This easy air fryer broccoli is tender and delicious. It is a quick and easy side dish you can have ready to serve your family less than 10 minutes. Make some healthy broccoli for dinner tonight!
This summer I have been cooking lots and lots of vegetables in my air fryer. It is a quick and easy way to cook without heating up the house.
With simple vegetables dishes like air fryer asparagus or air fryer green beans I can have a side dish ready to eat in minutes. Broccoli is another easy to cook summer vegetable that is delicious from the air fryer.
I usually serve broccoli by steaming it on the stove, which is fine, but kind of boring. This air fryer broccoli is tastier and takes only a couple of minutes longer to make.
Secret to Air Fryer Broccoli
The first time I made broccoli in the air fryer I wasn’t very happy with how it turned out. It was way too crispy for me and the tender ends of the florets were crunchy.
But I kept trying and after some experimentation I learned the secret to air fryer broccoli is to put a little bit of water in the bottom of the air fryer. Then the broccoli is both roasted and steamed, which keeps it from getting overly crispy.
Now it is possible that some people like their broccoli crispy, but my family wouldn’t even eat the crispy stalks! Using the water makes the broccoli tender and just a little bit crunchy on the ends.
This is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients.
- Broccoli – You can use both the florets and the stalks of the broccoli.
- Oil – I always use sesame oil for this recipe. I love the combination of sesame oil with broccoli. But if you don’t have sesame oil use olive oil. You could leave the oil out altogether, but I think a little oil adds a lot of flavor.
- Seasonings – salt and garlic powder
Step by Step Instructions
1. Prepare the Broccoli
Wash the broccoli and pat it dry. Cut the florets off the stalk and cut them into bite sized pieces of about 1 inch.
You can either include the stems or leave them out, depending on your preference. Put all the broccoli in a bowl.
Add the oil, salt and garlic powder to the broccoli and toss it with tongs to mix. Using a separate bowl to mix the seasonings makes them stick to the broccoli better than it you try to do it all in the air fryer basket.
2. Add Water
Add 2 Tablespoons of water to the bottom of the air fryer. Add the water below the basket, not in the basket.
3. Air Fry the Broccoli
Set the air fryer at 400 F for 6 minutes. Cook the broccoli, pulling the basket out to shake after about 3 minutes.
When it is done the broccoli will be bright green, with just a bit of brown starting on the ends. If you want it to be a little more charred on the ends put the basket back in and cook it for another minute and check it again.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
Frozen broccoli works fine too. If you are using frozen broccoli you don’t need to add the water to the bottom of the air fryer, because the water released by the frozen broccoli will have the same effect.
Frozen broccoli will need to cook a little bit longer, so set the air fryer for 9 minutes initially. Then check it and decide how brown you want the broccoli to get.
How to Serve
I like to serve this broccoli garnished with sesame seeds. The combination of the sesame oil and sesame seeds gives it amazing flavor. You can also sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, which makes it more popular with kids!
Lately my dinners seem to consist mostly of some meat cooked on the grill combined with a veggie cooked in the air fryer! This broccoli pairs well with grilled salmon or grilled turkey cutlets or almost anything else you can grill.
Find More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Broccoli
- 1 large bunch of broccoli 1 pound
- 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil or olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoon water
- Wash the broccoli and cut it into bite sized pieces about 1 inch each. Include the stems if you like, they taste delicious too.
- Put the broccoli in a bowl and add the oil, salt and garlic powder. Toss everything to mix well and coat the broccoli.
- Put 2 Tablespoons of water in the bottom of the air fryer, underneath the basket.
- Add the broccoli to the basket and air fry it at 400 F for 6 minutes.
- Check the broccoli and add a minute or two to the cooking time if you prefer it to be crispier.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.