Air fryer broccoli and cauliflower is perfectly crispy and well seasoned with garlic and parmesan cheese. You only need 15 minutes to make this healthy side dish.Jump to Recipe
I'm convinced you're going to love this easy side dish, especially if you're a fan of broccoli and cauliflower. Before buying an air fryer I would make this recipe in the oven. It was super tasty but took so much time for the oven to preheat and bake time took upwards of 20 minutes. Cooking in an air fryer is quick and convenient. Plus the vegetables will be left with perfect crispy edges instead of being soggy and limp. It's the perfect side dish for any dinner and only simple ingredients are needed.
- Why You'll Love Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- How to Air Fry Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Tips for The Best AirFryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Must Try Variations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ways to Serve Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- More Healthy Recipes You'll Love
- Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
Why You'll Love Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Healthy - Broccoli and cauliflower both contain vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and many other nutrients. It's believed that eating broccoli and cauliflower may reduce the risk of certain cancers. This recipe is also low calorie making it the perfect side for any type of meal.
- Perfect for meal prep - Consider making this as a side for your meal prep during the week. It reheats well and accompanies any lunch.
- Easy to make - Using the air fryer for this recipe makes it so easy. Instead of flipping the veggies half way through like you would if you were cooking in the oven on a baking sheet, simply shake the basket to ensure even cooking.
- Simple ingredients - Only simple ingredients are used in this broccoli cauliflower recipe. If you have a stocked pantry you probably already have most of these on hand.
- Texture - This recipe does not give you soggy vegetables, you can be assured that the broccoli and cauliflower florets will be crispy with a tender bite. Air frying is similar to roasted broccoli and cauliflower but you get a much better crisp with every bite.
Fresh broccoli florets - depending on the size you can find, I typically find that using 2 heads of broccoli works great for this easy recipe. You can also opt for pre-chopped broccoli florets which is a great way to save on time. You'll need around 3 cups broccoli florets for this recipe.
Fresh cauliflower florets - I find that one head of cauliflower chopped is perfect for this cauliflower broccoli recipe
Olive oil - a good quality olive oil is going to bring the best flavor to this recipe. A small amount of oil goes a long way in the air fryer. Olive oil spray, or avocado oil can be substituted.
Water - a little bit of water is added to the bottom of the air fryer to keep the vegetables from burning and allow them to become slightly tender
Garlic - fresh garlic is best for this recipe, one teaspoon garlic powder can be used as a replacement but you won't get the same flavor. Sliced garlic releases so much flavor and gets crispy as it cooks.
Salt and black pepper - what's a vegetable recipe without salt and pepper? I suggest using seasoned salt for even more flavor.
Paprika - for color and subtle flavor
Parmesan cheese - freshly grated is best but powdered cheese can be used if you already have it on hand
How to Air Fry Broccoli and Cauliflower
Step 1. In a large bowl add cauliflower, broccoli, garlic and olive oil and stir to combine until all the vegetables are evenly coated with the olive oil.
Step 2. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the vegetables are evenly coated with the seasonings.
Step 3. Add the water to the bottom of the air fryer below the grate. Place the broccoli and cauliflower in the air fryer basket on the grate in a single layer. Try not to overlap if possible.
Step 4. Cook at 380 degrees for 15 minutes. Shake 1-2 times before the time is up to ensure even cooking.
Tips for The Best AirFryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Cook the vegetables in an even layer. This is so important to ensure all the vegetables cook evenly and get crispy. When they're stacked on one another you end up steaming them more than crisping them up. That's fine if it's what you're going for but it's not the intended outcome for this recipe.
- Stir and shake the air fryer basket frequently. I typically try to shake the basket 2-3 times depending on how busy I am in the kitchen. I've made this a few times and have only shaken 1-2 times and it's been just fine. You may find the edges of the broccoli and cauliflower get a bit more crispy the less you shake the basket.
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower in even sized pieces. Making sure you have the same sized veggies will also help ensure an even cook. Smaller pieces risk burning while large pieces risk not being cooked through.
- Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Fresh cheese is always going to have so much more flavor than a pre-shredded or a powdered cheese. For optimum flavor I strongly recommend going for fresh, especially in this delicious side dish.
- Add a little water to the basket. I found that this simple step makes a huge difference. It adds a little moisture in the air fryer allowing the air fryer cauliflower and broccoli to become tender and reduce the risk of burning.
Must Try Variations
Air-fried broccoli and cauliflower is an extremely versatile side dish. Consider the following variations to create incredibly flavorful vegetables that everyone at the dinner table will love.
- Lemon and herb: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the air fried vegetables and top with chopped herbs like parsley or thyme. Don't have fresh lemon? No worries consider using lemon pepper instead.
- Asian-style: Season the broccoli and cauliflower with soy sauce, sesame oil, and a touch of honey for a sweet and savory flavor before adding to the air fryer.
- Spicy: Toss the veggies with some red pepper flakes, paprika, or cayenne pepper for a little kick.
- Curry: In a small bowl mix together curry powder, or red curry paste and a little bit of sugar to make a delicious seasoning to coat the broccoli and cauliflower.
- Italian-style: Toss the veggies with some chopped cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a light and fresh flavor. When they're done top with fresh sliced basil.
- Ranch-style: Coat the vegetables in ranch dressing dry seasoning before air frying.
- Pesto: Omit the olive oil, toss the veggies with a spoonful of pesto and some extra fresh cheese before air frying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will broccoli and cauliflower burn in the air fryer?
Overcooking the vegetables can cause them to burn in the air fryer. To keep this from happening, I recommend shaking the air fryer basket frequently. Adding water to the bottom of the air fryer also helps keep moisture flowing within the air fryer and should help prevent burning.
Can I use frozen vegetables?
Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower and frozen broccoli in air fryer. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature. You can expect to cook the frozen broccoli and cauliflower for a few minutes longer than you would fresh. Depending on the size of the florets and the temperature of your air fryer, it may take anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes. Keep in mind that frozen vegetables may release more moisture during the cooking cooking process. I suggest letting the veggies thaw completely then pat dry with a paper towel before tossing it with oil and seasoning.
How long does this air fryer roasted cauliflower and broccoli take?
You can expect to spend about 5 minutes prepping the ingredients and 15 minutes of cook time. That's a total of 20 minutes spent on this recipe.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Before storing allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature. This will prevent moisture buildup and help to keep them from becoming mushy. I don't recommend storing in the freezer because the flavor and texture will begin to deteriorate. To reheat the crispy broccoli and cauliflower, place them in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes until heated through.
Ways to Serve Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Air fryer chicken: Air fryer chicken breast or air fryer chicken thighs are a classic pairing with broccoli and cauliflower. The lean protein and savory flavor complement the vegetables nicely.
- Fish or seafood: Broccoli and cauliflower also pair well with fish or seafood, such as salmon or shrimp. The light, delicate flavor of the seafood is a great contrast to the heartier texture of the vegetables.
- Rice or grains: Rice or grains, such as quinoa or couscous, make a great side dish to broccoli and cauliflower. They help to absorb any sauces or seasonings from the vegetables and add a bit of texture to the meal. It's also a great vegetarian dinner option.
- Pasta: Broccoli and cauliflower can be tossed with pasta for a satisfying vegetarian meal. Try adding garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese for a simple, flavorful pasta dish.
- Salads: Air fryer broccoli and cauliflower can be added to salads for extra texture and flavor. Try combining them with other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes or bell peppers, and topping with a simple vinaigrette.
More Healthy Recipes You'll Love
Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl add cauliflower, broccoli, garlic and olive oil and stir to combine until all the vegetables are evenly coated with the olive oil.
- Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the vegetables are evenly coated with the seasonings.
- Add the water to the bottom of the air fryer below the grate. Place the broccoli and cauliflower in the air fryer basket on the grate in a single layer. Try not to overlap if possible.
- Cook at 380 degrees for 15 minutes. Shake 1-2 times before the time is up to ensure even cooking.