Crispy and delicious, air fried cauliflower makes a tasty side or snack (either way, don't skip the ranch dressing.) Fresh cauliflower florets are dipped in egg, then rolled in a seasoned coconut flour/crushed pork rind mixture which creates a Panko-like coating that crisps beautifully in the air fryer.
My enthusiasm for making dinner at the end of a busy day definitely comes and goes. Some days I welcome the challenge to make something delicious (alone time in the kitchen? Wow, what a treat!) while other days it's just one more thing on the to-do list that's taking me away from time spent with my family.
The dinner struggle is real and one that I'm sure is felt by every one. In every household. For centuries. 😉
And it's exactly why I've been leaning on my air fryer a lot lately.
I love that I can throw something in with very minimal prep time and know that it will turn out yummy. Like these air fryer chicken thighs (a reader fav!), air fryer zucchini tots, or air fryer Brussels sprouts with miso glaze.
And crispy, seasoned cauliflower made in the air fryer? It's my new favorite way to enjoy this versatile veg.
watch the air fried cauliflower recipe video
why this air fryer cauliflower recipe works
This air fryer cauliflower recipe makes a healthy snack or an easy side dish for any meal. And the crispy air fried cauliflower bites are even tastier with your favorite sauces on the side.
We're skipping Panko breadcrumbs for the coating and instead, swapping in low-carb pork rinds paired with a delicious seasoning blend.
Air fried cauliflower is a yummy and easy way to get more veggies into your diet!
These air fryer cauliflower bites are:
- keto and low-carb
- dairy-free and gluten-free
- ready in under 20 minutes
I've been attempting to share more snack ideas here, and one thing I love about this air fryer cauliflower recipe is that it doubles as snacking food.
Adjust the spices however you like or play around with different combinations to make it your own. Cook until crisp or even a couple minutes extra for air fryer cauliflower bites with a few charred edges, which I'm all about.
Here's the list of simple ingredients you will need. Keep in mind that the yield will vary based on the size of cauliflower used.
- whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- crushed pork rinds (I love this brand)
- coconut flour
- fine sea salt
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- smoked paprika
- onion powder
- chipotle powder (optional- increase for more bold flavor and spiciness)
- egg, pasture-raised when possible
- avocado oil or olive oil
how to make air fried cauliflower
Like any recipe that requires breading (is it even called that if there are no bread crumbs?), things can get a tad messy so make sure to have some paper towels on hand.
Preferably no toddlers around either, unless you really want the "help" (translated: added stress and greater mess). 🙂
Here are the basic steps for this low carb air fried cauliflower recipe. Make sure scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full recipe card.
- Cut the cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into florets, removing and discarding the stem and any outer leaves. I prefer to cut the cauliflower into florets that are on the small side, that way they will cook until tender and still remain crispy on the outside.
- Make the pork rind mixture. In a large bowl, mix the crushed pork rinds with the seasonings and coconut flour. Whisk to combine.
- Dip and roll. Preheat the air fryer to 370°F. Break the egg in a small dish and whisk. Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg, then roll it into the pork rind mixture. Place on a plate and repeat.
- Air fry the cauliflower. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the cauliflower into the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pieces (depending on the size of your air fryer, this might need to be done in batches so the hot air can circulate evenly around each piece). Drizzle the olive oil on top of each piece. Air fry at 370°F for 10-12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and crisp on the outside (the cooking time may vary based on the type of air fryer you have).
tips for the best air fried cauliflower
- To crush the pork rinds, you can easily pulse them in a blender/food processor. Another way to do it (and it's kind of fun) is to place them in a plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin until they're crushed. I like them roughly crushed and not too fine, otherwise the air fryer cauliflower bites don't get that nice, crunchy coating that crispy air fryer cauliflower really needs.
- Make sure to cut the cauliflower into smaller florets. Larger florets won't turn out as tender.
- Don't skip the drizzle of oil before air frying! It helps the cauliflower get extra crispy. If desired, you can spray a small amount of cooking spray at the base of your air fryer to prevent any sticking.
- Adjust the process based on the type of air fryer you have. I use a mid-size Gourmia air fryer and usually have to cook the air fried cauliflower in two batches.
- Store any leftover air fried cauliflower in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, air fry it again at a lower temperature until warm.
- This air fryer cauliflower recipe is made dairy-free, but if you want to jazz up the coating a little bit, add some grated parmesan cheese to the pork rind mixture. It will add a yummy cheesy layer and help bind the pork rind coating on these crispy cauliflower bites.
These air fryer cauliflower bites are simple, crispy and full of flavor!
Basic ingredients work magic - pork rinds add the perfect amount of crunch and savoriness to the cauliflower, which turns this low-carb veggie into a deliciously salty snack.
Queue up your favorite dipping sauce (ahem, buffalo sauce for me!) and enjoy.
more delicious recipes to try
- These keto cauliflower recipes! Keto cauliflower rice with bits of salty pork, roasted cauliflower salad with citrus tahini dressing, and this banana almond butter smoothie with cauliflower.
- Air fryer salmon, keto air fryer pork chops and onions, and the BEST air fryer chicken wings are here on the blog for the next time you need a low-effort, low-carb dinner!
- Keto crab cakes with lemon aioli makes the perfect side dish for any special occasion meal! They're simple to make and feature wild-caught, jumpo lump crab.
- Low-carb cauliflower soup with roasted garlic is silky, creamy and full of flavor. It's my family's favorite roasted cauliflower recipe.
Crispy Air Fried Cauliflower (Keto, Gluten-Free)
Crispy air fried cauliflower bites are savory and completely keto-friendly! A crunchy mixture of pork rinds and coconut flour make this a delicious low-carb side or snack.
- 1 medium cauliflower head, cut into florets
- ¾ cup crushed pork rinds (roughly crushed but not too fine)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 egg, pasture-raised when possible
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, removing and discarding the stem and any outer leaves. I prefer to cut the cauliflower into florets that are on the small side, that way they will cook until tender and still remain crispy on the outside.
- In a medium dish, mix the crushed pork rinds with the coconut flour, salt, pepper and the rest of the seasonings. Stir until the dry mixture is combined.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370°F. Break the egg in a small dish and whisk.
- Dip each piece of cauliflower floret into the egg, then roll it into the pork rind mixture, coating the cauliflower evenly. Place it on a plate and repeat to coat the rest of the cauliflower.
- Once the air fryer is preheated, place the coated cauliflower into the air fryer basket (or on the rack depending on the type of air fryer you have). Be careful not to crowd the pieces- I usually divide the cauliflower into two batches to air fry.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower (if you have a rack air fryer, do this on the plate before placing it into the air fryer). Cook at 370°F for 10-12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and golden/crisp on the outside.
- Remove and cool for a couple of minutes. Serve plain or with keto ranch dressing.
The air fryer cauliflower is ready when it can be easily pierced with a fork and the outside is golden and/or slightly charred around the edges.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!