10 Easy & Incredibly Cauliflower Recipes for the Air Fryer

Posted: October 3, 2021 3:14 pm

Indeed, cauliflower has its unique texture, taste, and ability to absorb flavors. So if you are an avid cauliflower fan or just starting on your journey into the land of spicy and cheesy deliciousness that is cooking with cauliflower, then this list of ten easy recipes for air fryer-made cauliflower is perfect for you.

1. Cauliflower Fried Rice

Everyone loves fried rice! It’s so tasty and customizable. You can use pretty much any ingredient you want in it—chicken, beef, shrimp, veggies. The list goes on. But once you’ve tried making it with crispy bits of cauli instead of regular white rice, we guarantee your life will never be the same again. Plus, since it’s made in the air fryer, all you have to do is put everything in and wait for it to cook.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 cup cauliflower rice
2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

Instructions for this recipe are as follows:

Turn your air fryer to 350 degrees. Add the oil to coat the bottom of the basket. Then throw in all ingredients except soy sauce. Depending on how big your cauliflower is, it will probably take about 15-20 minutes to get the desired crispy texture. But you should check it every few minutes to make sure the rice doesn’t burn. When it looks crisp enough, drizzle in soy sauce and give one more stir before serving.

2. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

If you’re not a huge fan of cauliflower-flavored dishes (i.e., eating plain ol’ steamed cauli or even worse—raw), then we dare say that once you try this recipe, you’ll be converted. And with only five ingredients (potatoes, salt, pepper, milk, and butter) plus ten minutes of preparation time and ten minutes of cooking time in the air fryer, how can anyone go wrong?

For this recipe, you will need:

1 large head or two small heads cauliflower (must be fresh)
salt and pepper to taste
milk (any kind will do—heavy cream, half and half, skim milk, you name it!)

Instructions for this recipe are as follows:

Wash the cauliflower carefully. Remove any leaves on the bottom of the stem. Cut into big pieces making sure all florets are about the same size (so they cook evenly). Put in a large pot with just enough water to cover all the florets. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat and cover. Cook until fork-tender but not falling apart (about 5-10 minutes). Drain.
Add remaining ingredients and mash with a masher of your choice (be careful not to over-mash). Transfer everything to a large bowl and serve! We recommend serving with fried chicken. Try mixing in some cauli into our honey sriracha crispy baked wings recipe for an extra tasty dish that will surprise everyone at the table.

3. Cheese Fondue Dip with Cauliflower Crudites

This recipe takes cauliflower to a whole new level, and if you’re hosting a party, what better way to serve your guests than with this tasty cheese dip? Mixed with cauli and gooey melted cheeses in the air fryer, we guarantee this will be everyone’s favorite dish at the party. For you to try it, we recommend you slice up some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower (or whatever veggies you like) and air fry them until they’re nice and crispy. Then serve with your cheese fondue.

For this recipe, you will need:

1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/4 cup white wine (or dry vermouth)

Instructions for this recipe are as follows:

Combine ingredients in an air fryer-safe casserole dish. Cook uncovered at 400 degrees for 8 minutes until bubbling and brown. Be sure to stir halfway through the cooking time, so the sauce doesn’t burn! Throw in your favorite veggies, remove from heat and enjoy—it’s that simple.

4. Cauliflower Tots

Calling all snack lovers: these crispy little “tots” will make every moment between meals better. Made from fresh cauliflower, shredded potatoes, parmesan cheese, and panko breadcrumbs, mixed, then tossed into the air fryer for 5 minutes. Plus, they’re only about 50 calories each. Talk about guilt-free snacking. It is important to note that they are not very high in protein.

For this recipe, you will need:

2 cups fresh cauliflower florets (steamed until tender)
1 large russet potato (peeled and shredded)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated; we recommend the vegan kind for a dairy-free option)
Instructions for this recipe are as follows: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into air fryer basket and spread out evenly. Cook at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until crispy on the outside and slightly soft in the middle. Be sure to turn halfway through cooking time, so they cook evenly. Add salt and pepper if desired before serving—they’re perfect just the way they are.

5. Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Everyone loves buffalo wings, but it’s very hard to have just one, so of course, the calories can quickly add up during the game day. That’s why we love this recipe for crispy buffalo cauliflower bites that are baked instead of fried so that you won’t feel nearly as guilty about your cravings! This recipe is also perfect for entertaining guests on a healthier note by offering them delicious snacks with fresh ingredients rather than processed foods.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce (or other spicy wing sauce)
2 tablespoons vegan butter (we highly recommend Miyoko’s European-style cultured nut butter)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions for this recipe are as follows:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into florets and add them to a large bowl and all remaining ingredients except for the panko breadcrumbs. Mix well and transfer mixture to air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees in the air fryer for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring halfway through the cooking time to cook evenly. Remove from heat and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs. Return to the air fryer and cook for another 10 minutes or until crispy, stirring halfway through the cooking time, so they don’t burn.

6. Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh

This tabbouleh will certainly be the star at any potluck or family gathering with a healthy twist on an otherwise traditionally unhealthy dish. Made with fresh parsley, tomatoes, onions, and of course—cauliflower rice.

For this recipe, you will need:

3 cups cauliflower florets (steamed to soften)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 medium cucumber (diced)
1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 small lemon
6-8 pita chips to taste, crumbled into bite-sized pieces. We recommend pairing with lavash or flatbread as well. *Note that different brands of pita chip may be seasoned differently, so they might not pair well if using for dip accompaniment!* Also note that the brand of lavash you choose may affect how many chips you’ll need to crumble into bite-sized pieces.

7. Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cauli-Mash

While this has “mash” in its name, it certainly doesn’t taste like potatoes—instead, this recipe is made with diced cauliflower florets blended with sour cream, mayo, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and ranch seasoning for an added kick of flavor. This dish makes a great side for dinner or even as a snack!.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 head of cauliflower (steamed until tender)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. mayo
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6-7 pieces real bacon bits or crumbled bacon from 1 medium cooked strip
1 tsp. Ranch seasoning mix *Note that some brands of ranch seasoning may contain ingredients that are not vegan! Be sure to read ingredients and select a brand accordingly*

Instructions for this recipe are as follows:
Steam cauliflower until tender and drain well. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until very smooth—no chunks left! Serve immediately or store in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the “mash” to prevent discoloring.

8. Hot & Cheesy Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower Dip

If you’re not convinced that cauli can be used as a tasty substitute for carbs, well. This is the recipe that will change your mind! This spicy and cheesy dip combines cauliflower, broccoli, and cheddar cheese to create a unique creamy combo that’s perfect as a side dish or snack.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 head of cauliflower (broken into florets)
3 cups broccoli (broken into florets)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Some brands of garlic and onion powders may contain ingredients that are not vegan. Be sure to read the ingredients carefully before purchasing.
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (divided in half) Instructions for this recipe are as follows: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or a nonstick sheet. Prepare broccoli and cauliflower, cut into florets, and then mix with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. After mixing well, spread evenly on baking trays in a single layer, then roast for 15 minutes. On another lined baking tray or plate, prepare 1/2 cup breadcrumbs by crushing cornflakes cereal into small pieces, then adding melted vegan butter. Return roasted vegetables to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes until edges are slightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before adding to the food processor (or you can use an electric mixer). Once cooled, add 1 3/4 cup cheddar cheese (reserving half) to the mixture in a food processor bowl or large mixing bowl and pulse until blended. Transfer contents to a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Broil in oven 3-5 minutes until melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

9. Cauliflower Tots

If you love tater tots as much as we do but want a healthier version of this kiddie favorite, then try out these baked cauliflower bites! Made from fresh cauliflower florets blended with almond flour, parmesan cheese, and spices before being air-fried until golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside—you won’t even know they’re not deep-fried! If you’re feeling extra naughty, try using cheddar cheese instead of the parmesan, but make sure it’s reduced fat.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 head of cauliflower (chopped into florets)
3 eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Some brands may contain ingredients that are not vegan! Be sure to read the ingredients carefully before purchasing.
2 tbsp. Olive oil Instructions for this recipe are as follows: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then misting the surface with cooking spray. Chop cauliflower into small pieces, then pulse in a blender or food processor until a smooth consistency is achieved. Transfer contents to a large mixing bowl and add beaten eggs, almond flour, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Use a spoon to mix ingredients until blended before transferring the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. With wet or oiled hands, form cauliflower into 1-inch tot shapes, then place on the baking sheet with space between each one. Bake for 20 minutes before turning the oven off and letting them sit for another 15 minutes in the oven as it cools down. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the “tots” to prevent discoloring.

10. Spicy Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings

Last but certainly not least on our list, another spicy dish that will change your mind about cauli-wings—these are baked in the air fryer with a delicious seasoning recipe made from chili powder, garlic salt, and onion powder. Each “wing” is low in calories (only around 45 each), so you can eat as many as you want without feeling guilty…which is what we call winning. Next time the Super Bowl comes around, or you have family game night at home, be prepared with these recipes so everyone can enjoy healthier versions of their favorite snacks and meals.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 head cauliflower (washed & cut into florets)
1/2 cup hot sauce (we recommend Franks Red Hot Sauce or Sriracha for best flavor)
1/4 cup vegan butter Instructions for this recipe are: Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Once cauliflower is chopped into small pieces, mix melted vegan butter and the hot sauce in a large bowl before adding to cauliflower and mixing well until all cauliflower pieces are evenly coated. Transfer contents to the prepared baking sheet, then mist surface of cauliflower with cooking spray and top with chili powder and garlic salt (and optional onion powder if desired). Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, turning cauliflower over with a spatula halfway through cooking time. Serve immediately and enjoy.

In conclusion, many delicious recipes can be made using cauliflower. Try out these ten recipes with your family members and friends to see which one you like best.

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