Here’s exactly how to cook broccoli: the 5 best ways! This healthy veggie is delicious when cooked to perfectly tender, whether steamed, sauteed, grilled or roasted.
Bright green broccoli can be one of the tastiest healthy veggies out there! Many home cooks can be tempted to overcook it into a mushy mess. But cook it correctly, and it can be transcendental! Case in point: that roasted broccoli above is just as irresistible as a crispy french fry when cooked to charred perfection in a hot oven. There are some ways to cook broccoli that aren’t optimal. Here we’ve collected the 4 best ways of how to cook broccoli: roasted, sauteed, steamed and Instant Pot (pressure cooker).
How to cut broccoli
Before we get to how to cook it, how about how to cut broccoli? Some home cooks make the mistake of chopping them into very small florets, making them look stubby and a little uninspiring. Here’s how to cut the most beautiful florets! For more, go to How to Cut Broccoli.
- Keep the stems as long as possible! When you chop off the florets, slice them right the base of where the floret attaches to the main stem. Then separate them by slicing them apart right at the bottom. Doing this makes for an elegant and beautiful shape.
- Make the florets medium sized, as similar in size as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect! But keeping the florets uniform helps them to cook through at the same rate.
How to cook broccoli: the best ways!
Of course there are a few other ways to cook broccoli (microwave, etc), but these are the 4 methods that will get the best flavor every time! We promise.
Want to try more vegetables? Go to How to Cook Vegetables.
More great broccoli recipes
Want more ways to eat broccoli? Here are some of our favorites:
- In soup! Try our Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup.
- In stir fry! Try Broccoli Stir Fry.
- With shrimp! Try Shrimp and Broccoli.
- In casserole! Try Broccoli Cheese Wild Rice Casserole.
Here’s exactly how to cook broccoli: the 4 best ways! This healthy veggie is delicious when cooked to perfectly tender, whether steamed, sauteed or roasted.
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)*
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Chop the broccoli into medium-sized florets, leaving a good amount of the stem for a nice shape (see the photo).
- Roasted: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and slightly browned (no need to stir!). When the broccoli is done, remove the pan from the oven. Grate 1 clove garlic onto the pan, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Use a spoon to gently toss it all together (separating any grated garlic that clumps together).
- Steamed: Place 1 1/2 cups water into a saucepan or pot. If using a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the broccoli (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle). Steam with the lid on 3 to 4 minutes until just tender, testing with a fork to assess whether it’s done. If you’d like it more tender, cook 1 minute more. Carefully remove to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Sauteed: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the broccoli florets and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (the broccoli will lightly brown in parts). Stir in 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional) and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until crisp tender but still bright green. Taste and add a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper. Remove the broccoli to a bowl and serve immediately. Sprinkle with lemon zest (optional).
- Grilled: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees). Wash the broccoli and pat it dry with a towel. Chop it into large florets with long stems so they are easy to turn on the grill. In a bowl, mix the broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Place the broccoli directly on the grill grates and grill for about 6 to 8 minutes until charred and tender, turning once. Remove from the grill and spritz with lemon juice from wedges from 1/2 of the lemon. Taste and add a few more pinches of kosher salt, if needed.
- Instant Pot: Add the broccoli and 1/2 cup water to the Instant Pot. Cook on High Pressure for 0 minutes. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure. (Avoid touching the metal part of the lid.) Quick release by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Carefully remove the broccoli to a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Various
- Cuisine: Vegetables
Keywords: How to Cook Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can eat! It’s a cruciferous vegetable, part of a vegetable family that includes cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. That means it inherits all the nutrients that run in the family! Here’s why to eat broccoli:
- 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 high in protein for a green vegetable. 1 cup has 3 grams protein. (Source) That’s a similar level to asparagus and potatoes.
- It’s very high in Vitamin C. 1/2 cup has 70% your daily value of Vitamin C. (Source)
Don’t confuse broccoli with broccoli rabe! Broccoli rabe is a bitter green that’s more closely related to a turnip than broccoli.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.