Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower (Roasted Cauliflower)

5 from 6 votes
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Enjoy this crispy, flavorful air fryer cauliflower (roasted cauliflower) in just 25 minutes. Perfect as a snack or side dish. Plus, this recipe is super versatile and is gluten-free and vegan!

A serving of air fryer cauliflower topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley and a small bowl with tahini sauce

I love roasted cauliflower (and any veg); it’s just a cut above the usual steamed/boiled options – crispy, crunchy, with a little ‘bite’ and packed with flavor from seasonings (which are super easily adjustable!). This air fryer cauliflower is no different – it’s crispy, ready in just 20 minutes in the Air Fryer (total of 25 minutes with the prep).

I’ve already shared Easy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings; now it’s the turn for this lighter air-fried cauliflower. It works great as a healthy snack instead of junk food options or a side dish.

A serving of kale salad and baked cauliflower topped with pomegranate seeds and tahini sauce

I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that this air-fried cauliflower will have you eating half a head of cauliflower in a single sitting (and with the number of calories for that amount, you don’ even have to try to stop yourself!)

Crispy, hearty, and full of flavor. I sometimes even like to use it in place of fries for loaded fries to feel less guilty about loading up on melty cheese and other goodies!

The Ingredients

Ingredients for baked cauliflower
  • Cauliflower: I use a medium head of cauliflower and break it into medium-sized florets. Don’t leave them too large as they won’t cook through – even-sized pieces are best for even cooking. 
  • Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil. You could use any neutral-flavored cooking oil, though (like avocado oil). This is key to super crispy and browned roasted cauliflower. You can toss the florets in the oil or use a ‘spray’ to coat them.
  • Spices: I used a simple combination of garlic powder, salt & pepper. These are very versatile, though, so feel free to experiment. Some of my favorite options include smoked paprika, chili powder or cayenne powder, onion powder, curry powder, cumin, turmeric powder, etc. 

How To Make Air Fryer Cauliflower

First, prepare the cauliflower by chopping it into florets. Try to get them an even size, if possible, so they’ll cook evenly. 

Cauliflower cut into florets

Then, prepare the seasoning by combining all of the spices with the olive oil and mixing. 

Steps for mixing oil with spices

Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil seasoning mixture in a large bowl to try and coat the cauliflower well. 

You could alternatively use a spray bottle with cooking spray/olive oil and then toss with the dry seasonings. 

Cauliflower florets coated with oil and spices in a glass bowl

Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between them (do this in batches if needed). If they’re too close, they’ll just steam rather than becoming crispy.

Cook the cauliflower in the air fryer for about 20 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC, giving the basket a shake halfway through cooking in order to flip the florets. 

Baked cauliflower in an air fryer tray

Depending on your preferred texture, you may want to adjust the cooking time slightly. A couple of minutes less will result in cauliflower that has more ‘bite,’ increase it by just 1-2 minutes, and it will become super crunchy. 

The first time you try this cauliflower air-fryer recipe, it’s worth keeping a close eye on the cauliflower as it can burn quite easily (based on freshness, size of florets, etc.).

How To Serve

You can enjoy this air fryer cauliflower hot or cold – as a snack or part of a larger meal. Here are several ways you could enjoy the air fried cauliflower. 

air fried cauliflower floret dipped in tahini sauce and topped with parsley and pomegranate seed

Let me know in the comments what your favorite ways of enjoying this air-fryer roasted cauliflower are!

How To Store

To make ahead: you can toss the uncooked florets with the oils and seasonings then store them covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, ready to air-fry when needed.

Leftovers: you can store any leftover air-fried cauliflower florets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat pop them back in the air-fryer or oven until just warmed through – this will help them crisp back up slightly too.

Freezing: you could also try freezing the cauliflower. Lay the florets on a tray and freeze until almost solid then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the oven or air-fryer.

air fryer cauliflower on a plate

Top Tips & Notes

  • To adjust this to oven-roasted cauliflower: Bake them in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  • How to use the cauliflower leaves and stems? I like to save them in a bag in the freezer to use for vegetable stock. You can also shred them into stir-fries and add them to smoothies (as cauliflower is safe to eat raw).
  • Can you use frozen cauliflower? Yes, but it’s best to allow it to thaw first; otherwise, the texture can become quite mushy.
  • For super-crispy results, you can use panko bread crumbs to coat the cauliflower. However, you’ll then need an egg white (or chia egg) to acts as a binder. If doing so, first coat the florets in the egg, then the spices, and finally the panko.
  • You could omit the oil entirely: Roasted cauliflower in air-fryer doesn’t actually require it. However, it won’t be as good; it will be drier and not as crisp.

Related Recipes

If you try this Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower (Roasted Cauliflower)

5 from 6 votes
By: Samira
Enjoy this crispy air-fryer cauliflower as a snack or side – ready in just 25 minutes from starch to finish!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 sides

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Instructions 

  • Prepare the cauliflower by chopping it into florets. Try to get them an even size, if possible, so they'll cook evenly.
  • Prepare the seasoning by combining all of the spices with the olive oil and mixing.
  • Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil seasoning mixture in a large bowl to try and coat the cauliflower well.
    You could alternatively use a spray bottle with cooking spray/olive oil and then toss with the dry seasonings.
  • Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between them (do this in batches if needed). If they’re too close, they’ll just steam rather than becoming crispy.
  • Cook the cauliflower in the air fryer for about 20 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC, giving the basket a shake halfway through cooking in order to flip the florets.
  • Depending on your preferred texture, you may want to adjust the cooking time slightly. A couple of minutes less will result in cauliflower that has more 'bite,' increase it by just 1-2 minutes, and it will become super crunchy.
    The first time you try this cauliflower air-fryer recipe, it's worth keeping a close eye on the cauliflower as it can burn quite easily (based on freshness, size of florets, etc.).

How To Store

  • To make ahead: you can toss the uncooked florets with the oils and seasonings then store them covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, ready to air-fry when needed.
    Leftovers: you can store any leftover air-fried cauliflower florets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat pop them back in the air-fryer or oven until just warmed through – this will help them crisp back up slightly too.
    Freezing: you could also try freezing the cauliflower. Lay the florets on a tray and freeze until almost solid then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the oven or air-fryer.

Video

Notes

  • To adjust this to oven-roasted cauliflower: Bake them in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  • How to use the cauliflower leaves and stems? I like to save them in a bag in the freezer to use for vegetable stock. You can also shred them into stir-fries and add them to smoothies (as cauliflower is safe to eat raw).
  • Can you use frozen cauliflower? Yes, but it’s best to allow it to thaw first; otherwise, the texture can become quite mushy.
  • For super-crispy results, you can use panko bread crumbs to coat the cauliflower. However, you’ll then need an egg white (or chia egg) to acts as a binder. If doing so, first coat the florets in the egg, then the spices, and finally the panko.
  • You could omit the oil entirely: Roasted cauliflower in air-fryer doesn’t actually require it. However, it won’t be as good; it will be drier and not as crisp.
Course: Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1side, Calories: 68kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 334mg, Potassium: 434mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 69mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks to you, I have shifted from the traditional, super-delicious cauliflower Indian spiced curry person to “Roasted Cauliflower” all the time person. The Tahini-yogurt dip was heavenly. I also used the homemade chili sauce as a dip for this as mine was not too spicy. Heavenly recipes. Thank you.