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Air fryer broccoli is a delicious munch that can be made oil-free and as quickly as in just 5 minutes. This makes a perfect side dish for any menu or just a healthy snack. Use fresh broccoli or frozen broccoli, this is going to be equally crispy and delicious.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables. This dark green-colored vegetable looks like that of the cauliflower probably because both belong to the same cruciferous family. This is as nutritious as cauliflower. Broccoli is too low in carb and is full of protein, fiber, and many other essential vegetables.
I love broccoli and love to incorporate it into my recipes in many ways, like adding them to soups (broccoli cheese soup, broccoli mushroom soup, creamy broccoli soup), appetizers (broccoli fritters, buffalo broccoli bites), noodles, vegetable stir fry, broccoli salad, and many more like that. Even steamed broccoli is delicious with just salt and pepper.
I have oven-roasted broccoli many times. But with my air fryer, I even loved them more.
You will love this recipe because:
- Perfectly crispy with tender bites
- Quick dish that takes less than 5 minutes
- Healthy side dish
- Can be made oil-free
- No fancy ingredients required
- Minimal ingredients required
- Can add other spices for flavoring
- Easy to make sides
- Can coat with buffalo sauce for spicy bites
- Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
How does the air fryer work for broccoli?
Air fryer works like an oven only. The hot air flows inside the basket and this ways the food gets cooked quickly. Though the technique is same as oven, because of the compact size, the flow of hot air is more rapid. So it takes almost half of the oven time.
Broccoli is a tender vegetable. The stalks are a little hard but the top crown is delicate. So the crown part of the florets gets cooked quickly than the stems. And it often happens while air frying the broccoli. So we have to be careful while air frying broccoli for even cooking.
Again the air fryers are different. So while following the recipe step by step also may not work many times. You may fail once twice while understanding what time your air fryer is taking for this broccoli air fry.
I failed twice making my broccoli, but now I know exact what time I need to check my basket. Apparently they don’t need a flip too. It’s lightening quick.
e.g. if I cook broccoli at 400 F for 6 minutes in my air fryer, it gets over burnt. My air fryer takes 4 – 5 minutes at 370 – 380 F (with preheating of the air fryer). But I have seen this works for many others. So if your air fryer cooks a little quicker, adjust the temperature and timer accordingly.
For making my air fryer broccoli, I would take some time to pre-heat it. This way I can assure a quicker result in same time. You can skip preheating if your air fryer doesn’t require. But for sure it will add 2 – 3 minutes more. Again check in between to make sure the florets are not burnt.
Tips for perfect air fryer broccoli
Since the broccoli are tender and with a delicate crown that gets cooked quickly where as the stalk part may take a little more time to get cooked. So if you will wait for even 1 more minute for the stalks to get cooked, you will be highly disappointed by the burnt florets.
The trick is 3 – 4 tbsp water below the frying area. This creates a steaming effect and helps to cook the broccoli florets evenly without the crowns overcooking or burning.
Also preheat the air fryer for some time. So when the basket is already hot, it will help in even and quick cooking at a lightning speed.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli for this?
Yes, absolutely. You can use frozen broccoli too for this air frying. Frozen broccoli has an added advantage. Because of the moisture it won’t get easily burnt as compared to the fresh ones. It might take 2 – 3 minutes more than the fresh ones.
No need to thaw it. Rather place directly into the basket and cook for 3 minutes at 375 F (190 C). Then Remove and shake once. Here you can drizzle your seasonings and mix them to coat the broccoli.
This you can do by removing the florets to a mixing bowl and tossing the seasonings and then place it again in the air fryer basket. Cook for another 4 minutes.
Recipe Card for Air Fryer Broccoli
Air fryer Broccoli
- Oil sprayer
- 1 broccoli head 15 oz diced broccoli
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt to taste
- 2tbsp veg broth (substitute for olive oil)
- 3 – 4 tbsp water
- Preheat the air fryer at 370 F (190 C) for around 4 – 5 minutes
- In the mean time rest of the preparation will be done.
- In a small bowl add 2 tbsp broth salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder.
- Wash and clean the broccoli. Remove the thick stalk.
- Dice the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the florets in a mixing bowl.
- Pour in the broth and spices mixture and rub well so that all florets are coated.
- Now pour 3 – 4 tbsp water at the bottom part of the basket.
- Place the plate and arrange the broccoli in a single layer.
- They will eventually shrink while cooked leaving more air space.
- place the basket into the air fryer.
- Start it at same temperature for 4 minutes.
- No flipping or shaking required.
- But check at 3 minutes mark to check the doneness of the broccoli.
- If the crown looks cooked and crisp, stop at that point.
- If it's not reached that point, place it back for 1 more minute.
- Remove from air fryer and serve hot.
Instructions For Frozen Broccoli
- Preheat the broccoli at 375 F (190 C) for 5 minutes.
- No need to thaw it.
- Rather place directly into the basket and cook for 3 minutes at 375 F (190 C).
- Then remove and shake once.
- Here you can drizzle your seasonings and mix them to coat the broccoli.
- Also you can do by removing the florets to a mixing bowl and tossing the seasonings.
- Then place the florets again in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for another 4 minutes, checking at 2 minutes interval.
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