After three attempts, I finally cracked the code. I figured out how to make the best vegan air fried chicken ever, and it’s oil free.
Let’s start from the beginning…
I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around air fryers, so I watched a few videos and perused a few blogs so that I could figure out my plan of attack. My first attempt was pitiful, a waste of cauliflower lol. My second attempt was a bit better, but I still wasn’t satisfied.
I got the idea to marinate the cauliflower beforehand (4 hours or overnight if possible) and I knew that this was going to be a game changer. I also separated the wet and the dry batter because, well…duh! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I combined the two, that was the super bland 1st attempt.
I bought my airfryer on Amazon. It’s generic, the instructions are in terrible English, and the box sat in my apartment just for two weeks just in case I hated it. Vegan fried chicken was my air fryer’s final exam and it passed with flying colors. It cost me $56 and you can purchase it here. Air fryers work by circulating air at extremely high temperatures in order to fry foods without using oil. Air frying uses 80% less fat than traditional frying and there’s less waste and easier cleanup.
The results were a-maze-ing! Marinating the cauliflower made the ‘meat’ so juicy and tender and it even pulled apart the way chicken tenders do. The air fryer perfectly crisped all sides of every piece. However, please, please, please make sure your shaking off-excess-batter skills are on point so you can avoid having random mushy pieces. Also, tongs! You will definitely want to use them for this recipe instead of getting thick, sticky batter all over your fingers. I will definitely be doing more air fryer recipes, so stay tuned!
Check out the final recipe below. I promise it will be the best you’ve ever tasted.
Vegan Air Fried Chicken
- 2 medium sized mixing bowls
- 4 cups almond milk
- 4 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs (Panko if possible, I used Trader Joe's)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp seasoned salt
Creole Seasoning Mix
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic salt
Wash and cut cauliflower into medium/large sized pieces. Combine wet batter/marinade ingredients into two separate medium-sized mixing bowls. 2 cups almond milk, 2 tbsp poultry seasoning, and 1 tsp seasoned salt in each bowl. Mix ingredients well, saturate cauliflower, and then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Combine dry batter ingredients. Add in Creole Seasoning mix. Mix well.
Grease the entire inside of the air fryer basket and rack (if applicable) with coconut oil.
Take one bowl of the marinated cauliflower out of the fridge and removed cauliflower from bowl. Using tongs, take each piece of cauliflower submerge in marinade mix. Shake off excess liquid and then toss in the dry batter mix. Once cauliflower is completely covered, shake off the excess and then dip back into the liquid. Dip the cauliflower in the dry batter again and then once more into the wet batter. Place cauliflower in greased air fryer basket. Repeat for all pieces and the second bowl of cauliflower.
Do not overfill the air fryer. Do not stack caulifower on top of each other. This might cause the pieces to stick together, not sure. I placed about 4 pieces into the basket at a time.
Cook at 392 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn cauliflower.
After cooking all the pieces, you can toss them (stacked) back into the air fryer for 5 minutes if you need to reheat them or if they've been sitting out and you need to make them crispier. No need to turn them once cooked. They will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Serve with honey mustard. Recipe below.
Vegan Honey Mustard
- 1 tbsp Veganaise
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Double ingredients for 2 servings, triple for 3, etc.
Watch the air fryer in action here: