How often does it happen that you’ve eaten broccoli but are left with that thick stalk? Yes you can place it along side the broccoli florets in the oven if you want or cook it separately but the stem is much harder than the florets and actually needs a different cooking time. Not convenient at all. But now there is the perfect solution for your broccoli stalks. Make delicious broccoli fries with it! This air fryer broccoli recipe will show you how. 

broccoli fries from the air fryer

Broccoli fries from the air fryer

The idea for the broccoli fries came from Evergreen kitchen. I saw their reel passing by on instagram some time ago and I was immediately impressed. I had kept the reel and at the time I had used a lot of broccoli for another recipe, this seemed like the perfect solution to use the broccoli stalks. It’s a super easy side dish and a healthy snack too. 

At first I thought it would be nice to give it a crispy coating of cornflakes. In fact, after making a chicken cordon bleu, I had quite a bit of cornflakes left over. Hahaha. But that didn’t work well. The cornflakes – even though I had crushed them into tiny pieces – are still a little too coarse for this recipe. Maybe that is something to try for another time.

With parmesan cheese

Now I more or less followed the same recipe as the one on Instagram. A little oil on top, herbs, spices and parmesan cheese, a good shake and you can bake the fries in the air fryer.  It’s definitely one of the most easy broccoli recipes.

There are a few points of interest in making the broccoli fries.

broccoli fries from the air fryer

Peeling the broccoli

For best results it is important that you peel the broccoli properly. The outside of the stem is hard and not tasty when you prepare it in the air fryer. I first cut off the big lumps and then peeled it again with a peeler. That worked fine. Next, cut the broccoli into fries that are not too thick. Remember they will only be in the air fryer for a few minutes. If they are too thick they won’t cook properly.

Make 1 layer

Another important one is to put the broccoli fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Don’t put them on top of each other, or it won’t cook properly. I set my air fryer to 200˚C and baked the fries for 8 minutes. They were all cooked. If that is not the case with you, bake them 1 or 2 minutes longer if necessary. Make sure they are golden brown when you take them out.

I don’t usually use a preheated air fryer but that has everything to do with the type of air fryer. If yours does need time to preheat make sure you do that in advance.

Parmesan cheese

For the parmesan cheese, it is helpful to grate it as finely as possible. I bought a bag of that ready-made grated parmesan cheese for this recipe. I don’t normally use that, but for this recipe it’s handy. You add onion powder and garlic powder and shake it around in a large bowl together with the olive oil.

broccoli fries

Make it vegan

If you want to make the broccoli fries vegan, it’s very easy by using vegan parmesan cheese instead of the regular one. That seems to exist. I haven’t tried it yet but then again, I’m not an instant fan of vegan cheese. Alternatively, you can omit the parmesan cheese altogether and sprinkle some panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or breadcrumbs on top, for example. Of course, for a vegan version you also substitute the mayonnaise for veganaise.

Can I store the broccoli fries?

No they are really best if you eat them right out of the air fryer. Then they are still nice and crispy. If you leave them standing they will quickly become limp and cold.  You can – of course – keep them before frying.

What else can I do with the broccoli stalks?

Of course making these broccoli fries is delicious but definitely not the only way to use up leftover broccoli stems. You can roast them, you can make a broccoli pesto out of it , you can add it to a vegetable soup and so much more. Definitely do not throw it away. There are many ways to prevent food waste!

I don’t have an air fryer. Can I still make the broccoli fries?

Yes you can definitely make this easy recipe, but I think they get crunchier in the air fryer. If you don’t have one then you can try it in a regular oven at 200˚C. Spread the broccoli out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Allow about 20 minutes to half an hour and check in between to see if you can insert a fork. I didn’t make them in the oven so I cannot guarantee the result but it should be possible for sure. Of course making them in an air fryer is really a fraction of the time. Air frying is  a an excellent way to quickly prepare a veggie side dish. You can make air fryer carrots or air fryer brussels sprouts and so much more. I’ll be trying out more.

What can you serve with the broccoli fries?

If these broccoli fries are served as a side dish it would be really good with a good steak

More broccoli recipes

broccoli fries from the air fryer

Broccoli Fries

5 from 2 votes
GangSide Dish

Got a big stem of broccoli and don’t know what to do with it? With this easy recipe for broccoli fries, you’ll never throw anything away again
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 8 minutes
Total time 18 minutes

2 people


  • Air fryer


  • 2-3 pieces broccoli stalks about 400 grams
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp arrowroot
  • pepper and salt
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated

Spicy mayonnaise

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce

  • First, peel the broccoli stems so that the tough outer skin is removed. Then cut them into thin – fry-like – strips.
  • Place the broccoli fries in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Shake briefly so it is well distributed over the broccoli.
  • Mix the arrowroot with the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt. Sprinkle this over the fries along with the parmesan cheese. Shake well again.
  • Place them in a single row in the bowl of the airfryer and bake at 200˚C for 8 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your fries, they may need an additional 1-2 minutes. Check in between if necessary. With me, actually all sizes were cooked.
  • Make a sauce by mixing the mayonnaise with the sriracha and serve as a dip with them.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 0.2mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @insimoneskitchen_ or tag #insimoneskitchen!

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist