If you like roasted broccoli, you will LOVE this air fryer broccoli. Crispy and tender, it makes the perfect quick and easy healthy side dish.
Why Air Fryer Broccoli is SO Good
It has the best texture, with the perfection combination of tender (stalks) and crispy (florets). It’s simple and delicious as is, but also makes a great base for other flavors and variations, like parmesan, lemon, and everything but the bagel seasoning. Bonus? It’s crazy good for you, too!
Why It’s So Easy to Make
It couldn’t be easier: simple ingredients and an easy cooking method. If you’ve never cooked with an air fryer before, it is a very time- and energy-efficient and straightforward cooking method.
How to Make Air Fried Broccoli
- Preheat air fryer to 375°F.
- If broccoli is not already chopped, chop it into small florets. You can use the stalk, as well – slice in half length-wise, then make thin half-moon slices.
- Toss broccoli with olive oil (or other neutral oil), salt, and pepper. When air fryer is preheated, add it to the air fryer.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your florets). Halfway through the cooking time, shake the broccoli and toss it around to rotate it.
- Remove broccoli from the air fryer when done. Add any additional seasonings and flavor enhancers if desired (i.e. freshly grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of pesto, or squeeze of fresh lemon).
Extra Tips to Make This Recipe
Make this recipe perfect for your preference:
- Use all broccoli florets if you prefer.
- If you prefer larger florets, that’s fine! But if so, I would strongly recommend steaming in the microwave for about 3 minutes beforehand. If not, the stems will still be quite firm after the 8-10 minutes in the air fryer.
- Air frying the stalk is delicious! Be sure to slice the stalk in thin half-moons, about a quarter-inch thick (or even give it a large dice), so they will be done inside and slightly crisp outside. If you prefer larger stalk pieces, take the same recommendation for larger florets and steam them a few minutes in the microwave before air frying.
- Note that the air fryer will seem slightly crowded initially (the broccoli will be overlapping and slightly layered), and that’s okay. It shrinks down as it cooks.
What type of air fryer is best?
My general philosophy is whichever one you have! That said, if you’re in the market for one, my personal preference is for a larger air fryer (i.e. a 6-quart air fryer). These not only hold more, but typically have a larger base of the “frying” basket, which is great for recipes that require food to be placed in a single layer.
I have the Instant Pot Vortex 6 quart Air Fryer and I LOVE IT. It’s insanely easy and intuitive to use and I’ve been so impressed with everything I’ve made!
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Do I need to add water to the air fryer?
No. I’ve seen some air fryer broccoli recipes that suggest adding water to the bottom of the air fryer underneath the grate. I’ve tried this method and honestly found it to be a bit of a nuisance and not beneficial. It took longer for my air fryer to preheat and I truly don’t feel it made a positive impact on the finished product at all.
There are so many ways you can get creative and play with the flavors here!
- Grate parmesan cheese over the broccoli as soon as it’s done, so the cheese will melt a little over the freshly hot veggies. You could also add grated parmesan prior to air frying so the parmesan will get crispy and crunchy, too.
- Serve with a dip, anything from marinara to ranch (a kid favorite).
- All aboard the Everything but the Bagel seasoning trend? Skip seasoning with salt and pepper and instead toss your broccoli with everything but the bagel seasoning – yum!
- Drizzle with pesto (I’m biased, but totally partial to my spinach basil pesto from my free “Eat Your Veggies” ebook).
- Add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning for an Italian-spiced broccoli.
- Squeeze fresh lemon wedges and top with freshly ground black pepper for a lemon pepper broccoli.
- Add some cumin and curry powder for an Indian-inspired crispy broccoli.
Can you use frozen broccoli in the air fryer?
Absolutely! In fact, any frozen vegetable can be used in the air fryer. I find that (depending on the vegetable) I need to add a couple to a few extra minutes in the air fryer. Wait to add any oil and seasoning until halfway through cooking.
With this air fryer frozen broccoli, cook for 10-12 minutes.
Is this recipe healthy?
Absolutely! It’s a vegetable and is air fried with minimal additional ingredients. One serving has three grams of protein, three grams of fiber, and can fit into a variety of dietary patterns and lifestyles, including paleo, vegan, vegetarian, keto, Whole30, gluten-free, and so many more.
Know, too, that “healthy” is subjective. The foods that help one maintain their health may or may not work for you – and that’s okay! Honor the body you have. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I suggest eating a variety of nourishing foods that help you feel good and achieve or maintain your health, balanced with the foods you love. Remember – an election isn’t won with every vote, but the majority. Your health is the same way – the overall dietary pattern is what matters most.
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- Air Fryer Baked Potato
- Broccoli Kale Quinoa Salad
- Maple Dijon Brussels Sprouts
- Cranberry Crunch Broccoli Slaw
Air Fryer Broccoli
If you like roasted broccoli you will LOVE this air fryer broccoli. Crispy and tender, it makes the perfect quick and easy healthy side dish.
- 1 lb broccoli (cut into small florets)
- 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper
Optional Additional Flavorings:
- lemon wedges
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- a drizzle of flavored seasoning oil
Preheat air fryer to 375°F.
If broccoli is not already chopped, chop broccoli into small florets. You can air fry the stalk, as well – slice in half length-wise, then make thin half-moon slices.
Toss broccoli with olive oil (or other neutral oil), salt, and pepper. When air fryer is preheated, add broccoli to air fryer.
Cook for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your florets and how tender you like your broccoli). Halfway through the cooking time, shake the broccoli and toss it around to rotate it.
Remove broccoli from the air fryer when done. Add any additional seasonings and flavor enhancers if desired (i.e. freshly grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of pesto, or squeeze of fresh lemon).