Dredged in pickle juice mayo and panko-parmesan, these super crispy air fryer broccoli bites are crazy addicting! Prepare to become obsessed.
Truth be told, I’m completely smitten with my air fryer (Psst: it’s the Instant Pot Vortex and I highly recommend it!). I use it on the daily and I’ve been having so much fun making up new recipes! Today’s highlight is a vegetarian spin-off of my Air Fryer Fried Chicken Bites… which were inspired by my Pickle Juice Crispy Fried Chicken. See the trend going on here? 😉
THE RECIPE THAT STARTED IT ALL:
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE AIR FRYER BROCCOLI:
All you need are a few pantry staples to make the best broccoli you’ve ever wrapped your lips around. Seriously, these don’t disappoint!
- Broccoli: Cut the florets into similar sized pieces so they cook evenly. I haven’t tried this with the stems, but if you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can check them out!
- Mayonnaise: I grew up in California, so I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing Duke’s Mayonnaise until I was an adult. This recipe will work with any brand, but if you have access to Duke’s I’d go with that! It really is a phenomenal mayo.
- Pickle Juice: This adds a bit of tang, which is what makes this recipe stick out from all the rest!
- Smoked Paprika: I love to add a little shake of this for an extra layer of flavor. It’s not 100% necessary but if you have some on hand, I’d add a pinch.
- Powdered Sugar: Along with the pickle juice, this is a game-changing ingredient. The end results are savory, tangy and has a touch of sweetness lingering at the finish. Trust me, it’s SO AMAZING!
- Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko is what helps make these little morsels crunchy. I do not recommend regular or Italian-style breadcrumbs, as they will not crisp up the same as panko.
- Parmesan Cheese: Go the extra mile and shred your own parmesan. It’s 100% worth it. Thinly sliced works the best, that way some can fill in the crevasses of the broccoli. I do not recommend the stuff in the green can, it just won’t turn out the same.
TIPS ON ROASTING BROCCOLI IN THE AIR FRYER:
My air fryer comes with two roasting sheets, so I can make a batch big enough for my entire family all in one go. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may need to work in batches. I also swap my sheets halfway through, which ensures that each bite gets that extra crispness from the heating coils at top of the air fryer.
I also recommend lining each cooking sheet with parchment paper. If you skip this step, you will wind up with a mess at the bottom of your air fryer and the broccoli bites will stick when you’re trying to remove them after cooking. Please Note: Always fit the parchment paper to lay FLAT on the cooking sheet. If it sticks up on the sides it has the risk of burning.
OTHER AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- ¾ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- ¾ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. Pickle Juice
- 1 tbsp. Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 2 cups Broccoli Florets
- Mix the parmesan and panko breadcrumbs together in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, powdered sugar and smoked paprika in a second bowl and set aside.
- Place the broccoli florets in a large mixing bowl and pour over the pickle juice mayonnaise. Toss together until each piece has been coated.
- One by one, take each floret and toss it in the parmesan-panko. Set each piece, at least a ½ inch apart, on the parchment-lined air frying sheets. Make sure to divide them evenly amongst both sheets.
- Crank the air fryer up to 400F. Air fry the broccoli bites for 5 minutes, rotate the trays, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Depending on your air fryer, you may need to cook in batches.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- Do not submerge the broccoli bites into the mayonnaise mixture, like you do with my Air Fryer Fried Chicken Bites. This will make the broccoli soggy. It’s ok if each piece isn’t fully covered in the pickle juice mayo. As long as each piece has some on it so the breadcrumb coating will stick, that’s all you need!
- I enjoy these simply as a snack or delicious appetizer. If you’d like to make them into a full meal, try serving them with my Butternut Squash Carbonara Pasta or as a side with New York Strip Steak and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes.
- If you happen to have leftovers (which is unheard of, but whatevs), allow them to cool to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the bites will steam inside the container and will not remain crispy. I’d recommend eating them within a day or two.
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