Air Fried Cauliflower is nutty and flavorful, and it's the perfect low-carb, diet-friendly side dish. Crispy cauliflower florets are seasoned and roasted to perfection in less than 20 minutes for a simple and healthy addition to your favorite meal.
Cauliflower has come into its own in the food scene over the last few years. This versatile cruciferous vegetable is flavorful, can be seasoned in countless ways and can be eaten on almost any diet plan.
Roasting cauliflower gives it an incredible nutty flavor and making air-fried cauliflower is so simple. The cauliflower cooks to a perfect golden brown with crispy, slightly caramelized edges. And it's ready in just a few minutes!
Air fried cauliflower is perfect as a side dish for your favorite meals, or serve it as a snack that's naturally low carb and gluten free.
- Cauliflower - Choose a large head of cauliflower that doesn't have any brown or discolored spots.
- Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral flavored oil.
- Seasoning – Use a combination of paprika, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
See recipe card below for exact quantities and instructions.
- Combine the paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl.
2. Drizzle the cauliflower with oil and toss until well coated.
3. Sprinkle the cauliflower with the seasoning blend and toss again to coat.
4. Place the seasoned cauliflower into the air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Toss the cauliflower and cook an additional 8-10 minutes.
Hint: It’s very important that you pause and toss the cauliflower halfway through the cooking process so the vegetables cook evenly.
Variations and Substitutions
Air Fried Cauliflower is ideal for various diets including vegan, vegetarian, keto, low carb, Paleo, Whole30 and gluten free! It's such a versatile food and these simple changes or additions can make it the perfect side dish.
- Low Sodium Diet - You can halve or eliminate the salt in the seasoning blend for a low sodium diet.
- Use Smoked Paprika - Paprika is a mild spice that adds a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. You can substitute smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Chili Lime - Add chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the seasoning blend and some freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Garlic Parmesan – Add fresh garlic to the seasoning blend and sprinkle the cauliflower with grated parmesan halfway through cooking.
- Buffalo – Toss the cauliflower with buffalo sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing.
- Kid-friendly - Serve with a few of your kids' favorite dips.
Storage and Leftovers
Leftover air fried cauliflower can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat it in the air fryer for a few minutes until warm.
Roasted cauliflower can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then reheat in the air fryer. The cauliflower will not be as crunchy as it was when first prepared.
- Feel free to add more seasoning to the cauliflower or none at all. This is just a great starting point if you are new to air frying veggies.
- This recipe should work in just about any air fryer size, unless it’s a really small one. 3 quarts or larger is perfect for this recipe, but if it’s smaller, just cut the recipe in half or only cook half at a time.
- Toss the cauliflower well when adding the oil and seasoning blend so each piece gets evenly coated. This will give your air fryer roasted cauliflower lots of flavor and a beautiful golden brown color.
- Cut the cauliflower into similar-sized pieces so it cooks evenly.
- Add a bit of lemon juice for a bright flavor.
- Serve with your favorite dips.
Entrees To Serve With This Cauliflower Side Dish
- Roaster Slow Cooker Chicken
- Messy Meatloaf
- Pan Roasted Swordfish with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers
- One Pan Mushroom Swiss Burgers
- Lemon Pepper Wings from Budget Delicious
Pre-cut cauliflower works just as well as fresh cauliflower, saving you some time. Just make sure it is fresh cauliflower. Frozen cauliflower has a little different approach for the air fryer.
You can use frozen cauliflower for this recipe, but it must be completely thawed. I also recommend that you drain it thoroughly and remove any excess moisture with a paper towel before seasoning and adding it to the air fryer. Too much moisture will give you mushy cauliflower.
You can make this without oil however, your texture will not be quite the same and the cauliflower will not get that signature golden color of roasted cauliflower. If not using oil, we recommend seasoning the cauliflower right before serving.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Italian Sausage
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Brussels Sprouts
- Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Bacon
- Air Fryer Breakfast Sausage
If you like this Air Fryer Cauliflower, please leave a 5-star rating.
Air Fried Cauliflower
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Mix together the paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl. Trim the cauliflower and break into bite size pieces and put in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil and toss in the spices so all teh pieces are well coated.
- Place the cauliflower in a single layer in the air fryer basket or racks. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the cauliflower well and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
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I have been trying to replicate a spicy cauliflower appetizer that I order often from a local shop, with no luck. I just tried this recipe today and also made a spicy tahini dressing and it was perfect! I also can't believe how simple and easy this was to make. Delicious!
Glad you enjoyed!