If you love crisp and tender roasted broccoli and cauliflower but don't have the time to preheat the oven, this Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower offers an easy, delicious alternative. Dressed with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and thyme, this quick, versatile side dish goes with everything from steak to pasta to omelets.
The best part about this side dish, other than how incredibly simple it is to make, is its adaptability. See the How to Serve section below for more ideas for use.
What You'll Need
Two Cloves Kitchen, as an Amazon Affiliate, makes a small percentage from qualified sales made through affiliate links at no cost to you.
- Broccoli You can purchase either a whole head of broccoli and cut into 1-inch pieces, or purchase pre-cut broccoli florets, and cut or break apart to create relatively even 1-inch pieces. Some smaller pieces are fine.
- Cauliflower The same note above applies to the cauliflower. Be sure your broccoli and cauliflower are also similarly sized.
- Lemon I prefer the taste of fresh lemons, but if you don't have access to them, try using some bottled lemon juice.
- Garlic I like to grate the garlic on a microplane or finely mince it.
- Olive Oil A high-quality olive oil is always nice when your recipe has so few ingredients, but use whatever you have on hand.
- Fresh Thyme You can also use fresh rosemary that's chopped very fine.
- Kosher Salt My recommendation is to use the brand Diamond Crystal because it allows you to easily adjust without oversalting. It is a flake shape as opposed to a compact grain, which means it has a less concentrated salty flavor by volume.
How to Prepare
Step One Cut your broccoli and cauliflower into approximately uniform 1-inch pieces.
Step Two Mince or grate your garlic.
Step Three Create your dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, and salt in a dish or jar and whisking or shaking to combine.
Step Four Dress the broccoli and cauliflower. You can mix with a spoon, your hands, or drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and lightly toss in a bowl.
Step Five Place the dressed vegetables in the basket of your air fryer and roast at 400°F or 7 to 8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
Step Six Serve right away, or cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for later use.
Traditional You can omit the lemon and herbs for a more traditional roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
Spicy Add some grated jalapeño or other hot pepper to your dressing for some added kick.
Rosemary In place of fresh thyme, try finely chopped fresh rosemary in your vinaigrette.
Shallot Instead of garlic, try adding some finely minced shallot to your dressing.
How to Store
Cool and then store in an airtight container, making sure to transfer to the fridge within 2 hours of cooking for food safety reasons.
This will last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
Absolutely. This is a great addition to work or school lunches, macaroni and cheese, salads, or as a side for any meal.
You can store cooled broccoli and cauliflower in freezer bags for 2 to 3 months. The vegetables will last longer if cooked without garlic or lemon.
From fridge You can reheat this in the oven for a few minutes at 350°F, in a skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil, or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
From frozen Place the frozen broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge overnight to thaw. Then follow the directions above.
Of course! Nothing about the recipe needs to be changed in order to cook just one or the other.
- To ensure even cooking, be sure to cut your vegetables as uniformly as possible. If you buy pre-cut vegetables, make a few alterations once you open the bag to cut larger pieces into similar, smaller shapes.
- Avoid crowding the air fryer basket if you like crispy edges. You can work in batches to give everyone enough room to brown evenly.
- If you are concerned about your first batch getting cold, heat your regular oven to its lowest setting, usually 170 to 200°F, and place your veggies in the preheated oven in an oven-safe dish.
How to Serve
This air fryer broccoli and cauliflower are incredibly adaptable. Below are just a few of its countless uses:
Side Dish - Serve these alongside grilled steak, Italian Chicken Cutlets, Furikake Salmon, pork chops, baked tofu... the list goes on and on. An easy complementary side dish are these Sautéed Sweet Potatoes.
Omelettes and Scrambles - Adding leftover roasted vegetables to omelettes or scrambles is something I absolutely love to do. Reheat the veggies in the pan and serve over top or in the center of your omelette or scramble.
More Recipes You'll Love
If you're in the mood for more veggie sides, try these recipes:
Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into uniform 1-inch pieces. If using packaged, pre-cut vegetables, cut the larger pieces into small, uniform pieces. Some smaller pieces are fine - they will get browned and crunchy in the air fryer.
- Create the vinaigrette. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme leaves, salt, and grate or mince the garlic and add into the mixture. Whisk or shake in a jar.
- Coat the vegetables in the dressing.
- Add the vegetables to the air fryer basket and cook at 400°F for 7 to 8 minutes, shaking at the halfway point.
- Remove from the basket and serve right away.
- This will last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
- You can store cooled broccoli and cauliflower in freezer bags for 2 to 3 months. The vegetables will last even longer if cooked without garlic or lemon.
- The amount of garlic I used when testing measured ½ teaspoon when minced.
- If you choose to use larger pieces of broccoli and cauliflower, you may need more time and/or the pieces will not brown as readily.
- If you don't have fresh thyme, try finely chopped fresh rosemary or you can omit herbs altogether.
- For a more traditional broccoli and cauliflower side, you can omit the herbs, garlic, and lemon, using only olive oil and salt.
- You can reheat this in the oven for a few minutes at 350°F, in a skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil, or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
- From frozen, place the frozen broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge overnight to thaw. Then follow the directions above.
- Try pairing with everything from steak, chicken, pork, fish, to grain bowls, salads, and omelettes.