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Air Fryer Broccolini

This air fryer broccolini makes a fabulous summer side dish that you can throw together in minutes. It is tender yet delightfully crispy, and will make your family genuinely excited to eat their greens.

Air fryer broccolini on a grey plate.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Broccolini, the slender and fancier cousin of broccoli, is a fantastic choice when you’re in the mood for something a bit different. Roasting broccolini in the air fryer is my favorite way to cook it, because it comes out tender with crispy edges, which give it a sweet slightly nutty flavour. Delicious! So delicious in fact, that the first time I served this up to my family our five year old ate the entire dish while my back was turned.

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 can also use regular broccoli, but check out my recipe for cooking broccoli in the air fryer as the timings are slightly different.

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 fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can substitute kosher salt or cooking salt. Note: If you are using table salt, reduce the amount by around a third.

Optional: garlic

The recipe below uses garlic granules, 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.

Let’s cook this broccolini in the air fryer!

1

Preheat.

Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F. 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.

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat mode, just set it to air fry for 3-4 minutes.

2

Prepare the broccolini.

Rinse the broccolini, and pat dry. 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 making the whole lot 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 to tender before the ends get too crisp.

Cut broccolini on a wooden board.

3

Season broccolini.

Add the broccolini, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic granules to a large bowl, and toss to coat.

Broccolini in a bowl with oil and seasoning.

4

Pop it in the air fryer.

Place the broccolini into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Alternate the florets head-to-stem, so they fit in neatly.

Uncooked broccolini in air fryer basket.

5

Air fry broccolini.

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.

Air fried broccolini in air fryer basket.

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 makes a fabulous summer side dish that you can throw together in minutes. It is tender yet delightfully crispy, and will make your family genuinely excited to eat their greens.
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 fine sea 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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