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Here’s our go-to pan fried broccoli to make on the regular! This basic method is ultra versatile and makes flavorful, crisp tender veggies.

Fried broccoli

Here’s one of our best go-to recipe secrets, and get this: we make it almost every day. Try this Pan Fried Broccoli! It comes out perfectly crisp tender and full of savory flavor: and that’s not easy to do with broccoli. Home cooks often overcook broccoli or don’t season it enough, making a brown-ish green, lifeless mess. Here’s how to pan fry it so it’s the most delicious thing on your plate! Alex and I really do make this every day (at least, at the time I’m writing this). Want to know why?

Why to make pan fried broccoli

Believe it or not, as vegetarian cookbook authors sometimes it’s hard for us to infuse fresh vegetables into our diet. Cheese and carbs are so easy to reach for! So Alex and I have have been on a quest to eat more veggies on the daily, with “throw-together” recipes that make the veggie taste incredible. The veggie we’ve been eating every single day? Broccoli. This pan fried broccoli, specifically. Here’s why we love it:

  • It’s fast. Pan fried broccoli comes together in just about 10 minutes!
  • It’s full of flavor. This method adds just the right flavoring: and you can customize it based on the type of cuisine you’re making (see below).
  • It’s healthy. Pan frying uses olive oil, the healthiest of all cooking oils, and just a bit of spices and salt. In fact, we literally crave this every night! (I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.)
Pan fried broccoli

Tips for the perfect pan fried broccoli

As I mentioned up top: it’s easy to ruin broccoli. Many home cooks tend to cook it too long, making it turn mushy and a brownish-green color. They also tend to under-season it, which accentuates broccoli’s bitter flavor instead of it’s sweetness. Here’s what to know about this recipe:

  • Cut the broccoli into medium florets, keeping the stem long. It’s easy to cut broccoli into tiny florets: which makes it not as pretty or fun to eat! Here’s the best way to cut broccoli.
  • Broccoli isn’t like most pan fried vegetables: it needs a steam! Because broccoli is rather tough, it cooks best when you add a little water a few minutes in. This lets it get tender without the pan becoming very dry. Trust us! We also use this method in our sauteed broccoli.
  • Cook until just fork tender! Resist the temptation to cook too long. Cook until it’s just fork tender and bright green: and taste test it often!
Fried broccoli

Flavor variations! Customize based on your recipe

This pan fried broccoli recipe we created to be a sort of blank slate. Don’t get us wrong: it tastes incredible as is! But the spices we’ve added (garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder) are intentionally versatile to worth with many types of cuisines. Here’s what we do to customize it for various types of recipes:

  • Italian style pan fried broccoli: Add a little dried oregano and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. To get fancy, add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • Asian style pan fried broccoli: Reduce the kosher salt slightly and add a splash of soy sauce. Other ideas: add minced fresh ginger, a splash of rice vinegar, or Sriracha hot sauce.

Ways to serve fried broccoli

This fried broccoli is one of the most versatile of all of our recipes. We eat it constantly and it works with just about anything. Here are some of our favorite ways to eat pan fried broccoli:

What are some ways you’d serve it? We want to know! Let us know in the comments below.

Fried broccoli

Broccoli nutrition

Who doesn’t need a little more broccoli in their life? This pan fried broccoli is a great way to load in the nutrients. Here are a few of the great things you’ll get a good dose of with this recipe:

  • It’s a great source of fiber. 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber, or about 5 to 10% of your daily need. (Source)
  • It’s very high in Vitamin C. ½ cup has 70% your daily value of Vitamin C! (Source)
  • It’s relatively high in protein for a green vegetable. 1 cup has 3 grams protein. (Source) That’s a similar level to asparagus and potatoes.

This fried broccoli recipe is…

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

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Fried broccoli

Easy Pan Fried Broccoli

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s our go-to pan fried broccoli to make on the regular! This basic method is ultra versatile and makes flavorful, crisp tender veggies.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets (leave a good amount of the stem for a nice shape; see the photo or How to Cut Broccoli).
  2. In small bowl, mix together ¼ cup water with garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it on medium high heat. Add broccoli and salt. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium, and add the water and spices. Cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes until fork tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper as necessary. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pan Fried
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Fried broccoli, pan fried broccoli, Broccoli recipe

More broccoli recipes

We heart broccoli (a lot)! In fact, we could eat it for every meal. Here are a few of the top recipes we’d recommend:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Perfect! I sprinkled a little garlic salt and a shake of onion granules. The added water and the ABSENCE of a lid for 5 minutes made it al dente and not mushy.

  2. I would say used fresh minced garlic and fresh finely8 chopped onion. The powder stuff (at least the stuff in my cabinet) was way too salty and it over powered all other flavors.

  3. This was unbelievably tasty for how simple and easy it was. I don’t have picky eaters, but some are not vegetable lovers, per se, although they’ll eat them. Everyone loved these. This is a keeper and will be made often. Yum!!!

    1. Not usually! If you have large pieces of broccoli, you can add 1/4 cup water and cover it for a minute to let the steam finish cooking them.

  4. We tried this broccoli for a family dinner yesterday and it was a hit. Even the kids were back asking for more. Delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Love making this recipe! Before I got dry mustard, I would add a teaspoon or two of mustard to the water and it worked so well. The dry mustard really works better though. Great recipe

  6. this is amazing just by itself, i added more plain water overtime to create more steam since mine just werent getting softer (i used a lid too). I took them out just before they were soft and yum!!! i put them on my toast with a poached egg and it was delicious

  7. I used sesame seeds and sesame oil. I also use coconut oil for cooking. Makes it get crispy when it browns.

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