Crispy and delicious, air fryer cauliflower makes a tasty side or snack (and if you're going with the latter don't skip the ranch dressing.) 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.
Even better, these air fryer cauliflower bites are:
- keto and low-carb
- dairy-free and gluten-free
- ready in under 20 minutes
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.
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.
How to make air fryer cauliflower
The ingredient list is simple and the yield will vary based on the size of cauliflower used. 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). 🙂
- whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- crushed pork rinds (I love this brand)
- coconut flour
- fine sea salt
- garlic powder
- smoked paprika
- onion powder
- chipotle powder (optional- increase for more spiciness)
- egg, pasture-raised when possible
- avocado oil or olive oil
Here's the basic process:
- 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 medium dish, 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, making sure not to crowd the pieces (depending on the size of your air fryer, this might need to be done in batches). 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.
tips for air fryer cauliflower success!
- To crush the pork rinds, process them in a blender/food processor or place them in a plastic bag and crush. I like them roughly crushed and not too fine, otherwise the air fryer cauliflower bites don't get that nice, crunchy coating.
- Make sure to cut the cauliflower florets so they're small and not too large, otherwise they won't turn out tender.
- Don't skip the drizzle of oil before air frying! It helps the cauliflower get extra crispy.
- 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 cauliflower in two batches.
Watch the video for this air fryer cauliflower recipe!
These air fryer cauliflower bites are simple, crispy and full of flavor! The pork rinds add the perfect amount of crunch and savoriness to the cauliflower, which basically turns this low-carb veggie into a deliciously salty snack.
you might also love...
- 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.
- Keto air fryer recipes: 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!
- 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.