Air fryer broccolini is crispy, tender, and colorful, and cooks in under 10 minutes. Finish it with lemon juice and parmesan cheese for a beautiful side that pairs with your favorite protein!
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Broccolini is a vibrantly colored vegetable that is the perfect addition to any meal and is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. I love putting my air-fryer to work while I cook the main dish and sweet baby broccoli browns and crips deliciously in just a few minutes.
This broccolini recipe air fryer is a savory pairing with Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon or Spicy Honey Chicken Marinade. Balance the sweet spice of a marinade with earthy and crisp broccolini for a meal that hits every taste bud.
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Broccolini Recipe
- Colorful. I love a colorful plate, and air-fried broccolini delivers an impressive vibrant green color. Perfect for adding color or variety and avoiding a beige plate!
- Speedy Preparation. Just wash and trim the broccolini before drizzling it with oil and placing it in the air fryer. Preparing will take just moments, perfect for when you need a last-minute side dish for dinner.
- Crispy. You’ll love the crispness and appeal of this steakhouse-style vegetable. Air-fried broccolini has that extra crunch and golden brown color that can’t be achieved by blanching or baking.
- Fun to Eat. The entire stalk of broccoli is tender and edible. Air frying makes the stalks especially delicious so this broccolini air fryer recipe is a fun finger-food appetizer.
Where to Buy Broccolini
Broccolini is widely available in the produce section of many grocery stores. It’s often stocked near broccoli and cauliflower. Broccolini is often called baby broccoli because it has a similar appearance to broccoli but has smaller tops and longer, thinner, less woody stems.
- Broccolini: Cleaned and ends trimmed.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil helps broccolini to brown and crisp.
- Salt: Just a pinch of salt enhances the flavor.
- Lemon Juice: Finish cooked broccolini with a little zip of lemon juice. Freshly squeezed is best.
- Parmesan Cheese (Optional): Sprinkle on grated parmesan just before serving for air fryer broccolini with parmesan.
- Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar: Balsamic or red wine vinegar can be used in place of lemon juice for a finishing tangy flavor.
- Cheese: Substitute your favorite semi-soft or grated hard cheese for the Parmesan. Try Gruyere, asiago, romano, or sharp white cheddar cheese.
How to Make Broccolini in the Air Fryer
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: With the air fryer basket inserted, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: In a large bowl, drizzle the broccolini with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. Gently toss the broccolini to cover.
Step 3: Add the broccolini to the preheated air fryer. Air fry for 8-10 minutes, gently tossing every 4 minutes, or until dark green on the stalks and the florets are starting to turn a golden brown.
Step 4: Sprinkle the broccolini with lemon juice and grated parmesan (if using). Serve hot!
- Wash and Dry Broccolini. Washing fresh vegetables is always recommended, but this recipe is best when broccolini is dry. Air dry broccolini or pat with a towel to remove all moisture before cooking. Wet or damp broccolini will steam instead of crisp inside the air fryer.
- Trim to Size. As you trim your broccolini, have your air fryer basket nearby, and trim the stalks so they fit inside your basket. Alternatively, you can cut the pieces in half and have some broccolini with tops and some without. Cutting is especially helpful if you have a smaller air fryer basket.
- Allow Room for Air to Circulate. About two bundles of broccolini fit nicely in my air fryer, but it’s important to allow room for the air to circulate around the broccoli, so be careful not to overfill your air fryer basket. For smaller air fryers or when doubling this recipe, cook broccolini in two, or more, batches.
- Air Fry Broccolini Last. If you’re preparing a meal made completely in your air fryer, cook your protein first and your broccolini last. Your protein will benefit from resting before serving and broccolini will be optimally crispy and hot.
- Lemon Pepper: For lemon pepper broccolini, finish the broccolini in the air fryer with lemon juice, lemon zest, and freshly grated tri-color or white pepper. Lemon pepper broccolini pairs well with seafood
- Extra Cheesy: Drizzle or dip air fryer baby broccoli in queso or your favorite hot cheese dip.
- Hot: Finish broccolini with red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.
- Balsamic Caprese: Serve broccolini with sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar or a balsamic glaze reduction.
Air fryer broccolini is a wonderful side dish or appetizer. Serve with Pork Chop Marinade, Rubbed Tumeric Chicken, or Bourbon Glazed Salmon. The long and edible stems and beautiful deep green hue of the broccolini make it an easy-to-grab addition to a charcuterie board or appetizer spread with Healthy Deviled Eggs, crackers, and Curry Hummus.
Broccolini is a great addition to any meal and adds color and crispiness to your plate. Dip or drizzle with Miso Maple Vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing. Or cut into bite-sized pieces before air frying broccolini for a crunchy alternative to croutons for topping salads.
This recipe is naturally vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, processed sugar-free, and gluten-free.
- Storing: Leftovers keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Reheating: Reheat broccolini in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit air fryer for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
Everything, including the stems and leaves of broccolini, is edible. When preparing in the air fryer, you may prefer to remove the leaves to prevent burning and then add them into the air fryer during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Broccolini will burn in the air fryer if it is cooked too long or at a temperature that is too hot. For crispy broccolini that doesn’t burn, set your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and take a peek inside every 1-2 minutes to make sure stems and tops are not burning.
Broccolini will become tender and golden brown in 8-10 minutes. Air fryers vary in their cooking speed, so start cooking for 4 minutes, then toss and turn the broccolini and watch for it to begin to crisp.
How do you cook and cut broccolini?
Broccolini is so easy to prepare. After washing, cut the bottom ½ to 1 inch off the bottom of the stalks, similarly to how you would trim asparagus. You can air fry broccolini in whole stalks or cut into smaller pieces. If you air fry smaller pieces, reduce cooking time by 1-2 minutes.
Fresh broccolini will last in the fridge for approximately 1 week. Broccolini stored too long will become soft, discolored, or have wilted tops. Air-fried broccolini lasts in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
- Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer
- Chef Knife
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Silicone Tongs
- Lemon Juicer (optional)
- Stainless Steel Grater (optional)
- Air Fryer Portobellos
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Crispy Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
- Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!