Air fryer cauliflower is easy, quick and delicious. Make it as a side dish, to enjoy with a range of meals, or serve as a tasty snack along with a yogurt dip.
Reasons to Love Air Fryer Cauliflower
- EASY – Minimal preparation needed and quick to make.
- TASTY – Air frying, similar to roasted cauliflower, mellows the flavour in vegetables and helps to release the natural sugars, making them more appealing to kids.
- ADAPTABLE – This recipe uses parmesan cheese to flavour, but the options are endless. (Suggestions given below)
- NUTRITIOUS – Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C (great for iron absorption), and is a fantastic source of vitamin K and B vitamins.
Watch How to Make It (Video)
Ingredient Information (with alternative suggestions)
- OLIVE OIL – Helps the cauliflower to crisp up. You can make it without the oil, but it won’t brown as nicely and won’t taste as good.
- GARLIC – For flavour, can be skipped or replaced with 1/4 tsp of garlic powder.
- GRATED PARMESAN – You want to use freshly grated (sandy variety). Buy it from the refrigerated area, the ambient parmesan has a very different flavour. Cheese can really help mask the bitterness of cauliflower, making it more appealing to kids.
- SALT – Skip if making for a baby or young child, however, if you are cooking for older kids, I do recommend adding a little salt. Just like the parmesan, it can really help supress the bitterness of the vegetable.
- PEPPER – Optional, for flavour.
Want to try some other ways to flavour air-fried cauliflower? Why not try…
- CURRIED: Add a teaspoon of curry powder to the olive oil before coating.
- RED PEPPER: Make as per recipe and toss with red pepper flakes after cooking
- TURMERIC & SMOKED PAPRIKA: Skip the parmesan and replace with 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/4 tsp turmeric.
- LEMON & PARMESAN – Make as per recipe and add a squeeze of lemon after cooking
- CHEDDAR – Skip the parmesan and replace with grated cheddar, adding when the cauliflower is just cooked.
Process Shots and Cooking Tips
- CUT CAULIFLOWER & BREAK INTO FLORETS
Aim for small uniform pieces, cut the bigger florets in halves / quarters.
- COMBINE INGREDIENTS
Add the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl, along with the oil, salt, pepper, garlic and parmesan. Gently toss to thoroughly coat.
TIP: Make sure the cauliflower is fully coated.
- AIR FRY FOR 8-15 MINS
This was the timings that worked best for my air fryer, cooking times may vary depending on the make and model of air fryer used.
- TIP: Do not overcrowd the air fryer. You want the cauliflower to fit in a single layer. If you have too much, cook in batches – you will find the second batch cooks quicker.
TIP: Make sure to check the cauliflower 4 mins into the cooking time and give the cauliflower a stir / air fryer basket a shake. This makes sure that the cauliflower evenly cooks and doesn’t burn. Check every couple of mins after until done.
Air-fried cauliflower is best served straight out of the air fryer. It makes a great side dish to accompany many meals. You can also serve it as a snack with a dip of choice (we love yogurt mixed with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.)
If you want to prepare in advance then I suggest chopping and coating in the morning and cooking when needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cauliflower is suitable for babies from 6 months. However, it should be cooked until soft to prevent choking. Cauliflower cooked in the air fryer can be quite al dente, so just check this first. Also, skip the parmesan and salt to reduce sodium levels.
You can but it doesn’t crisp up as well as fresh cauliflower. Allow the cauliflower to thaw first so the oil, cheese and seasoning coats better.
Other Air-Fryer Recipes
Looking for more healthy kid recipes?Sign up for my free recipe newsletter to get new family friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing more kind-friendly inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air Fryer
- 1 medium small head cauliflower
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt Skip if serving a baby/young child
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh parmesan FRESH, finely grated (sandy texture)
- Cut cauliflower into quarters, remove hard stem and break up into florets. Aim for small uniform pieces, cut the bigger florets in halves / quarters.
- Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with oil, salt, pepper and garlic, parmsan until evenly coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 200°C / 395°F for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cauliflower florets into the air fryer basket (in a single layer)
- Cook for 4 minutes. Check/ shake/ flip the florets and cook for a further 4-11 minutes (checking every couple of minutes) until crispy and tender.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer. You want the cauliflower to fit in a single layer. If you have too much, cook in batches
- Timings will vary depending on the air fryer used and the size of cauliflower florets, make sure to continually check and shake/stir.