Make this Air Fryer Cauliflower when you need an amazing side dish or a perfect healthy snack! Combine fresh cauliflower with your favorite flavorful seasonings and a touch of olive oil, then pop them in the air fryer as a quick addition to any meal.
This dish is extremely simple and customizable, so feel free to add your own spices and adjust this side to match your preferences!
💚 Why You'll Love This Recipe
Air fried cauliflower is an ideal quick and healthy side to pair with any weeknight meal. With only cauliflower, a bit of oil, and a few seasonings, you can easily prepare and air fry this tasty and reliable vegetable dish.
Best of all, this cauliflower is super customizable; use your favorite seasonings and switch up the flavors to your taste! In just 25 minutes you can have a nutritious side dish on the table that the whole family will love.
If you love making veggies in the air fryer, be sure to check out this bold and flavorful Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower as well!
🧂 Ingredients Needed
- cauliflower florets - a great veggie to cook in the air fryer, and the mild flavor fares well for seasoning with just about any kind of herbs or spices.
- olive oil - ensures that the cauliflower gets nice and golden brown in the air fryer.
- paprika - provides some color and warm flavor.
- salt and pepper - a good combo to use as a base for seasonings.
- Place cauliflower in a large bowl.
- Coat well with olive oil.
- Add the paprika, salt, and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then toss and air fry an additional 8-10 minutes.
If you're not able to find pre-chopped cauliflower florets, it's fairly easy to chop up a head of cauliflower yourself! Remove any leaves and discard or set aside (these can be roasted), then wash the cauliflower and pat it dry.
Cut the stem so it can stand on your counter, then chop the head in half. Use your knife to core the cauliflower and remove the rest of the main stem. At this point, most of the florets should naturally separate, but you can easily cut them apart if need be.
This is likely due to one of two things: you have too much cauliflower in the air fryer basket, and/or you haven't given the air fryer basket a good enough shake halfway through cooking. Giving the florets space and making sure they're turned and shaken around during cooking ensures even cooking and prevents mushiness.
I wouldn't recommend it for this recipe. Frozen florets tend to have a lot more moisture, which is a surefire way to end up with mushy cauliflower.
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- Reduce the oil to just 1 tablespoon if you want an even healthier version of this recipe.
- Be sure not to layer the cauliflower much in the air fryer basket. You may have to cook in two or three batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- It's crucial that you stop halfway through and give the cauliflower a good shake or manual flip. This will promote even and thorough cooking.
📌 Air fryer cauliflower bites are the perfect healthy side dish to serve with all of your favorite meals. Fast, nutritious, and tasty, the entire family will be asking for more cauliflower!
💡 Substitutions and Variations
- There are a number of other seasonings you could use for this air fried cauliflower. Try it with mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, turmeric, chili powder, red peppers flakes, or whatever spices and seasonings you have around and enjoy!
- Use smoked paprika for an added smoky flavor.
- This recipe would also work for a wide variety of other veggies, like broccoli.
🥫 Storage and Reheating
Keep your air fryer cauliflower bites in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also store in the freezer for 2-3 months and thaw in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, I recommend popping them back in the air fryer. The microwave may be easier, but chances are the cauliflower will be mushy and not as appetizing.
🍴 What To Serve With This Dish
✔️ More Air Fryer Veggie Recipes You'll Love
- Air Fryer Corn Ribs - This unique recipe can be served as an entree or a side.
- Easy Air Fryer Broccoli - Much like this air fried cauliflower, this broccoli dish is super easy to make and great for using your favorite spices.
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes - Perfect for fall, these warm and tender sweet potato cubes make a delicious and healthy side dish.
- Air Fryer Asparagus - Courtney's Sweets brings us this asparagus recipe flavored with yummy lemon and garlic!
Air Fried Cauliflower
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📋 Recipe Card
Perfect Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl.16 ounces cauliflower florets
- Drizzle the oil over the florets and toss to coat.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix the paprika and salt and pepper together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the cauliflower florets and toss to coat.1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket, then cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Toss, then cook for another 8-10 minutes until tender.
- Cool briefly and serve.
- Don't substitute frozen cauliflower, as it would have a little different approach for cooking in the air fryer.
- You can 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.
- You can reduce the amount of oil to 1 tablespoon if you would like to lighten this up a bit more.
- This recipe should work in just about any air fryer size, unless it’s a really small one. 3 quart 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.
- It’s very important that you pause and toss the cauliflower halfway through the cooking process so the vegetables cook evenly.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.