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Air fryer broccolini (Tenderstem broccoli)

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I’m a HUGE fan of using the air fryer for anything that I can. I love the crispy, tasty results that it gives and with over 100 air fryer recipes it is fair to say that I’m a big fan! I love to make this air fryer broccolini recipe (with Tenderstem broccoli) as it is SO fast, and great for those meals where I’ve forgotten to prep the vegetable side dishes.

What I love about cooking broccoli in the air fryer is it maintains a nice firmness, and this works particularly well with Tenderstem which I always love to have a bit of a bite to it still. I can make crispy Tenderstem in just a few minutes.

I love to cook this at the same time as air fryer green beans to pack my diet with lots of healthy veg and this goes great with any number of my favourite air fryer potato recipes.

Broccolini is super healthy and one cup contains as much vitamin C as an orange.

Best of all this recipe adds VERY minimal calories to the Tenderstem broccolini and makes a very healthy addition to any main meal. 

If you want to cook a full meal in your air fryer, perhaps you’ve got a larger model like I have (the Ninja Foodi OL750UK), then you can place the broccolini under the air fryer basket and it’ll cook beautifully for the final minutes of your cook time.

Tenderstem broccolini in an air fryer basket

Ingredients for cooking broccolini in the air fryer: 

80g of broccolini / Tenderstem broccoli per person

Spray oil 

Salt and pepper

Optional: Garlic butter or other items to add at the end (see below for some ideas!)

A stack of three fruit scones on a glass cake dish, alongside one fruit scone that has been sliced in half and dressed with cream and fruit jam, with text underneath that says 20+ air fryer desserts

Method for making air fryer broccolini: 

Wash your broccolini.

Trim the stalks.

Dry completely. (I like to use a clean tea towel for this) 

Place in a bowl. 

Add a few pumps of spray oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Mix gently for even coverage.

Pre-heat the air fryer to 200C (390F).

Add the broccolini to the air fryer basket.

Cook for 5-6 minutes.

If required cook for a further 1-2 minutes as the cooking time will vary slightly depending on your model.

If you want extra crispy broccolini then you can increase the cooking time to 7 minutes, but do check back at 6 minutes to ensure it is not burning or overcooking.

A bowl of canned potatoes that have been cooked in the air fryer. They are decorated with parsley, garlic, salt and pepper

Optional items that will add to the flavour: 

As this is quite a healthy dish you may not want to add lots of additional ingredients, preferring just to enjoy the broccolini as is, however, if you want to ramp up the flavour a little then I love to use avocado oil instead of vegetable oil.

Sesame oil works well with this dish too, BUT this is not really advised in the air fryer as it has quite a low smoking point.

Nutritional yeast sprinkled over before air fryer brings lots of flavour and if you’re a Vegan is a great way to get some extra added health benefits into your meal.

We love a little grating of parmesan cheese right upon serving, as this melts wonderfully and just brings a lovely salty flavour to the dish.

Fresh lemon juice works great to pack in some extra freshness and I feel that garlic works great too. I love to make my own garlic butter and add a little knob of this when serving so it can melt across the broccolini and bring lots of extra flavour without many calories.

A white and mushroom coloured plate with cooked air fryer carrot fries with a blue circle bowl with sriracha mayonnaise.

What meals to serve Tenderstem broccoli with? 

We love to enjoy it with a variety of dinners but some of our absolutely favourites are air fryer hunters chickenslow cooker vegetarian lasagnebacon mac and cheese pasta bakecajun chicken pasta and a slow cooker whole chicken

What else can you cook alongside these in the air fryer? 

When you’re wanting to cook some other vegetables or accompaniments at the same time then I would recommend asparagus, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes or even some chopped air fryer bacon.

All of these ingredients have fairly similar cooking times in the air fryer, and as long as you can stir and check them a couple of times you should be fine.

I love to cook broccolini underneath the air fryer basket, while cooking things such as salmon and potatoes. This allows me to make a full meal, and I just add this in for the final few minutes – great for absorbing all the lovely flavours that may be lingering in the pot.

This obviously only works if your air fryer has a basket that sits within a separate cooking container. If not you may want to consider using a small rack and placing the broccolini underneath that.

A cooked pizza, made in the air fryer, topped with nduja sausage, peppers and chilli

Can you use frozen broccolini in the air fryer?

Of course. I personally add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time. On occasion I’ve defrosted them in a bowl of cold water first, and then just followed the same cooking time and method as mentioned in this post.

This recipe is healthy, gluten free, low in carbs, easy to make and takes just a few minutes. It can be a great healthy snack too, great when you just want something to take the edge off your hunger in between meals but want to keep it healthy.

If you’re looking to add some more flavour to your broccolini then to check out one of my homemade seasonings: fajita seasoningperi peri seasoningcajun seasoning. Red pepper flakes added upon serving work really well for a simple hit of flavour too. 

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

Why not check out some of my other delicious air fryer recipes while you’re here?

Macaroni cheese cooked in the air fryer in a ceramic dish

How to cook broccolini in the air fryer:

Air fryer broccolini

How to make broccolini in the air fryer

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword air fryer, vegetables
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 39 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 80 g of broccolini / Tenderstem broccoli per person
  • Spray oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: Garlic butter or other items to add at the end see below for some ideas!

Instructions

  1. Wash your broccolini.
  2. Trim the stalks.
  3. Dry completely. (I like to use a clean tea towel for this)
  4. Place in a bowl.
  5. Add a few pumps of spray oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix gently for even coverage.
  8. Pre-heat the air fryer to 200C (390F).
  9. Add the broccolini to the air fryer basket.
  10. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  11. If required cook for a further 1-2 minutes as the cooking time will vary slightly depending on your model.
  12. If you want extra crispy broccolini then you can increase the cooking time to 7 minutes, but do check back at 6 minutes to ensure it is not burning or overcooking.

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

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Tenderstem broccolini in an air fryer basket
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