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This roasted air fryer broccoli recipe is flavorful, crisp, and just as delicious as oven-roasted broccoli, but ready in half the time! The ease of preparation will make this recipe a fast favorite for busy weeknights.
Making roasted broccoli in the air fryer has become my latest obsession. I love that it replicates the same flavor and texture as the oven-roasted one in half the time in an air fryer.
On top of that, I can easily customize the flavor by adding my favorite seasonings or even cheese. I like to add a sprinkling of parmesan to make a delicious air fryer broccoli parmesan side dish that my family loves.
Looking for a steamed broccoli recipe? Check out this easy recipe to make steamed broccoli in your Instant Pot.
Reasons to love this recipe
This recipe was inspired by my air fryer brussels sprouts. I figured if air frying could make brussels sprouts crispy, delicious, and perfect for picky eaters, broccoli would be an excellent veggie to try next.
Here’s why you’ll love this recipe
- Uses less oil than regular oven-roasted broccoli.
- Tastes just like oven-roasted but cooks in less than half the time!
- A healthy side dish that is delightfully crispy and full of flavor.
- Great for meal prepping. You can make a big batch and save it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Here’s what you need to make the recipe
- Broccoli – Pick heads that are fresh, bright green, and have tight buds with a firm stalk.
- Avocado oil – I recommend this oil because of its neutral flavor and high smoke point, but you can use any neutral flavored oil in its place. If you prefer your fat to have a bit of flavor, try olive oil.
- Seasonings – These air fryer broccoli bites taste great with ground black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Of course, you can always find new ways to season it.
You’ll need an air fryer to make this recipe. Here are the two that I recommend
- Basket style (Phillips 7 QT, 1725W) – easier to flip food but cooks a smaller amount (2-3 servings).
- Convection oven-style (Instant Pot 20 QT, 1800W) – This one takes more space but can bake, broil, toast, warm, dehydrate, and even has a rotisserie feature. Holds more food – perfect for families of 4 or more.
- Chop the broccoli the same size for even cooking.
- Pat dry the broccoli before cooking to ensure that the broccoli comes out crisp.
- No overcrowding – Always arrange food in a single layer and cook in batches if needed.
- Toss or flip the food halfway during cooking to make sure the food is cooked evenly.
- Don’t overroast – The cooking time will vary depending on your device. Remove the broccoli from the air fryer once it starts crisping around the edges.
- Serve immediately for the best results.
Variations + seasoning tips
- Swap the broccoli with cauliflower florets.
- There are many different seasoning options – red pepper flakes, a dash of fresh lemon/lime juice, or any quick melting cheese such as shredded mozzarella.
- Top with shredded cheddar cheese or a cheese sauce to make air fryer broccoli and cheese.
How to prep ahead
There are a couple of ways you can prep ahead for this recipe:
- Cut the broccoli into florets a couple of days in advance.
- Use precut and prewashed broccoli to cut on prep time.
- You can also make a big batch and store it in the refrigerator though it does lose its crispiness. Follow the reheating instructions below.
Refrigerator: Store the leftovers in the fridge. Toss it in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 350°F to reheat. Heating it in the microwave will make it lose its crispiness.
Freezer: While you can make this dish with frozen broccoli, I would not advise freezing broccoli after air frying.
Frequently asked questions
No. Since an air fryer uses little (if any) water, you cannot steam your broccoli in an air fryer. You can roast your broccoli, which leaves a lovely caramelized brown color. If you want to steam, try using your Instant Pot.
While all cooking methods will reduce nutrients in vegetables, air frying is one of the best cooking methods for preserving the nutrients in fresh vegetables. To maximize nutrition, select the freshest broccoli you can find and use it within a few days of bringing it home.
Yes! Make sure to let it cool before storing it in an airtight container. Reheat the broccoli using the reheat function of your air fryer for 2-3 minutes. Note that it will lose some of its crispiness, but it will still be delicious.
You don’t have to. If your air fryer preheats by default as mine does, keep an eye on the broccoli a few minutes before the prescribed cooking time in this recipe.
Yes, no need to thaw. Just toss it in the marinade and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
When purchased fresh from the grocery store or market, most broccoli will last anywhere from 3-5 days. If the broccoli is very fresh and is kept very cold, it may last up to 1 week.
Broccoli that has gone bad will have yellow or brown spots, and some areas will have a slightly slimy texture. There may be fuzzy or black patches, which signal mold and should be thrown away immediately.
Other veggie side dishes to try
- Air fryer-roasted sweet potatoes – even more delicious when roasted in the air fryer; sweet potatoes are an easy healthy side dish.
- Air fryer cauliflower – This crispy recipe for air fryer cauliflower is an easy side dish with no breading. Ready in just 25 minutes, this will become your new favorite way to eat cauliflower!
- Instant pot corn on the cob – If you’re looking for a healthy side dish or the perfect vegetable to serve at your BBQ party, check out this easy recipe to make flavorful, juicy, and perfectly cooked corn every time.
- Air fryer buffalo cauliflower – With a little kick of heat, these are the perfect veggie side dish for those who love all things spicy.
- Asian style sauteed green beans – served with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce; this recipe is a flavorful take on plain green beans.
Roasted Air Fryer Broccoli Recipe
- Wash the broccoli and pat them dry using a clean towel or paper towels. Separate the florets from the stem. Discard the stem. Chop the florets into bite-sized pieces.
- To a medium-sized bowl, add oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well to combine.
- Toss the broccoli florets in the marinade and make sure it is coated evenly.
- Preheat the air fryer and set it to 375°F.
- [Optional step] Line the air frying tray with parchment paper.
- Transfer the broccoli over the parchment paper – don't overcrowd them. Depending on the size of your airfryer, you may have to make them in batches.
- Place the air fryer tray in the air fryer and cook at 375°F. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
- Stir around the 5-minute mark and continue to cook till the broccoli has browned. [Note: If using an oven-style air fryer, rotate the tray and if using the basket-style air fryer, shake the basket to ensure even cooking]
- Serve the broccoli with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.