Try this crispy, beautifully fork-tender air fryer cauliflower and it will instantly become your favorite side dish! It is simply seasoned with oregano and extra virgin olive oil and is ready in under 10 minutes.
Cauliflower is delicious in any recipe, from aloo gobi to a creamy cauliflower curry to crispy roasted cauliflower and chickpeas. Now try cooking this easy and swift recipe for air fried cauliflower, and even if you didn't love this awesome veggie before, you will be head over heels.
The great thing about this recipe is it goes from scratch to done in about 15 minutes, if you include the time needed to cut the cauliflower and season it. The cauliflower florets need just eight minutes in the air fryer before they are cooked to perfection.
I tried this recipe with different seasonings, including an Indian-inspired seasoning of garam masala and turmeric. They were all tasty, but in the end my favorite was this simplest one with just oregano, salt, fresh-ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
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Why you will love this recipe
- Tasty and delicious. I love roasted cauliflower but I was pleasantly surprised by how much more wonderful it tastes after a turn in the air fryer. The outer edges of the florets turn crispy and brown and inside the florets are cooked to perfect tenderness. The flavor with the oregano, salt and pepper is exquisite.
- Ready in 15 minutes. This air fryer cauliflower recipe is the easiest cauliflower recipe I have ever made, with just a few minutes needed for prep and a few more in the air fryer. And the only special ingredient you need is oregano which most of us already have in our pantries.
- Healthy. Brassicas like cauliflower are great for your health, packed as they are with phytonutrients and antioxidants that fight major diseases, including cancer. This recipe makes the exquisitely healthy cauliflower even healthier by adding herbs and olive oil.
- No cauliflower smell! This is a big one for me because I cannot get myself to eat smelly cauliflower. The smell is caused by sulfur compounds in cauliflower and other cruciferous veggies that are released during cooking. Roasting the cauliflower in the air fryer at a high temperature takes care of that smell, however, and all you experience is the utter deliciousness.
- Suited to all diets. Keto, vegan, soy-free, nut-free or gluten-free? You can eat this air fryer cauliflower without a care in the world.
- Cauliflower. You can use any color cauliflower for this recipe, although my favorite for this recipe is the most commonly found white cauliflower because the crispy edges on it look so pretty. See FAQs for tips on how to cut the cauliflower for the best results.
- Dried oregano. This is the star flavoring ingredient, so use plenty of it, and only use dried oregano. I use two teaspoons for a small head of cauliflower.
- Extra virgin olive oil. EVOO makes this recipe both healthy and more flavorful.
- If you want to serve this recipe with an Indian meal, season it with a few spices, including ½ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon garam masala, and salt, pepper, and a neutral oil, such as avocado oil, sunflower oil or grape seed oil.
- You can try this air fryer cauliflower recipe with different herbs. Basil is wonderful with oregano, as are thyme and rosemary. You can also use Italian seasoning.
- Toss the cauliflower florets with garlic powder, salt, ground black pepper and olive oil.
- If you want a very minimalist recipe, skip the rest and just use a seasoning of salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Sprinkle lemon juice or lime juice over the cauliflower florets after air-frying to add a pop of freshness.
How to make air fryer cauliflower
1. Make the seasoning oil by mixing the oregano, fresh-ground black pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.
2. Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl and drizzle with the seasoning oil.
3. Toss the cauliflower florets with the seasoning oil until evenly coated.
4. Place the cauliflower florets in the air fryer in a single layer. Air fry at 385 degrees for 8 minutes and flip the florets halfway through cooking. When done the cauliflower florets will be fork tender with crispy, golden-brown edges.
- This crispy air fryer cauliflower is the perfect side dish with any entree, from veggie burgers to a simple rice pilaf.
- Add it to tacos or salads.
- Serve it as a starter, snack or appetizer. If you want to, serve it with a dipping sauce like this magic cheezy sauce or with vegan ranch dressing for even more yumminess.
- Add it to recipes that call for frying cauliflower. You will need much less oil and the air-fried cauliflower is just as delicious.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer to ensure even circulation of air around the florets. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket you might need to air-fry the cauliflower in batches.
- Don't leave the cauliflower unattended in the air fryer for too long. Check on it halfway through cooking and flip the florets over to ensure even browning.
- Serve the air fryer cauliflower shortly after cooking for the best crispy texture. The cauliflower florets will soften as they stand, but they'll still taste amazing.
- Eight minutes at 385 degrees Fahrenheit/195 degrees Celsius produces the perfectly crispy and tender cauliflower. But depending on your air fryer and the size of your florets you might need a little longer. If you do add a couple of minutes air frying time to the recipe, make sure you check after every minute to ensure the cauliflower doesn't burn.
For the air fryer cauliflower cut the florets in a medium-large size. Once you have removed the stem the cauliflower should easily break into florets. Cut each large floret into half. If you make the florets very small you will need to reduce air-frying time.
Cauliflower stems are perfectly edible, and you can use tender stems in this recipe with great results. Reserve tougher stems and cauliflower leaves for vegetable stock.
You can, and although the cauliflower will taste amazing it won't be as crispy. To make the recipe oil-free use a couple of tablespoons of vegetable stock instead of oil and toss with the rest of the seasonings.
- Refrigerate: The cauliflower is best eaten right after air frying. But if you have leftovers store them in the fridge for up to three days.
- Freeze: Freeze the cauliflower florets in an airtight container for up to three months.
- Reheat: Reheat the refrigerated or frozen air fryer cauliflower in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warmed through and crispy again.
More delicious cauliflower recipes
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Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Make the seasoning oil by mixing the oregano, fresh-ground black pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.
- Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl and drizzle with the seasoning oil. Toss the cauliflower florets with the seasoning oil until evenly coated.
- Place the cauliflower florets in the air fryer in a single layer. Air fry at 385 degrees Fahrenheit/195 degrees Celsius for 8 minutes and flip the florets halfway through cooking. When done the cauliflower florets will be fork tender with crispy, golden-brown edges.
- Serve rightaway!