Can you even put frozen veggies into the air fryer? Um, hell yeah you can! This is America, we don’t wait for sh*t to thaw! In this post we’ll share the best method for cooking and spicing up that boring bag of veggies sitting in your freezer. And of course, we got ALL the sauces to help you top off the perfect air fryer frozen cauliflower recipe.Jump to Recipe
“What CAN’T you air fry? Seriously, is there a list somewhere?”-Jim
Why Air Fry Frozen Cauliflower?
Why? Well, first of all air frying is a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods, requiring little to no oil in order to achieve that wonderful crispy texture.
Secondly, frozen cauliflower is cheap and easy to store, making it a reliable and convenient veggie to have on hand for a quick and fairly nutritious snack or side dish. We always have a bag in the freezer. And yes, frozen veggies are still worth while and healthy, check out this heathline.com article to read more about it.
But besides the obvious, cauliflower provides a blank canvas for customization, allowing you to experiment with various flavor profiles. Whether you prefer tangy buffalo cauliflower, zesty lemon and herbs cauliflower, or spicy curry cauliflower, the possibilities are endless!
So, make sure to keep a stash of frozen cauliflower in your freezer, cause we’re about to show you how to turn that frozen bag of veggies into your next favorite go-to snack.
Oh, and if you’re in the market for an air fryer, we think these CHEFMAN multifunction air fryers with the glass door are the coolest.
Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
How to Season Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
Properly seasoning your cauliflower is the key to transforming it into a delightful and aromatic dish that will have your taste buds dancing with joy. Without the right blend of seasoning, its just frozen veggies, and that’s boring.
So don’t be boring and pick a couple jars of seasoning from the rack you think might be fun. Or use the ones we picked here in this recipe. Just remember, when it comes to seasoning, timing is everything!
To achieve perfectly spiced air fryer frozen cauliflower, it’s crucial to time your seasoning right. Start by preheating your air fryer, (if yours needs to). Once it’s ready, place the frozen cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook it partially without any seasoning.This allows the cauliflower to thaw a little bit, making it easier for the oil and spices to stick to the florets.
About halfway through the cooking process, pause the air fryer, toss the cauliflower in a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter, then generously sprinkle on your chosen spices. Resuming the cooking process, the cauliflower will absorb the seasonings, creating a mouthwatering blend of flavors.
Once finished cooking, make sure to taste the final product and season accordingly. I find it usually needs a liberal sprinkle of flakey sea salt and a couple turns on the black pepper grinder.
Frozen Air Fryer Cauliflower: Spice Combinations
Now for the fun part! Treat that frozen bag of cauliflower like a blank canvas and start experimenting with different spice combinations! Here are a few of our favorites that will undoubtedly elevate your air fryer frozen cauliflower.
- Zesty Lemon & Herb: This is what we chose to showcase for this post. It adds a great brightness to the cauliflower with the lemon juice. Simply season with dried thyme, oregano, and fresh cracked black pepper. Then garnish with the lemon juice, zest, and fresh herbs.
- Spicy Cajun: For those who crave a fiery kick, opt for a spicy Cajun blend. Combine Cajun seasoning, chili powder, and a touch of garlic powder to turn up the heat on your air fryer cauliflower.
- Parmesan Garlic: If it works for chicken wings why can’t it work for cauliflower?! Mix grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil for a rich and satisfying flavor profile. Just add the cheese towards the end of the cook so it doesn’t burn.
- Smoky Paprika and Garlic: A smoky and savory combination that brings depth to the cauliflower. Toss the partially cooked cauliflower with smoked paprika, garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne for a gentle kick, and a dash of salt.
With these tips and spice combinations in your culinary arsenal, you’re all set to create some irresistible air fryer frozen cauliflower. Embrace the art of spicing, and let your taste buds guide you.
How to Cook Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
Follow these step by step instructions to make this recipe for zesty lemon & herb air fryer frozen cauliflower.
Step 1: Defrost the Cauliflower
Dump your frozen cauliflower into the air fryer basket and break apart any big chunks that are frozen together. Remove and big pieces of ice.
Cook the frozen cauliflower in the air fryer for 7-8 minutes at 400F.
Step 2: Oil & Coat
Transfer the lightly cooked cauliflower to a mixing bowl and pour or spray the olive oil onto the florets and mix evenly with a spatula.
Then, sprinkle the dried thyme, oregano, and freshly cracked black pepper all over the cauliflower toss to make sure everything is nice and evenly coated.
Return the seasoned cauliflower to the air fryer and continue cooking for 8-10 more minutes at 400F. Toss the basket when there’s 3-4 minutes left.
Step 3: Garnish & Serve
Check the cauliflower and if it’s crispy enough for your liking, transfer it to a serving dish. Top it with some flakey sea salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower: Dipping Sauces
Cauliflower florets can be tasty enough on their own, but let’s be real, everything is better with a dipping sauce. Check out these recipes to add an extra flavor punch to your air fryer frozen cauliflower. They’re all super easy to make and really take the veggies to the next level.
Frankie’s personal favorite is our Buffalo Ranch – the Ultimate Dipping Sauce, and I don’t blame her, this stuff is seriously tasty. It’s also great with wings or on a taco salad.
We also like to make this Red Chimichurri Sauce w/ Fire Roasted Red Peppers for our cauliflower steak recipe, but it definitely works here with air fryer frozen cauliflower as well. It’s freaking tasty y’all.
Personally, for this Zesty Lemon & Herb Cauliflower dish I like to mix together some goat cheese, sour cream, salt and lemon juice and drizzle that over the top, but choose your own sauce destiny.
I feel like crispy cauliflower bites can almost taste like chicken nuggets sometimes. And what goes better with chicken nuggies than a great BBQ sauce? Our Carolina Gold BBQ sauce is that great sauce! Dip your air fryer frozen cauliflower florets into this tangy, spicy, smoky, mouth punch.
Looking for a more, south of the border vibe? This creamy, spicy jalapeño & avocado lime crema is the perfect sauce to help flavor blast your cauliflower situation. It’s only seven ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to make.
Storing Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
Store your air fried cauliflower in the fridge. Once the veggies have cooled to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container and put them in the fridge. They’ll keep for to 3-4 days.
To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can pop them back in the air fryer. Zap em at 350°F for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through.
Avoid reheating in the microwave. The micro can turn them into a soggy mess. It’s really just best to finish your damn vegetables and not have any leftovers! No ice cream until you finish your greens!
What to Serve with Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
Here are some dishes that would pair nicely with air fryer frozen cauliflower.
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Carolina Gold BBQ sauce. This juicy pork tenderloin is sous vide to perfection and dressed with a tangy, smoky, Carolina gold bbq sauce.
Want to try something new and bold with that plain old turkey? This festive Mexican turkey recipe is a great way to spice up a bird. Check out this recipe for Mexican Turkey with Spicy Adobo Sauce!
These lip smacking boneless country style ribs will have you licking your fingers and hollering yeehaw! Check out this Boneless Country Style Ribs Recipe.
More Air Fryer Recipes!
If you need some more air fryer ideas, look no further! We have some other great recipes that are super simple and super tasty.
Check em’ out out and let us know what you think. Happy air frying!
Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower Tips & Tricks
Preheat the air fryer
Just like with any cooking method, preheating the air fryer allows for more consistent and even cooking. Preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the cauliflower. If yours allows for it.
Arrange cauliflower evenly
Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer inside the air fryer basket, ensuring they have enough space to cook evenly. Overcrowding may result in uneven cooking and less crispy results.
Shake or flip halfway through
To ensure even browning, shake the air fryer basket or flip the cauliflower halfway through the cooking process. This helps to achieve a consistent texture and color.
Customize with seasonings
Frozen cauliflower provides a versatile base that can be enhanced with various seasonings and spices. Add your favorite herbs, spices, or seasoning blends before or after cooking to customize the flavor profile to your liking.
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