Air Fryer Broccoli

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If you love crispy broccoli, you’re going to love this Air Fryer Broccoli. It cooks in just 10 minutes, so it’s faster than roasting it in the oven, and it’s definitely crispier, too!

air fryer broccoli on a white plate

Benefits of Broccoli

Why is broccoli good for you? Broccoli is an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals.

Here’s why you’ll love it:

When you cook broccoli in the air fryer, it also makes the perfect side dish for almost any dinner recipe you love.

How to Cook Broccoli in the Air Fryer

The air fryer has a tendency to crisp the outside of veggies before the insides are tender, so the key to making perfect air fryer broccoli is to cut it into relatively small pieces first.

broccoli cut into small pieces and seasoned in bowl

I always make sure to cut the stem in half, or into quarters, so that they will cook faster, then preheat your air fryer to 360ºF.

Toss the broccoli with olive oil and your favorite seasonings. I like to use a little lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt, but any seasonings will work here!

Transfer the seasoned broccoli to the air fryer basket and arrange it in a single layer, without too many pieces overlapping. For the crispiest results, don’t overcrowd your air fryer.

broccoli before and after cooking in air fryer basket

Cook at 360ºF for 10 minutes. This is usually the perfect cooking time for 1 to 2-inch broccoli pieces.

If your broccoli pieces are on the smaller side, you can check on them a couple minutes earlier, and if they are larger, they might need another minute or two of cooking. Luckily with the air fryer, it’s easy to add extra time if you need it.

Serve the air fryer broccoli right away, for the crispiest texture. For extra flavor, you can also top it with a sprinkle of Parmesan and black pepper, but this recipe is vegan if you don’t add any cheese to it. (Or try my Vegan Parmesan for a dairy-free spin!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Steam Vegetables in the Air Fryer? The air fryer cooks with hot air, similar to a convection oven, so your vegetables won’t be steamed unless you really fill the air fryer basket. When I tried cooking 2 pounds of broccoli at once, the result was more like steamed broccoli, with only a few random pieces with crispy edges.

For truly steamed broccoli, you might be better off using a steamer basket on the stove, or try Instant Pot broccoli for a hands-off experience.

Which air fryer is best? For the crispiest results, I recommend using a basket-style air fryer, as opposed to an oven-style air fryer. I own this NuWave model, but I’ve heard the Ninja air fryer doesn’t smell as much when you first use it. (I want to try this out myself soon!)

If you use an oven-style air fryer, in my experience the result is more like oven-roasted broccoli. It’s not quite as crispy, but it’s still delicious!

Note: If you own the Cuisinart air fryer, keep in mind that it tends to run hot (sometimes up to 50ºF hotter than other models) so you may want to use a lower heat to get similar results.

Cooking Frozen Broccoli

Can you cook frozen broccoli in the air fryer? Yes, you can add frozen broccoli directly into your air fryer and run a 5-minute cycle to help it thaw it first.

After you run that cycle, you can toss the broccoli with your favorite seasonings, like olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, cook it again for 5 minutes, or a few minutes longer until it’s crispy on the outside.

Frozen broccoli in the air fryer turns out a little more tender and not quite as crunchy-crispy as fresh broccoli, but I’m surprised by how much I like it! I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

crispy broccoli on serving plate

Air Fryer Broccoli (Fresh or Frozen)

Here's how to cook broccoli in the air fryer so it turns out perfectly crispy every time! Air fryer broccoli cooks in 10 minutes for a fast side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine air fryer
Keyword air fryer broccoli
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 123kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 360ºF and cut the broccoli into small pieces. You want to make sure there are no very thick stems, which might not get tender during the short cooking time. I usually cut the broccoli florets in half, or into quarters.
    broccoli cut into small pieces and seasoned in bowl
  • In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Once it's evenly coated, transfer the broccoli to the preheated air fryer and cook at 360ºF for 9 to 10 minutes.
    broccoli before and after cooking in air fryer basket
  • The broccoli is usually done in 10 minutes, but you can add a minute or two more, if you need to. Serve warm right away for the crispiest results. This seasoning is delicious on its own, or you can add any other toppings you like, too. Leftover broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it's crispiest the first day you make it.
    air fryer broccoli on a white plate

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for half the batch. This is just an estimate, and not a guarantee.
If you’d like to cook frozen broccoli in the air fryer, you’ll need to thaw it for 360ºF for 5 minutes first. Then add the seasoning, and return to the air fryer to cook at 360ºF for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are crispy.

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Vitamin C: 155mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg

More Air Fryer Recipes

Want to get the most out of your air fryer? Try these other recipes, too!

If you try this air fryer broccoli, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too!

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