Air frying broccoli is a very simple and fast way to enjoy perfectly crisp and tender florets. This delicious side dish can be served with a little salt and pepper, or with a spicy and savory sauce made of Sichuan chili flakes, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil (my favorite).
Using an air fryer to cook broccoli is one of the best and easiest techniques to achieve great texture. If you love roasted vegetables but sometimes hesitate to make them because the entire process takes too long, or it makes your kitchen too hot, then using an air fryer will change your life!
The cooking time is shorter (about half the time) and an air fryer lets out very little heat (compared to an oven). You can roast just about any veggie you like and end up with perfectly roasted pieces.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Broccoli
Scroll all the way down for the full recipe.
- Broccoli: Use 1 pound for 2 to 3 people (as a side dish), or 1 1/2 pound for 4 to 5 people. For larger servings you may need to do the recipe in batches.
- Olive oil: A little olive oil coats the broccoli florets and allow them get a crispy char on the outside, while remaining moist on the inside. It also prevents them from sticking to the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper can be added before or after the air frying process.
- Spicy sauce: A mixture of Chinese red pepper flakes, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and water.
As previously mentioned, air fryer broccoli is delicious on its own.
If you are planning to serve it as part of an already tasty meal, I suggest serving it as is. But if the broccoli is the star of your meal, I recommend trying the spicy sauce which is packed with umami and nuttiness. For a sweeter sauce, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey.
When dressed in the spicy sauce, the broccoli pairs beautifully with a side of rice and other Asian flavored dishes.
For an Italian twist, keep it simple – a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and some grated parmesan cheese will do the trick.
Or give the broccoli an Indian flare by finishing it with an extra drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of garam masala powder, and garlic powder. Toss well and enjoy!
Can I Put Frozen Broccoli in an Air Fryer?
Yes you can use frozen broccoli in an air fryer. It’s a great way to achieve a crispy texture which makes the broccoli more pleasant to eat than if it was microwaved.
No thawing is required either – frozen broccoli can be air fried right out of the bag! Just follow the steps to this recipe, as is, and the result will be just as delicious. You will have a healthy side dish at your dinner table in no time.
How to Cook Broccoli in an Air Fryer
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Wash the broccoli and drain well. Slice the broccoli into bite size pieces (slice it into smaller pieces if you like them tender, or bigger pieces if you like them on the crunchier side).
- Place the broccoli in a bowl and toss it with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss it a few more times.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF for 2 minutes.
- Put the broccoli in the air fryer basket and air fry for 3 minutes.
- Shake the broccoli in the basket and air fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until you are satisfied with the texture.
- Serve the broccoli on a plate with the spicy sauce drizzled on top.
Oven Roasted Broccoli
If you don’t own an air fryer but would still like to make this recipe, let me show you how you can achieve a similar crispy texture by roasting broccoli in the oven. Please follow the instructions below.
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Wash the broccoli and drain well. Slice the broccoli into bite size pieces and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400Fº and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
- Add the broccoli to the sheet pan and drizzle olive oil on top. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, toss the broccoli until it’s evenly coated.
- Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until desired texture.
- Transfer the broccoli to a plate and top with the spicy sauce. Serve.
Can I Use this Air Fryer Recipe with Other Vegetables?
Yes! This air fryer recipe also can also be used to cook these vegetables:
- Green cabbage
- Green beans
It also works well with bell peppers, okra, kabocha squash, and many other vegetables, but you may to need adjust the air frying time.
What to do with Leftovers
Air fryer broccoli is very easy to store! Simply transfer the leftovers to an airtight storage container and refrigerate it. It should keep for about 4 days.
To reheat, spray the air fryer basket with a little oil and add the broccoli florets. Air fry them for 2 to 3 minutes to achieve a crispy texture. or microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes (this method won’t make the outside crisp, though).
What to Serve with Air Fryer Broccoli
I like to eat this air fryer broccoli with spicy sauce with a side of brown rice, a protein like tofu or fish, and a couple of Asian side dishes. Some of my favorites are:
If you are a broccoli lover, you might be interested in these easy broccoli recipes:
- Broccoli tots (vegan option available)
- Broccoli salad with honey mustard dressing
- Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce (gai lan)
Did you like this air fryer broccoli with spicy sauce recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Air Fryer Broccoli with Spicy Sauce
Air frying broccoli is a very simple and fast way to enjoy perfectly crisp and moist florets. 20 minutes is all you need to serve this delicious side dish.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 sides 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Air fryer
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 to 1 1/2 pound broccoli florets, sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese red pepper flakes or gochugaru
- 1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- Add the broccoli florets to a bowl and drizzle the oil on top.
- Toss the broccoli to coat each piece evenly with the oil.
- Preheat the air fryer for 2 minutes at 400ºF. Place the broccoli in the air fryer basket and cook for 3 minutes.
- Take the air fryer basket out and toss the broccoli a few times. Cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the spicy sauce and set aside.
- Transfer the broccoli to a serving dish and pour the sauce over. Serve.
To make your broccoli florets more tender, add about 1 tablespoon of water to the bottom of the air fryer to add a little moisture to the air.
Transfer the leftovers to an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
- Calories: 89
- Sugar: 1.9g
- Sodium: 37.5mg
- Fat: 6.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 3.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg