This Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli Recipe with garlic and Parmesan cheese is a healthy side dish that is low carb and delicious! Toss roasted broccoli with olive oil and a few spices, and it's ready to eat in just 6 minutes!
Best of all, broccoli, cauliflower and other veggies cook super fast in the air fryer -- maybe not as fast as in the microwave, but the texture is completely different.
You can enjoy that fabulous roasted broccoli taste, with less oil, in a fraction of the time it takes to roast broccoli in the oven. So, if you want a quick and easy side dish, this easy air fryer broccoli recipe is for you!
All you need are a few simple ingredients to cook broccoli in the air fryer:
- Fresh broccoli
- Olive oil -- Vegetable oil or avocado oil works, too
- Sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper
- Parmesan cheese -- grated (optional, but adds flavor)
How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli
First, rinse the broccoli under cold running water. Shake or pat dry to remove excess water. Next, chop your broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Try to cut most of the stem off while leaving enough for a small handle.
Make sure the you have small pieces that are about the same size. This will help them cook evenly.
Note -- You can cook frozen broccoli in the air fryer. However, the texture won't be as crispy as fresh broccoli.
Get out a large bowl, and pour in the olive oil. Next, add your salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Add the chopped broccoli to the olive oil mixture. Stir and toss to coat.
If you prefer to use less oil, you can reduce the oil to 1 teaspoon. Or, you can use olive oil spray for minimal oil. You can cook air fryer broccoli without oil, but it will be dryer, although a spritz of lemon juice will help!
Next, place broccoli florets into the air fryer basket or tray. For best results and even cooking, arrange the broccoli in a single layer.
If you have a lot of broccoli to air fry, you may need to cook it in batches.
I used my Instant Omni Plus air fryer for this recipe. It's the best way to get it in a a single layer all at once. Any brand of air fryer works here, including the Instant Vortex, Ninja Foodi, Ninja Grill and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp.
So, how long does it take to air fry broccoli? I find that 6 to 10 minutes works best for fork tender broccoli that's also crispy. You'll need to preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees f.
When the air fryer reaches temperature, add the broccoli florets to the air fryer, and air fry for 6 minutes. Cook times will vary with different air fryer brands and models.
If you like even crispier broccoli, add a couple of minutes to the cook time. When the cooked broccoli is done to you liking, remove the tray, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve.
Sometimes, I sprinkle some ground ginger on the veggies instead of or in addition to the garlic. A little soy sauce sprinkled on after cooking adds great flavor to this easy recipe.
Instead of grated Parmesan cheese, try shredded cheddar cheese, cheddar blend or mozzarella cheese for cheesy broccoli. Use marinara sauce for dipping!
You can serve this delicious air fryer broccoli as the perfect side dish that goes well with a variety of main dishes. Or serve it as a healthy snack or low carb appetizer.
I started making crispy broccoli bites as a healthy after-school snack -- kind of a sneaky way to get the kids to eat their veggies and get more vitamin C!
They love the crispy texture. Don't forget the ranch dressing for dipping!
Store and Reheat
Store any leftover air fried broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 days. You can eat the broccoli cold, straight from the fridge if you want.
Reheat leftover broccoli in the air fryer for a minute or 2 or until heated through. Air frying is the easiest way to crisp broccoli back up.
Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- Wash and trim broccoli, and cut into bite sized florets
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper
- Add broccoli, and stir until well coated, then place in air fryer basket or tray
- Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees, add broccoli, and cook for 6 minutes, shaking or stirring about halfway through. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over broccoli
- Serve as a side dish or with dip as an appetizer or snack
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe first published in 2020 and updated in 2021.
I hope you enjoy this delicious air fryer broccoli recipe as much as we do. Don't forget to review and leave a star rating. If you love broccoli, you may want to check out my Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup!
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