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Make your broccoli taste amazing in just 10 minutes! This easy sauteed broccoli highlights its fresh flavor and comes out perfectly crisp tender.

Sauteed broccoli

In need of a healthy and easy side dish? Here’s a “recipe” that’s more of an idea than anything: sauteed broccoli! Now, it sounds basic. But you’ll be surprised at the amount of flavor it’s possible to get from perfectly cooking this healthy veggie. Broccoli is often overcooked, leaving it soggy and without flavor. Here Alex and I will show you our go-to simple sauteed broccoli recipe: how to cook it so it’s lightly browned but perfectly crisp tender and flavorful!

Other favorite ways to cook broccoli? Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Broccoli, and Roasted Broccoli and Carrots. Head to How to Cook Broccoli for more.

Broccoli in pan

How to make sauteed broccoli…the right way!

Broccoli is basic, right? But so many home cooks cook it way beyond the point of no return. Overcooked broccoli is the worst: it’s limp and lifeless. Instead, you’ll want to cook it just to the point where it’s tender, but still bright green and crisp. Even better: it takes less time! There’s no reason to spend the time extra overcooking it (ha!). Here are our tips on how to make the best sauteed broccoli:

Tip 1: Chop into medium-sized florets.

When you chop the broccoli into florets, try to leave a good amount of the stem to make a lovely shape. That’s my own preference, so the broccoli doesn’t look stubby! Chop them into medium sized pieces: you want them not so small they disintegrate, but not so large they’re too tough to cut.

Tip 2: Saute over medium heat 5 minutes.

The main saute will be in olive oil for just 5 minutes! Use medium heat here: don’t let it get to medium high or the broccoli will get too browned. Watch the pan and make sure to stir a bit so the broccoli doesn’t get too browned in any parts.

Tip 3: Cover and cook (steam!) 2 minutes more.

Covering the broccoli at the end locks in the moisture and basically steams it at the end. This helps it to get fully cooked through, vs getting more crisped and brown sauteeing it. Before this step, you can add your seasonings. That’s it! Perfectly seasoned sauteed broccoli in just 10 minutes.

Sauteed broccoli

Ways to season sauteed broccoli (in this recipe, & more ideas!)

The key to great tasting sauteed broccoli: the seasonings! First and foremost, make sure to salt it perfectly to taste. Then to accessorize, we used sliced green onion, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder (see the recipe below). If you have a lemon on hand, adding lemon zest gives the perfect zing! Here are a few more ideas for flavoring:

  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles
  • A few shakes rice vinegar, soy (in place of the last ¼ teaspoon salt), and sesame seeds
  • A drizzle of balsamic reduction
  • Slivered toasted almonds
  • Minced garlic
  • Grated ginger
  • Panko and dried herbs
Raw broccoli

Mains to pair with it!

Of course, there’s no end to dishes to pair with this sauteed broccoli! It’s so versatile that it literally goes with anything. (Like that perfect pair of jeans.) Here are a few ideas for mains that would pair nicely:


This sauteed broccoli recipe is…

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

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Sauteed broccoli

Simple Sauteed Broccoli

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


Make your broccoli taste amazing in just 10 minutes! This easy sauteed broccoli highlights its fresh flavor and comes out perfectly crisp tender.


  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli 
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Dress it up: Add a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese or feta cheese!


  1. Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets (leave a good amount of the stem for a nice shape; see the photo). Thinly slice the green onions.
  2. 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 the green onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
  3. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until crisp tender but still bright green. Taste and add a few pinches of salt if needed (make the flavor pop!) and fresh ground pepper. Remove the broccoli to a bowl and serve immediately. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, if using.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Sauteed Broccoli

Broccoli nutrition

Broccoli is a super nutritious cruciferous vegetable! Here are a few fun facts about broccoli (source). It is:

  • High in fiber. It’s got 2.4 grams per 1 cup raw. Fiber is helpful for keeping you full and helping with gut health.
  • Relatively high in protein for a vegetable. It’s got 2.5 grams per 1 cup raw.
  • High in Vitamin C, K, and iron. Head to this source for more detailed info.

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. Tried this with fresh broccoli and it was great! Will this work with thawed frozen broccoli?

  2. I played around with this recipe a bit but luckily it seems to be quite versatile! I didn’t have any onions handy and I used a dash of lemon juice instead of zest. I also can’t eat cheese so I added a healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast. I think it turned out fantastic and got equally good reviews from my family! I think I will definitely be cooking broccoli like this again, thank you for this super easy recipe!

    1. Problem: need to use broccoli, wanted something quick for a side
      Journey: searching online for inspiration
      Destination: the yummy, tasty recipe from your site
      Outcome: flavorful al dente broccoli with a kick
      I am grateful…Foodieforpeace