Extra crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower is a 15-minute recipe full of flavor, and is SO easy to make. Florets are lightly coated in oil, seasoned with garlic powder and paprika, and then air fried until golden and crunchy. This will become your new go-to low-carb, keto, and vegan side dish for weeknight dinners! 

Low-carb air fryer cauliflower is eaten with a fork.

While some either LOVE or HATE cauliflower, I can promise you this – they won’t be able to resist these flavor-packed florets when they’re made in the air fryer.

What’s so special about cooking cauliflower in the air fryer?

Well, we can start with the fact that they get the CRISPIEST edges.

Yes, this air fryer recipe comes out even crispier than if you’d roasted cauliflower in the oven.

And time-wise? We’re talking HALF the amount of time it takes to plop them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven.

Not to mention it’s seasoned with simple spices that still give it a TON of flavor, is vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, low-carb AND keto.

Yup… I’d say it’s a winner for dinner!

These crispy bites are also great as a snack or an appetizer.

Avocado oil, cauliflower, and seasonings are the ingredients needed for this air fryer cauliflower recipe.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this air fryer cauliflower recipe include:

  • Cauliflower. One large head of cauliflower weighs roughly 1 pound and will give you about 4-5 cups of chopped florets. If you have more or less than this the cook time may need to be adjusted.
  • Oil. Either avocado or olive oil will work great in this recipe.
  • Paprika. Regular paprika or smoked may be used.
  • Garlic powder. Or if you prefer, fresh garlic cloves can be substituted.
  • Salt and pepper. Season to taste.
  • Other Seasonings. Feel free to change up the spices to use whatever you have on hand! Blackened Seasoning, Chili Seasoning, or Taco Seasoning are all great options.

How to Air Fry Cauliflower

The basic steps for making air fryer cauliflower are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Cut into Florets

You’ll want to cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

Try to make the florets as close to the same size as possible so they will cook up evenly in your air fryer.

Also, larger florets will take slightly more time to cook than smaller florets.

You can also leave as little or as much of the stems on as you’d like.

Cauliflower is chopped on a cutting board.

Season the Cauliflower

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper until it is well incorporated. It is important to do this so the mixture evenly coats the cauliflower.

Use a spatula to stir the florets in the seasoning until they are all coated.

Raw chopped cauliflower is mixed with seasonings in a bowl.

Cook in Air Fryer

The air fryer is sort of like the oven in that it needs a little bit of time to heat up. At a minimum, you always want to heat your air fryer for at least 3 minutes before adding in your food for the best results.

Heat the air fryer to 370°F. Place the seasoned cauliflower in the air fryer basket, and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Toss the basket halfway through to ensure all of the florets crisp up evenly.

If you have less cauliflower than the recipe calls for, make sure to check so that it does not burn. However, if you have more, you will need to increase the cook time or work in batches.

Serving

Garnish the cauliflower with a sprinkle of paprika and finely chopped parsley. 

You can also pair it with dipping sauces like Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, or Spicy Sriracha Mayo.

Air fryer cauliflower is served in a white bowl for a vegan side.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Wash the cauliflower and cut it into florets. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can even toss it in the oil and seasonings and store for up to 24 hours.
  • To Store: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just note the texture may change.
  • To Reheat: Return to a 350°F air fryer until warm for the best results.

FAQs

What size Air Fryer is best for this recipe?

This recipe was created using a 6-quart Air Fryer. However, a smaller or larger air fryer may also be used.
If using a 4-5 quart model, you may need to increase your cook time by a few minutes. If using a larger air fryer, you’ll want to decrease your cook time by 1-2 minutes.

Do I need to use oil when air frying?

It is not recommended to cook cauliflower completely oil-free. Two tablespoons is just the right amount to evenly coat about 5 cups of cauliflower florets. You can reduce this amount to 1 tablespoon or even spritz it with some non-stick cooking spray.

What type of oil is best for air frying?

A higher smoke point oil is best for air frying, such as avocado or safflower oil. Olive oil may also be used but you’ll want to make sure to keep your cooking temperature below 375°F.

Can I air fry broccoli the same way as cauliflower?

Yes! The steps for making air fryer broccoli are very similar to this cauliflower recipe. You’ll simply want to reduce the cook time by a few minutes.

Seasoned air fryer cauliflower is served in a white bowl.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Change it up. Try a variety of seasonings each time you make this recipe.
  • Even sizes. Cut the cauliflower into florets as uniformly as possible so they cook at the same rate.
  • Toss it. Halfway through the cooking mix up the florets to ensure they all get crispy.
  • Preheat. Warm the air fryer up for at least 3 minutes before you start to cook for best results.
  • Check the amount. If you have more or less cauliflower than the recipe, you may need to adjust the cook time.

More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes

If you want a few other simple vegetable side dish ideas to make in the air fryer, you should try these:

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Air Fryer Broccoli

Air Fryer French Fries

Air Fryer Asparagus

Air Fryer Eggplant

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips

Air Fryer Kale Chips

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe

Extra crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower is a 15-minute recipe full of flavor, and is SO easy to make. This will become your new go-to low-carb, keto, and vegan side dish for weeknight dinners! 
Easy air fryer cauliflower is placed in a white bowl.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 large head cauliflower about 4-5 cups
  • 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Parsley optional

Instructions 

  • Heat air fryer to 370°F for at least 3 minutes.
  • Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • Whisk together oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add cauliflower florets and stir until they are well coated in the sauce.
  • Place cauliflower into the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes, tossing the basket halfway through. (This may take more or less time depending on the size of the florets and the amount you have.)
  • Serve cauliflower with a sprinkle of paprika and finely chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Video

Notes

  • To Store: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just note the texture may change.

Nutrition

Calories: 99kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 277mg, Potassium: 389mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 153IU, Vitamin C: 60mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

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

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Comments

    1. Of course! However, you will want to make sure to thaw the cauliflower and dry it thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe for the best results.

  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for the first time. My husband was all excited and said it was a keeper. I made it with balsamic salmon. The juice from the salmon made an AWESOME “gravy”. Will definitely make this again!.

    1. Oh I bet that paired together beautifully! So happy you and the hubby enjoyed it so much. Thanks for the comment and rating!