5 Delicious and Easy Ways to Cook Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with nutrients — this good-for-you cruciferous veggie provides fiber, protein, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. But the taste and texture of raw broccoli isn’t for everyone, so knowing how to cook broccoli can be a game-changer.
The good news? Whether you sauté, steam, boil, roast, or microwave it, broccoli is super-easy to cook and can be ready in minutes. And with only 30 calories per cup of raw broccoli, it’s a great way to fill your plate without racking up a ton of calories.
If you’re following One Minute Meal Plan, you’ll find tons of yummy broccoli recipes — like broccoli walnut salad and broccoli fried rice — that can be easily added to your customized meal plan and ready in 30 minutes or less.
Ready to branch out with your broccoli florets? Here are five delicious ways to cook it.
How to Prepare Broccoli for Cooking
First things first: Decide whether you’re using fresh or frozen broccoli. Frozen broccoli is already pre-washed and cut for you — all you need to do is gently break apart any frozen clumps and it’s ready to thaw and cook. Just keep in mind that frozen veggies tend to be a bit softer.
If you prefer the snappy texture of fresh veggies, here’s how to prepare a fresh broccoli crown for cooking:
- Cut away the leaves. Slice the base of each floret, removing it from the broccoli head.
- Cut off the remaining stem from each floret, aiming to make them all roughly the same size.
- Place the florets in a strainer and rinse under running water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
If you’re making broccoli salad, you can also try this variation:
- Give the entire head of broccoli a good rinse and then place in a bowl of water, allowing it to soak for one to two minutes.
- Remove the broccoli from the bowl and give it one final rinse.
- Dry with a clean paper towel.
- Shave the vegetable by holding the stem with the head facing downward, with the florets over a bowl.
- With a knife in your other hand, begin shaving layers into the broccoli (the thinner the better). You should end up with a mix of grainier pieces and bigger pieces of stem.
5 Ways to Cook Broccoli
Here are five delicious and easy ways to cook broccoli.
How to sauté broccoli
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add in thinly sliced garlic for flavor (optional).
- Add broccoli to the pan and cook until it turns to a bright green color, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover, allowing the broccoli to steam for about 4 minutes. The broccoli should be tender but still bright green in color.
- Season with herbs and spices of your choice, such as salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
How to steam broccoli
Want to make the most of broccoli’s benefits? Research suggests steaming is the best cooking method for retaining nutrients in broccoli — including sulforaphane, a powerful phytochemical, says Cynthia Sass, RD, CSSD, virtual plant-based performance nutrition coach.
- Fill a pot with a few inches of water and place on the stove.
- Place a steamer basket in the pot and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Once the water begins to simmer, add the broccoli to the steamer basket and cover for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Season with herbs and spices of your choice. (Sass suggests tossing it in a dairy-free basil pesto made with extra virgin olive oil and nuts, or drizzling it with seasoned tahini or roasted red pepper pesto.)
How to boil broccoli
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Add broccoli to the pot and cook (uncovered) until tender, which takes about 3 minutes.
- Drain in a colander and place on a plate.
- Season with herbs and spices of your choice.
How to roast broccoli
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss broccoli with a bit of olive oil and seasonings of choice until well coated.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and add broccoli.
- Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until edges begin to crisp and brown. Flip the broccoli halfway through for even cooking.
How to microwave broccoli
- Place the broccoli in a dish.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and cover the dish.
- Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- To check if done, carefully remove the cover (watch out for any escaping steam) and pierce with fork to check tenderness.
3 Broccoli Recipes to Try
Ready to make your side of broccoli even tastier? Try one of these creative recipes.
- Make this Ginger Soy Flank Steak with Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato recipe.
- Add it to this healthy breakfast burrito recipe.
- Sub it for cauliflower in this riced veggie recipe.