If you love roasted vegetables that are tender with crispy, caramelized edges, you will love this air fryer broccoli. Full of flavor and easy to prepare, learn how to cook broccoli in the air fryer in less than 20 minutes for a simple side dish that goes with almost any meal.
I've been making blanched broccoli for stir frys, casseroles or seasoned to serve as a side dish for years. It's a handy method to know but I really love the flavor of roasted broccoli. It's warm, nutty and both tender and crisp at the same time.
Roasted broccoli pairs perfectly with almost any main dish but it takes a while to cook. If I'm already using my oven, it can take a fair amount of juggling to roast broccoli and have it cooked perfectly when I'm ready to serve the meal.
Thankfully, air fryer broccoli is so easy, cooks quickly and has all the qualities of roasted broccoli without taking up space in the oven. The air fryer is perfect for cooking broccoli florets and it's just another excellent use of your air fryer.
- Broccoli – Look for 2 medium-sized fresh broccoli crowns.
- Olive Oil – You can use something a little bolder in flavor like EVOO or use your favorite light, neutral-flavored oil.
- Salt and Pepper – Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, powdered ranch or your favorite seasonings add a lovely boost of flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Break or cut the broccoli crowns into bite-size pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the broccoli with the oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss the broccoli around so it gets a nice even coating.
- Put the broccoli in the air fryer basket or rack and spread it out evenly. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Give the basket a good shake or turn broccoli if using an air fryer with racks. Cook for another 8 -10 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. Cool slightly before serving.
Hint: For tender broccoli, cut the broccoli florets into small, even-sized pieces.
- Make It Cheesy - Sprinkle the broccoli with grated Parmesan cheese for the last few minutes of cooking.
- Swap the Seasoning - Season the broccoli with your favorite herbs, spices and seasoning blends to pair the flavor with your favorite main dish. Seasoned salt, cajun seasoning, Greek seasoning, etc. are all great options.
- Use Cauliflower – You can make this same recipe using cauliflower or a blend of broccoli and cauliflower.
- Low Sodium – You can reduce or eliminate the salt for a low sodium diet.
- Kid-Friendly – Serve with a dip such as ranch dressing to entice those picky eaters to try a few bites.
Leftover air fryer broccoli can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes until warm and crispy.
You can freeze broccoli in a freezer bag for about 6 weeks. The texture will not be as crisp and the broccoli may become mushy. While not ideal as a stand alone side dish, it is perfect for adding to your favorite recipes.
Leftovers broccoli can be added to omelets, pasta, salads, soups, casseroles, stirfry and more.
- Cut or tear the broccoli into mini florets. Aim for pieces that are similar in size.
- Toss the broccoli with the seasoning rather than sprinkling it. This will help to get the seasoning incorporated into all parts of the broccoli.
- If you want a garlicky flavor, used powdered garlic as fresh garlic will have a tendency to burn.
- Overcrowding the air fryer can lead to soggy broccoli.
- Adding 1 tablespoon of water to the bottom of your air fryer will help the broccoli to get nice and tender.
- Season the broccoli however you wish. You can even cook the broccoli plain if you prefer however a little bit of olive oil will help you to get crispy edges.
- Shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time.
- Air fryer cooking times are approximate and can vary based on your model. You can increase or decrease the cooking time based on your preferences.
- Add a little bit of lemon juice for a bright flavor.
Air fryer roasted broccoli is the perfect side dish for almost any meal. You can also add this broccoli to a salad, toss it with a pasta dish like Vegetarian Penne Pasta or Pasta with White Beans and Kale or use it as a topping on Healthy Pizza.
Serve air fryer broccoli with one of these dishes for a complete dinner.
More Air Fryer Side Dishes
You can make this recipe with frozen broccoli that has been thawed. However, due to the high amount of moisture, the edges of the broccoli will not get as crispy as when using fresh broccoli.
Steaming broccoli will cause it to become very mushy in the air fryer. If you prefer your broccoli on the tender side, add a tablespoon of water to the bottom of your air fryer basket. This will allow the broccoli to steam a little as it roasts so you get tender florets with crispy, nutty edges.
Purchasing pre-cut broccoli in a bag or from the fresh bar at the grocery store is a great shortcut. Just be sure that the broccoli is fresh and use it right away or it will begin to wilt.
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Air Fryer Broccoli
- air fryer
- 2 fresh broccoli crowns
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- optional seasonings (see notes)
- Break or cut the broccoli crowns into bite size pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the broccoli with the oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss the broccoli around so it gets a nice even coatoing.
- Put the broccoli in the air fryer basket or rack and spread out evenly. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Give the basket a good shake or turn broccoli if using an air fryer with racks. Cook for another 8 -10 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. Cool slightly before serving.
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