alongside grilled chicken or salmon for a tasty meal.

Use the air-fried cauliflower as a unique appetizer at parties, along with our cucumber bites and stuffed mushrooms. Pair with a yogurt-based dip for extra yum.

You could also add the crispy cauliflower to your favorite salads for a delightful crunch.

Use it as a taco filling, along with your favorite toppings and sauces, for a different twist.

Our air fryer carrots and air fryer zucchini are two more air fryer vegetables that will add so much flavor to your meal.

Storage Tips for Air Fryer Cauliflower

We have a few handy storage tips to ensure your cauliflower stays at its best.

MAKE AHEAD: If you want to prepare in advance, you can marinate the cauliflower in the spice mixture and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before air frying.

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two to three days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven for best results.

IN THE FREEZER: To freeze, spread the cooked cauliflower on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to a freezer bag. It will stay good for up to two months. 

Reheat from frozen in the air fryer or oven.

REHEATING: To reheat, pop the cauliflower back in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes until it’s crispy again. 

Alternatively, use a conventional oven or microwave with a sprinkle of water to maintain the texture.

Why This is the Best Air Fryer Cauliflower

CRISPY DELIGHT: Air-fried cauliflower offers that perfect texture that’s incredibly satisfying.

VERSATILE DISH: Serve it as a snack, side, or even a taco filling. It’s versatile and adaptable.

QUICK AND EASY: With minimal prep and cooking time, it’s a go-to recipe for busy days.

fried cauliflower on a plate

Air fryer cauliflower is an irresistible recipe that offers a satisfying crunch, a burst of flavors, and endless versatility. Whether you’re serving it as a snack, side dish, or taco filling, it’s sure to impress. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen cauliflower for this recipe?

Fresh cauliflower is recommended for the best results, but you can use frozen cauliflower if you thaw and dry it thoroughly.

Can I add parmesan cheese for extra flavor?

Yes, grated parmesan cheese can be a delicious addition. Sprinkle it on during the last few minutes of cooking.

Is there a lower-sodium version of this recipe?

You can reduce the salt content by using less kosher salt or opting for a low-sodium salt alternative.

Can I make a larger batch for a party?

Absolutely! Simply adjust the quantities accordingly to accommodate your crowd.

Can I use an oil spray instead of drizzling with extra virgin olive oil?

An oil cooking spray can work well for even coating. Just be sure to use a high-quality oil spray.

What other spices can I use to season the cauliflower?

Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices, like curry powder, chili powder, or even lemon zest, for a different flavor profile.

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cauliflower garnished with parsley in a air fryer

Air Fryer Cauliflower

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Air fryer cauliflower features crispy edges and plenty of flavor from a blend of spices and extra virgin olive oil.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium-sized head fresh cauliflower, washed, dried, cored, and cut into florets (about 1½ pounds after cutting into florets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley, optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add the fresh-cut cauliflower florets to a large mixing bowl (4-5 quarts) or a gallon-size ziplock bag.
  • Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the cauliflower florets. If using a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower and oil to coat the cauliflower completely. If you are using the ziplock bag, drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower. Seal the bag and “massage” the cauliflower and olive oil to completely coat the cauliflower. I prefer to use the ziplock because it’s disposable and less clean up.
  • Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and kosher salt to a small bowl (3-4 cups). Stir to combine. Sprinkle the dry spice mixture over the cauliflower. Stir, or shake to coat. If you are stirring the cauliflower, I recommend that you use a large spoon, or if you choose to use your hands, wear gloves.
  • If your air fryer requires a preheat, then preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 3-4 minutes. Otherwise, add the seasoned cauliflower to the air fryer basket in a single layer. If you have a smaller air fryer, you will need to cook the cauliflower in batches. Shake or turn the cauliflower in 5-minute increments until it is golden brown. It’s ok to have a few darker brown speckles over the cauliflower. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make sure to check your air fryer manual for cooking time guidelines for your specific model, as times and temperatures vary depending on the type of air fryer you have.
  • Using the Ziploc bag to coat the cauliflower means less cleaning up!
  • If you are stirring the cauliflower, I recommend that you use a large spoon, or if you choose to use your hands, wear gloves.

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
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This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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