If you’re craving a side dish or savory snack, make this air fryer cauliflower recipe! Spices like smoked paprika and cayenne pepper give it a bold flavor.
This air fryer cauliflower recipe is about to become your new favorite vegetarian side dish! It’s crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, and seasoned to perfection with a blend of flavorful spices. I like regular roasted cauliflowerbut I have to admit that this air fryer cauliflower recipe is on another level.
What makes it so delicious? Before cooking the cauliflower florets, I dredge them in a quick coating of panko. It crisps up beautifully in the air fryer, giving the cauliflower an irresistible crunchy texture.
Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe Ingredients
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this recipe:
- Cauliflower, Of course! Break it into small to medium sized florets. If they are too large, the florets will burn on the outside before becoming tender on the inside.
- Panko breadcrumbs – They create the crunchy coating.
- Spices – Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt add a smoky, savory flavor.
- extra virgin olive oil – It adds richness and helps the cauliflower get crispy in the air fryer.
- Egg – The binder! This helps the crispy coating adhere to the florets.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to cut cauliflower
The first step of this recipe is cut the cauliflower.
- Start by removing coarse leaves from the base of the head.
- Next, use a sharp knife to cut the cauliflower in half vertically.
- From there, use your hands to separate the florets.
Aim for small to medium pieces so the cauliflower cooks evenly.
How to Air Fry Cauliflower
Once you’ve separated the florets, it’s easy to cook cauliflower in the air fryer!
First, prepare the seasoning mix. Whisk together panko, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a shallow dish. In another small bowl, beat the egg.
Next, bread the florets. Dip each in egg, then roll in panko mixture to coat. Repeat until all florets are breaded.
Then air fry! Drizzle the cauliflower florets with olive oil and arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Work in batches if necessary. If the basket is too full, the cauliflower will not crisp.
Air fry at 370°F for 9 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower, season to taste and enjoy!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
- Have one wet hand and one dry hand. If you did my eggplant parmesan Or air fryer zucchini chips, you know things can get messy when dredging vegetables. I recommend having a wet hand and a dry hand to control the chaos. Use wet hand to dip cauliflower in egg wash and transfer to panko mixture. Then use your dry hand to sprinkle the crispy coating on it. It also doesn’t hurt to have dish towels or paper towels on hand to dry your fingers.
- Don’t skip the olive oil. Without it, the vegetables won’t turn out as brown and crispy! Keep in mind that even with the oil, this air fried cauliflower is lighter than regular fried cauliflower.
- Work in batches. Make sure to arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between each. If there are too many, they will steam while cooking and won’t be crispy. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’ll probably need to work in batches.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Cauliflower
This Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower is a fun and easy side dish for burgers or veggie sandwiches. It would be fantastic with one of these recipes:
You can also enjoy cauliflower on its own as a snack or appetizer. Whether or not you incorporate it into a larger meal, finish it with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve it with a delicious dip on the side. I especially like my air fryer cauliflower with tartar saucebut it’s also delicious with vegan ranch dressing Or chipotle sauce. Choose just one or try a few!
More Favorite Air Fryer Recipes
If you like this crispy cauliflower, then try one of these easy air fryer recipes:
This air fryer cauliflower recipe is a quick and easy side dish or snack! Seasoned with a blend of flavorful spices, it’s crispy and delicious.
Stop your screen from going dark
On a rimmed tray, combine panko, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and salt. In a small shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg.
Preheat air fryer to 370°F.
Dip each cauliflower floret in egg, coat with panko mixture, then place on a large plate. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and place it in the air fryer basket in a single layer with a little space between each flower. Do not overload the basket. Work in batches if necessary. Air fry for 9 to 12 minutes or until golden and crisp. The exact timing will depend on your air fryer. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Season to taste and serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
This recipe is best made the same day it is made, but leftovers will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer at 300°F or in the microwave.