Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

If you are looking for an easy and fast way to cook frozen broccoli, then air frying offers you the best solution. It is not just easy but also leaves the broccoli crunchy and perfectly cooked. Serve it as a side dish or as a snack to enjoy the many benefits of air fryer frozen broccoli. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed! You will also love Air Fryer Plantains and Air Fryer Carrots.

What Is Broccoli?

Broccoli is a beautiful; dark green vegetable that you can easily find at any grocery store. It has small florets that resemble a miniature of trees. Broccoli comes from the cabbage family and is a distinct cousin of the cabbages and cauliflowers we eat. But, like these vegetables. Broccoli is not a naturally occurring vegetable. Did you know that this delicious and super healthy vegetable is a man-made vegetable? Well, not entirely, of course! But when a specific plant is grown in a strict environment, under certain conditions, you get broccoli.

Broccoli dates back to the 6th century. It is said to have originated first in the roman empire. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that this vegetable made it to the rest of Europe. Today it is among the most widely used vegetable. You can eat it raw and cook it as well. Furthermore, it is readily available in a fresh form as well as frozen form.

broccoli plant in garden

Benefits Of Broccoli

You can never underestimate the power of broccoli. It is a super vegetable. If you are wondering what good is this vegetable, you will be amazed to know how beneficial this vegetable is for you and your body. Here are a few benefits that you should know about:

  • Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins like vitamin A, Vitamin B9, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
  • It is rich in antioxidants. As a result, it supports the growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body.
  • Broccoli has certain bioactive compounds. These compounds help in reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Because broccoli supports healthy cell production and reduces cell damage, it helps to protect against chronic diseases like cancer.
  • Since it is a rich source of antioxidants and dietary fiber, it helps in regulating blood sugar levels.
  • It reduces the bad cholesterol levels in the blood. As a result, it protects the heart from several diseases like strokes, high blood pressure, etc.
  • It also helps in improving your digestive health by regulating bowel movements. It also helps in reducing colon inflammation which provides a better environment for the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Furthermore, it also relieves constipation.
  • Broccoli also helps in improving brain function.

Can You Air Fry Frozen Broccoli?

Although broccoli is delicious, it is not always in season. So, what to do when you are craving broccoli, and there isn’t a fresh vegetable in the market? You use frozen ones! Thanks to the companies that offer frozen broccoli throughout the year. See How To Freeze Broccoli.

Should You Thaw Broccoli Before Air Frying It?

Well, the opinion on whether you should thaw frozen broccoli before air frying it is divided. If you ask me, I don’t really wait for frozen broccoli to thaw. I am not that patient. So, I cook by throwing it straight from the freezer into the air fryer basket. However, if you have a patient soul, you can wait for it to thaw and then air dry it. This way you will get rid of excess water, and the broccoli will cook up faster. However, remember that thawing doesn’t have any prominent effect on the texture and crunchiness of the broccoli.

How To Thaw Broccoli Fast?

If you prefer to thaw frozen broccoli before air frying it, you can totally do that. Well, when thawing a frozen vegetable, what we usually do is leave it outside the freezer at room temperature and wait for an hour or two until it thaws naturally. However, if you want to thaw broccoli at a faster speed, we have a few ways you can achieve this. These are:

  • Microwave: The easiest way to thaw broccoli is by placing it in a microwave-safe container, adding a little bit of water, and heating it. You don’t need to heat it for several minutes straight. The main aim is just to thaw it a little so that the florets separate or the excess water is melted. Furthermore, some microwaves also offer a thaw option. If your microwave has that option, select it. The button is, after all, to make your life easier.
  • Steamer: another way to thaw broccoli instantly is by placing it in a steamer, add about half a glass of water underneath and steam the vegetable for about 2 minutes. The broccoli will come out perfectly thawed.

Next, season the broccoli, and place it in the air fryer basket. It will take less time to air fry, and the vegetable will be crispy and perfectly cooked.

How To Cook Frozen Broccoli In An Air Fryer?

Now, if you don’t have the time, energy, or patience to thaw frozen broccoli, you worry at all! You can air fry frozen broccoli within a few minutes. For that, you will have to follow four simple steps. These are:

Step 1: in a bowl, add olive oil, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. Mix well.

Step 2: add frozen broccoli florets in the bowl and toss well until the mixture coast every inch of the vegetable.

Step 3: place the florets in an air fryer basket.

Step 4: cook for about 10 minutes at 350-degree F. make sure the air fryer is pre-heated. This will ensure perfect cooking.

air fryer broccoli in a speckled beige plate on a beige background

Seasoning Ideas

Although I have kept the flavors simple by adding just garlic powder and nutritional yeast flakes to season the frozen broccoli, it doesn’t mean you can’t add more seasonings. If you are looking for a few ideas to add more flavor to air fryer frozen broccoli, here are a few ideas you might like:

  • Herbs: you can add either fresh or dry herbs to the olive oil. Herbs like thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and oregano not only adds flavor but also give the broccoli an aroma.
  • Paprika: if you like your vegetables spicy, add a little bit of paprika, cayenne, or red chili flakes to the olive oil. It will bring in the heat you love.
  • Jerk seasoning: if you are familiar with Jamaican flavors, you will know the importance of a jerk seasoning. It is rich, flavorful, and brings in-depth flavors. Season the frozen broccoli with Jerk Seasoning, and enjoy!
  • Fajita seasoning: If you love making spice mixes, you will definitely have fajita seasoning somewhere in your kitchen. Season the frozen broccoli with fajita seasoning and enjoy the punch of flavors.

Can You Store Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, you can store leftover air fryer frozen broccoli. All you have to do is place it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last fresh for up to 4 days. However, make sure the broccoli is at room temperature before you refrigerate it.

When reheating, do remember that if you reheat it in the microwave, it won’t be crunchy. Rather, it will be soggy. If you want the leftover, and stored broccoli to be crunchy, air fry it for about 3 to 4 minutes at 350-degree F. it will come out as if you have just prepared it. No one will know if it is leftover broccoli!

What To Serve With Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli?

There are so many ingredients that you can pair up with air-fried broccoli. Here are a few to name:

  • Vegan cheese sauce: missing the cheese on air-fried broccoli? Add vegan cheese sauce. The rich and creamy sauce, along with crunchy broccoli, is a match made in heaven. You can also sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan.
  • Vegetables: serve it alongside other air-fried vegetables like potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and enjoy.
  • Mashed potatoes: creamy mashed potatoes and broccoli go very well with each other. It is a very satisfying meal.
  • Rice: serve it alongside your favorite rice. I love to serve it with coconut rice.
  • Hummus: serve air-fried broccoli as a snack with creamy hummus and enjoy the depth of flavors.

Other Vegan Air Fryer Recipes

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 59 kcal / 247 kJ
  • Fat: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 7.5 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • For:
  • 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add olive oil, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast flakes.
  2. Add frozen broccoli and toss until the ingredients coat the broccoli florets.
  3. Place the broccoli in the air fryer basket.
  4. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes at 350-degree F.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.