This simple Crispy Cauliflower made in the Air-fryer is a staple at home. We use it to make many of our favorite recipes or just on their own as a movie snack or appetizer. Crispy, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious, you will be making this more than once!
What makes our Air Fryer Cauliflower so good?
- Our Air Fryer Cauliflower is extra crispy. Even when you let it cool for a while, it stays crunchy and delicious.
- We bread the cauliflower florets with simple ingredients that you will already have at home. No panko breadcrumbs or special ingredients are needed.
- This recipe can be used to make many recipes such as buffalo cauliflower, Bang Bang Cauliflower, Chinese-style Orange Cauliflower, and Katsu Cauliflower. You can as well use Air Fryer Cauliflower to add to salads, tacos, burritos, or buddha bowls.
- The total preparation time is about 15 minutes. We have made this recipe so many times and I timed myself. 15 minutes is all you need to prepare the cauliflower florets and then simply leave them air-frying while you prepare a mouth-watering sauce!
- You can enjoy this crispy air fryer cauliflower recipe as a delicious snack, fancy appetizer, or a healthy vegetable side dish. This air-fried cauliflower is a versatile dish that you can personalize with your favorite sauces and toppings.
Our Air Fryer Cauliflower is:
- Quick to prepare
- A snack, appetizer or a delicious side dish
- A great plant-based alternative for your favorite dishes
How to make the best Air Fryer Cauliflower
Ingredients and substitutions
This recipe comes together with just a handful of ingredients that you most probably already have at home.
Cauliflower. For this recipe, we use half a head of cauliflower cut into florets. We prefer to break the cauliflower into florets using our hands as it makes nicer bites. To make Air Fryer Cauliflower you will need bite-sized florets. If the florets are too small, they will cook too fast and will soak up too much batter.
Flour. You can use all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, or gluten-free flour such as rice flour, almond flour, or chickpea flour for a gluten-free version of the dish. We normally use regular flour or whole wheat flour, they both work perfectly.
Spices. To give some extra flavor to our coating, we use a seasoning blend that includes cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. This will make the batter tastier and give your cauliflower florets a deeper flavor. You can add other spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, or five-spice powder.
Plant-based milk. To prepare the batter, we use plant-based milk with no added sugars. Our favorite is unsweetened soy milk as it doesn't overpower the taste of the batter. If you are thinking on serving this cauliflower with a sweet sauce such as sweet-chili sauce or Bang Bang sauce, you can as well use sweetened plant-based milk. We have tried it before as it was the only one we had to make our Bang Bang Cauliflower and you couldn't tell the difference.
Breadcrumbs. You can use homemade or bought breadcrumbs. We use a local brand but you can use any type of breadcrumbs you have available. If you don't have breadcrumbs, and you have some plain or salted crackers at home, you can blend them to use as breadcrumbs. They will add crispiness to your veggie wings. Other options are panko breadcrumbs, coconut flakes, or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Add the flour, spices, and plant-based milk to a large bowl. Combine well until you have a perfectly smooth batter with no lumps.
- Break the cauliflower into florets, add to the batter, mix well, and ensure they are all completely coated.
- Add the bread crumbs to a bowl and using your hands, bread each battered cauliflower piece by dipping it into the breadcrumbs and place on a plate.
- To air-fry the cauliflower, you may need to make two batches depending on your air-fryer size and the cauliflower you are using. Using a cooking brush, add some oil to the florets, set the air-fryer to 180C (350F), add the breaded florets into the air fryer basket, and air-fry for 18 minutes. If you are adding a second batch, you can reduce the time to 16 minutes as the air-fryer will already be hot. We use the Ninja Air Fryer and we truly love it.
- Bake or deep-fry the cauliflower instead of using an Air-fryer. Air frying the cauliflower florets is a healthy and simple way of cooking this meal, but you can as well use the oven or deep-fry the cauliflower to make this recipe. If you are using the oven, use parchment paper or a baking sheet and leave some space between each floret to ensure they all get extra crispy. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and bake for about 30 minutes. To deep-fry the cauliflower florets, heat enough oil in a frying pan, add the florets when hot, and fry for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel to release any excess oil and serve.
- Add some heat to the Crispy Cauliflower. When you prepare the batter to bread the cauliflower, you can add 1 tablespoon of sriracha, harissa, sambal or another chili paste you like. Alternatively, you can add chili flakes when adding the rest of the spices. Adjust the amount to your taste.
- Make without the breading. We love this breaded crispy cauliflower but sometimes we simply marinate the cauliflower florets with some olive oil and spices and cook it in the air fryer. It comes out delicious and it is really good for salads, curries, or burritos.
This crispy cauliflower recipe has become a favorite for parties, game-day, and movie nights. It's a great way to enjoy this delicious vegetable and making something different from classic french fries. We love making it with different sauces or simply coated in one of our favorite sauces and served as a main on rice or noodles.
This recipe is so versatile that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Here are some examples of how to serve and enjoy this deliciously crispy cauliflower.
- Snack or appetizer. We have served our crispy air fryer cauliflower many times as a movie or game-day snack or appetizer. We like serving it with a spicy sauce or a vegan creamy sauce such as vegan mayo or vegan queso sauce. This recipe makes for a healthy snack. An easy-to-prepare tasty dipping sauce could be vegan sriracha mayo or vegan tartar sauce. If you want to make something fancier, you can prepare a spicy buffalo sauce or a chipotle aioli.
- As a main dish coated with your favorite sauces added to salads, burritos, or tacos, buddha bowls. Our favorite dishes with this yummy Vegan Air Fryer Cauliflower are Orange Cauliflower and Bang Bang Cauliflower.
- As a side dish. This crispy cauliflower is such an easy side dish that can be served on with your favorite dishes. We served it with fried rice and noodles dishes and we loved the combination.
Store any leftovers using an airtight container. You can reheat the cauliflower florets using the air-fryer, the oven, or a microwave. Keep in mind that if you use a microwave the cauliflower breading will get a bit soggy.
FAQ and Tips
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes. To make the breaded cauliflower, use gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs. Another option is to simply bake the cauliflower florets without the breading.
Can I use frozen cauliflower to make this Air Fryer Cauliflower?
Yes. Thaw the frozen cauliflower completely and dry any excess water with a paper towel before using.
Can I cook the cauliflower using an oven or by deep-frying it?
If you are using the oven, use parchment paper or a baking sheet and leave some space between each floret to ensure they all get extra crispy. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and bake for about 30 minutes.
To deep-fry the cauliflower florets, heat enough oil in a small frying pan so you can use less oil, add the florets when hot, and fry for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel to release any excess oil and serve.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air Fryer
Crunchy Cauliflower Wings
- ½ cauliflower head around 500 g
- 1 cup flour whole-wheat or regular
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ¾ cup plant-based milk unsweetened
- 2 cups fine bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoon sriracha
- Juice ½ lime
- Add the flour, spices, and plant-based milk to a big bowl. Combine well until you have a perfectly smooth batter with no lumps.
- If you find the batter too thick, you can add some more plant-based milk or water.
- Break the cauliflower into florets, add to the batter, mix well, and ensure they are all completely coated.
- Add the bread crumbs to a bowl and using your hands, bread each floret by dipping it into the breadcrumbs and place on a plate or directly to the air-fryer basket.
- To air-fry the cauliflower, you may need to make two batches depending on your air-fryer size and the cauliflower you are using. Using a cooking brush, add some oil to the florets.
- Set the air-fryer to 180C (350F), add the breaded florets into the air fryer basket, and air-fry for 18 minutes. If you are adding a second batch, you can reduce the time to 16 minutes as the air-fryer will already be hot.
- Combine the vegan mayo, sriracha sauce, and lime juice in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add some chopped green onions and serve on the side of the cauliflower bites.
- If you want to make this recipe ahead, bread the cauliflower, leave in the fridge and air fry the cauliflower bites right before serving.
- For baking, preheat the oven to 200 C (400F) and bake for about 15 minutes. Then flip the florets and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- For deep-frying, add enough oil to a saucepan or fryer and heat the oil to medium-high heat Add the cauliflower and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for another 5-6 minutes so it cooks evenly on both sides. Cook until golden brown.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!|
Great recipe, although I did alter it. Living on the Eastern shore of Maryland, we love our Old Bay seasoning especially on our wings. I substituted the the salt, pepper, coriander and cumin for the same amount of homemade lower salt Old Bay and severed ranch on the side. It was delicious, even my chicken wing loving boyfriend loved them. He ate a plate full. Will be making this on a regular basis.
Thank you Mary for taking the time to leave this comment. Old Bay seasoning sounds like a great option for the air fryer cauliflower. Will give it a try! 🙂
Now that it's starting to get warm out, I find myself reaching for the air fryer more and more. This is the perfect recipe to use it, thanks so much for sharing 🙂
So simple and delicious. We made up a batch of these and used my very own red pepper aioli as a dip, chefs kiss delicious!
These air fryer caulfiower (wings we called them), are so awesome because how easy they were to make and the fact that they were crispy and tender, full of flavor.
Oh my goodness these wouldn't last long around me! I love cauliflower and these little crispy nuggets sound so, so good! The bit of sriracha is perfect too..yum!
These poppable bites of air fryer cauliflower are crunchy and perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce.
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer says
Such a great recipe that honestly was a meal for me instead of just an appetizer or nibble. I couldn't stop eating them!
These cauliflower bites were delicious! The crispy bits of breading made them particularly good, and the vegan sriracha mayo was to die for. Can't wait to make them again!
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
Cauliflower is one of my favorite and I can eat one whole cauliflower on my own when made like this! So easy to make and perfectly crispy!
I made this recipe using broccoli and it was delish! I can't wait to try it using cauliflower.
Mindy S says
Amazing cauliflower recipe!! My new go to. Perfectly crispy on the outside.