If you’re looking for a vegetarian recipe that uses BBQ rub, here’s a fun and quick side dish – air fryer frozen broccoli. Yup! No need to thaw or boil in a separate pot. Just toss with oil and that BBQ rub you have lying around your cupboard and you’ve transformed a bland typical side dish into something special! I know that someone is out there looking for how to cook frozen broccoli in the air fryer – this one is for you!

air fryer frozen broccoli in a gray bowl

The Ingredients

You’re in luck – you got just three! Again, do not thaw your broccoli. I wrote this recipe specially designed for frozen broccoli right out of the bag. Talk about convenience! Give it a flare with your favourite BBQ rub. This is a great accompaniment to anything you may have on the grill or on the stove.

  • frozen broccoli
  • vegetable oil
  • BBQ rub

ingredients to make frozen broccoli in the air fryer

Toss with BBQ Rub

Place the frozen broccoli in a bowl big enough to toss the frozen broccoli. Add your vegetable oil and BBQ rub and toss to coat it evenly. If your BBQ rub doesn’t have any salt in it, add a small pinch. You can always season the broccoli a little more with salt at the table.

frozen broccoli being tossed in bbq seasoning ready to be put into the air fryer

Air Crisp the Broccoli

I used the Ninja Foodi to char my broccoli. Preheat it before you add the broccoli. The time it takes to cook through depends on what kind of broccoli you’re going for. More of a steamed type of flavour – less time; more of a charred flavour – more time. Serve immediately and enjoy!

air fryer frozen broccoli in a gray bowl

air fryer frozen broccoli in a gray bowl

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Eva Bee
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 side servings


  • Ninja Foodi


  • 1 lb frozen broccoli use the floret variety, not the small cut, still frozen, not thawed
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • ½-1 tbsp bbq rub depending on how salty it is
  • pinch salt only if your bbq rub doesn't contain salt


  • Preheat the Ninja Foodi to 390F.
  • Meanwhile, toss the broccoli with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add seasoned broccoli to the air fryer insert. Air crisp for 5-12 minutes or until your preferred cook level. 5 minutes will yield just cooked broccoli, 12 minutes will give it some char.
  • Serve immediately.

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Want to try out a different kind of vegetable in the air fryer? Give these Air Fryer Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras) a try. If you want a different type of vegetable, Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn might be a little more your style.

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