Crispy, garlicky cauliflower topped with freshly shaved parmesan cheese is one of the best side dishes to make in the air fryer!
Air fryer cauliflower makes a delicious low-carb or keto side dish that pairs well with several meals.
Cauliflower in the Air Fryer
Using an air fryer toaster oven to make a head of chopped cauliflower, or cauliflower steaks sprayed with olive oil then seasoned with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and topped parmesan cheese is absolutely delightful and super EASY to do.
My all-time favorite way to eat broccoli is using our Air Fryer Broccoli with Garlic & Parmesan. After testing several different versions of air fryer cauliflower our family unanimously agrees that taking essentially the same broccoli recipe makes the best air fryer cauliflower. Garlic and parmesan flavors are hard to resist!
Cutting the cauliflower into smaller pieces creates more surface area for the seasoning mixture to stick to and makes each bite easier to chew. Smaller pieces also cook quicker which saves time when prepping dinner!
We tested tossing our cauliflower in Italian dressing, which is a great flavoring, but found a pump bottle of olive oil or avacado oil and sprinkling a couple seasonings on packed just as much flavor and cooked a bit more evenly.
Thinking of our super yummy Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower we tested using bread crumbs and grated parmesan and found that this combo was more likely to burn in the air fryer than the garlic and parmesan recipe we settled on.
Cauliflower is unique in that it is able to take on so many different flavors. Our Buffalo Bacon Cauliflower is a great example of how cauliflower becomes a vehicle to carry so many delicious flavor combinations into our bellies!
Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks
Be sure cauliflower steaks are cut to an even thickness and are roughly equal in size so that they cook evenly. Coat both sides generously with seasoning and turn once during roasting to prevent sticking to the basket.
A one-inch thick cauliflower steak cooks at 350°F in an air fryer for about 14 – 18 minutes until the edges reach the desired level of crispiness.
Frozen Cauliflower in the Air Fryer
Cauliflower can be tossed in the air fryer basket straight out of the freezer. Since oil and spices don’t stick well to frozen cauliflower pop it in the air fryer for a few minutes to warm up and soften up before seasoning and cooking according to the directions.
Tips for Making Cauliflower in the Air Fryer
- Choose fresh cauliflower that is firm and white. If there are any dark patches on the florets trim them off before roasting.
- Cauliflower is more firm and dense than broccoli so it take a bit longer to roast. To make broccoli and cauliflower together cut all pieces the same size and roast cauliflower for a few minutes before adding broccoli to the air fryer tray.
- We like smaller pieces better to allow more surface area for seasoning and flavor.
- Many air fryer recipes call for roasting at 400°F but we found the cauliflower is more likely to burn at a higher temp and have much better success at 350°F.
- Shaved parmesan cheese can be substituted for shredded or grated parmesan if necessary.
- Leftover cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 5 days and reheated in the air fryer for best results.
- Our Cuisinart Air Fryer & Toaster Oven tray will hold a large head of chopped cauliflower. If the tray is packed that may increase the roasting time a minute or two.
- The longer cauliflower cooks the crunchier the edges become, so keep an eye out the first few times you try to the recipe to determine your preferred doneness.
How to Make Air Fryer Roasted Cauliflower
- Chop cauliflower into small, evenly sized pieces or slice the head to make steaks. I usually get 2 or 3 evenly sized steaks per head of cauliflower.
- Spritz with olive, coconut, or avocado oil – we don’t notice a big difference in flavor. Cauliflower can be tossed in a very small amount of Italian dressing if desired, instead of using oil.
- Sprinkle seasonings on each side or a steak or toss pieces until evenly coated.
- Spread evenly in air fryer tray and roast small pieces at 350°F for 9 to 12 minutes, steaks for 14 to 18 minutes and frozen cauliflower for at least 12 minutes. Flip steaks or shake basket for pieces a little over halfway through the roasting time.
- Freshly shaved parmesan cheese barely melts over warm cauliflower and makes it absolutely fly off of the plate.
Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes:
- Bacon & Cheese Loaded French Fries
- Air Fryer Roasted Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Candied Bacon
- Air Fryer Asian Asparagus
- Air Fryer Pizza Sliders
Printable Air Fryer Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Air Fryer Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil pump bottle is easiest to use
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Koshor salt
- dash pepper freshly ground
- 1/4 cup parmesan freshly shaved
- Wash and drain cauliflower and chop into small bite-sized pieces.
- In a mixing bowl spritz with olive or avacado oil. Sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper on top. Toss until well coated.
- Spread evenly in an air fryer tray.
- Set air fryer to 350°F and roast small pieces for 9 – 12 minutes, large pieces and cauliflower steaks for 14 – 18 minutes. Shake basket or flip cauliflower steak just over half way through the cook time. Frozen cauliflower needs roasted for at least 12 minutes and seasoning should be applied about halfway into cook time.
- Shave fresh parmesan over warm cauliflower.