Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower

updated Jan 6, 2022
Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe

Tender, golden brown air-fried cauliflower is the perfect side dish for any meal on your plan.


Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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A plate of air fryer cauliflower
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman - Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

We’ve fallen deeply in love with air-fried Brussels sprouts and broccoli, so it only made sense to give the same treatment to cauliflower. Here, cauliflower florets are seasoned with dried herbs and garlic powder, then air-fried until tender, crispy, and lightly brown on the tips. Unsurprisingly, the result is delicious — the perfect side to pair with whatever protein you’re serving.

What’s the Best Way to Cut Cauliflower?

Breaking down a whole head of cauliflower is easy once you know where to start. Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.

  1. Remove the leaves. Use a sharp knife to trim off the green outer leaves.
  2. Core the cauliflower. Cut the head into quarters, then remove the tough inner core.
  3. Separate the florets. Lay each quarter on a flat side and slice the stems to separate the florets. If the florets are larger than 2 inches in diameter, slice them in half through the stem and gently pull apart to separate.

And don’t forget: if you’re short on time, you can pick up a package of pre-cut cauliflower florets from the produce section.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman - Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

What Temperature Do You Cook Cauliflower in the Air Fryer?

Every air fryer has a different set of temperature settings to choose from. For tender cauliflower with brown and crispy edges, set your air fryer to 390°F to 400°F.

How Should I Serve Air Fryer Cauliflower?

Seasoned, tender-crisp cauliflower is a versatile side dish that completes a dinner plate alongside any protein. It’s also the perfect addition to grain bowls, al dente pasta and olive oil, or a creamy soup.

Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe

Tender, golden brown air-fried cauliflower is the perfect side dish for any meal on your plan.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium head

    cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)


  1. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Cut 1 head cauliflower in half and cut out the tough core. Cut the florets into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces (6 to 7 cups). Transfer to the bowl and toss until evenly coated.

  3. Heat an air fryer to 390°F to 400°F. Arrange the cauliflower florets in an even layer in the basket or tray of a 5 1/2-quart or larger air fryer. Air fry, tossing every 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender with browned and crispy edges, about 15 minutes total.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cauliflower can be cut into florets up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.