Chunky bites of broccoli mixed with garlic, lemon and parmesan and then cooked to crispy perfection in an air fryer in just 7 minutes. If you are looking for more ways to increase the amount of green vegetables you eat, then this Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli is for you.
If you have a broccoli in the back of your fridge that is looking a bit sad, then cooking it in the air fryer is the best way to bring it to life. Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli sprinkled with cheese and a kick of chilli is a side dish that I think everyone can get behind. The best thing is, the whole dish is ready in under 10 minutes. Perfect for a snack too!
If you leave out the chilli, then this is really kid friendly. My top tip for getting kids to eating more vegetables is to try cooking them in a different way, as it is usually a texture thing. Roasting them, or cooking in an air fryer makes them nice and crispy and more appealing to kids. Plus, they are great for dipping, and what kid doesn't love a dip?!
If you haven't tried air frying vegetables before, then you are missing out. Why not try our Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables, Air Fryer Corn, Air Fryer Mushrooms, Air Fryer Carrots, Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts or Air Fryer Parsnips?
Why you will love it
- A new way to try broccoli
- Kids love it
- Ready in under 10 minutes
- Makes a delicious snack
- Broccoli - The star of this dish. To make this the best it possible can be, then try to choose the perfect broccoli. Choose a broccoli head with tight, green florets and firm stalks. Your broccoli should feel heavy for its size. Avoid broccoli with dried out or browning stem ends or yellowing florets.
- Oil - We used olive oil as we think that has the best flavour.
- Seasoning - Sea salt and cracked black pepper season this broccoli perfectly.
- Parmesan - This makes the broccoli nice and cheesy and adds to the crispiness. If you want this to be vegetarian then use an alternative, or you could leave it out.
- Lemon - This lightens up the dish a little bit, but it could be left out if you don't have any.
- Chilli - We love a kick of heat to finish off this side dish. However, if you don't like chilli, or you are serving it to kids then it can be left out.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parmesan in a bowl.
Two: Add the broccoli and mix it all together so that every bit of broccoli is well covered.
Three: Pour it in to the air fryer basket and cook at 180°C for 7 minutes, until crispy.
Air fryer vegetables
If you are looking to enjoy vegetables a little more, then cooking them in an air fryer is the way to go. They get deliciously crispy and taste far more indulgent than they actually are.
You can pretty much follow this same recipe, but swap the broccoli for cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, aubergine or asparagus. Just make sure that they are softer, quick cooking vegetables. Harder root vegetables like carrot and parsnip will take a bit longer to cook.
Health benefits of broccoli
If you like roasted broccoli, and who doesn't, then this recipe gives you all the flavour of that but in half the time. It also uses less oil, making it a healthy alternative.
Superfood is a bit of a buzz food that is thrown around, but there is no denying that broccoli is nutrient dense. It's a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and K, as well as iron, zinc and fibre, which can support digestive health.
Did you know that broccoli is also a good source of protein, although an incomplete one.
This is a really quick and easy side dish that is perfect alongside so many of our favourite recipes. Here are some for you to get started with:
You could also just enjoy these as a delicious snack dipped in our Healthy Ranch Dressing. When it comes to what to put on top of them, we like a sprinkling of red chilli flakes, however you could also add some more parmesan and some pine nuts. Why not add a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley to lighten it up a little.
We have mentioned all the health benefits of broccoli above. If you love roasted broccoli, then this is a healthier version, as you don't need to use as much oil to get it crispy. You could also lower the calories and fat or this recipe by leaving out the Parmesan.
It depends on the size of the head of your broccoli. Ours was fairly large, so we cut florets off and then quartered each of them. If you were using a smaller head of broccoli, then you might just need to halve them.
We can't rate highly enough the Power Air Fryer XL. The 5 litre capacity is big enough for cooking for the whole family and it can fry, grill, bake, sauté, roast and steam. There are simple touch screen controls and it heats up quickly and can cook your food up to 70% faster than a conventional oven. Also, it's dishwasher safe.
You don't have to preheat the air fryer, however if you want super crispy broccoli, then you could preheat it for 3 minutes first.
All slow cookers will cook things differently. This recipe is based on the slow cooker that we have recommended above, and also the size we have cut our broccoli. If you are finding that your broccoli is not at all crispy after 7 minutes, then you can put it back in for 2-3 minutes.
This recipe is not vegetarian, as we have used Parmesan. Parmesan cheese uses animal rennet as an ingredient (that is one of the requirements for it to be called parmesan) so it is technically not vegetarian. However, you can get lots of vegetarian alternatives to it. If you wanted to make this vegetarian, simply swap the Parmesan for a vegetarian Italian hard cheese. Most of the supermarket alternatives to Parmesan are actually vegetarian.
• Make sure to mix the lemon parmesan mixture well in to the broccoli. You want to make sure that it is in all the little crevices of the broccoli, so it is evenly flavoured.
• If you want to make this vegetarian, then use a vegetarian alternative to parmesan.
• If you don't like spicy food, then you can leave our the chilli flakes.
• If your broccoli isn't crispy, then cook it for 2-3 minutes longer.
More broccoli recipes
If you’ve tried this air fryer broccoli, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli
- 1 head Broccoli
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 Garlic clove - crushed
- 0.5 Lemon - juice only
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- Mix together 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 3 Garlic clove, juice of 0.5 Lemon, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper and 20 g Parmesan in a bowl.
- Add florets from 1 head Broccoli and mix it all together so that every bit of broccoli is well covered.
- Pour it in to the air fryer basket and cook at 180°C for 7 minutes, until crispy.
- Make sure to mix the lemon parmesan mixture well in to the broccoli. You want to make sure that it is in all the little crevices of the broccoli, so it is evenly flavoured.
- If you want to make this vegetarian, then use a vegetarian alternative to parmesan.
- If you don't like spicy food, then you can leave our the chilli flakes.
- If your broccoli isn't crispy, then cook it for 2-3 minutes longer.
I loved the taste of the broccoli! I used my garlic press to crush the garlic so there weren't any large garlic pieces. Loved it!
Not crispy, but good flavors. Perhaps the recipe assumes the Air Fryer is preheated.
Loving using my new air fryer, I hadn't thought of doing broccoli in it! I love the addition of chilli flakes!
Such a delicious and easy to make side dish! Always a winner at my house!
we just got an air fryer and have been looking for some healthy recipes and can't wait to try this. The broccoli looks so crispy and good!