Making broccolini in the air fryer is a go-to method when you need a green veggie side dish and you’re short on time and don’t want to turn on the oven. It takes only 10 minutes and can be flavored in a variety of ways!
This recipe is THE RECIPE for those busy weeknights when you need a vegetable side dish on the table but are short on time. Or you don’t want to turn on the oven. Or you just really love using your air fryer for vegetable recipes.
I hope by now you’ve tried pan-roasted broccolini (and fallen in love!). It’s only going to make making it in the air fryer that much sweeter (or fun, delicious, and quick?!). Those little florets get all crispy and the tender stalks provide just-the-right texture.
Even better is this versatile vegetable can be flavored in a variety of ways! From fresh lemon juice to parmesan cheese, to teriyaki sauce, and much more. Whatever flavor profile you’re after, you can make it happen.
What is Broccolini?
Broccolini is also known as “baby broccoli”; it has thin, long stalks and tender tops. Broccolini is not broccoli, but they’re related. It is developed from broccoli, but broccolini is smaller and more delicate.
While regular broccoli can sometimes have a bitter flavor, broccolini has a more mild flavor, with a slight sweetness. When it is roasted, the top florets become crispy and slightly charred, while the stalks become tender.
Click here to read more about broccolini versus broccoli rabe and broccoli.
Ingredients for the Recipe
For the basic air fryer broccolini recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients. As I said, there are so many options when it comes to adding flavors, which will discuss in a minute. For now, you’ll need:
- Broccolini– found sold in bunches near the other produce (like broccoli!) at your local grocery store. Some smaller stores may not have broccolini, so talk to the produce manager and see if they can order it.
- Oil: use just a little bit of oil to help the florets crisp up. Any kind of oil will work. I prefer olive oil but use what you have and enjoy.
- Salt and Pepper: always a must for flavor.
Those leaves on the stems of your broccolini – keep them on! They’re totally edible and crisp up beautifully!
How to Air Fry Broccolini
Step 1: Trim the Broccolini. That is if the bunch you buy is composed of super large broccolini stalks. If they’re skinny, you can just proceed. But if they’re thick, it helps to cut them into thinner stalks (pictured here) so they cook evenly.
Step 2: Toss with oil, salt, and black pepper. Or other spices if using. I recommend doing this in a separate bowl to make sure that the broccolini is evenly coated. Be sure to rub it in the florets to make sure they crisp up nicely.
Step 3: Air Fry! There’s no need to preheat here (I definitely take the easy route), just spread the broccolini in the air fryer basket in an even layer. You can see I have overlap, but they are strategically placed so air can flow between the stalks. If you can get an even layer, even better!
Cook in the air fryer for about 7-9 minutes. The florets will be nice and crispy. They may look a little charred, but that’s ok, that’s the texture we’re after.
The stalks will be tender but al dente, meaning they should have a little bit of a bite to them. We do not want soggy stalks, my friends!
Note About Air Fryers
Keep in mind the cook time and temperature of the air fryer may need to be adjusted depending on the model you have. If you have a small air fry basket, you may need to do multiple batches for optimal cooking.
This air fryer is easy to use and is the perfect size for two or a small family.
Ways to Season Broccolini
Oh, let me count the ways! I do love broccolini just as is, with a little salt. Once you start enjoying it time and time again, try one of these ways to flavor it. You can even customize it to match the theme of your meal!
- Toss with fresh lemon juice and/or lemon zest.
- Parmesan cheese is a wonderful salty addition (look for a vegetarian version, if needed).
- Garlic! You know we are garlic fans around here. Toss the stalks in garlic powder before cooking.
- Other seasonings like red pepper flakes, Italian herb seasoning, Herbs de Provence…you name it, you can make it happen!
- Toss it in a sauce like teriyaki or buffalo sauce.
- Or serve it with one of our many favorite homemade sauces.
More Ways to Use Broccolini
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
10-Minute Air Fryer Broccolini
- 1 broccolini bunch (6-7 ounces), easily double, see notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
- Optional: freshly ground black pepper
- Trim any dried or rough ends off of the broccolini, rinse, and pat dry. If the stalks are large, cut them into smaller stalks.
- Place the broccolini in a mixing bowl and drizzle with approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt (and pepper if using). Toss until completely coated, making sure to rub the florets.
- Spread the broccolini evenly across the crisper rack of your air fryer as much as possible. Try not to pile them too high. Air fry at 375°F for 7-9 minutes until stalks are fork tender and florets are crispy. The bake time may vary depending on the size of your broccolini stalks and your air fryer. If you like them softer, cook for another 1-2 minutes after checking.
- Garnish with additional flakey salt, pepper, or other suggestions from the post as desired. Serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 325°F, or in the microwave if needed.
- Serving Size: One bunch serves approximately 2 people; easily prepare more bunches as needed, noting that depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do multiple batches. My 4-quart air fryer holds one bunch.
- Olive oil should coat (but not drench) the broccolini; it helps it crisp up while air frying.
- Additional add-ins: a squeeze of lemon juice, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or almond slices. See post for more ideas.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.