How to cook air fryer frozen broccoli so it’s tender with a bit of crisp on the edges. Buttery healthy vegetable side dish with dinner.
Ever wondered if you could cook frozen broccoli in air fryer right out of the bag? Well you can! Air fryer frozen broccoli is perfect when you want veggies with dinner but don’t have fresh produce on hand. Just one of many easy air fryer recipes on The Typical Mom blog. (affiliate links present)
Frozen Broccoli in Air Fryer
We shared how to cook fresh air fryer broccoli last year. Since it is a rather firm vegetable you need some water in the lower basket to get it perfect, not necessary in this case. This is way easier. Just grab a bag of florets, throw it into a preheated basket and it’s done in no time.
At the end you can season with salt and pepper and/or sprinkle with some parmesan cheese on top. A healthy easy side dish recipe that goes with any protein.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- My Favorite Air Fryer is a Cosori or for a dual machine, the Foodi.
- You can find more easy air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
Ninja Foodi Frozen Broccoli
I have a few different brands of machines, they all work very similarly so use what you have. Honestly I do think that when you air fry foods in a singular machine vs. this duo Foodi it does get crunchier on the outside. Smaller machines keep the heat hotter in a smaller area and it has less area to circulate.
Yes of course you could bake frozen broccoli in the oven too but that heats up your entire house and takes a lot longer to boot.
If you use this method you only need about 10 minutes. Boiling will yield a much softer texture (not as good) and with time to come to a rolling boil you’re looking at closer to 25 min. The fastest method is microwaving in a bag but I am not a fan of cooking in any sort of plastic.
Can you add seasonings even when it’s rock hard? Yes. Just toss with some butter or olive oil and most of the salt, pepper, and/or air fryer roasted garlic will stick well enough. As it defrosts in the basket the added moisture will help it adhere more. I will typically add a bit more when it’s cooked as well.
How to Make Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
Now when it comes to the texture on the outside that is up to you. If you just want to get it from hard to tender then 8 minutes would do it. But if you would like a little bit of crispy edges then go for an extra 2-3 minutes beyond that. From there you can continue to toss and add more time. Olive oil spray always gets everything crunchier.
- You just need a bag of already frozen broccoli florets
- Melted butter will add flavor and help seasonings stick
- Salt and pepper are a given
- Garlic powder is a great add in
- I like Mrs. Dash salt free too for added yum if I have some in my spice rack
You always want to preheat your machine for 5 minutes ahead of time so that the whole time it’s in there it is cooking at the same temperature.
How to Cook Frozen Broccoli
Start to finish I would say this takes 15 minutes flat. So when your baked pork chops are close to being done, throw this in. You always want meat to rest before slicing anyway so time it accordingly so everything is done at the same time.
- First preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. for 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter in your microwave. Pour frozen florets into a bowl and drizzle butter over the top. Toss to coat and then sprinkle all the seasonings you want on top so they stick.
- Spray inside of air fryer basket with olive oil. Pour frozen broccoli inside in a single layer.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes tossing contents halfway thru. Serve when they are as tender with a bit of crisp on the outside as you desire.
For just steamed broccoli set to closer to 8 min. No need for a steamer basket for this one. The excess water from the outside of each piece will drip to the bottom of the basket. All frozen vegetables will do this, you can just dump that at the end.
How do you air fry frozen vegetables in Ninja Foodi?
We have cooked other air fryer frozen veggies this way too. They are a really healthy side dish ideas that are cheap with a quick cooking time. Other Foodi recipe ideas could include pressure cooking corn on the cob too. That is if you have this pot that offers both functions.
Both methods will work quite well but will have different textures when done. If you pressure cook broccoli it will be nice and tender in just 1 minute, but there will be no crisp. Air fried frozen broccoli will get soft as you want but the “leaves” on the top will get a bit golden brown with some texture.
Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli No Oil
If you have a Cosori or AirWave you will only be able to follow the directions below since that is the only function. The nice thing about air frying is that you can check it often. With an Instant Pot that isn’t an option, it’s closed and locked until you release the steam.
Not sure how long you want to cook it? Just open the basket, or lid, and look inside. Still firm…just add a few minute more and check again and again until perfect.
Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli and Cheese
My suggestion is that after your first attempt you make note of your desired timing on the printable recipe sheet. You can hit the print button below and keep it handy in a book if you like. Or just come back, we love “seeing you”. Our cheese sauce is great over the top too for your kiddos.
As for leftovers it will stay and reheat the next day. Beyond that I would just toss it because it gets a bit sticky or slimy. Just microwave for about 45 seconds and make some butter noodles or chicken with it. OR make a batch of air fryer teriyaki chicken and toss these in at the end, now that is yummy!
I hate wasting food so I always make a point to explain the best way to save all foods. Hope this helps explain how to cook frozen vegetables in an air fryer with you. Works for almost all types bagged in the frozen section, just the cook time may vary slightly.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F. for 5 minutes.
- Melt butter in microwave. Pour frozen florets into a bowl and drizzle butter over the top. Toss to coat. Sprinkle all seasonings on top so they stick.
- Spray inside of air fryer basket with olive oil, pour frozen broccoli inside in a single layer.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes tossing contents halfway thru until it is as tender with a bit of crisp on the outside as you desire.