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
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- 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, this delicious Air Fryer Ham Steak or this amazing Air Fryer Pork Belly, baked tofu... the list goes on and on. An easy complementary side dish is these Sautéed Sweet Potatoes.
Mixed into Pasta - This is a great addition to pasta dishes for an extra serving of veggies. Try adding into a simple, somewhat spicy Pasta Aglio Olio e Peperoncino or any pasta with Almond Pesto.
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.
Salad Topping - Add leftover roasted broccoli and cauliflower to your lunchtime salad, like this Spinach Quinoa Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts or this Warm Farro Salad.
Grain Bowls - This broccoli is a beautiful addition to a variety of grain bowls, like this Roasted Radish Greens Bowl or this Warm Grain Bowl with Goat Cheese and Greens.
More Recipes You'll Love
If you're in the mood for more air fryer veggie sides, try these recipes:
Air Fryer Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Microplane Optional
- 5 ounces broccoli
- 5 ounces cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic small
- ¼ teaspoon thyme leaves fresh
- kosher salt to salt
- 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.
Jere Cassidy says
I'm gathering recipes for the AF and this one is perfect for me. I love cauliflower and broccoli together. This recipe is just so simple and tastes wonderful.
Thanks, Jere! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
This was so simple and delish, I'm sure I'll be making it often! Yummy!
These are my new potato chips. I am totally loving the crisp (though I do run them a little longer for like.... a lot of crisp)! Its so easy, I made a big batch the other night and just added a little to my eggs this morning. Perfect easy recipe!
Thank you, K! I love those crispy bits too. They're the best.
Great way to get my kids to eat healthy! They love the crispiness of the air fryer.
Yay! I love hearing that. Thanks MacKenzie!
Simple and delicious! My family loves broccoli and cauliflower this way.
Yum! This was so good! And my kids loved it too!
Scrumptious!!! How did we function before air fryers?
Haha, good question! I’m glad this worked well for you.
Journa Liz Ramirez says
Air fryers are the best way of cooking cauliflower and broccoli. So gooood!
I added some hot pepper, which added a kick making it more delicious. Highly recommended!
Ooh, fantastic idea! Love it! Thanks, Sharina.
I love roasted broccoli and cauliflower but don't always want to heat up the house with the oven so this recipe is perfect! Air fryers really are a magical machine and this recipe is delicious!
Thank you, Dana! So happy they turned out well for you.