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One thing I love about making vegetables in the air fryer is how different they can turn out compared to steaming or even roasting them. That is exactly how this air fryer broccoli parmesan is.
Air fryer broccoli turns out crispy!
It’s completely different in texture and taste than if you were to steam, microwave, or even oven roast your broccoli.
We make this air fryer recipe as a vegetable side dish to many of our family meals. Even my 3-year-old eats it up!
She loves the crispy texture the florets get while the stems stay that perfect mix of firm yet cooked.
This recipe was made inside my Cosori Air Fryer. I find it’s the perfect size for my 4-person family and the square basket makes cooking foods, even veggies, much easier and faster. I could double (or even triple) this recipe and make it all in one batch with the Cosori!
How to Make Air Fryer Broccoli Parmesan
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
Wash and cut the broccoli into florets, or bite-sized pieces. The size depends on your preference. I like to cut them a bit smaller for my daughter, but you can cut them slightly larger as well.
Set the broccoli aside.
In a big bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. If you want a little kick to the air fryer broccoli parmesan, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes into the butter mixture.
Add the broccoli into the bowl and mix to combine. Pour in the grated parmesan cheese and mix again to coat the broccoli bites evenly.
While you can use the powder parmesan cheese from the store with this recipe, I find it tastes much fresher and just… better with the freshly grated variety.
You can either buy a parmesan cheese block and grate it yourself or buy the shredded variety from the store.
Since Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese, a block of it will last several weeks in the fridge.
Add the broccoli florets to the preheated air fryer and cook for 6-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
Use a fork to pierce the broccoli and test if it’s ready. Remove the broccoli parmesan from the air fryer and enjoy it immediately!
PRO TIP: If you notice the florets starting to brown quickly, lower your temperature about 25-30 degrees. Some air fryers can cook faster than others, so it’s important to keep an eye on how the broccoli looks.
While it is normal for the broccoli to have some browning, as seen in the pictures, it’s not normal for it to taste burnt.
Is Broccoli Good for Weight Loss?
Broccoli is a very nutritious vegetable. It contains fiber, vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and even B6.
On top of that, it contains very little calories, making it super healthy and great for weight loss.
One cup of cooked broccoli contains just 54 calories.
If you’re following a keto or vegetarian diet, this air fryer broccoli parmesan is perfect. One serving contains 2 grams of carbs, making it perfect for almost any meal.
Can I Add the Parmesan Cheese After Cooking?
This recipe has been tested thoroughly. I have made versions where I put more parmesan cheese on halfway through and some recipes where I put it on at the end.
The result? The Parmesan must be mixed into the raw broccoli before it goes into the air fryer.
Since fried broccoli shrinks in size when cooked, the parmesan cheese won’t attach to the broccoli and then becomes a melted mess that sits on the bottom of the bowl.
Placing the Parmesan cheese in with the raw broccoli helps it attach onto the broccoli into every little nook and cranny then cook evenly along with the broccoli.
That means the parmesan will melt into the broccoli, not just fall off onto the air fryer or bottom of a bowl.
After the air fryer broccoli is complete, you can add some more freshly grated parmesan once it’s been served on your plate.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
- 1 head of broccoli
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- additional parmesan cheese for serving
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
- Cut broccoli into florets and set aside.
- Mix together melted butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Add broccoli and mix to combine thoroughly.
- Add Parmesan cheese and mix again making sure to coat it evenly.
- Add broccoli to preheated air fryer and cook for 6-8 minutes, shaking basket halfway through.*
- Remove from air fryer and serve immediately.
- Add additional Parmesan cheese on top once served.
*If broccoli is starting brown too much halfway through cooking, drop the temperature to 360 degrees and continue to cook according to timing above.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g