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This air fryer cauliflower recipe is one of my new favorite ways to use the air fryer, and now one of my favorite cauliflower recipes, too! I’ve been roasting cauliflower in the oven for years, but when I tried cooking cauliflower in the air fryer, I was delighted to find that it cooked in just minutes. It’s such a quick and easy, healthy vegetable side dish, and it’s got all of the flavor of roasted cauliflower — in a fraction of the time.
Air Fryer Cauliflower: Why You’ll Love It
- Roasted flavor and taste
- Tender with browned, crispy, slightly caramelized edges
- Ready in less than 15 minutes
- Made with just 5 ingredients
- Healthy side dish (or even a snack!)
- Naturally low carb and gluten-free
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for air frying cauliflower, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cauliflower – I prefer to use a whole head of cauliflower as I think it’s more fresh, but you can also buy a bag of florets for convenience. Keep in mind that the size of your florets will impact cook time (smaller florets = faster air fryer cauliflower!). You can air fry the stems too, if you want to.
- Olive Oil – Helps the cauliflower crisp up. Avocado oil works, too.
- Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon for best flavor, or bottled for convenience.
- Spices – Smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. (See other seasoning variations below!)
How To Cook Cauliflower In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to air fry cauliflower, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat. Heat your air fryer (this one is my favorite because it has a large basket and heats evenly) to 380 degrees F.
- Season. Place cauliflower in a large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the florets in the seasoning mixture.
- Air fry. Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for 7-10 minutes, shaking the basket half way through, until browned. Cook in batches if necessary. I like to garnish with a light sprinkle of fresh parsley.
- Garlic Parmesan – Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic when seasoning cauliflower. Halfway through cooking, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and shake the basket.
- Buffalo – To make air fryer buffalo cauliflower, you can follow my buffalo cauliflower recipe, but cook in the air fryer instead. Simple drizzle your air fried cauliflower with buffalo sauce and serve with ranch dressing dipping sauce. It makes a great appetizer.
- Curry Spiced – Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder when seasoning cauliflower florets.
- Chili Lime – Swap out lemon juice for lime juice and add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder to the spices.
- Store: Keep air fried cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat cauliflower in the air fryer for a few minutes. The microwave is okay, but the texture will be more mushy.
- Freeze: Keep cooked cauliflower in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then reheat in the air fryer.
What To Serve With Air Fryer Cauliflower
I like to serve this cauliflower with garlic aioli (pictured above), but plain is great, too. Here are some main courses to pair with it as well:
- Chicken – To use your air fryer for your entire meal, make air fryer chicken breast or air fryer chicken legs. If you prefer to make your main dish and side dish in parallel, make lemon garlic chicken or baked whole chicken wings while you have the cauliflower in the air fryer.
- Beef – Serve air fryer cauliflower with a juicy sirloin steak (or an air fryer steak), or make the best burgers!
- Fish – You can’t go wrong with 10-minute air fryer salmon, but simple pan fried tilapia or baked haddock also make great options.
- Pork – Try some air fryer pork chops or start cooking a Crock Pot pork tenderloin ahead of time.
More Air Fryer Veggie Recipes
You might also like some of these air fryer veggie recipes…
- Air Fryer – I’ve tried a few air fryers and this one is my favorite! The basket is a great size and it heats evenly.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe
Air Fryer Cauliflower (So Fast!)
Cook cauliflower in the air fryer for crispy edges! This easy air fryer cauliflower recipe tastes roasted, but is ready super fast.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F (193 degrees C).
Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat.
Add cauliflower to the air fryer basket in a single layer (cook in batches if needed – don’t crowd the basket). Cook cauliflower in the air fryer for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of your florets), shaking the basket halfway through, until browned on the edges.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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