This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly crisp tender and bright green! Spritz with lemon and drizzle with olive oil, and it’s a healthy and easy side dish.

Boiled broccoli

If there’s one vegetable that’s always a winner in our house: it’s broccoli. No matter how it’s cooked, it disappears quickly! (It’s probably the quickest with roasted broccoli, as it has the addictive power of french fries.) Alex and I were looking for a new method for broccoli and guess what? You can boil it, too. Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly bright green and crisp tender after just 2 minutes in hot water. Here’s exactly how to make it!

Our favorite ways to cook broccoli? Roasted BroccoliSteamed Broccoli & Sauteed Broccoli.

How to boil broccoli

How to make boiled broccoli

This is one the easiest methods of how to cook broccoli: ever! Why? There’s really no technique involved. The only thing to remember is very important. Don’t overcook the broccoli! Even just a minute longer in that boiling water and it will become yellow-ish brown mush. (Gross.) Here’s exactly what to do (or jump to the full recipe!):

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. This is the longest part of the recipe!
  • Chop the broccoli. Chop the broccoli into medium-sized florets, keeping the stems long (see more on that below).
  • Boil the broccoli for 2 ½ to 3 minutes! Taste test and immediately stop cooking once the broccoli is crisp tender. It goes fast, so don’t leave the stove!
  • Drain and stir in flavors. Drain in a colander, then mix in olive oil, lemon juice and kosher salt. Give it a taste! Yep, that’s perfect boiled broccoli.

What is blanching? Is this blanched broccoli?

Almost! Blanching is a cooking method that involves boiling vegetables until they’re crisp tender, then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This recipe technically isn’t blanching since it doesn’t have the ice water part. The ice water is generally to keep the veggies as colorful as possible, and you’ll notice that this recipe still is beautifully bright green. So for all intents and purposes, this is blanched broccoli too. (Just not technically…!)

Boiled broccoli

The best way to chop broccoli

One final tip that’s nice for boiled broccoli: how you chop it matters! The best way to cut it is to keep the stems as long as possible: this has the best look on the plate. If you cut the stems short and stubby, you’ll end up with tiny florets that make a mess on the plate and look less than appetizing. Here’s how to chop broccoli so it looks the best:

  • Keep the stems as long as possible! When you chop the floret, cut it at the base of where the floret attaches to the main stem. This makes for the best shape.
  • Make the florets medium sized, as similar in size as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but keeping the florets similar sized helps them to cook at the same rate.
Boiled broccoli

More ways to season boiled broccoli

The key to great-tasting boiled broccoli: the seasonings! First and foremost, make sure to salt it perfectly to taste, using the recipe below as a guide. If you’re looking for some adders, here are some tasty ways to take it over the top:

  • Feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles
  • Shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • A shake or two of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • Slivered toasted almonds or toasted pine nuts
  • Grated garlic or fresh ginger
  • Panko and dried herbs

More broccoli recipes

Aside from our basic broccoli recipes, we’ve got lots of other great ways to cook it! Here are some favorites:

Boiled broccoli

This boiled broccoli recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Boiled broccoli

Boiled Broccoli

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly crisp tender and bright green! Spritz with lemon and drizzle with olive oil, and it’s a healthy and easy side dish.


  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Chop the broccoli into florets.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and boil them for 2 ½ to 3 minutes until bright green and crisp tender, taste testing often (basically, don’t leave the pot!). Once they’re cooked, drain into a colander.
  3. Place in the serving dish and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, and kosher salt. Taste and add additional seasoning to taste.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Boiled Broccoli, How to boil broccoli

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.