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Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

$2.42 Recipe/$0.60 Serving

Air fry frozen broccoli is the perfect weeknight side dish or even midday snack! The broccoli gets perfectly cooked, tender and crispy (no mushy broccoli here) in just 16 minutes in the air fryer from frozen! Never eat mushy broccoli again!

Air fryer frozen broccoli in air fryer after cooking.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick – since you start with frozen broccoli, there is little to no prep involved in this recipe. And you can let the air fryer do it’s thing while you are finishing the rest of the meal. Making it perfect for those nights when you have limited time but really want to get something flavorful and delicious on the table.
  • Easy – all you need is an air fryer, frozen broccoli, salt (seasonings) and avocado or olive oil spray. This is the easiest recipe that makes the most addicting broccoli! You are never going to want to eat broccoli any other way!
  • Budget friendly – frozen broccoli is so budget friendly and because it’s frozen, it’s easy to keep on hand! No worries about the broccoli going bad or not having a veggies on the table because you haven’t made it to the store. Frozen broccoli to the rescue!
  • Customizable – just because this is easy to make doesn’t mean that your broccoli has to be boring! Add your favorite spices or sauces to take the flavor level up to match whatever you are cooking!
Ingredients for air fryer frozen broccoli.
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Ingredients

  • Frozen broccoli – Frozen broccoli comes cut, cleaned, blanched and ready to use. This mean it’s already been partially cooked before frozen.
  • Salt – salt helps to elevate the flavor and makes sure you don’t have bland broccoli
  • Avocado oil or olive oil spray – this helps to make the broccoli a bit crispier and helps the salt stick to the broccoli.

How to air fry frozen broccoli

Add frozen broccoli to the air fryer, trying to make as much of a single layer as possible.

Frozen broccoli in the air fryer.

Spray the broccoli with avocado oil or olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt. Cook at 390F for 16 minutes total.

After 10 minutes of cooking, pause the air fryer and use tongs to flip the broccoli so that it doesn’t burn at the top.

Frozen broccoli after 10 minutes of cooking in air fryer.

Cook 6 more minutes, shaking the basket with 2 minutes to go.

Frozen broccoli after 16 minutes of cooking in air fryer.
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Top tips

  • No need to defrost: There is no need to defrost the frozen broccoli before cooking in the air fryer. When the frozen broccoli cooks, it releases water which actually creates a bit of steam, helping to tenderize the broccoli without burning it.
  • Cook in one layer, or as close as you can get to one layer. When you stack the frozen broccoli on top of each other in the air fryer basket, it leads to the broccoli steaming and not really having a chance to get crispy and tender without being mushy. If you do have to stack the broccoli, be sure to shake the basket often, especially towards the end of the cooking time.
  • Keep an eye on your broccoli during the last 2-3 minutes (especially the first few times you make this so you can learn how your air fryer cooks frozen broccoli). Because you don’t have to chop the broccoli ahead of time, you will find that there are many different sizes of broccoli florets in the bag. Because of this, some of the smaller pieces can start to get crispy and brown before the larger pieces are fully cooked. Remove the smaller pieces when you notice they are browning on all edges or take out large pieces and cut them in half at the half way point of cooking.
  • Make crispy roasted broccoli from frozen: By using the air fryer, you can get the same crunchy, crispy roasted broccoli you would normally get from fresh broccoli in the oven in less time. This is a great time saver and great for weeknights when you don’t want to put a ton of effort into the side dish. If you want really crispy ends of the broccoli, cook for up to 3 more minutes (19 minutes total) for crispy crunchy edges.
  • Add you favorite seasonings or serve with your favorite sauce as a way to change up the flavor of the broccoli. Let’s face it, broccoli can get a bit boring, but there is nothing a little seasoning or sauce can’t fix!
Air fryer frozen broccoli cooked with tahini drizzled over top.

Seasonings to add

  • Add ½ tbsp. taco seasoning when you add the salt
  • Add ½ tbsp. ranch seasoning when you add the salt
  • Add 1-2 tsp. herbs de provence
  • Add 1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning and ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Add 1 tsp. turmeric + 1 tsp. smoked paprika + ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Add ½ tbsp. cajun seasoning
  • Add ½ tsp. garlic powder and after cooking, add 2 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes

Dips that go well with broccoli

To make this broccoli perfect for snacking or to make your weeknight meals more exciting – make a yummy sauce to dip the broccoli in! Here are some of my favoirtes:

What to serve with roasted air fryer broccoli?

Air fryer roasted broccoli goes with almost any savory meal. Here are just a few budget friendly combinations for a simple healthy meal:

Broccoli in the air fryer after being cooked from frozen.

How to make the broccoli extra crispy

Roasted broccoli gets super crispy with dark edges and a distinct crunch when roasted at high heat. You can get the same result in the air fryer. Simply add 1-3 minutes of cooking time to the broccoli (take out smaller pieces that already have dark edges). The total cook time will be between 17-19 minutes to get super crispy broccoli.

Can you make frozen broccoli in the air fryer in advance?

Yes! Cook the broccoli 1-2 minutes less than the recipe indicates. Let the broccoli cool and store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat the broccoli add it back to the air fryer and cook at 390F for 3-4 minutes.

What if you don’t have an air fryer?

If you don’t have an air fryer you can try my favorite method to cook fresh broccoli on the stove top. Or you could roast the frozen broccoli in a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes of baking.

Substitutes

Frozen broccoli: you can also make frozen cauliflower using a similar method. The cauliflower often needs 3-4 additional minutes to get roasted and caramelized.

Broccoli in a white bowl in front of the air fryer.

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Broccoli in a white bowl with chili flakes and tahini drizzled.

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

$2.42 Recipe/$0.60 Serving
Air fryer frozen broccoli is the perfect simple side dish, great for weeknight meals or snacking! Slightly crispy broccoli cooked in the air fryer from frozen – no more mushy broccoli for dinner! Naturally low carb, vegan, gluten free, Whole30 and paleo friendly!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer frozen broccoli, frozen broccoli air fryer
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 16 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen broccoli florets - $2.29
  • 1/2 tsp salt - $0.03
  • avocado oil spray or olive oil spray - $0.10

Instructions

  • Dump the frozen broccoli in the basket of the air fryer. Try to make a single layer if possible.
  • Spray the broccoli with the avocado oil or olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt.
  • Set the air fryer to 390F for 16 minutes.
  • After the broccoli has cooked for 10 minutes (6 minutes remaining on the air fryer cook time), pause the air fryer and remove the basket.
  • Carefully flip the broccoli over with tongs or a spatula so that it doesn't burn on one side.
  • Place the basket back in the air fryer and resume cooking time.
  • With about 2 minutes left cooking (cooking for 14 minutes total), shake the basket. You may want to check to see if there are small pieces that need to be removed.

Notes

Tips: 
  • Cook in one layer, or as close as you can get to one layer. If you do have to stack the broccoli, be sure to shake the basket often, especially towards the end of the cooking time.
  • Keep an eye on your broccoli during the last 2-3 minutes (especially the first few times you make this so you can learn how your air fryer cooks frozen broccoli). There are many different sizes of broccoli florets in the bag. Some of the smaller pieces can start to get crispy and brown before the larger pieces are fully cooked. Remove the smaller pieces when you notice they are browning on all edges or take out large pieces and cut them in half at the half way point of cooking.
  • Make crispy roasted broccoli from frozen: If you want really crispy ends of the broccoli, cook for up to 3 more minutes (19 minutes total) for crispy crunchy edges.
Seasonings to add
  • Add ½ tbsp. taco seasoning when you add the salt
  • Add ½ tbsp. ranch seasoning when you add the salt
  • Add 1-2 tsp. herbs de provence
  • Add 1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning and ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Add 1 tsp. turmeric + 1 tsp. smoked paprika + ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Add ½ tbsp. cajun seasoning
  • Add ½ tsp. garlic powder and after cooking, add 2 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes
Dips that go well with broccoli
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
39
Fat
 
1
g
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
Fiber
 
3
g
Sugar
 
2
g
Protein
 
3
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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