This air fryer cauliflower is seasoned with a vibrant blend of savory spices and roasted to perfection in 15 minutes. The deep flavors are brought to life with just the right char and crispiness on the outside to bring out the sweetness which makes it impossible to put down. This recipe is a treat make and an excellent choice for an easy side-dish or snack.
Cauliflower is such an amazing vegetable which possesses a versatility that allows it to be used in any number of ways. It fits in perfectly in a vegetable medley, can be used in place of meat for many popular dishes, and when roasted such as this, brings about a whole other quality that is a treat to behold.
When choosing a head of cauliflower, look for one that is free of any blemishes or dark spots, has tightly packed florets, and good green leaves. Cauliflower should feel heavy for it’s size, and will have a nice creamy white color. It should also smell fresh and be free of any overwhelming odor.
In preparing our cauliflower for the air fryer, we first cut away the leaves, and any excess parts of the stem. This is easily achieved by inserting a knife just outside the cauliflower stem and cutting around it. Next, we can cut the florets off around the stem or even pull them off my hand. We want to end up with nugget sized chunks that can be enjoyed in just a bite or two.
Cauliflower Seasoning Mix
We’re essentially using our air fryer to make roasted cauliflower, which has an outstanding flavor all it’s own. When the florets begin to char a bit, they release a sweetness which makes each bite a wonderful experience. We don’t want to completely overwhelm the natural flavors, rather, we want to accentuate them with a seasoning blend that is vibrant and brings out all the best characteristics of this wonderful vegetable. To achieve this, we’ll use many common spices which you likely already have in your spice rack or pantry: smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, oregano, onion and garlic powder, ground mustard, salt and pepper. The smoked paprika and turmeric will also provide that rich, golden color.
Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. Cut the cauliflower into nugget chunks of an inch or two and toss them in a large bowl with 1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil. Now add the seasoning mix and toss for a minute or two by hand and get all the goodness to coat all pieces of cauliflower.
Air Fry at 400°(F) for 15 Minutes
Cooking our cauliflower couldn’t be any easier. Start by preheating your air fryer at 400°(F) for 5 minutes. When ready, place the seasoned cauliflower into the air fryer basket or tray and use the “air fry” setting at 400°(F) for 15 minutes. During the cooking time, flip, shake or stir the cauliflower 2 or 3 times to achieve the most evening browning.
Ready to serve!
When the 15 minutes are up, your roasted cauliflower is ready to serve right away! There’s so many ways to enjoy it and the possibilities are endless. You can use a fork or even your hand and eat it like popcorn for a snack. It’s also excellent with a spritz of lemon juice from some fresh lemon slices. It can also be a side-dish for just about any meal. It’s excellent with pork chops, chicken and fish.
Goes Well With…
Some of my favorite recipes to serve air fryer cauliflower with are:
- Best Damn Air Fryer Salmon. I mean, come on, a perfect pairing. And a healthy one too!
- Best Damn Air Fryer Chicken Breast. This recipe has a wonderful flavor profile which fits perfectly with this as a side. A great part of meal prep too!
- Best Damn Air Fryer Ribeye Steak. This is a nice light side-dish to accompany a steak. Great flavors all around.