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Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower

Pair easy air fryer broccoli and cauliflower with all of your favorite entrees. The healthy vegetables come together quickly when you need a side dish, but don’t feel like putting in a lot of work. If you prefer oven-roasted vegetables, try turmeric roasted cauliflower.

Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower on a plate with a butter dish in the background.

Can You Cook Broccoli and Cauliflower in an Air Fryer?

The air fryer is a tasty way to prepare broccoli and cauliflower. Toss the vegetables with your favorite seasonings and oil to make a crispy, tender vegetable side that comes together in less time than it takes to preheat your oven.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: Use a head of broccoli and cauliflower cut into smaller florets, or opt for the pre-cut bags of cauliflower and broccoli to save yourself some time. You can even use frozen cauliflower and broccoli if that’s what you have handy. 
  • Oil: Coat the vegetables in olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil, whichever you prefer.
  • Spices: Finish our air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and mustard powder.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Dressing: Toss the vegetables with teriyaki, soy sauce, coconut amino, hollandaise sauce, skhug, bone marrow butter, or a bright splash of fresh lemon juice.
  • Cheese: Pull the broccoli and cauliflower with one minute to go, add grated parmesan cheese, and cook for another minute. You can also melt Velveeta or queso and pour it over the vegetables when you’re ready to serve.
  • Nuts: Stir in toasted almonds, pepitas, walnuts, or pecans before serving.
  • Vegetables: Air-fry the broccoli and cauliflower with onions, garlic cloves (add these at the halfway point), sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mushrooms, or acorn squash.
  • Spices: Season the side dish with yellow curry powder, Kinder’s Buttery Steakhouse, seasoned salt, or our Slap Ya Mama Seasoning recipe for a tasty variation.

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

Make this easy side dish with a large mixing bowl and an air fryer. I used an Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer with a large basket.

How to Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Trim and cut the broccoli and cauliflower heads into small florets and wash them with water.

Step 2: Pat the vegetables dry and toss them in a mixing bowl with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and mustard powder.

Broccoli and cauliflower tossed in a bowl with spices and olive oil.

Step 3: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (240°C). Then, add the florets to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 7 minutes. 

Broccoli and cauliflower in the air fryer basket.

Step 4: Shake the basket, and cook for another 7 minutes.

Broccoli and cauliflower in the air fryer basket ready to be shaken.

Expert Tips

  • Cut the broccoli and cauliflower florets the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket so the florets become crispy and tender; work in batches if needed.
  • Shake the basket halfway through to encourage the vegetables to cook evenly. My air fryer gives me a helpful notification to remind me.

How to Serve Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days, making them perfect for meal prep with juicy chicken thighs and brown rice.
  • Freeze: Let the broccoli and cauliflower cool completely. Then, add the florets to an airtight freezer-safe container or bag. Remove any excess air from the bags before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn. Air fryer broccoli and cauliflower will freeze for 2 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the vegetables in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to eat.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers in the oven, microwave, or air fryer by setting the temperature to 350°F (176°C) for 3-5 minutes until they warm up and become crispy again.
  • Repurpose: Repurpose leftover vegetables by adding them to a quick stir-fry or incorporate them into vegetable fried rice with scrambled eggs and leftover rice. Another option is to combine them with quinoa or rice and toppings like avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a protein of choice to create a nutritious grain bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to air fry broccoli and cauliflower?

The time for air-frying broccoli and cauliflower varies depending on the air fryer’s strength and the size of the florets. However, I love the result of cooking the vegetables for 14 minutes at 400°F (240°C).

Does broccoli cook faster than cauliflower?

Broccoli cooks faster than cauliflower, so I recommend cutting the broccoli and cauliflower florets the same size or leaving the broccoli slightly larger than the cauliflower pieces. Because broccoli becomes more tender as it cooks, some of the florets may come out more crispy than others, and that’s okay! Keep an eye on it when you remove the basket to shake it halfway through.

Can I make this recipe with frozen broccoli and cauliflower?

Don’t have fresh broccoli and cauliflower? That’s okay! Air-frying frozen vegetables is a convenient way to prepare them. Simply preheat the air fryer to 400°F (240°C) and cook for 14-16 minutes.

More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes:

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Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower on a plate with a butter dish in the background.

Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower

Tressa Jamil
Make easy air fryer broccoli and cauliflower for when you need a tasty side but don't feel like putting a lot of thought into it.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 84 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into smaller florets
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into smaller florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
Instructions
 
  • Trim and cut the broccoli and cauliflower heads into small florets and wash them with water.
  • Pat the vegetables dry and toss them in a mixing bowl with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and mustard powder.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (240°C). Then, add the florets to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 7 minutes. Shake the basket, and cook for another 7 minutes.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Cut the broccoli and cauliflower florets the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket so the florets become crispy and tender; work in batches if needed.
  • Shake the basket halfway through to encourage the vegetables to cook evenly. My air fryer gives me a helpful notification to remind me. 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 84 kcal | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g | Sodium: 450 mg | Potassium: 629 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 867 IU | Vitamin C: 137 mg | Calcium: 72 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating