Take ordinary frozen broccoli and turn it into an incredible side dish by using the Ninja Foodi Steam & Crisp function! By combining steam with air crisping, you have perfectly cooked broccoli with just the right amount of char.
This method is, by far, my favorite way to cook frozen and fresh broccoli in the Ninja Foodi. I used the Ninja Foodi OL series with the steam & crisp function, but you can also use the Ninja Speedi or the two lid models of the Ninja Foodi to achieve the same results.
Say goodbye to overcooked and flavorless broccoli!
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used frozen broccoli in this recipe because I always have it on hand and it makes a quick and easy side dish.
You can use fresh broccoli, if you prefer, and what I found works the best is 1 cup of water added to the inner pot, select the steam/crisp function and set the temperature to 375℉/190℃ for 5 minutes.
Using the steam and crisp function with other vegetables is a great cooking method, but you will need to adjust your timing and temperature based on the vegetables you are cooking, especially if they are fresh and not frozen.
For most frozen vegetables, 8 minutes at 375℉/190℃ using steam and crisp is going to be a good starting point. Always remember that you can open the lid at anytime during the steam/crisp process to check on how things are cooking, but each time you open the lid, you do let steam out which slows the cooking process.
I like to season my broccoli with butter, salt, and pepper. It's simple and allows the flavors of the broccoli to be the star. This is optional of course.
You can also add roasted garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper seasoning or whatever else you love on your broccoli.
Steam & Crisped Broccoli in the Ninja Foodi with SmartLid
This really couldn't be any easier! Place your air fry basket or crisping plate into the inner pot and add 1 cup of water.
Place the frozen into the basket and close the SmartLid. Slide the slider to the middle position and select steam/crisp (steam/air fry in the UK). Set the temperature for 375℉/190℃ and the time for 8 minutes. Hit start.
For Fresh broccoli, decrease the time to 5 minutes and keep everything else the same. If you are cutting up the broccoli yourself, try to keep the florets about the same size and you want them at least as big as a quarter in diameter. Smaller florets will cook faster and larger ones will take longer.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter.
When the time is up, open the lid and make sure the broccoli is cooked enough for your liking. I like broccoli to be what I would consider al dente: just soft enough that you can cut it with a fork, but not so soft that it is falling apart. If you like your broccoli softer, toss it around in the basket or on the crisping plate and close the lid again. This time select air fry on 375℉/190℃ and cook it an additional 2-4 minutes or longer if you want. Just make sure to toss it around so the broccoli on the top doesn't end up getting burned, which is an unpleasant flavor.
Remove the broccoli from the basket or crisping plate into a serving bowl and pour the melted butter over top. Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Steam & Crisped Broccoli in the Ninja Foodi with 2 Lids
If you don't have the Ninja Foodi with SmartLid, no worries at all! You can still use your Ninja Foodi to both steam and crisp your broccoli. It works perfectly. You just need to adjust your timings a bit and switch between the two lids.
The set up is the same. Place your air frying basket or crisping plate into the Ninja Foodi. Pour in 1 cup of water.
Add the frozen broccoli to the basket or the plate and put on the pressure lid. Make sure the valve is in the VENT position. Select the STEAM function and set the time to 4 minutes.
*Your pin may pop up during the steaming time. I've had this happen on occasion and it usually happens after 3 minutes of steaming. If your pin pops up, turn the Foodi off immediately to prevent overcooking and when the pin drops you can open the lid. Then proceed to air crisping.
When the time is up, remove the pressure lid and close the crisping lid. Select Air Fry/ Air Crisp and set the temperature to 375℉/190℃ and the time for 8 minutes. You can check on your broccoli at any time to see if it is done to your liking.
For Fresh Broccoli, decrease the steam time to 3 minutes and reduce the air crisping time to between 5-6 minutes. The temperature can stay the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Using a combination of steam and air crisp/air fry is a great way to cook most vegetables. The timing will depend on the vegetable. The exceptions would be very quick cooking veggies like spinach, zucchini, squash.
Yes, you can make a half a pound of broccoli or 2 pounds and the times and temperatures will remain the same.
The only reason you would have to adjust your timing is if your florets were either really small (nickel size) or really big (larger than a half dollar). Smaller florets will take less time and larger ones will take longer.
Ninja Foodi Side Dishes
Here are some of my favorite side dishes that I've made in the Ninja Foodi! I hope you love them as much as I do.
Ninja Foodi Steam and Crisped Broccoli Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 16 ounces frozen broccoli
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add water to the inner pot. Place the air fryer basket or crisping plate into the Ninja Foodi.1 cup water
- Put the frozen broccoli into the basket or onto the crisping plate.16 ounces frozen broccoli
Cooking Instructions for the Ninja Foodi with SmartLid
- Close the SmartLid and move the slider to the center position. Select the Steam & Crisp function and set the temperature to 375°F/190°C and the time for 8 minutes. Push start.
- When the time is up, open the lid and remove the broccoli. Transfer the broccoli to a serving dish and pour over the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve & Enjoy.2 Tablespoons melted butter, ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Cooking Instructions for the Ninja Foodi with 2 lids
- Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to VENT. Select the steam function and set the time for 4 minutes. When the time is up, open the lid. Sometimes during steaming, the pin will pop up and you will have to wait until it drops to open the lid. This usually only happens after 3 minutes of steaming and if you see the pin pop up, turn the Foodi off immediately to prevent overcooking. The pin will drop quickly and then you can open the lid.
- Close the crisping lid and select Air Crisp. Set the temperature to 375°F/190°C and the time for 8 minutes. You do not need to drain the water from the inner pot.
- When the time is up, open the lid and make sure the broccoli is cooked the way you like it. If you want it softer or more charred, air crisp a little longer. Transfer the broccoli to a serving dish. Pour the melted butter over the broccoli and season with salt & pepper. Serve & Enjoy.
Fresh Broccoli Steam & Crisp InstructionsNinja Foodi with SmartLid Instructions Cut the broccoli florets at least the size of a quarter in diameter, but not much bigger than a half dollar. Add them to the basket or crisping plate with 1 cup of water in the inner pot. Close the SmartLid and move the slider to the center position. Select Steam/Crisp (Steam/Air Fry) and set the temperature to 375℉/190℃ and the time to 5 minutes. Press start. Ninja Foodi with 2 Lids Instructions Cut the broccoli florets at least the size of a quarter in diameter, but not much bigger than a half dollar. Add them to the basket or crisping plate with 1 cup of water in the inner pot. Put the pressure lid on and make sure the valve is to the VENT position. Select steam and set the time for 3 minutes. When the time is up, remove the pressure lid and close the crisping lid. Select Air Crisp/ Air Fry and set the temperature to 375℉/190℃ and the time for 8 minutes. Check on the broccoli after 4-5 minutes of air crisping to make sure you don't overcook it. Cook as long as you need to in order to get the texture you want. Toss the broccoli around if cooking longer than 8 minutes to prevent the top layer from getting burnt.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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