This air fryer garlic broccoli recipe is my absolute favorite way to eat broccoli – and it’s so easy to make! It’s cooked to tender-crisp perfection in just 10 minutes and has tons of flavor from red pepper flakes and a generous helping of garlic that toasts as the broccoli cooks.
What you’ll love about this easy air fryer recipe:
- Fast. Crispy broccoli is ready in a fraction of the time it would take to roast in the oven.
- Nutritious. A low-calorie and low carb recipe that’s gluten-free and vegan friendly.
- Crispy. Tender broccoli with a crispy texture on the edges, made with minimal oil.
- Convenient. Make it with fresh or frozen broccoli!
This easy air fryer recipe is hands-down the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten. The first time I made it, I almost ate the entire batch by myself!
It’s easy to make and so good with all of your favorite main dishes. I love it with air fryer chicken meatballs, steak, or on top of a grain bowl.
Fresh broccoli florets. I love the tender-crisp texture of fresh broccoli. One small head of broccoli should be enough to serve 2-3 people. You can use frozen broccoli if you prefer, but note that the final texture will be softer.
Olive oil. A light coating of olive oil helps the broccoli brown and crisp on the edges.
Minced fresh garlic. For a big punch of garlic flavor, I use a full tablespoon of fresh minced garlic for this air fryer broccoli recipe. The garlic gets slightly toasted as it cooks, and it’s so good! I really do recommend using fresh garlic for this; pre-chopped garlic or garlic powder just doesn’t have the same flavor.
Red pepper flakes. For just a little bit of heat.
Handy tip: Flavor Boost!
Add a little flavor boost to your air fryer broccoli by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese. You can also add a teaspoon of lemon zest for more lemon flavor.
How to make the best garlic broccoli: in the air fryer
Mix the broccoli florets, oil, and seasonings (except the garlic) in a large bowl. .
Transfer the broccoli to your air fryer basket, leaving any excess oil behind. Taking an extra minute to toss your broccoli in oil rather than adding it directly to your air fryer basket minimizes the amount of oil you use and helps prevent the broccoli from getting soggy from too much moisture. It’s ok if it doesn’t fit in a single layer, go ahead and fill the basket up!
Scatter the garlic over the top of the broccoli. Placing it on top instead of mixing it in means the garlic will come into more contact with the hot air inside the air fryer, giving you a delicious roasted garlic flavor.
Air fry the broccoli, pausing to shake the basket 1 or two times during the cooking process.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
I like using fresh broccoli best, but frozen broccoli also works well. It will cook a little faster, so start checking for doneness after about 5 minutes.
Does the broccoli have to be in a single layer?
Nope! Go ahead and fill the basket up. You just want to be sure not to pack it so full that the hot air isn’t able to circulate around the broccoli.
Can this be prepared ahead?
This broccoli is great for meal prep! Let it cool completely, then refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
How do I cook bigger batches?
You can double this recipe with no problems, but if your air fryer basket is very full it might take an extra few minutes to cook.
Are there different ways to season the broccoli?
You can’t go wrong with garlic, but you can also season broccoli with lemon and Parmesan cheese as described above, or add Italian seasoning, onion powder or fresh shallot, or sprinkle the broccoli with sesame seeds as a great side dish for your favorite Chinese-inspired recipes.
More easy side dish recipes:
- How to Roast Frozen Vegetables
- Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
- Moroccan-Spiced Roast Carrots
- Healthy Broccoli Casserole
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Grilled Zucchini
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
- Kapusta (Polish Braised Sauerkraut with Bacon)
- Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- Sauteed Green Beans
- Garlic Roasted Radishes
Air Fryer Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or avocado oil or olive oil
- ¼ teaspooon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, oil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat the broccoli evenly with oil.
- Pour the broccoli into your air fryer basket. Scatter the garlic over the top.
- AIR FRY at 390ºF for 8-10 minutes, tossing halfway through.