This really quick & easy Airfryer Popcorn Cauliflower is a popular Vegan appetizer, served with boom boom sauce. Dredged in flour slurry and panko, then air-fried to crispy perfection – it is crispy, savory, delicious, and perfect for sharing! Try this recipe at home and enjoy healthy Crispy cauliflower guilt-free!
About this recipe – Crispy Cauliflower ‘popcorn’
I can certainly tell you, that you will not miss any flavors of deep-fried crispy cauliflower!! Plain Cauliflower has actually got a makeover with this crispy Vegan Popcorn cauliflower and is ready in under 20 minutes in the Airfryer / Oven.
Why buy the M&S plant kitchen popcorn cauliflower, when you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost and quicker too!
This healthy crispy popcorn cauliflower bites recipe is pretty straightforward and uses my secret ingredient Soda water for added crispiness. Using soda water in the recipe lends extra crispiness compared to using water for the flour batter mix.
My kids loved the popcorn cauliflower with ketchup and they have requested this on the weekly dinner menu again. Funnily enough, they like to call it cauliflower bites and crispy cauliflower.
This recipe is versatile and can be adapted to make a Korean style or Vietnamese style too. Try this Korean Gochujang Sauce recipe for a variation!
Brand New Instant Pot Vortex Airfryer 8 in 1
Instant Pot UK recently has launched their brand new Vortex Plus Dual Drawer Air fryer 8 in 1 and I am lucky to have received one of the first ones in the UK. This newest model to their air fryer range will allow you to take your Air Frying to the next level!
ClearCook window allows you to monitor progress without disrupting the cooking cycle. I am enjoying the ultimate convenience of Dual Air Fryer Baskets – cooking two separate foods at the same time.
When I was making this Popcorn cauliflower in my left basket, I popped in raw peanuts into the right to make 10 minutes Air fryer Cajun roasted Peanuts. How convenient and time-saving isn’t it!
CAULIFLOWER -This recipe uses one medium Cauliflower, separated into 3/4 inch florets.
FLOUR – Use Plain Flour( All-Purpose flour) or even Gluten-free Plain flour for the crispy cauliflower.
SODA WATER – Any carbonated water like Soda water or Seltzer is the key to crispiness! A friend taught me this technique when she made her version of onion rings. You can as well use Water, but Soda water makes all the difference.
BREAD CRUMBS – Use Panko Bread crumbs or any other breadcrumbs for coating the cauliflower.
SEASONING SPICES – I have used Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper for seasoning. You can also add Italian seasoning and Onion Powder too, however it is optional. Sometimes I also like to add a pinch of turmeric too.
OIL – Use Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, or any Oil spray for brushing on the cauliflower.
How to make Air fryer Popcorn Cauliflower?
Prepare the Cauliflower -Wash and dry the cauliflower. Slice the cauliflower head into florets.
Vegan Popcorn cauliflower batter – Prepare a flour batter mix by combining flour, soda water, and salt. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until the batter is smooth. If you prefer using water instead of carbonated water, you can also do that. However, Soda water will lend extra crispiness.
Prepare the Panko Seasoning – Combine the Panko bread crumbs and seasoning spices.
Coat the Cauliflower – Pick one cauliflower floret at a time, dip into the flour mix shaking off the excess then coat with panko seasoning.
Air fry – Preheat the Airfryer at 190C for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the air fryer basket and air fry for 11-13 minutes until browned and crispy. At half time, brush the cauliflower florets with oil. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.
Oven Bake – Don’t want to use the air fryer, Oven bake the crispy cauliflower bites. Bake in 200C preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until browned and crispy.
Why you’ll love this recipe?
Quick & Easy – I find this Airfryer popcorn cauliflower recipe really quick and easy. It is pretty straightforward and involves just 2 proper steps. The first step is to dredge the cauliflower in the flour batter and panko. The second step is either to Air fry or Oven bake to perfection.
Alternative favorite recipe – This crispy popcorn cauliflower is the Vegan alternative to the popular popcorn chicken. My meat-loving friends also love these too!
Budget-friendly recipe – The recipe uses inexpensive ingredients to create an excellent Vegan appetizer.
Versatile – Popcorn cauliflower is great as an appetizer and it doubles up as a side dish too.
Healthy – Tasty Crispy Cauliflower recipe is healthy as is Air fried or Oven Baked and uses very little oil for brushing.
Uses a fraction of Oil – While Air frying any recipe, I like to add very little oil as necessary. This recipe for air fryer popcorn cauliflower uses only a fraction of oil than the deep-fried version.
Dietary requirements – Vegetarian, Vegan, and Dairy-Free. It can be Gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour and gluten-free bread crumbs.
What to serve with Popcorn Cauliflower ?
What to do with leftovers?
In the Fridge: Store any leftover popcorn cauliflower in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To Reheat: Place it back in the Air fryer at 190C for 3-4 minutes or Oven just before serving.
Do not microwave for reheating, as the crunch will be lost.
Can I make Popcorn Cauliflower gluten-free?
Use Gluten-free Plain flour or Almond flour for the recipe and Gluten-free bread crumbs. I have used Almond flour for Air fryer Cauliflower wings and they taste fabulous.
Crispy Popcorn Cauliflower recipe below
- 1 medium cauliflower separated into florets.
- 1 cup plain flour or all purpose flour
- 1 cup soda water (carbonated water) or water
- Salt to taste
- 2 ½ cup panko crumbs
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning optional
- 2 tsp oil for brushing
- Wash and dry the cauliflower head. Cut them into florets. Approximately 3 Cups of florets.
- For the flour slurry – Add flour, soda water, salt in a mixing bowl and whisk smooth. Flour slurry should be thick enough to coat the florets well and set it aside.
- For Panko seasoning – Combine panko, spices in a bowl. Mix with a fork.
- Dip the cauliflower florets individually into the flour slurry, shake off any excess and then into the panko seasoning.
Air fryer Instructions
- Preheat the Air fryer at 190C for 3 minutes.
- Working in batches, Arrange the coated cauliflower florets in a single layer into the air fryer basket. Air fryer at 190 C for 10 -12 minutes or until browned. At half time, brush the cauliflower generously with oil.
- Preheat the oven at 200C. Arrange the cauliflower on a baking tray. Brush or spray the cauliflower with oil.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned and crispy.
Linkies – I am linking this up to Cook Blog Share.
Disclosure – Sandhya’s Kitchen was kindly gifted Vortex Plus Dual Drawer 8 in 1 with clear cook by InstantPot UK.