This Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower recipe is not only easy to make but also delicious! Makes a great appetizer or snack when you’re craving something spicy. All you need is a head of cauliflower, some simple ingredients, and your air fryer.
Try my Mexican Guacamole recipe for another vegetarian appetizer.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and as such, it contains lots of healthy nutrients. In addition, it’s naturally low-carb and gluten-free, which means this recipe is perfect for those on a keto diet (skip the honey) and those who are sensitive to gluten.
Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower, similar to cauliflower wings, is the perfect side dish for those who want something light and healthy. It's got all the flavors of classic bang bang chicken without the added calories.
The recipe starts with a head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces, and air fried until crisp on the outside but still tender on the inside. Next, the cauliflower gets tossed in a fantastic blend of spices and dipped in a mouthwatering sauce.
You will love how incredibly simple this recipe is, and your taste buds will thank you for making such a fantastic recipe!
5 Reason to make this recipe
- Easy and quick - your air fryer will cook your bang bang cauliflower in under 15 minutes. Air Frying makes this flavorful cauliflower crispy on the outside and warm and tender on the inside.
- Healthy - this is a great snack or appetizer for special diets such as vegetarian or vegan. This recipe doesn't use panko breadcrumbs so it's gluten free too.
- Cost-effective - a head of cauliflower can be purchased for a very low price at most grocery stores. Plus, the other ingredients needed for this recipe are probably ones you already have on hand.
- Versatile - you can change the spices that you coat your cauliflower in to change the flavor profile however you like it with this dish.
- Great with any meal - you can make this cauliflower an appetizer or side to compliment any meal. Cauliflower can go with just about anything!
Cauliflower - a fresh head of cauliflower cut into florets is best, but you can also use pre-cut cauliflower if that is easier.
Garlic & onion powder - it’s best to use the powdered versions for this recipe as they help coat the cauliflower pieces for air frying. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
Smoked paprika - I prefer to use the smoked version of paprika for this recipe, but if you do not like the flavor of smoked, you can use regular paprika instead.
Cornstarch - you do not want to leave out this ingredient, as coating your cauliflower with cornstarch is what makes it crispy.
Honey - the honey gives your cauliflower a bit of sweetness to compliment the other spicier flavors. You can use agave syrup instead if you prefer. Omit for low carb or keto diets.
Sriracha - this chili sauce is what gives your bang bang cauliflower that delicious kick. If you are worried that it will be too spicy for your taste, you can leave this out or reduce it to 2 teaspoons for a more mild version.
Rice vinegar and sesame oil - gives this recipe that unique umami taste. Use regular or apple cider vinegar if that’s what you have on hand.
Love healthy cauliflower recipes? Try my Asian Lettuce Wraps!
Always start with clean hands, work area, and kitchen utensils.
Step One: Mix the Bang Bang Sauce ingredients together and set aside. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F. While the air fryer is preheating, cut the cauliflower into florets. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
Step Two: In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the dried cauliflower to a large bowl and toss with oil. Sprinkle the seasoning over cauliflower and mix to coat each piece. Then, sprinkle with cornstarch, tossing to evenly coat.
Step 3: Add the cauliflower to the air fryer basket in an even layer. Cook at 390 degrees F for about 12 minutes, shaking every 3 to 5 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary. While cauliflower is cooking, mix honey, sriracha (if using) rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Step 4: When cauliflower is cooked, remove it from the air fryer and place it in a medium bowl. Toss with honey mixture. Return cauliflower to the air fryer and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes more, being sure it doesn't burn. Serve immediately with Bang Band Dipping Sauce.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Try to keep each cauliflower floret from touching in the air fryer.
- Add some parmesan cheese to the tops of your florets before air frying for a delicious cheesy flavor.
- Buy pre-cut cauliflower florets for quicker prep.
- Adjust the sriracha amount to suit your taste preference.
- Keep a close eye on the cauliflower so it doesn't burn.
- Dip in sweet chili sauce if you want a lighter dipping sauce.
How to serve bang bang cauliflower
Eat it for a snack, appetizer, side dish, or even a light lunch. Eat it plain, with sweet chili sauce, or even my homemade ranch dressing.
Throw these on top of a salad for a flavorful crunch instead of croutons.
Serve over zoodles with some grated parmesan cheese for a yummy low-carb dinner.
Store covered in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. These are my favorite storage container because they are freezer and microwave safe!
Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months—thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
To reheat from refrigerated: microwave desired amount until heated through. Be sure to cover the container to keep the moisture in.
Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes.
Air fry at 325 degrees F for 3 to 5 minutes.
To reheat from frozen: Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 to 18 minutes.
Air fry at 380 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.
Times will vary, so always check food to be sure it doesn't overcook.
Most asked questions
Yes, it typically is as you do not need to use extra oil or other fat to "fry" food in an air fryer. You can have ultra-crispy food without all of the added fat and cholesterol when air frying.
In most keto diets, cornstarch and honey is forbidden as it does contain quite a bit of carbs. Skip these ingredients to enjoy a low carb treat!
More air fryer recipes
Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower
Bang Bang Sauce
- ⅓ cup mayo regular or vegan
- 2 tablespoons sriracha or another chili paste like sambal oelek, more to taste
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, more to taste
For the cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or another mild flavored oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons sriracha; reduce to 2 teaspoons for a mild version
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Bang Bang Sauce
- Mix mayo, sriracha, and honey in a small bowl. Set aside while preparing the rest of the recipe.
To make cauliflower:
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F.
- Cut cauliflower into florets. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add dried cauliflower to a large bowl and toss with oil. Sprinkle seasoning over cauliflower and mix to coat each piece. Then, sprinkle with cornstarch, tossing to evenly coat.
- Add cauliflower to the air fryer basket in an even layer. Cook at 390 degrees F for about 12 minutes, shaking every 3 to 5 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary.
- While cauliflower is cooking, mix honey, sriracha (if using) rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
- When cauliflower is cooked, remove from the air fryer and place in a medium bowl. Pour honey mixture over and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to the air fryer and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes more.
- Serve immediately with Bang Band Dipping Sauce.