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Crispy Air Fryer Breaded Cauliflower Bites

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These fantastic Air Fryer Breaded Cauliflower Bites are crispy on the outside and delightfully tender on the inside!

They’re ideal as a veggie side dish or a savory snack, and incredibly easy to prepare in under half an hour.

crispy air fryer cauliflower bites served with aioli

I’m a big fan of cauliflower and have several cauliflower recipes on my other blog, where I love sharing delicious every day recipes.

Some of my favorites include Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Risotto, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Celeriac, and Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole.

And these super crispy air fryer breaded cauliflower bites have now become our new favorite way to enjoy this healthy veggie!

Please continue scrolling down to find the recipe card below, which contains the complete list of ingredients with measurements, detailed recipe instructions, additional notes, and nutritional information.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cauliflower – When buying cauliflower, opt for firm heads with a creamy white color and no signs of browning. The florets should be crisp, and the outer leaves fresh without any yellowing or wilting. Cut the cauliflower into small to medium-sized florets for crispy outside and tender inside cauliflower bites.
  • Breadcrumbs – I like using panko breadcrumbs for breading because they’re made from white bread without the crust and have a larger grain than regular breadcrumbs. They become light and crispy, turning golden brown perfectly in the air fryer. But you can use any breadcrumbs you have on hand.
  • Egg – It helps the breadcrumbs stick to cauliflower florets.
  • Seasoning – I like to use smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and salt for seasoning, but feel free to use your own spice mix.
  • Olive oil – I use my favorite cooking olive oil to add richness and help the cauliflower crisp up.

How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites?

Important Note

Before you start cooking, note that times may differ among air fryers. I develop my recipes using a Cosori 6.8 air fryer. If you’re using a different air fryer, view my recipes as a general guide and tweak the cooking time—add a bit more or cook slightly less as needed.

Making these crispy and so-delicious air-fried cauliflower bites is a straightforward process. 

However, you need to follow a few simple steps to achieve the best results:

Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (180°C).

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

a head of cauliflower is cut into small florets

In a small bowl, mix together the beaten egg, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin. Place the panko breadcrumbs in another bowl.

cauliflower florets, egg and breadcrumbs are set on a table for breading

Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg mixture, then coat it evenly with breadcrumbs.

Quick Tip!

Keep one hand wet and the other dry. Dip the cauliflower in the egg wash with the wet hand, then coat it in the panko mixture. Use the dry hand to sprinkle on the crispy coating.

Place the breaded cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket in a single layer.

breaded cauliflower florets are placed in an air fryer basket

Drizzle the olive oil over the breaded cauliflower.

Air fry for about 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the cauliflower is golden brown and crispy.

Serve as a delicious snack or a side dish with your favorite dip and enjoy while still warm!

air fried cauliflower dipped in aioli

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Air frying cauliflower requires minimal oil compared to traditional frying methods, making it a healthier alternative.
  • The circulating hot air in the air fryer helps create a crispy exterior while keeping the cauliflower tender inside.
  • Air frying is a quick and convenient cooking method, requiring less time and effort compared to oven-roasting or frying.
  • Just like Vegan Air Fryer Falafels, you can serve crispy air fryer cauliflower as a delicious appetizer, side dish, or even as a healthy snack.
  • They’re a fun and delicious way to get kids to eat more veggies.
  • There’s hardly any mess, and cleaning up is a breeze.

Expert Tips From the Chef

  • Preheat your air fryer before adding the cauliflower for even cooking and crispiness.
  • Cut the cauliflower into evenly sized florets to ensure all pieces cook at the same rate.
  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to allow for proper air circulation. Cook the cauliflower in batches if needed to prevent steaming and ensure crispiness.
  • Lightly coat the cauliflower florets with olive oil or cooking spray to help them crisp up and develop a golden brown exterior.
  • Shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning and crispiness on all sides of the cauliflower.
  • For the best texture and flavor, serve the breaded air fryer cauliflower bites immediately after cooking.

What Goes Well with Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites?

Serve your cauliflower bites with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, honey mustard, Cacik (Turkish Yogurt Dip), or Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce).

Add some protein to your meal by serving the cauliflower bites with Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer, Air Fryer Meatballs (Lamb or Beef), Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings, or Air Fryer Steak Bites and Mushrooms.

Roasted vegetables such as Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips, Easy Asparagus in Air Fryer, Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, or Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries complement the flavors and textures of the cauliflower bites.

Storing and Reheating the Leftovers

Allow the cauliflower bites to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To reheat the leftovers, preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C).

Place the cauliflower bites in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Reheat for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

You can also reheat the cauliflower bites in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-12 minutes, or until warmed through

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen cauliflower for air fryer cauliflower bites?

Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower florets for this recipe. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to account for the frozen texture.

Can I make air fryer cauliflower bites without oil?

While a light coating of oil helps achieve a crispy texture, you can make air fryer cauliflower bites without oil by using a cooking spray or omitting the oil altogether. However, keep in mind that the texture may not be as crispy without the oil.

Can I make cauliflower bites in a traditional oven?

Certainly! Bake at 425°F (220°C) for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through for even cooking.

Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out! Please give us a five-star rating and leave a comment below.

I hope you enjoy the process of preparing these crispy Air Fryer Breaded Cauliflower just as much as you enjoy eating them! 🙂 

Bon appétit! 

Crispy Air Fryer Breaded Cauliflower Bites

Ayla Clulee
These fantastic Air Fryer Breaded Cauliflower Bites are crispy on the outside and delightfully tender on the inside!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 171 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small head cauliflower (approximately 700 g)
  • 1 small egg (lightly beaten)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 50 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp cooking olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the beaten egg, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin.
  • Place the panko breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  • Dip each cauliflower floret into the egg mixture, then coat it evenly with breadcrumbs.
  • Place the breaded cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the breaded cauliflower.
  • Air fry for about 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the cauliflower is golden brown and crispy.

Notes

  • Preheating your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the cauliflower helps ensure even cooking and a crispy texture.
  • Cut the cauliflower into evenly sized florets to ensure all pieces cook at the same rate.
  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to allow for proper air circulation. Cook the cauliflower in batches if needed to prevent steaming and ensure crispiness.
  • Lightly coat the cauliflower florets with olive oil or cooking spray to help them crisp up and develop a golden brown exterior.
  • Shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning and crispiness on all sides of the cauliflower.
  • For the best texture and flavor, serve the breaded air fryer cauliflower bites immediately after cooking.
Keyword appetizer, side dish, snack, vegetable, vegetarian

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