Garlicky Air Fryer Broccoli

5

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This is my all-time favorite air fryer broccoli recipe. It’s cooked to tender-crisp perfection and has tons of flavor from red pepper flakes and a generous helping of garlic that gets slightly toasted as the broccoli cooks. 

A platter of crispy air fried broccoli in front of the air fryer basket.

This easy 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 meatballs, steak, or on top of a grain bowl.

What you’ll love about this easy air fryer broccoli recipe:


  • FAST – Crispy broccoli is ready in a fraction of the time it would take to roast in the oven
  • HEALTHY – 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
  • VERSATILE – Make it with fresh or frozen broccoli
Ingredient needed to make air fryer broccoli wiih garlic arranged on a counter.

Ingredients for Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli:

Fresh broccoli florets. I love the tender-crisp texture that fresh broccoli provides. 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 garlicky flavor, I use a full tablespoon of fresh minced garlic for this air fryer broccoli recipe. The garlic gets slightly roasted as it cooks, and it’s so good! I really do recommend using fresh garlic for this; prechopped 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!

You can also add a little flavor boost to the 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.

In a large bowl, mix the garlic with oil.
A mixing bowl of seasoned broccoli, ready to go in the air fryer.

How to make the best air fryer broccoli:

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix the broccoli florets, oil, and seasonings (except the garlic).

Step 2: Transfer the broccoli to your air fryer basket. It’s ok if it doesn’t fit in a single layer, go ahead and fill the basket up!

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: Cook the broccoli, pausing to shake the basket 1 or two times during the cooking process.

The air fryer basket with broccoli and garlic scattered over the top.
Air fryer broccoli in the basket, ready to be served.

Common Questions About Air Fryer Broccoli

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:

Garlicky roast broccoli in front of an air fryer.

Garlicky Air Fryer Broccoli

Crispy roast broccoli made in an air fryer is an easy and versatile side dish recipe that' ready in minutes!
5
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer broccoli, crispy broccoli, garlicky broccoli
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 64kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil you can also use 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Garlicky Air Fryer Broccoli
Amount Per Serving (4 servings)
Calories 64 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 57mg2%
Potassium 298mg9%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 604IU12%
Vitamin C 82mg99%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

By on February 4th, 2022

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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