Short on time for making a fun veggie to go with dinner? Give these Air Fryer Broccolini a shot! In less than 10 minutes, you’ll have a tender, crisp and delicate side dish that the whole family will love!
🍽️ Why This Works
Easy – This recipe requires just a few ingredients and there is nothing complicated here. You can even mix up the citrus vinaigrette ahead of time, so all you need to do is put the broccolini in the air fryer and wait for it to be finished.
Fast – It only takes about six minutes to cook these, and it is hands-off once you get them in the air fryer. Save yourself even more time by using a piece of air fryer liner as it will speed up your cleanup too.
Broccolini – This is a cross between the traditional broccoli you are familiar with and a Chinese variety that is much leafier. It is distinctive with its long, thin stems and delicate structure. You’ll find these in the refrigerated section in the produce department.
Citrus Vinaigrette – This is one of my favorite all-purpose dressings. It is tangy and sweet and the orange juice provides a refreshing citrus flavor. Keep the extra for salads or other veggies. I store mine in a mason jar in the fridge.
🍴 Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer – I used a Ninja Foodie Air Fryer, but any variety will work just fine. Recognize that each one will be slightly different and make cook at different times, so use the times in this recipe as a general guide and check your early until you are used to it’s cooking time.
Air Fryer Liner – I love these handy parchment liners! They come precut to match the size and model of your Air Fryer, and have holes to allow the air to flow freely. These make cleanup a breeze, saving you even more time!
Step One: Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl or a small jar. I used a small canning jar as I had a matching lid that made it easy to store in the refrigerator. Make sure to shake it well before using, as the oil will separate.
Step Two: Prepare the broccolini by cutting off any yellowing leaves and trimming the stem.
Note: The stem is typically ¼ to ½ inch thick and is edible (and delicious!) You typically have to cute broccoli stems down to a smaller size to cook, you don’t have to worry about broccolini. These are tender and crisp and don’t need much additional preparation.
Step Three: Add the Air Fryer liner to the basket and layer on the trimmed broccolini. Keep some space between them to avoid overcrowding.
Step Four: Set the Air Fryer to 330 degrees for about six minutes. Turn them over at the half way point.
Note: We made this recipe four times in two different air fryers, and here is what we learned. Increasing the temperature or the time caused the delicate florets to turn brown and they became over-crispy. The lower temperature and 4-8 minute range resulted in perfectly cooked veggies.
Step Five: Remove them from the basket and drizzle the vinaigrette over top right before serving.
❗ Expert Tips
Time – If this is your first time cooking these, check them early and often as you cook. You want the stems to remain crisp, but that is balanced with having the florets become over-done.
Make Ahead of Time – The best way to save time on this recipe is to make the vinaigrette ahead of time. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for a few days, so make a batch to last you the week. It works perfectly on fresh green salads as well.
Parchment Liners – This recipe is pretty easy to clean up already, but adding a parchment liner will save even more time. I just got in the habit of using them for almost all of my air fryer cooking and it has saved a ton of time!
Spray Oil – You don’t have to use this, but it makes it a lot easier to provide a light coating of oil. The alternative is to pour a teaspoon of the oil prior to coating, but I find that it is much easier just to use the spray.
When serving these with kiddos, they love the baby trees with their Dino Nuggets.
I also serve these with sea salt, black pepper and even fresh parmesan. This is a mild flavored veggie, and you don’t really need a lot of strong flavored add ons.
This is a hybrid cross between the broccoli you are used to seeing in the grocery section of the store and a Chinese broccoli. The result is a delicate treat with long, thin stems that make it much easier to cook evenly without having to cut up.
At 330 degrees, it takes 4-8 minutes for cook the broccolini in the air fryer. Check it early as each air fryer will cook slightly differently.
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Air Fryer Broccolini
- Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Liners
- 12 oz Broccolini
- ¼ cup Orange Juice
- 3 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine all ingredients and whisk.
Broccolini or Baby Broccoli
- Cut any yellowing leaves and trim the ends of the broccolini stalks.
- Spray with a little olive oil and mix them to coat evenly.
- Lay them in an air fryer basket, making sure that there is a little space between each to allow the air to flow freely.
- Cook at 330 for 4-8 minutes, depending on the size of the broccolini. Check early as all air fryers cook differently.
- Drizzle a little bit of vinaigrette over the broccolini after it comes out of the Air Fryer.
- Serve and enjoy!