At Northern Yum, we’re all about simplicity and convenience when it comes to dinner prep, especially on busy weeknights. If you can relate and you are looking for a simple side dish, it’s hard to beat roasting frozen vegetables in the air fryer!
We particularly love air frying frozen broccoli—it’s so tasty and couldn’t be easier to make. Just a few minutes of prep time and air frying frozen broccoli results in a perfectly roasted veggie side. Plus, it’s healthy, so you can feel good about serving it up any time.
Give this easy air fryer recipe a try for a simple and delicious side dish—you might just find it’s your new favorite way to cook broccoli!
How to Cook Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
Follow these simple steps for a tasty side dish with very little prep:
Add 16 ounces of frozen broccoli to a large bowl. Do not defrost the broccoli—be sure to cook it from frozen—otherwise, it may get mushy.
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt (feel free to add more or less to taste).
If you don’t have Lawry’s, you can use any other brand of seasoned salt or any other seasonings you like (See below for a list of variations to try!). Good old salt and black pepper work great too.
Toss to coat the broccoli in the oil and seasonings. Feel free to add more olive oil if you’d like.
Place the seasoned frozen broccoli in the air fryer basket or tray.
Set the air fryer temperate to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for about 8 minutes. At this point, the broccoli should be firm but cooked through (note that larger broccoli florets may require more cook time).
If you prefer your broccoli with an al dente texture, you’ll want to stop here and serve.
If you want crispy broccoli with more of a roasted flavor (and all of the tasty browned bits!), first stir or toss and then continue to air fry in 3-5 minute increments until it is cooked to your desired level of doneness. Be sure to stir or toss in between.
The overall cook time will depend on your air fryer model, the size of the broccoli florets you use, and how you like your broccoli cooked.
The images above are examples of varying levels of crispiness when roasting broccoli in the air fryer. Here are the approximate cook times for each (keep in mind the exact times may differ for larger broccoli florets and your particular air fryer model):
#1 – Broccoli cooked for 8 minutes total
#2 – Broccoli cooked for an initial 8 minutes, tossed + cooked for 5 additional minutes = 13 total minutes of cooking time
#3 – Broccoli cooked for an initial 8 minutes, tossed + cooked 5 additional minutes, tossed again + cooked 5 more minutes = 18 total minutes of cooking time (this is my favorite—the extra-browned bits have amazing flavor!)
Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli: Tips & Tricks
- Do not thaw the frozen broccoli before you cook it. Doing so may result in a mushy texture.
- Make sure to use frozen broccoli florets, not cuts. You can also use frozen broccoli spears.
- We recommend that you always use some sort of oil when roasting frozen vegetables in the air fryer. You won’t get a roasted flavor without the oil. If you want to minimize calories, oil spray is a great alternative.
- For fewer dishes, use a zip lock bag to coat the broccoli with oil and seasoning before adding it to the air fryer basket.
- To make clean-up easier, you can line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or aluminum foil (read more about using foil in an air fryer).
- Air-fried frozen broccoli is best when eaten immediately after cooking, but you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days after—just be sure to use an airtight container.
- You can air fry more or less broccoli than the 16 ounces in our recipe, but you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- All air fryers are different, so cook time may vary depending on the model you have.
Other Ways to Season Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli
We love using seasoning salt to give flavor to air fryer broccoli, but there are endless ways to customize the seasonings to your taste. Here are some variations:
- Classic salt and black pepper
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
- Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Everything but the bagel seasoning
- Other seasoning mixes like Johnny’s, Old Bay Seasoning
- Lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs
- Add some parmesan cheese after it’s cooked
- Squeeze a bit of lemon juice for a fresh citrus taste and serve with lemon wedges
- Make it Asian-style: replace the olive oil with sesame oil and toss with minced garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes
- Drizzle with cheese sauce before serving
What to Serve With Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli
Air-fried broccoli is a versatile side dish that can be served with a variety of entrees. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Grilled chicken or fish
- Bacon-wrapped shrimp skewers
- Gorgonzola steak
- Grilled flank steak
- Add to a pasta dish for added color + flavor
- Brown rice or rice pilaf
- 16 oz. frozen broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt (We like Lawry’s brand. Salt and pepper work great too!)
- Add the frozen broccoli florets to a large bowl. Do not thaw beforehand.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Alternatively, you can use olive oil spray.
- Sprinkle with the seasoned salt (or other seasonings of your choice).
- Toss to coat the broccoli in the oil and seasonings. Feel free to add more olive oil if you’d like.
- Place the frozen broccoli in the air fryer basket or tray.
- Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes. At this point, the broccoli should be firm but cooked through (note that larger frozen broccoli florets may require more cook time). If you prefer your broccoli al dente, stop here.
- If you want more of a roasted flavor, you’ll want to cook it a bit longer. Stir or toss the broccoli in the air fryer basket/tray and continue to air fry in 3-5 minute increments until it is cooked to your desired level of crispness.
Feel free to use your favorite roasted veggie seasonings. (See our list of tasty ideas!)
Do not thaw the frozen broccoli; this may result in a mushy texture.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 69
- Sugar: 1.9 g
- Sodium: 618.8 mg
- Fat: 3.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.5 g
- Protein: 3.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: side dish, healthy side, roasted veggies
Here you’ll find common questions related to cooing frozen broccoli in the air fryer.
Does this air fryer recipe work with fresh broccoli?
Yes, this recipe works great for both frozen broccoli and fresh! The process is similar, but you will need to adjust cooking times. Because frozen broccoli is blanched before freezing, it is already slightly cooked, reducing the amount of air frying time needed compared to fresh.
How to cook broccoli in the air fryer (using fresh broccoli)
- Cut broccoli heads into florets (or get pre-bagged cut broccoli for an even quicker prep). Try to cut them in uniform sizes if possible, so they’ll cook evenly. If you have a large amount of broccoli, we recommend air frying in batches of about 16 ounces each.
- Place the broccoli in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (we like seasoned salt or salt, pepper, and garlic powder). Toss to coat.
- Place the seasoned broccoli in the air fryer basket or tray.
- Set the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and the cook time for 10 minutes. Stir or toss halfway through.
- Continue to cook in 3-5 minute increments until it is cooked to your desired level of crispness, stirring or tossing between each increment. Overall cook time will depend on the size of the broccoli florets and the air fryer you use.
Is it OK to air fry frozen vegetables?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to cook frozen veggies in an air fryer! In fact, it is one of the most convenient ways to cook them. There’s no need to thaw first, so they can go straight from the freezer to the air fryer.
How long to cook frozen broccoli in air fryer?
Start with 8 minutes at 400 degrees. If you like it al dente, stop there. If you like more of a roasted flavor and texture, give it a quick stir or toss and pop it back in the air fryer. Continue to cook in 3-5 minute increments until the broccoli is roasted to your taste (be sure to toss or stir in between). The overall cook time will depend on the size of the broccoli florets and the air fryer you are using.
Is frozen broccoli as good as fresh?
When it comes to broccoli, frozen broccoli can actually be more nutritious than its fresh counterpart. That’s because frozen broccoli is typically flash-frozen immediately after harvest, which locks in nutrients and prevents them from deteriorating. Fresh broccoli, on the other hand, can start to lose nutrients as soon as it’s picked. So if you’re looking for the most nutrient-packed broccoli, your best bet is to go for the frozen variety. Plus, frozen broccoli is just as easy to cook with as fresh (and just as tasty!) so you can enjoy all the benefits without any extra effort.
If you’re looking for an easy, healthy side dish to make in your air fryer, look no further than this air-fried frozen broccoli recipe. It cooks up quickly and is a great way to add some veggies to your meal!
Have you tried making frozen broccoli in an air fryer? What did you think? Let us know your favorite seasonings in the comments below!
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