This easy air fryer broccoli is a quick and healthy side dish that can be easily prepared in just a few minutes. This broccoli recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a delicious way to incorporate more veggies into their diet but don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen!
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Fresh broccoli can be made in so many ways: baked, steamed, boiled, and roasted. I like roasting broccoli in the air fryer because it takes a fraction of the time that an oven does.
Roasting broccoli in the oven can take around 20 minutes, whereas broccoli cooked in the air fryer takes less than 10 minutes to make!
Cooking broccoli in the air fryer helps it retain more of its nutrients than when it’s boiled or steamed. Air frying uses hot air to cook broccoli, which helps it preserve its nutritional value.
For another quick way to incorporate broccoli, try air frying frozen broccoli. I feel that it’s just as good as fresh!
Tips for the Best Air Fryer Broccoli
If you’re using a whole head of broccoli, cut off the stems of the broccoli before air frying (the stems can be used for another recipe, such as soup or stir-fry).
Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets (about 1 ½ inches) that are all the same size. This ensures even cooking.
Preheat – For this fresh broccoli air fryer recipe, preheat the air fryer for about 4 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Prevent Charring – You can add a tablespoon or two of water to the base (drip pan) of the air fryer basket in order to prevent the broccoli florets from charring too much or burning. Don’t add too much water (2 tablespoons max), because that can cause splashes and possibly damage the air fryer!
Cooking Time – The cook time can be anywhere from 7-10 minutes.
Every air fryer will vary. The first time you make this easy recipe for broccoli in the air fryer, monitor and check on them during the cooking process a few minutes before the time is up.
Broccoli is done when it’s tender but has a slightly crunchy texture and crispy edges. Adjust the recipe as needed in the future.
Turning the Broccoli – Turn the broccoli once or twice during the cooking process to make sure they’re evenly cooked. Be careful if you’re shaking the basket to turn the broccoli because the water in the drip pan can splash. Shake gently, or use a spatula or tongs to turn the pieces.
Quantity – Don’t crowd the air fryer – Add the broccoli florets in a single layer and leave a little bit of space between the broccoli florets to allow the hot air to circulate. If you need to, cook in batches.
Cooking Temperature – I like the broccoli to be more tender and not too charred. If you like it more charred and crispy, increase the temperature to 370 degrees F.
To apply the spices, make sure the broccoli is dry. Either mix the oil and seasonings together and add them to the broccoli or sprinkle the seasoning on the broccoli and then spray it with olive oil.
Make sure you toss the broccoli really well, so that the spices and oil are distributed evenly.
This crispy air fryer broccoli is really versatile. You don’t need to stick to the spices that I suggest. Use a combination of spices and herbs to suit your tastes.
Too much spice can overpower broccoli, so I like to keep use simple ingredients.
Parmesan – Freshly grated parmesan cheese sprinkled over the broccoli after it’s done cooking adds extra flavor. Adjust the quantity of salt as needed since parmesan can be salty.
Lemon – Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest at the end to give the broccoli a tangy taste.
How to Serve
You can use air-fried broccoli in so many different ways:
Salad – Add cooked broccoli to a salad for extra nutrition, flavor, and a burst of color.
I don’t usually have any problems with the broccoli sticking. But, you can oil the basket just a bit with olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil. You can use an oil spray bottle but try not to use canned cooking spray because it can ruin the nonstick coating of the basket.
Yes, for best results and even cooking, you should turn the broccoli once or twice during cooking. Be careful if you’re shaking the basket because the water in the basket can splash! Use a spatula to turn the pieces, if needed. This prevents over-charring.
If you want more crispy broccoli, add some more olive oil spray and air fry for 1-2 more minutes of cook time, increasing the temperature to 370 degrees.
If the broccoli is charring too fast, add another tablespoon of water to the drip pan, lower the temperature by 10 to 20 degrees F, and air fry for a few extra minutes.
Ingredients for Making Broccoli in the Air Fryer
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
See the recipe card below for details
How to Cook Broccoli in Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer. Mix the broccoli florets with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oil in a large bowl and toss well to coat, making sure the spice mix covers all the surfaces thoroughly.
- Add a tablespoon or two of water to the air fryer base or drip pan to prevent over-charring (for basket style air fryers, Instant Pot multicookers with air fryer lid). Add broccoli to the air fryer basket and air fry.
- Turn the broccoli with a spatula or tongs once or twice during the air frying process.
- Transfer the broccoli to a serving dish when they’re lightly charred on the edges. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and squeeze of lemon, if desired.
See the recipe card below on how to air fry broccoli
Air Fryer Broccoli
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes.
- Stir together the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powders in a small bowl. Place broccoli in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice onto the broccoli in stages, tossing after each addition. Toss well, so that all surfaces are thoroughly coated.
- Pour or spray olive oil on the spiced broccoli and toss again to coat.
- Add a tablespoon of water to the drip pan of the air fryer basket (basket style air fryers) to prevent too much charring. *
- Place the broccoli florets in the air fryer basket, without overcrowding.
- Air fry for 7 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, turning the broccoli once or twice during the cooking process using tongs or a spatula. If you shake the basket to turn the broccoli, be careful not to splash the water in the drip pan! Broccoli is done when it's crisp tender, and slightly charred around the edges. Adjust timing as needed.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
- Every air fryer will vary. The first time you make this recipe, monitor the broccoli and adjust the air frying time as needed.
- * Adding water to the air fryer basket only works for basket-style air fryers or Instant Pot multicookers with air fryer function.
- Read blog post for tips on getting perfectly cooked air fryer broccoli.
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I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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