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Air Fryer Broccoli is the quickest way to enjoy crisp-tender roasted broccoli, ready in under 10 minutes! With some simple variations, there are loads of ways to enjoy this easy broccoli recipe.
Quick and Easy Air Fryer Broccoli
The air fryer is the best way to cook broccoli that’s deliciously tender in the middle and crisp at the edges. Even better, this air fryer broccoli “fries” up tender-crisp in just 8 minutes!
If you love traditional Roasted Broccoli in the oven, you’re going to love how quick and easy it is to make in the air fryer. This broccoli recipe is a simple and delicious vegetarian side dish that’s perfect to make for everyday dinners or over the holidays.
What You’ll Need
Below is a short overview of what you’ll need to cook broccoli in the air fryer. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full recipe details!
- Broccoli: You’ll need about 12 ounces of fresh broccoli florets. Frozen broccoli is also an option, see below.
- Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper: You’ll season and toss the broccoli florets with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before cooking. I keep this recipe basic, but you can add other seasonings to your broccoli if you’d like.
- Optional Toppings: I’ve included easy ways to cook this broccoli with optional almonds, cheese, or Asian style with soy sauce and sesame seeds.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
Yes! You can use frozen broccoli in the air fryer. The excess moisture actually works in your favor when air frying! More moisture = less risk of smoking. So, go ahead and use frozen broccoli, just season it and air fry it straight from frozen.
How to Cook Broccoli in the Air Fryer
Here’s how to make delicious tender-roasted broccoli in half the time it takes in the oven:
- Prep the Broccoli: While your air fryer preheats, wash the broccoli heads and trim off the florets. Toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
- Cook: Transfer the seasoned florets to the basket of your air fryer and sprinkle it with a bit of water. Cook the broccoli for 8 minutes at 400ºF, giving the florets a shake about halfway through so that they cook evenly. The halfway point is also when you’ll add in any toppings you’re using (see below for suggestions).
- Serve: When your broccoli is crisp-tender, it’s ready to serve! See the section further on for easy ways to make your roasted broccoli into a meal.
Tips for Success
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but a few helpful tips never hurt anyone:
- For extra tender broccoli, you can leave the broccoli florets partially dried after you wash them. Another option is to soak the broccoli in water for a few minutes before tossing them in the oil and frying.
- How do I keep the broccoli from burning? Adding a spoonful of water over the broccoli before cooking helps to keep the air fryer broccoli from burning.
Air Fryer Broccoli Toppings and Variations
Here are some easy variations to try when making broccoli in your air fryer:
- Almonds: Add a handful of sliced almonds.
- Cheddar Cheese: Add freshly shredded cheddar for crispy, cheesy roasted broccoli.
- Lemon and Parmesan: Sprinkle the broccoli with grated parmesan halfway through cooking, and again when serving along with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Soy Sauce and Sesame: Toss the broccoli with soy sauce along with the oil and seasoning before cooking. At the halfway point, sprinkle over some sesame seeds.
- More Seasonings: Change up the seasonings and toss the broccoli in ground paprika, dried herbs like thyme or oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, Homemade Blackened Seasoning, or Everything Bagel Seasoning.
Make It a Meal
Air fryer broccoli is a healthy side dish that we love pairing with all sorts of meals! Whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a holiday celebration, roasted broccoli is a reliable favorite.
- Beef: Serve broccoli as a side to Grilled Steak or Beef Wellington Braciole.
- Chicken: Broccoli is a simple side to serve with Air Fryer Fried Chicken or Slow Cooker Butter Chicken.
- Potatoes: Pair this roasted broccoli with easy potato side dishes like Air Fryer Ranch Potatoes or Twice-Baked Loaded Potatoes.
- Asian-Style: Serve a variation tossed with soy sauce and sesame seeds alongside Grilled Teriyaki Steak Skewers, Chicken Fried Rice, or Spicy Sesame Noodles.
- Holidays: Free up oven space on Thanksgiving with this easy air fryer broccoli and a juicy Air Fryer Turkey Breast. Drizzled with Gluten Free Gravy, of course!
Storing and Reheating Leftover Broccoli
Leftover, cooled broccoli can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The best way to reheat broccoli is by placing it back in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes until it’s hot throughout. This gives the outside a chance to crisp up again, too!
You can also reheat this roasted broccoli in the microwave, however, the texture won’t be quite as nice.
To freeze cooked broccoli, I recommend pre-freezing the florets in a single layer first. Once solid, store the broccoli airtight in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. It will keep fresh for up to 3 months.
Reheat frozen broccoli right from frozen, either in the air fryer or the microwave until warmed through.
What Air Fryer Should I Buy?
I always have my Cosori 5.8 Qt air fryer on my counter because I use it at least several times a week. It’s great for roasting veggies like this or Air Fryer Butternut Squash, cooking an entire turkey breast, or just reheating pizza.
Air Fryer Broccoli
- 4-5 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 12 oz. florets from about 1 ½-2 crowns)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon water
- ¼ cup sliced almonds , optional
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup grated or finely shredded parmesan cheese plus the zest and juice of a lemon
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free, if needed) and 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Wash the broccoli and cut off the florets.
- In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper, being sure to coat it thoroughly. Place the broccoli in the air fryer basket and sprinkle with water.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400°F for 4 minutes. Open the air fryer and toss the broccoli. If using optional toppings, add them at this time (see Note), and toss gently. Cook at 400°F for another 2-4 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender, or your desired doneness .
- Remove from the air fryer and serve
- Note: For more tender broccoli, don’t thoroughly dry the broccoli after washing, or let it soak in a bowl of water for 5-10 minutes.
- Sliced almonds: Add when you shake the broccoli.
- Cheddar cheese: Add when you shake the broccoli.
- Lemon and parmesan: Add half of the parmesan when you shake the broccoli. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and lemon zest and sprinkle with lemon juice when serving.
- Soy sauce and sesame seeds: Toss the soy sauce with the broccoli before cooking, then add the sesame seeds when you shake the broccoli.