I finally enjoy eating more veg thanks to this air fryer broccoli recipe

 cooked air fryer broccoli
cooked air fryer broccoli

If, like me, you're always looking for ways to get more veg into your diet, this air fryer broccoli recipe is a game-changer.

In all my years testing the best air fryers, I can count on one hand how many vegetable dishes have excited me. Yet, not only have I made this broccoli recipe multiple times, but my kids love it too.

I've even swapped the occasional bowl of chips in front of the TV for a bowl of these greens and anyone who knows me knows that I don't give up my chips lightly.

Below, I show how easy and cheap it is to make air fryer broccoli. Whether it's as a side dish or a healthy snack.

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Air fryer broccoli

The air fryer broccoli recipe I have followed is from @bearenger - aka Bearenger Petrella - via her TikTok channel. It's already been watched by 1.1 million people, and counting.

Air fryer broccoli ingredients

This recipe is so versatile you can add any seasoning you like. If you're vegan, swap out the parmesan for a vegan alternative, or try nutritional yeast.

  • Broccoli

  • Olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder/granules

  • 1 tsp parmesan (or vegan alternative)

Air fryer broccoli ingredients
Air fryer broccoli ingredients

To make air fryer broccoli you will need the following:

Step 1: Cut the broccoli florets off the stalk into equal-sized pieces.

Step 2: Add the florets to a bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix gently using your hand or a spoon.

Step 3: Add the parmesan and mix again.

You can add all the seasoning in one go but I find it creates a more even coating when the parmesan is mixed in separately.

Broccoli in bowl with seasoning
Broccoli in bowl with seasoning

Step 4: Set the air fryer to 390°F / 200°C for 10 minutes.

After five minutes, remove the basket, shake the broccoli florets, and return to the air fryer.

Step 5: Check the florets are cooked. I like broccoli to have a bite to it but if you prefer it to be softer, put the florets back into the air fryer for another five minutes.

Broccoli in air fryer basket
Broccoli in air fryer basket

Step 6: You can eat the florets as they are, or squeeze lemon juice or chili flakes over the top. I also like dipping these florets in natural yoghurt.

Why are my vegetables not crispy from the air fryer?

There are a number of reasons why your vegetables aren't crisping up enough in the air fryer.

  • Too much moisture: Moisture and steam are the enemies of crispiness when cooking in an air fryer. If your vegetables contain a lot of water – like zucchinis, tomatoes, and mushrooms – or you're parboiling and soaking the veg first, it can be harder to make them crispy. Especially if you don't pat them dry first. This can cause water to be released during cooking which turns to steam in the basket and can cause your veg to become soggy.

  • Overcrowding: Putting too much veg in the air fryer basket means the air can't circulate well enough and you'll be left with uneven cooking and less crispiness.

  • Not enough oil: Although the beauty of air fryer cooking is that you don't always need oil, it can help to make your veg crispy. Just make sure not to go too far the other way and add too much oil because it can have the opposite effect.

  • Wrong cooking time and/or temperature: The cooking time and temperature can vary depending on the type and size of vegetables you are cooking. It can also depend on what air fryer you're using. You might need to adjust the cooking time and temperature settings on your air fryer to increase the crispiness and this can take a bit of trial and error.

How do I keep broccoli from burning in my air fryer?

The key to preventing your broccoli from burning in the air fryer is to cut the florets into even-sized pieces and make sure you're coating them in a small amount of oil.

This makes sure your broccoli cooks evenly and the thin and delicate tips don't 'catch' – which means they don't cook too quickly and burn before the rest of the floret has had a chance to catch up.

I don't like to keep opening the air fryer basket to check on my food because it can interfere with cooking time and quality but, if you're worried, you can check the broccoli at regular intervals and give the basket a shake.

If this still doesn't help, try cooking your broccoli at a lower temperature for longer.

Air fryer broccoli verdict

I try to make sure at least a third of the meals I make for me and my kids contain vegetables or salad, but this is easier said than done.

Mainly because my default cooking method is boiling and that soon gets boring.

This air fryer broccoli recipe has added a new string to my veg cooking bow and the results are so tasty, I'll happily make a bowl of florets to eat while watching TV or when I'm after a healthy snack.

Plus, it's so versatile you can add whatever flavors you like.

close up of air fryer broccolli
close up of air fryer broccolli

If you're still sitting on the fence and wondering whether to buy an air fryer, you may want to read our article to decide whether air fryers are worth it?