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Here’s how to blanch broccoli perfectly! Use it as a quick side dish, for salads or veggie trays, or to prep for freezing.

How to Blanch Broccoli
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Here’s a kitchen skill that’s risen to the top of our list: how to blanch broccoli! Now, typically we choose to sauté or roast these green florets. But here’s a secret: blanched broccoli is unexpectedly irresistible. Those tender florets, salted to perfection, are much easier to eat than raw: we couldn’t resist devouring an entire 4 servings in a few minutes. It’s ideal as a side dish, perfect for veggie trays or bowl meals, and it doubles as the first step of freezing broccoli to preserve it for later. Ready to get started?

The method: blanching

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. The ice water helps to keep the veggies colorful by locking in a beautifully bright green color. Blanching also stops enzyme activity that results in deteriorating the texture, color, and flavor of vegetables: making them last longer.

This handy method can be used for many vegetables, like asparagus, green beans, and more. It’s great for making raw broccoli more palatable: our kid doesn’t love it raw but gobbles it up when it’s blanched. It’s great for veggie trays, or in green salads or pasta salads.

How to Blanch Broccoli

How to blanch broccoli (and how long)

Blanching broccoli is quick and easy: the cook time is just 2 ½ to 3 minutes! This method makes bright green florets that are perfectly tender. Here’s what to do:

  • Prepare the water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  • Chop the broccoli: Cut the broccoli into medium florets.
  • How long to blanch broccoli? Add the florets to the boiling water and cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, until just tender but still bright green (taste a floret to assess doneness).
  • Place in the ice bath. Right when the florets are tender, remove them from the boiling water with tongs and transfer them to the bowl of ice water. After 2 minutes, remove them to a colander to drain.
  • Season. Add salt, or use in recipes as desired.

How to freeze broccoli after blanching

Making blanched broccoli is the first step to freezing it, as it is with other vegetables like green beans and asparagus. Blanch the broccoli for 2 minutes, then you can freeze it. Here’s what to do (or see more at How to Freeze Broccoli):

  • Place the blanched broccoli on a baking sheet in a single layer. This way, the broccoli doesn’t freeze into a solid block.
  • Freeze for 2 hours until the florets are solid. 
  • Place the broccoli in a freezer safe container or storage bag. It lasts for up to 6 months frozen (or more, but it’s best within a few months).

Storage info

How long does blanched broccoli last? Store it for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Or, freeze the broccoli for up to 6 months.

Blanch broccoli

Ways to use blanched broccoli

Blanched broccoli is one of our new favorite ways to eat it! The crisp tender texture is irresistible seasoned simply with salt. A few ways to use blanched green beans:

More broccoli recipes

Broccoli is one of our top veggies for healthy meals. Here are some favorite broccoli recipes for preparing it:

This blanch broccoli recipe is…

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

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How to Blanch Broccoli

How to Blanch Broccoli


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Here’s how to blanch broccoli perfectly! Use it as a quick side dish, for salads or veggie trays, or to prep for freezing.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli (2 large heads), cut into florets
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  2. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, until bright green and crisp tender, taste testing often (basically, don’t leave the pot!). Right when the broccoli is tender, remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the bowl of ice water.
  3. After 2 minutes, remove the broccoli to a colander to drain. If serving immediately, season with the salt. To freeze, place the florets on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for 2 hours, then transfer to a sealed container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Blanched
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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 and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!