Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks are easy to make, delicious and a hearty vegetarian meal entrée. Simple ingredients transform a large cauliflower head into a great side dish or main dish with big flavors, great texture and a new favorite for your tasty recipes.
If you haven't heard of cauliflower steaks they are thick slices of humble cauliflower with different spices added to the outside, cooked until they are golden brown and the consistency similar to traditional steak.
When cauliflower is cut into steaks and cooked in an air fryer, it develops a crispy and caramelized exterior, while the interior remains tender. This contrast in texture is appealing, and the natural sweetness of cauliflower intensifies as it cooks.
Whether you're serving them as an appetizer, side dish, or main course, cauliflower steaks are ga hit for a wide range of tastes and preferences. This air fryer cauliflower steak recipe is low calorie, gluten-free and great for vegetarians or vegans too. It's a satisfying recipe for a weight loss plan without sacrificing fantastic flavor.
What makes this skinny?
Low calorie ingredients. Fresh cauliflower, spices and just a bit of healthy olive oil are used. The calories stay low while the fiber in the cauliflower is filling.
Air fryer cooking. Since the air fryer cooks with convection heat, circulation of hot air, no extra fat is required and the delicious steaks have a nice seared exterior as if you'd fried them in fat.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Cauliflower. You'll need one large head of cauliflower (raw). A medium-large size can also be used. The green leaves will be removed the stem trimmed before starting. Do not remove the core.
Olive oil. We use 1 tablespoon which is far less than most recipes. We have a little trick to compensate for that when spreading on the spice paste.
Spices. Garlic powder, paprika, cumin, kosher salt and ground black pepper are used to create a spice paste that goes on the cauliflower before cooking.
Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is added to the spices to add flavor and make it into a slurry.
Lemon wedges. These are used when serving to squeeze on the cauliflower steaks.
Italian parsley. Chopped fresh Italian parsley is sprinkled on the air fryer cauliflower steaks as garnish. This is optional but adds some nice color.
How to Make it
STEP 1. Prepare the cauliflower
Remove all the green cauliflower leaves, cut off the bottom stem to be level with the bottom of the head of cauliflower. Rinse and pat dry.
Set the cauliflower stem side down on a cutting board. Slice into 1-inch thick slices or 'steaks' using a large sharp knife (photos 1-3). Save any broken florets to make cauliflower rice or dip with favorite dressing.
STEP 2. Preheat the air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
STEP 3. Make the spice paste
While the air fryer is preheating, combine the olive oil, spices and lemon juice in a small bowl whisk together (photo 4). It will make a slurry to brush on the cauliflower steaks.
STEP 4. Coat the cauliflower steaks
Place the thick slices of cauliflower on a cutting board or plate. Brush some of the spice mixture onto both sides of the cauliflower using a pastry brush or silicone brush.
STEP 4. Air Fry
Place cauliflower steaks in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer with room between (photo 5). You'll need to cook in batches.
Cook for 12-15 minutes, gently turning the cauliflower over halfway through (use a pliable spatula and be gentle or some of the florets can fall off). The cauliflower should be cooked through but still with a firm texture and crispy edges (photo 6).
Change up the spices. Cauliflower steaks can be customized with various seasonings, herbs, and spices, allowing you to experiment with different flavors to suit your preferences. For instance:
- Swapping in smoked paprika will give the cauliflower and even earthier smoky flavor for instance.
- Red pepper flakes would add some spicy heat.
- Cajun seasoning would give the crispy cauliflower steaks a whole new flavor.
Use your favorite spices to experiment with new ways to make the cauliflower slices.
Air Fryer cooking. Every brand and model of air fryer cooks slightly differently. It's important to monitor your personal air fryer when cooking for adjusting cooking time or batch cooking depending on the size of your air fryer tray or basket.
Make steaks 1-inch thick. Thick cauliflower steaks will stay intact through the cooking process. Any thinner and they tend to fall apart.
How to Store it
Cooked cauliflower in any form is best eaten just after cooking. Otherwise it can become mushy and take on an unappealing aroma. However if you have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in the air fryer.