This simple Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe is a healthy side dish to make for a weeknight meal. It is low in calories, keto, and low carb and only takes 10 minutes of prep work! The flavors go with a variety of meals and can be customized by varying the spices or adding on seasonings after it is cooked.

air fried cauliflower in circular white serving bowl

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Why We Love This Recipe For Simple Air Fryer Cauliflower

It’s no secret that we love our Air Fryer. And these simple air-fried cauliflower bites get perfectly browned and roasted on the outside – with a touch of caramelization – and are perfectly tender on the inside. They are a delicious side dish that can be whipped up in just 25 minutes!

Air frying is an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Roasting vegetables is one of our go-to’s for dinners, especially when we serve our Roasted Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs or our Fish Casserole. It’s a simple and quick way to round out almost any family dinner on busy weeknights or for meal-prepping.

And this easy recipe for air fryer cauliflower is a healthy, low-calorie, low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free side that is 100% customizable! Want to add a little kick? Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. Looking to make it savorier? Add fresh herbs and nutty Parmesan Cheese for one decadent pairing that will make these florets absolutely irresistible!

So, if you’re like us and enjoy simple, easy to whip up air fryer cauliflower recipes, be sure to try our Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings coated in tangy Buffalo sauce and this recipe for Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower for two completely delicious appetizers that the whole family is going to love!

Ingredients for This Recipe

air fryer cauliflower ingredients with text labels

Cauliflower

Purchase fresh cauliflower that is creamy white with densely packed florets free from blemishes, browning, and wet spots. Do not purchase heads that are spongy to the touch or lack the familiar cauliflower smell as they are past their prime.

And if you’ve never enjoyed this low calorie, low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber “cole” family vegetable – do not worry, we’ve got you covered! This Ultimate Guide to Cauliflower has great tips, tricks, and recipes to answer all of your questions!

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is our preferred neutral cooking oil; however, an organic canola oil or olive oil will work just as well when coating the florets.

Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder

Note that we recommend using coarse kosher salt instead of table salt. However, you can use table salt, but you will want to cut the amount used in half.

Black pepper has a distinct spiciness to its flavor that pairs extremely well with the savory notes of the paprika garlic powder mixture.

Paprika and garlic powder are used to season the cauliflower; the paprika is also used to give it a slight color.

Step By Step Instructions To Make Air Fried Cauliflower

air fryer cauliflower steps 1 and 2

Step 1: Prepare Cauliflower

Preheat air fryer to 400F. Note that some models do not require preheating. Core cauliflower and cut into florets.

Step 2: Season Cauliflower Florets

In a large bowl, drizzle oil over cauliflower and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Toss until evenly coated.

air fryer cauliflower steps 3 and 4

Step 3: Transfer To Cooking Basket

Coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the seasoned cauliflower in a single layer.

Step 4: Place Basket In Air Fry

Place fryer basket into air fryer and set timer for 12-15 minutes.

air fryer cauliflower step 5

Step 5: Air Fry

Air-fry, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and fork-tender.

Note: Air-fryer machines vary, so the cooking time may vary depending on yours.

air fried cauliflower in basket

FAQ And Expert Tips For Air Fryer Cauliflower

How do I store leftovers?

While we find that these air fryer cauliflower florets are best enjoyed immediately, any leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

When ready to re-crisp, reheat in the Air Fryer. Simply mist the basket with cooking spray and use the “reheat” function or set to Air-fry 350F for about 5 minutes.
This air-fried cauliflower can also be reheated in the microwave until steaming hot, about 2 minutes for 2 servings or 3 minutes for the whole batch.

Can I make a crispy coating for this roasted air-fried cauliflower?

Craving a crispy texture? You can make a small adjustment to this recipe with a crispy coating on the outside and tender cauliflower on the inside. To do this, we highly recommend coating it in our easy-to-make beer batter from our Buffalo Cauliflower Wings!

Can I make roasted cauliflower in the oven?

Of course! Prepare the florets according to the recipe, except place the seasoned cauliflower on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven at 400F convection and cook for 17 to 22 minutes. If you do not have a convection setting on your oven, use a 425 still oven.

How do I clean cauliflower?

Once removing cauliflower from the plastic, it only needs a quick rinse under cold running water. To wash home-grown and/or organic cauliflower (with pests or worms) submerge the entire head of cauliflower in warm salty water – add 2 tablespoons of salt per quart. Let the head sit 5-10 minutes in the warm salty water, remove, rinse thoroughly with cold water, and allow to completely dry before preparing and seasoning. If the florets are wet in any way, they will steam instead of roasting which will still be delicious but not the texture we are looking for.

What Goes with Air Fryer Cauliflower?

Make this a complete meal by pairing it with skillet pork tenderloin or pork chops with mushroom gravy and sauteed Swiss chard. Or serve it alongside baked Chicken Fingers or Fish Sticks with our Simple Skillet Green Beans for a kid-friendly option.

Variations To Try

  • Feel free to add your favorite spices to this cauliflower to make it unique. 
  • Add in ¼ teaspoon turmeric to give it golden color.
  • Once cooked, top with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to an added kick of flavor.
  • You can also toss it with pesto for the taste of summertime.
  • Drizzle it with dressing – our Maple Tahini Dressing would be lovely! Or ranch dressing is also an option for a family friendly side dish.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese as both additions would make a great compliment to cauliflower.

Additional Recipes To Try

  1. These Everything Bagel Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets are ready in under 30 minutes. Serve these crispy chicken filets with your favorite dipping sauce for an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
  2. Simple Steamed Cauliflower with Herbs is a naturally low-calorie, low-carb side dish that is ready in just 15 minutes and is the perfect recipe to round out your dinner.
  3. This Roasted Beets recipe is the easiest way to prepare beets. Seasoned with balsamic and thyme taking the flavor to the next level every time.
  4. Naturally gluten-free, this Instant Pot Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Cheddar Cheese is ready in under an hour, only 245 calories per serving, and can be made in a slow cooker if needed be.
  5. This Grilled Asparagus recipe produces perfectly crisp and exceptionally tender asparagus every time. With only 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes of cook time, it doesn’t get any easier to make one flavorful summer side.
  6. Broccoli and cauliflower casserole is made with a decadent creamy cheddar leek sauce and topped with a crunchy panko topping. Perfect to make a day in advance or serve right away.
  7. Curry Roasted Cauliflower is ready in just 30 minutes. This super easy gluten-free and vegan side dish is so flavorful that it will make you want to eat all your vegetables!
  8. Cauliflower Hummus is made of steamed cauliflower and tastes just like regular hummus! With only 2 grams of net carbs per serving, it’s vegan, Whole30, low-carb, keto-friendly, and oh-so-delicious!
  9. Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Cheese is the perfect side dish. This sheet pan dish requires only 15 minutes of prep, 30 minutes of cooking and is a breeze to clean up!
  10. Love cauliflower as much as we do? We agree it is a diverse and amazing vegetable, so be sure to check out this round-up of 15 healthy, delicious, and easy cauliflower recipes that we are sure you are going to love!
overhead photo of air fried cauliflower in circular white dish with serving spoon

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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cauliflower in air fryer basket

Simple Air Fryer Cauliflower

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Total Time: 22 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This simple Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe is a healthy side dish to make for a weeknight meal. It is low in calories, keto and low carb and only takes 10 minutes of prep work! Serve it with fish, pork, poultry or use it for meal prep. The flavors go with a variety of meals and can be customized by varying the spices or adding on seasonings after it is cooked.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F. Core cauliflower and cut into florets
  2. Drizzle oil over cauliflower in a large bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Toss until evenly coated.
  3. Arrange cauliflower florets in the basket of the air fryer. 
  4. Transfer the fryer basket to the Air Fryer and set timer for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cook, stirring once or twice while cooking until the cauliflower is fork tender and starting to brown.

Notes

  • Make Ahead: This can be reheated in the microwave until steaming hot, about 2 minutes for 2 servings, 3 minutes for the whole batch. It can also be reheated in the air-fryer. Simply mist with cooking spray, then use “reheat” function or heat on Air-Fry at 350 for 5 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 81
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g