Air fryer broccolini is a great side dish, easy to make, totally delicious, and cooks in no time at all. Try this healthy air fryer veggie side dish when you want a tasty side dish that’s ready in a flash.
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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
Quantities are given in the recipe card below.
This recipe calls for broccolini, but you can use broccoli rabe (rapini), or Chinese broccoli (gai-lan, kai-lan, Chinese kale).
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 broccoli with an olive oil spray rather than drizzling it over the broccolini.
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.
You can add other seasonings along with the salt and pepper if you like, try onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili flakes, or lemon zest.
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:
- 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.
- Rinse the broccolini, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. The drier you can get it the better.
- Trim the stems if necessary so that they will fit in your air fryer, and remove any large leaves (which will steam rather than crisp up).
- 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.
- Place the broccolini into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Alternate the florets head-to-stem, so they fits in neatly.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add other seasoning if you like.
- Air fry broccolini for 5-7 minutes until the stems are tender and the heads are starting to crisp.
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 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 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.
Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave, 1-2 minutes on high until piping hot.
How to cook broccolini in an air fryer.
- 2 bunches broccolini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 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).
- Place broccolini in air fryer basket in a single layer. Alternate the broccolini so it fits in neatly.
- Drizzle broccolini with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Air fry broccolini for 5-7 minutes until tender and starting to crisp.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.
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