This air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe makes the perfect healthy side dish! It's quick and easy to make and can be paired with virtually all of your favorite entrees. Skip turning on your oven while still getting the same crispy & tender results!
It's exactly like roasted broccoli & cauliflower, in that it's crispy on the inside while being tender and juicy on the inside. However, it's actually better because it's ready in half the time and you don't have to warm up your whole house by turning on the oven.
Another thing that's so great about this recipe is how versatile it is! You change up the spices to your liking but it also pairs so well with so many different dishes, like this buddha bowl or alongside these air fryer smashed potatoes.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's a healthy & easy side dish that only calls for 5 simple ingredients!
- It's quick & easy to make! You only need 15 minutes before this will be on your dinner table.
- This recipe is versatile and makes a great option for meal prep! Prep this ahead of time and enjoy it throughout the week with a variety of different meals.
- Even picky eaters or those who follow a certain diet will love this. It's naturally vegan, gluten-free, keto and low carb.
There's only 1 thing you technically need for this recipe:
- Air Fryer: You can use whatever kind of air fryer you have. I personally have this toaster oven/tray style air fryer but the classic basket style air fryers will give you the exact same results.
Some other helpful tools (which you definitely have in your kitchen!):
- Cutting Board
- Large Bowl or baking sheet
- Chef's Knife: to cut the broccoli & cauliflower into florets, if needed.
- Measuring Spoons
*If you don't have an air fryer, you can make this recipe perfectly in the oven. Oven instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
Luckily, you only need a short list of basic ingredients that can easily be found at your local grocery store, if you don't already have them on hand!
- Veggies: Fresh broccoli & cauliflower make the perfect pair for this side dish as cauliflower is slightly sweet and nutty while broccoli is little more bitter. Both of these veggies are healthy and loaded with essential nutrients like fiber and vitamin C!
- Olive Oil: Just a little bit to help the veggies crisp up on the outside while keeping them tender on the inside! Feel free to use avocado oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil spray instead. I do not recommend skipping oil entirely, as you won't get the same result and run the risk of burning the broccoli.
- Spices: We're keeping this recipe simple by just using salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. If you'd rather use fresh garlic than garlic powder, just use 1-2 cloves.
- Lemon Juice: This is completely optional, but I think it enhances the flavor!
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
I personally think this recipe is perfect as is but feel free to try out one of these changes to make this dish work best for you!
- Change up the seasoning! Try adding onion powder, lemon pepper, cajun or seasoned salt to the mix.
- Make it spicy with the addition of red pepper flakes or jalapenos, or by tossing in buffalo sauce.
- Add other veggies such as brussels sprouts, bell peppers or carrots. You could also just use broccoli or just use cauliflower if you prefer.
- For a cheesy version, sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast either during the last two minutes of cooking or right when the veggies are out of the air fryer.
- Use your oven instead! If you don't have an airfryer, you can make this side dish in the oven by roasting the veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet for 25-35 minutes at 400F.
This recipe has not been tested with any other substitutions or variations than the ones listed above. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
This is an easy recipe with only 4 simple steps!
Step 1: Cut the broccoli & cauliflower into bite-sized pieces / florets. If needed, see below for guidance on how to cut into florets.
Step 2: Place the florets in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and spices, tossing to combine.
Step 3: Add the broccoli & cauliflower to the air fryer basket or tray in a single layer. Air fry for 12-15 minutes* at 380F, shaking half way through to ensure even cooking.
Step 4: Remove from the air fryer and serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
*Cook time may vary depending on the model of your air fryer, so be sure to check every few minutes to ensure they don't burn! Pull out any pieces that look like they're starting to burn.
How to cut broccoli & cauliflower into florets
- To cut broccoli into florets: Hold the broccoli with the stem facing (preferably on a cutting board) and use your chef's knife to remove the florets from the crown, leaving ~1 inch of stem on each floret. Once you get to the center of the crown, place the stem flat on the cutting board and cut down in order to separate the large bunch of florets from the stem.
- To cut cauliflower into florets: Remove the green leaves at the base then use a chef's knife to cut the cauliflower in half and then in half again so you have 4 quarters. Cut the core out on a diagonal then using your hands, easily break the quarters into florets.
There are so many different ways you can serve these air fried broccoli & cauliflower! Here are just a few of my favorite ways:
- Serve as the perfect side dish alongside your favorite protein, whether that be tofu, seitan, tempeh, or even non-vegan proteins like chicken, beef or fish! A complimentary side dish are these air fryer smashed potatoes.
- Mix into a bowl of pasta, stir fry, fried rice, or even a vegan omelette or frittata.
- Eat on it's own as a snack or with your favorite dipping sauce! Some yummy dip options are garlic aioli, pesto sauce, kung pao sauce, cheese sauce, lemon herb tahini, ranch, honey mustard or buffalo sauce.
- Serve on top of baked potatoes or add to salads, buddha bowls or grain bowls.
- Make sure the cauliflower is cut into smaller pieces than the broccoli florets!! Cauliflower takes longer to cook than broccoli, so making them smaller will ensure that they're cooker through in 12-15 minutes and that your broccoli isn't burnt.
- Keep the broccoli stems and cauliflower stems! Rather than throwing them away, you can add the broccoli stems to soup, spiralized into noodles, shred them to add to salads, or blend them into sauces like pesto. The cauliflower leaves make a great addition to broths/stocks or coleslaw and salads.
- Save time by buying broccoli & cauliflower that have already been cut into florets.
- Don't overcrowd your airfryer basket/tray. If needed, depending on the size of your air fryer, air fry in batches! This will ensure the best, crispiest results. Just toss everything back in the air fryer 2-3 minutes before serving to ensure they're nice and warm.
- Shake the basket halfway through cooking to ensure that the pieces don't get stuck and that they cook evenly.
Refrigerator: Allow to cool completely then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Place cooked broccoli & cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer and flash freeze for 2-3 hours, or until frozen through. This will ensure they don't get stuck together. Transfer into an airtight container or freezer-friendly zipper bag and store for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw completely in the fridge before reheating.
There's 3 ways you can reheat your leftover broccoli & cauliflower:
- In the airfryer (for best results) at 380F until crisped up and warmed through. Be sure to put them in a single, even layer!
- In the oven at 400F until warmed through.
- In the microwave for 1-2 minute until warmed through. This method is my least favorite, as it wont get your veggies nice & crispy.
Yes, air fryer broccoli and cauliflower is very healthy! There's only a small amount of oil, less than what is used than if they were oven roasted and we still get that same crispy result.
No! It's actually the opposite. Cauliflower florets are denser than broccoli, so it takes longer to cook. This is why I recommend cutting the cauliflower smaller than the broccoli florets.
In this case, it could be that your broccoli florets are too small and they're cooking much faster than anticipated. I recommend them keeping them a bit larger and make sure you're using oil, as this will help prevent them burning.
Yes! Be sure to let them thaw completely and place them in a colander to allow some of the moisture to drain out. Otherwise, they won't crisp up as nicely as fresh would.
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Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- 1 Large Bowl
- 1 Chefs Knife
- 2 cups (180 g) broccoli florets (1 medium broccoli crown)
- 2 cups (200 g) cauliflower florets (1 medium head cauliflower)
- 2 tablespoosn (28 g) olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice to garnish, optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- Chop the cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Cauliflower takes longer to cook, so make sure the cauliflower florets are smaller than the broccoli florets.2 cups broccoli florets, 2 cups cauliflower florets
- To a large bowl, add broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine.2 tablespoosn olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon salt
- Pour vegetables into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through to your liking, tossing halfway through.
- Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!1 tablespoon lemon juice