How to cook a whole cauliflower in the air fryer! This is a very easy vegan Thanksgiving dinner recipe.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 1hour15minutes
Total Time 1hour15minutes
Author Healing Tomato
COSORI Air Fryer
For marinating the cauliflower
1.5cupsred bell pepper pestoyou can use regular pesto
1Tbspbuttercut into small squares, vegan or grass-fed butter
For cooking the cauliflower
1tspbutterto brush the baking dish, vegan or grass-fed butter
1.5cupsred bell pepper pestoto baste the cauliflower
For garnish (optional)
2basil leavescut chiffondale
2tspextra virgin olive oil
For the pesto (if making your own)
2Tbsppine nutslightly roasted
2cuppurplish basilor regular basil
1tspsaltAdjust to taste
3Tbspextra virgin olive oil
8ozbell pepper strips1/2 of a jar
If you are making the pesto, blend the ingredients of the pesto and set aside
Cut the bottom of the cauliflower. Remove any leaves and stems.
Place the cauliflower in a bowl, top down.
Start by adding the pesto at the bottom of the cauliflower and let it flow into the inside of the cauliflower
Turn it over and drizzle the remaining pesto on it
Get a plastic wrap piece (about 16"x12")
Tuck small butter pieces at the bottom of the cauliflower
Wrap the cauliflower and place it in a bowl
Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours
After marinating, remove from the refrigerator and set aside
Lightly butter a baking dish
Unwrap the cauliflower and place it in the baking dish.
Top it with about 1 cup of the basil pesto.
Use a basting brush to make sure the whole cauliflower gets drenched in the pesto
Place baking dish in the basket of the air fryer
Replace basket in air fryer and set it to 320°F (160°C) for 50 minutes
At about the 25 minute mark, remove the basket and baste it with the remaining 1/2 cup of bell pepper pesto
Put the cauliflower back in the air fryer and complete the cooking process
Once it's completed cooking, immediately turn up your air fryer tempreture to 350°F (176°C)
Cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes or until the outside has just turned crispy
Remove from the air fryer and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately
*** CALORIES INFORMATION IS APPROXIMATE. CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.TIPS
Use a small head of cauliflower. I used a 3lb cauliflower which came out to just a little more than 2.5lbs after I removed all the unwanted parts.
The Air fryer cook times are all based on the size of my cauliflower. If your cauliflower is bigger or smaller, please adjust the cooking time accordingly.
My cauliflower took 50 minutes to make in the air fryer, but, check yours at the 45min mark. Depending on your air fryer model, you may need to stop it sooner than 50minutes.
Make sure you get the pesto into all the nook and crannies of the cauliflower. This way, your cauliflower has a more of an even taste. Use a turkey baster, if you have too!!!
A radical way to do this would be to submerge the whole cauliflower into a bowl filled with the pesto. Keep it submerged overnight. Cover the top with a plastic wrap and then place the bowl in the refrigerator, overnight.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend letting the cauliflower marinate overnight in the pesto sauce. It will make sure the sauce gets into most of the cauliflower. If you can't keep it overnight, try for at least 8hours.
Personally, I have never seen the need to preheat the air fryer. But, if you want to preheat it, you can do it. Just check your cook time, because it will be about 30-40 minutes.
If you don't want to cook it in the air fryer, you can cook it in your oven. Preheat it to 320°F and then cook the cauliflower for about 1hr 20min. Broil it for about 7min to get that crispy top.
You can use regular pesto instead of using my red bell pepper pesto.