Air Fryer Broccoli is a great side dish that takes less than 10 minutes to make in the air fryer and leads to a low-calorie, low-carb healthy side dish.
I’ve always loved roasted broccoli because of how its natural sweetness comes out with the crispy edges that form in the oven, but if you ask me it’s a serious pain to get out the baking sheet, pre-heat the oven for 15 minutes, and then roast the broccoli for up to 25 minutes before it’s done.
That’s where the air fryer is a huge time saver and a great tool for convenience. For the air fryer broccoli, all you have to do is season the veggies, give them a light spray or drizzle of olive oil, and put them in the basket to cook for 8 minutes.
What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?
The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.
My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has not harmful aerosols or chemicals.
How to Make Air Fryer Broccoli
If you’re working from a head of broccoli, go ahead and chop the florets from the stem. You want them to be in small enough pieces to enjoy in one bite, but not too small or they’ll turn to mush.
The best oil to cook broccoli in is olive oil because it has a great flavor. If you have an olive oil spray bottle, then you can add the broccoli directly to the basket and spray it with olive oil.
If you don’t have an olive oil sprayer, add the broccoli florets to a bowl. Drizzle on the olive oil and toss to coat, then put the broccoli florets into the air fryer.
Sprinkle the seasonings evenly onto the broccoli and toss the basket to make sure all the pieces get seasoned. If you want to sub out one of the spices for something different, that’s cool too.
If you want to add Parmesan cheese, I recommend waiting until the end to sprinkle it on or it might get burned.
Air fry at 380°F (190° C) for 8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking to make sure all the pieces get cooked evenly.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
How to Know When the Broccoli is Done
This method will make broccoli that still has a little crispness to it, with slightly charred bits on the end. This is my preferred way to eat broccoli. If you like yours more cooked and softer, you’ll need to turn the temp down to 370 degrees F and cook for 10 minutes. Lowering the temperature will prevent the florets from burning.
Because people like their broccoli at different degrees of doneness, you might need to adjust the temperature or timing to make it perfect for you.
You can determine when the broccoli is at your perfect amount of doneness through sight and touch. After 8 minutes, pull out the basket and squeeze one of the broccoli stems. It will be al dente and will still be a bit crisp.
If you want it cooked more than that, leave it in for up to 10 minutes. Another thing that will determine doneness is the amount of crispiness on the florets. Some people like less char, some people like a lot of char. It’s entirely up to you.
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Air Fryer Broccoli
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets (about 1 lb)
- Extra virgin olive oil spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired
- Cut the broccoli into florets. Put them to the air fryer basket.
- Spray the broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning on evenly. Toss the basket to make sure all pieces get seasoned
- Air Fry at 380°F (190°C) for 8 minutes, shaking halfway through.
- Cook longer for softer broccoli.
- If you don’t like charred ends, lower the temperature to 370 degrees and cook for 10 minutes.
- If you don’t have an olive oil sprayer, put the florets in a bowl and toss with olive oil instead.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.