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Air Fryer Broccolini

This air fryer broccolini recipe is a super quick side dish that’s perfect for just about any meal! With just a few simple ingredients and around 5 minutes cook time, you can have a delicious veggie side dish on the table in next to no time.

Air fryer broccolini on a grey plate.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Broccolini is delicious when cooked properly, and using an air fryer is a great way to cook it quickly and easily.
  • Air frying is a healthier way to cook broccolini because it uses less oil than traditional deep frying methods. It also helps the broccolini keep its color and preserves its nutrients due to the quick cooking time.
  • It’s simple to prepare and quick to cook, so it can be ready in less time than it takes for your oven to heat up.

This recipe is a variation of my air fryer roasted broccoli recipe, with a few tweaks, since broccolini is a totally different size and shape to regular broccoli.

Air frying is a great way to roast or grill vegetables, check out some of my other favorite air fryer vegetable recipes: air fryer roast potatoes, air fryer roasted carrots, air fryer Brussels sprouts, and air fryer roasted vegetables.

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer broccolini recipe, or read on for all the details.

Ingredients and substitutions

A flat lay photo of the ingredients.

Quantities are given in the recipe card below.

Broccolini

This recipe calls for broccolini, but you can use broccoli rabe (rapini), or Chinese broccoli (gai-lan, kai-lan, Chinese kale). You could also use regular broccoli cut into florets, or check out my recipe for air fryer broccoli.

Oil

Use light olive oil or another cooking oil with a high smoke point (e.g. vegetable oil or corn oil).

If you want to reduce the oil in this recipe you can spritz the broccolini with an olive oil spray rather than drizzling it.

Tip
Tip

When choosing an olive oil spray for your air fryer, look for the type that spritzes rather than an aerosol. The propellant in aerosol oil sprays can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer.

Salt and black pepper

The recipe below uses kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. If you are using table salt, reduce the amount by around a third.

Optional: garlic

The recipe below uses garlic, but you can substitute garlic powder or fresh garlic if you prefer. Use half a teaspoon of garlic powder, or three garlic cloves, finely chopped.

You can add other seasonings if you like, try onion powder, paprika, chili flakes, or lemon zest.

Air fried broccolini on a white plate with lemon wedges.
Air fryer broccolini.

How to cook broccolini in an air fryer

This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few key steps to getting it just right:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F / 200°C. To get the broccolini crispy it needs to cook at a high temperature. And since the cook time is relatively short, the air fryer should be preheated so it is hot when the broccolini goes in.
  2. Prepare the broccolini.
    • Rinse the broccolini, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. The drier you can get it before cooking, the crispier it will turn out.
    • Trim the stems if necessary so that they will fit in your air fryer, and remove any large leaves (these will steam rather than crisp up, causing your dish to be soggy).
    • Cut large broccolini stems in half lengthwise or into quarters if very large. This ensures that they will cook quickly and evenly so that the stems will cook through and be tender before the ends get too crisp.
    • Add the broccolini, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic granules to a large bowl, and toss to coat.
Cut broccolini on a wooden board.
Cut the broccolini florets in half, and remove any large leaves.
Broccolini in a bowl with oil and seasoning.
Place the broccolini, oil, and seasonings in a bowl, toss to coat.
  1. Place the broccolini into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Alternate the florets head-to-stem, so they fit in neatly.
  2. Air fry broccolini for 5-7 minutes until the stems are tender and the heads are starting to crisp, or until they are done to your liking.
Uncooked broccolini in air fryer basket.
Place broccolini in air fryer basket in a single layer.
Air fried broccolini in air fryer basket.
Air fry broccolini for 5-7 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Serving ideas

Broccolini pairs wonderfully with a range of flavor combinations like garlic and pesto, zesty lemon, or even the ever-reliable salt and pepper. Here are some fun ideas to try:

  • Drizzle with pesto and add flaked almonds
  • Sprinkle with half a tablespoon of shredded or powdered Parmesan cheese
  • or try half a tablespoon of nutritional yeast for a vegan alternative
  • Top with cheese sauce
  • Serve with soy sauce on the side for dipping

This roasted broccolini recipe goes well with dishes like air fryer chicken breast, air fryer steak, air fryer roast pork, and air fryer turkey breast.

Close up of air fryer broccolini.

Also want to air fry your main dish?

This recipe is perfect for pairing with an air fryer main dish that requires resting time. Because the cook time is short, you can make this recipe in the air fryer after you have finished air frying the main dish for your meal.

Just prepare the broccolini while the meat is cooking, and then air fry the broccolini while the meat is resting. It is quick and easy, and you have one less pan to deal with!

Storage and reheating

Place any leftover broccolini in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. Use within 3 days.

You can reheat the broccolini in the air fryer, air fry for 3-4 minutes until warmed through.

Close up of air fryer broccolini.

Air Fryer Broccolini

4.7 from 18 votes
This air fryer broccolini recipe is a quick and healthy side dish that's perfect for just about any meal! With just a few simple ingredients and around 5 minutes' of cook time, you can have a delicious and veggie side dish on the table in next to no time.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Serves4

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches broccolini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules optional [Note 1]
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F / 200°C.
  • Rinse the broccolini, and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Trim the stems (if necessary) so they will fit in your air fryer, and remove any large leaves. Cut large broccolini in half (or into quarters if very large).
  • Add broccolini, oil, and seasonings to a large bowl, and toss to coat.
  • Place broccolini in air fryer basket in a single layer. Alternate the broccolini so it fits in neatly.
  • Air fry broccolini for 5-7 minutes until tender and starting to crisp.

Notes

Substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or three cloves of garlic, finely chopped.

Nutrition

Serving: 1  Calories: 79kcal  Carbohydrates: 4g  Protein: 1g  Fat: 7g  Saturated Fat: 1g  Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g  Sodium: 175mg  Fiber: 2g  Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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This recipe was originally published on 30 May 2021, and was updated on 29 May 2023.

Jude

Monday 29th of May 2023

A delicious way to cook broccolini, and very quick to prepare. Thank you!

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food, whether you lack time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes made using everyday ingredients for delicious meals your family will love!
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