Air Fryer Cauliflower

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Air fryer cauliflower achieves perfectly cooked florets in just 15 minutes! They’re tender, slightly crispy, and seasoned with paprika and garlic for a subtly spiced and smokey taste. It’s the best way to add cooked cauliflower to dinner plates, bowls, salads, and more.

Air fryer cauliflower on a plate
Photo: Gayle McLeod

I have a fondness for cauliflower. And ever since I got my air fryer, this air fryer cauliflower recipe has been a on repeat. Even though I love my Za’atar roasted cauliflower, this recipe is just so darn quick and easy – which means I make it more often. Cauliflower is such a great vegetable to meal prep and add to salads and bowls, or even chopped up into a breakfast hash (you can find this idea in my Healthy Meal Prep cookbook). And now you have one more way to cook it!

I tested a few different temperatures and timings to get this recipe right (as I did with my air fryer broccoli and air fryer carrots), and now I’m confident your cauliflower florets will turn out perfectly on the first try!

Ingredients for air fryer cauliflower

Air Fryer Cauliflower Ingredients

  • Cauliflower: White cauliflower is usually widely available for everyone. But if you want to use purple, green, or orange cauliflower, go for it!
  • Seasoning: For me, warm spices compliment cauliflower just right. It’s a vegetable on the blander side, so a mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper will instantly bring it to life. But feel free to get creative with other spice blends like Za’atar spice or even Cajun seasoning!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

How To Cut Cauliflower

If you’re new to cooking cauliflower, here’s a quick run-through on how to cut it. First and foremost, always wash the cauliflower to remove any dirt or debris that is lingering around. Slice the stalk with leaves off, slice the head in half, and then into quarters. Then, remove the florets from the core by hand or by slicing the ends off.

Helpful tip: Don’t toss away the stems and leaves! You can add them to smoothies for a veggie boost or save them for this cauliflower hummus and cauliflower soup. Cauliflower is a great ingredient for many low-carb recipes.

How To Air Fry Cauliflower

Toss Together. Grab a large bowl and toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Tossing cauliflower with seasoning

Air fry the cauliflower. Transfer the cauliflower to the air fryer basket and arrange it in a single layer. You may need to cook in batches if the basket is too crowded. Then, set the temperature to 390°F (200°C) and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket every few minutes for even browning.

Cooking cauliflower in air fryer

Common Questions

Can I use frozen cauliflower in the air fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen cauliflower in the air fryer. Season them while they’re still frozen (no need to thaw) and proceed with the recipe from there! Cooking directly from frozen, rather than thawing, prevents them from becoming overly soft and mushy.

How do you know when cauliflower is cooked?

Cooked cauliflower should be tender crisp. But you may have a slightly different texture preference. So for this recipe, check on them at the 10 to 12-minute mark and then assess how much more time they’ll need.

Does fresh cauliflower need to be washed?

Definitely! And it’s easiest to do after you’ve cut the florets off. Soak the florets in water for about 10 to 15 minutes to make sure you get all the dirt and debris inside the florets out.

Storage Tips

While it’s rare to have leftovers of this recipe (it gets gobbled up fast), cooked cauliflower will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. To reheat it, you can air fry or microwave it for 30 seconds or so until warm. But keep in mind that the cauliflower will naturally soften when it’s reheated.

Air fryer cauliflower

More Air Fryer Recipes

I hope this air fryer cauliflower turns out perfectly! Once you make it, let me know your thoughts on the process in the comment box below.

A white plate of air fryer cauliflower

Air Fryer Cauliflower

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Air fryer cauliflower achieves perfectly cooked florets in just 15 minutes! They're tender, slightly crispy, and seasoned with paprika and garlic for a subtly spiced and smokey taste.

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Toss Together. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower florets, oil, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    Mixing cauliflower with seasonings
  • Air fry the cauliflower. Transfer the cauliflower to the basket of an air fryer. You may need to cook in batches if the basket is too crowded. Set the temperature to 390°F (200°C) and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket every few minutes for even browning.
    Cooking cauliflower in air fryer

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air fryer cauliflower, air fryer cauliflower recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. This recipe is simply amazing! My girls love it so much, the food disappears in seconds when it pops from the airfryer!

  2. Love your airfryer recipes!! I do alot of cooking in my airfryer & these recipes have inspired me to eat more veggies.
    Roasted cauliflower was very delicious, so I will be making this again!
    I love your cookbook!!5 stars

  3. I always struggle a bit with cauliflower but preparing it in the air fryer turns out to be the bomb. Super quick and very tasty. Love the added spices. Will definitely make this again!5 stars

  4. The air fryer cauliflower was fantastic! I loved the spice combination was perfect. Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices.5 stars

  5. Loved your air fryer carrots so I’m sure these are equally as good. I’m looking for a recipe for buffalo cauliflower bites if you ever decide to add one to your collection!!