The best ever cauliflower cheese in air fryer. Made with a hidden veggie cheese sauce and frozen cauliflower this is the easiest and healthiest cauliflower cheese you will ever make.
You will also love how this air fryer cauliflower cheese is made just with kitchen gadgets and no boiling of cauliflower or pan with cheese sauce is needed.
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Air Fryer Cauliflower Cheese
This week is all about cauliflower cooked in kitchen gadgets. We have shown you instant pot cauliflower, instant pot cauliflower cheese, instant pot cauliflower mash and our personal favourite air fryer frozen cauliflower.
But a reader recently messaged us and said please can you make us an air fryer cauliflower cheese, without using a pan.
I took a look and found plenty of air fryer cauliflower cheese recipes, but was surprised to find that they were not really cauliflower cheese air fryer options. Instead it was cook the cauliflower in a pan of boiling water, make the cheese sauce in a pan and then assemble and air fry.
So in a nutshell it was a recipe for melting the cheese on top of the cauliflower, like how you finish a cauliflower cheese in the oven.
That is not how I want to make cauliflower cheese in air fryer. I want to make a recipe for cauliflower cheese that makes my life easier.
That is what I have done in this cauliflower cheese air fryer recipe.
We cook frozen cauliflower in the air fryer, we make an air fryer cheese sauce and then put it together and finish off with some extra cheese in the air fryer. Plus, plenty of cheese sauce leftover for freezing for your next veggie bake or cauliflower cheese.
Today I will be showing you how to cook cauliflower cheese in air fryer, my cheats cauliflower cheese, cooking sauces in the air fryer, how to make cauliflower cheese with frozen cauliflower and so much more.
If you love a cheese sauce do check out our air fryer lasagna too as we make this homemade in the air fryer in a similar way to this recipe. Or why try
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Can You Put Sauces In An Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put sauces in an air fryer, but you must think about the clear up of them. If you just place a sauce in the average air fryer basket, the sauce will leak into the bottom of the air fryer, and clean up will be a nightmare.
Instead, we use silicone pans, or baking trays that will fit the air fryer, or we use some foil.
Can You Cook Cauliflower Cheese In An Air Fryer?
Yes, you can cook cauliflower cheese in the air fryer, and you will love it. You can use the air fryer to finish off the cauliflower cheese (like you normally do with the oven), you can reheat cauliflower cheese in the air fryer, and you can also cook a frozen cauliflower cheese in the air fryer.
Can You Make Cauliflower Cheese With Frozen Cauliflower?
Yes, you can make a cauliflower cheese with frozen cauliflower, and that is exactly what we are showing you today, because we are starting by showing you our air fryer frozen cauliflower recipe and then transforming it into an air fryer cauliflower cheese.
If you have not cooked with frozen cauliflower before, then it’s a home cooks dream come true. Cauliflower that is frozen is really nutritious because the cauliflower is blanched and frozen at its best time and its not been loaded with chemicals to keep it lasting longer in a supermarket.
Cauliflower Cheese In Ninja Air Fryer
Do you have a ninja air fryer and want to make a ninja cauliflower cheese? Then you can. Simply follow our recipe for cauliflower cheese, then instead of using the same air fryer as we have, you can make it with the Ninja Air Fryer.
Or maybe you are looking for a cauliflower cheese recipe UK that is made in the Ninja Foodi. Then you have options….
For a Ninja Foodi Cauli Cheese you can either follow this recipe and use the air fryer basket of your ninja foodi or you can follow our instant pot cauliflower cheese recipe which uses the pressure cooker function.
How To Make Cauliflower Cheese With Frozen Cauliflower?
I am sure you want to know how I do it. How we make cauliflower cheese with frozen cauliflower.
Well, it’s FASTER & EASIER.
We air fry butternut squash cubes for a cauliflower cheese sauce with hidden veggies. Then we air fry frozen cauliflower and then its all assembled together.
By making a cauli cheese with frozen cauliflower its easier because there are no florets to chop and frozen cauliflower cooks better than fresh in the air fryer.
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Cauliflower Cheese Ingredients
Butternut Squash – For a cheats cauliflower cheese and one that is lower in calories, we make the cheese sauce from butternut squash. You need about one medium butternut squash for a cheese sauce and its so yummy.
Cauliflower – We get large bags of frozen cauliflower from Iceland and have a few of them in our freezer. About half a bag or the equivalent of one large cauliflower into florets is perfect. Though you can downsize if you are feeding less.
Oil – Please don’t skip the oil as it stops everything from going dry, especially the butternut squash. We recommend extra virgin olive oil and then adding it to the bowl with the squash as you prep it.
Cheese – Of course cauliflower cheese in air fryer requires plenty of cheese! We used a mix of hard and soft cheese. We had about 300g of red leicester and cheddar cheese combined. Then also for the creamy cheese sauce element we have Philadelphia cream cheese.
Seasoning – Then for seasoning we used salt, pepper, oregano, and some mixed herbs.
We also recommend some of our instant pot veggie stock for combining with the butternut squash, and cheeses to give extra flavour to the cheese sauce part of the cauliflower cheese.
Can You Recommend An Air Fryer?
I often get asked which air fryers I recommend and which one I use. In 95% of our air fryer recipes, we use either the Philips Air Fryer XL or the Cosori XL because they are the best ones, we have found out of many air fryers we have tried over the years. You can click on the links above and read up on them.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested everyday air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10+ years.
How To Cook Cauliflower Cheese In Air Fryer?
- Roast. Let’s start with the cheese sauce for the cauliflower. Place peeled and diced butternut squash into a bowl with salt, pepper, oregano, mixed herbs and olive oil. Mix well with your hands. Place the seasoned squash into the air fryer basket, spread it out and roast butternut squash in the air fryer for 20 minutes at 180c/360f.
- Sauce. When the air fryer beeps add the butternut squash into your favourite blender, along with veggie stock, hard and soft cheeses, and extra seasoning. Blend until smooth and if too thick adjust with some skimmed milk.
- Cauliflower. Next place frozen cauliflower into the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes at 180c/360f. Season the cauliflower once cooked.
- Assemble. Then for the final step in this easy cauliflower cheese you need to put it together. Add the cauliflower into an air fryer friendly container, then smoother in cheese sauce and then you can finish with some grated cheese on top. Then air fry for 10 minutes at 180c/360f or until you have that amazing golden look on top.
How Long To Cook Cauliflower Cheese In Air Fryer?
We recommend a cauliflower cheese cooking time of 45 minutes. Before you say, this is longer to make a cauliflower cheese in the air fryer, then the oven, then note we don’t have a pan for the cauliflower, a pan for the cheese sauce, then an oven dish to bake in the oven.
Plus, if you look at a standard cauliflower cheese and add up separately the three stages it would still be longer.
I also prefer cauliflower cheese in air fryer, because everything happens in one place, it’s a simple cauliflower cheese anyone can make and perfect for walking away and letting the air fryer do the hard work.
Can Cauliflower Cheese Be Frozen?
Yes, your cauliflower cheese air fryer leftovers can be frozen and they are just as delicious.
Our set up on Boxing Day is usually the same – lots of containers of leftover cauliflower cheese and the same for broccoli cheese and some potato gratin. We will then label up the containers and freeze the cauliflower cheese for later. Then of course, you can reheat cauliflower cheese in the air fryer.
What To Serve With Cauliflower Cheese?
A roast dinner of course, cauliflower cheese is always present (well in our house and most of the UK) as part of an English roast dinner on a Sunday, or for special occasions like Christmas or Easter.
Then beyond the roast meat and the air fryer cauliflower cheese, you could also serve it with air fryer roast potatoes, air fryer stuffing balls, air fryer pigs in blankets, air fryer homemade Yorkshire puddings or our air fryer honey glazed carrots.
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Learn how to air fry cauliflower cheese below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Cauliflower Cheese In Air Fryer
- 700 g Frozen Cauliflower 1/2 large bag
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
- Salt & Pepper
- Extra Grated Cheese For Sprinkling optional
Cheese Sauce For Cauliflower
- Place your peeled and cubed butternut squash into a bowl and add to it the olive oil and the seasonings and mix well with your hands.
- Air fry butternut squash for 20 minutes at 180c/360f. Then do a fork test to make sure it is fork tender.
- Whilst you wait add the remaining cheese sauce ingredients into your blender. Then when the air fryer beeps add the squash and blend until you have a creamy sauce. Do a taste test and add extra cheese if needed, you can adjust seasonings and if too thick blend in about 240ml/1 cup of skimmed milk. Then put the cheese sauce to one side.
- In the meantime, add the frozen cauliflower to the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes at 180c/360f.
- When the air fryer beeps and the cauliflower is cooked, place the cauliflower into your air fryer container and season with the remaining seasonings. Give it a mix for an even coating of seasonings.
- Pour the cheese sauce you already made over the cauliflower and then sprinkle with some grated cheese.
- Air fry cauliflower cheese for a final 10 minutes at the same temperature and then serve.