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The Easiest Roasted Veggie Ever: Air Fryer Whole Cauliflower

Have you thought about roasting an entire head of cauliflower but found it intimidating?

Well, fear no more; cooking a whole cauliflower in the air fryer is surprisingly simple. 

With just a light coating of olive oil and a few seasonings, this veggie comes out crispy on the outside and perfectly tender inside.

whole cauliflower cook in the air fryer with oil and hebs recipe

As someone who has cooked a whole head of cauliflower in an air fryer many times, I can confidently say it’s one of the easiest and most delicious ways to prepare this vegetable.

It requires minimal preparation, and no flipping is required, as the hot air circulates all around.

How To Cook A Whole Cauliflower Head In The Air Fryer

Step 1

Prep the fresh head of cauliflower by removing any outer leaves or excess stem with a sharp knife, be careful to keep the head intact.

You want the cauliflower to hold its shape during cooking.

Give it a good rinse and boil it in hot water for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, prepare the spices for seasoning; in a blender, combine the olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Blend to create a flavorful seasoning.

After boiling the cauliflower, put it on a plate and dry it well with a cloth.

Brush the seasoning blend evenly over the entire cauliflower with a basting brush.

brush with basting brush the oil and spice in the cauliflower

Step 3

Carefully transfer the seasoned cauliflower to the preheated air fryer basket.

Cook at 370°F for 20 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and tender. 

Check for doneness by carefully inserting a paring knife into the core. It should pierce easily with no resistance. If not quite tender, continue cooking for 5 minutes more.

air fryer cauliflower florets in the fornk

Remember, cooking time may vary depending on the size of the cauliflower, as well as the air fryer model It’s always a good idea to check for doneness periodically to avoid overcooking.

How do I know that the air fryer’s whole cauliflower is done?

A simple way to check if your air fryer’s whole cauliflower is cooked to perfection is by inserting a fork or skewer into the center.

If it goes through easily with no resistance and the cauliflower feels tender, then it’s ready to be enjoyed!

 Tips for the best results

  • Pat it dry before seasoning to promote even browning.
  • Keep the core intact for the best structure. Just trim the very bottom.
  • Watch it closely for the last 5 minutes to prevent burning.

How To Serve Whole Air Fried Cauliflower

This whole air-fried cauliflower is such a versatile recipe. It can be served in so many ways, for lunch or dinner! 

For dinner, try serving this easy side dish alongside chicken cutlets or on top of rice bowls or quinoa with some air fryer mushrooms and a drizzle of tahini sauce for a nutritious and filling vegetarian meal.

For a lighter lunch, serve the crispy cauliflower over a fresh green salad or orange salad for an easy meal. 

This cauliflower also makes a fantastic appetizer.

Serve the cauliflower with buffalo sauce or hummus for a starter everyone will love.

air fried cauliflower in a pink plate

Variations on aromatic spices

Here are some recipe ideas for roasted whole cauliflower variations using an air fryer:

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese; Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Air fry until tender. Add parmesan cheese and air fryer for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.

Air fry cauliflower with Garlic and Lemon: Season with olive oil, onion powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Air fry until crispy on the outside but tender inside.

Curry Cauliflower: Coat cauliflower florets in olive oil and curry powder. Air fry until browned. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and cilantro.

Also, try these other air fryer recipes, like air fryer cauliflower bites, breaded air fryer cauliflower, air fryer cauliflower cheese, or cauliflower steaks. 



Allow the cauliflower to fully cool before covering it. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Alternatively, cauliflower can be frozen for 2-3 months. 

To reheat, use the air fryer or the even. 

Can I roast it in the oven?

Absolutely! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still enjoy the deliciousness of roasted whole cauliflower by using your oven. 

As mentioned earlier, follow the same steps for preparing and seasoning the cauliflower.

Place the seasoned cauliflower head on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Roast in the preheated oven for about 35- 40 minutes at  425°F (220°C).

What if my cauliflower is too big to fit the basket?

No problem, simply cut the cauliflower into large florets that will lay flat on the basket and thoroughly coat all cut sides with oil. 

Can I cook more than one head at a time?

It depends on the size of the cauliflower and your air fryer, but you likely have room for two smaller heads.

Increase cook time by 5 minutes or so.

whole roasted cauliflower recipe

air fryer cauliflower recipe pintarest


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Yield: 4 PORTION

Air Fryer Whole Cauliflower

Air Fryer Whole Cauliflower

Take cauliflower from blah to brilliant by cooking an entire head at once. This air fryer whole cauliflower recipe is impressive and easy.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Boil Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Parsley


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. 
  2. In the meantime, remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower head, keeping it intact.
  3. Rinse the cauliflower under cold water and boil for about 10 minutes.
  4. In a mixer, blend olive oil, garlic, paprika, parsley salt, and black pepper. Set it aside.
  5. When the cauliflower is fork tender transfer it to a plate and pat it dry with a cloth,
  6. Brush the seasoning mixture evenly over the cauliflower head.
  7. Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook for about 20 minutes,
  8. Check for doneness by inserting a fork or knife into the cauliflower. It should be tender.
  9. Once done, remove the cauliflower from the air fryer and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 287mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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Thursday 9th of November 2023

This is the second recipe this week I saw on facebook and made immediately. You are just publishing everything I want to eat this week! I made this for lunch today - am still eating it now as I type - and it is so good! I cut the whole roasted cauliflower in half and sprinkled it with toasted pumpkin seeds and it's the perfect lunch for my husband and I. Thank you again!


Thursday 9th of November 2023

Thank you so much for your kind feedback!The combo of roasted cauliflower with toasted pumpkin seeds sounds delicious.

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