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If you love to pluck the darkest, crispiest veggies right from the pan, Air Fryer Broccoli is for you! Deeply charred and ultra crispy, this is broccoli at its most addictive, with very little oil required.

Crispy air fryer broccoli

Why You’ll Love This Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli

The way we chowed down on this air fried broccoli reminded me of the way I felt the first time we tried Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.

How can a vegetable taste THIS GOOD?!

  • Crispy Deliciousness. If you’re a fan of broccoli with dark crispy edges (like Grilled Broccoli), you’ll go crazy for it in the air fryer.
  • Faster Cook Time. Thanks to the air fryer’s high-powered convection fan, it makes the food you cook in it wicked crispy in a fraction of the time. Plus unlike Roasted Broccoli, you don’t need to wait for the oven to preheat.
  • Healthy. This mega crisp power makes the air fryer an excellent way to create healthy versions of deep-fried favorites, Air Fryer French Fries and Air Fryer Potato Chips being primo examples.

This full list of air fryer recipes includes everything we’ve tried in our air fryer so far, plus yummy main dishes too.

air fried broccoli in an air fryer

5 Star Review

“First time using my air fryer- the broccoli was perfect. Great recipe – will definitely use again!”

— Cheryl —

How to Cook Air Fryer Broccoli

Cooking perfect broccoli in the air fryer is quick, easy, and versatile!

The only hurdle is figuring out how to make the broccoli insides tender before the outsides burned—my first few batches were charred outside and too crunchy inside.

The answer: add water to the air fryer to help the broccoli steam as it cooks. Taa-daa! Water is how you keep broccoli from burning in your air fryer.

  • You do not need to steam broccoli before air frying. Rather, add a few tablespoons of water to the air fryer prior to cooking. As the water evaporates, it will help the broccoli soften a little.
  • Chop the broccoli florets SMALL (think broccoli bites). This will give the insides a chance to tenderize before the outsides completely char.
air fried broccoli on a plate

The Ingredients

  • Broccoli. We’re going for crispy air fryer broccoli here! High in fiber, packed with vitamins, and low carb, broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. Air frying is a healthy way to enjoy its nutrients and make it outrageously addictive. Can’t get enough broccoli? Check out Sautéed Broccoli.

Market Swap

You can use this same recipe for cauliflower (or try Air Fryer Cauliflower) or do a blend for an air fryer broccoli and cauliflower medley.

  • Olive Oil. While you can make air fryer broccoli with no oil, I find that the broccoli doesn’t caramelize quite as nicely, nor does it taste as satisfying. Fortunately, you only need a small amount of olive oil to ensure it cooks properly in the air fryer.
  • Seasonings. Salt and pepper are the classic. I also like to add garlic powder for a little extra zip. Bonus: garlic powder won’t burn in the air fryer.
  • Toppings! This broccoli is tasty just as it is, but there’s still room to gussy it up a bit to make it extra special. See below for topping ideas.

The Directions

broccoli florets in a bowl
  1. Chop. Be sure to cut the florets small.
air fryer broccoli bites
  1. Preheat the Air Fryer. Add the broccoli and water.
broccoli in an air fryer
  1. Cook and Toss. 8 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. Top as desired and ENJOY!
air fried broccoli and cheese on a plate

How to Make Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer

You can make frozen air fryer broccoli! Like this Roasted Frozen Broccoli, it doesn’t become *as* crisp as fresh broccoli, but it’s still tasty and a total time saver.

  • Add the frozen broccoli florets to the air fryer at 400 degrees F and air fry for 5 minutes (this will allow the broccoli to thaw a bit and the seasonings to stick).
  • Remove the florets to a mixing bowl and toss them with the oil and seasonings.
  • Return to the air fryer and cook 6 to 10 additional minutes, tossing a few times throughout, until it is crisped to your liking.

Recipe Variations

  • Air Fryer Broccoli Parmesan. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan over the broccoli after air frying.
  • Air Fryer Broccoli and Cheese. While the broccoli is hot, sprinkle on a few handfuls of a melty cheese, such as cheddar or gruyere.
  • Lemon Air Fryer Broccoli. Top the cooked broccoli with grated lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Spicy Air Fryer Broccoli. After the broccoli is cooked, toss it with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Balsamic Air Fryer Broccoli. Drizzle the cooked broccoli with balsamic glaze or aged balsamic vinegar.
  • Air Fryer Broccoli with Breadcrumbs. Top your air fried broccoli with toasted breadcrumbs (be sure to try this Air Fryer Zucchini next; it has yummy breadcrumbs too).
  • Asian-Inspired Air Fryer Broccoli. Toss the cooked broccoli with the teriyaki sauce from my Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry recipe.
  • Air Fryer Broccoli and Potatoes. For the perfect air fryer veggie combo, pair this broccoli with Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries or an Air Fryer Baked Potato.
air fryer broccoli with lemon on a plate

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate the broccoli in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm the leftovers in the air fryer or on a baking sheet in a regular oven at 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. While the broccoli will become mushy when frozen, it can be done! Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Leftover Ideas

Crispy broccoli leftovers make a tasty addition to pastas like this Penne Alla Vodka and Lemon Pasta, salads like Quinoa Chickpea Salad and Apple Walnut Salad, and even grilled cheese like the Roasted Broccoli Cauli Grilled Cheese in The Well Plated Cookbook.

air fryer broccoli parmesan

What to Serve with Air Fryer Broccoli

Recipe Tips and Tricks

The secret to great broccoli is to AVOID SOGGY BROCCOLI.

  • Use a High Temperature. 400°F is the best temperature for air frying broccoli.
  • Do Not Crowd the Basket. If you try to cook too much broccoli at once, it will steam and become soggy. Cook the broccoli in batches, making sure it’s in a single layer.
  • Shake the Broccoli a Few Times. This will make sure it cooks evenly.
  • Expect Al-Dente. Air fryer vegetables are more firm than their roasted or sauteed counter parts. If you’d like your broccoli softer, you can par-cook it, then blot dry before air frying.

Air Fryer Broccoli

4.50 from 14 votes
How to cook perfect, crispy air fryer broccoli. The most delicious way to make broccoli! Healthy, seasoned to perfection, and ready in 15 min!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Servings: 3 servings



  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest from about 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch red pepper flakes


  • Place the florets in a mixing bowl and top with the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and sugar. Toss to coat, making sure to rub the florets evenly with the oil and spices to prevent burning.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F according to the manufacturer’s instructions (for my air fryer that is 3 minutes preheat time).
  • Add the water to the bottom of the air fryer (it will hiss and splatter). Add the broccoli (if adding toppings, keep the bowl handy and don’t wash it yet). Let cook for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the basket and with tongs, toss the broccoli. Return it to the air fryer and continue cooking for 4 to 8 additional minutes, until crispy outside and tender when pieced with a fork. The cook time will vary based on your air fryer, so keep an eye on it and toss the broccoli every few minutes to promote even crisping.
  • Serve immediately, or if adding toppings, transfer the broccoli back to the mixing bowl. Top with the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan, and/or red pepper flakes. Stir to coat. Serve hot.



  • TO STORE. Refrigerate the broccoli for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT. Rewarm the broccoli in the air fryer or a regular oven at 350 degrees F.
  • TO COOK FROZEN BROCCOLI IN THE AIR FRYER: Add the frozen broccoli florets to the air fryer and air fry for 5 minutes (this will allow the broccoli to thaw a bit and the seasonings to stick). Remove them to the bowl, then toss with the oil and seasonings. Return to the air fryer and cook 6 to 10 additional minutes, tossing a few times throughout, until it is crisped to your liking.


Serving: 1of 3Calories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgPotassium: 494mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gCalcium: 111mgIron: 1mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Swap Avocado Oil for the Olive Oil?

Yes, you can use avocado oil instead of olive oil if you prefer.

Why Does the Recipe Call for Sugar?

I like to add a little bit of sugar to my broccoli before air frying it to help with caramelization. If you’d prefer to not use the sugar, you can simply omit it. The broccoli will still be tasty!

Is Air Fried Broccoli Still Healthy?

Yes, this broccoli is still healthy and packed with nutrients. Since the air fryer requires less oil than other cooking methods, it’s a healthy alternative.

Can I Prep the Broccoli in Advance?

Yes! Chop the broccoli florets and store them in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance.

More Yummy Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a great way to get your healthy servings. Even picky eaters approve!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. 1st time using my air fryer- the broccoli was perfect. Followed the recipe exactly including the toppings at the end. I have a Pampered Chef Air Fryer-did 4 minutes, tossed then 4 more minutes. Great recipe-will definitely use again!5 stars