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Here are two easy ways to cook fresh broccoli. Boil it on the stovetop or roast it in the oven. Either way delivers this nutritious veggie to your plate with no fuss.
Besides being tasty, broccoli contains fiber, lots of vitamins C and A, potassium, protein, calcium, and iron. Find more ways to incorporate it in your meals!
How to cook broccoli
Before you cook broccoli, grab this tutorial on how to cut broccoli into florets. This method creates long, elegant broccoli sticks that minimize wasted stems.
Cook broccoli on the Stovetop
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Place broccoli in the boiling water and cook uncovered until crisp-tender.
- Once tender, carefully remove with a slotted spoon or strain the broccoli. Shock in ice bath if you’re serving the broccoli cold or serve it warm immediately.
Roast broccoli in the oven
- Toss broccoli in olive oil and seasoning of choice. Place the broccoli directly on the baking pan and roast in the oven until tender and slightly colored.
- Remove and serve immediately.
Tips for cooking broccoli perfectly
- Gauge cooking time by the size of your florets or spears. Size matters when it comes to cooking broccoli whether you’re boiling it or baking in the oven.
- Know your preference. Do you prefer crisp-tender or softer cooked broccoli? Use a small sharp knife to test for doneness as often as needed.
- Do not cover. Whether you’re boiling or roasting, there’s no need to cover the broccoli in the pot or in the oven. To keep that bright green color, boil in lots of water and do not cover the pot, which can turn the broccoli a dull brown-green.
- Cook right on the sheet pan. For crispier edges, ditch the parchment paper and aluminum foil. You want to pan roast the broccoli against the bare metal of the sheet pan.
Recipes with cooked broccoli
- Grilled Chicken Broccoli Wraps
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Broccoli and Cheese Quiche
- Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Broccoli Pizza Crust
- Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Broccoli & Cheese Hand Pies
- Broccoli Shrimp Alfredo
Frequently asked questions
Plant acids release when broccoli cooks in hot water mix with the chlorophyll. To keep that vibrant color, boil in an open pan and do not overcook. Both contribute to color loss.
Broccoli should last at least five days and maybe up to a week. If you see the buds start to flower or become yellow and the veggie’s scent is more vibrant, it is a sign that it’s getting old.
Broccoli is naturally a bit bitter but that taste gets stronger when the vegetable is overcooked or old.
Easy to prepare, healthy, and plays well with others, there is a reason this bright green crucifier is often voted America’s most popular veggie. Try amping up plain broccoli with lemon juice, red pepper flakes, or grated parmesan.
More cooking tutorials:
- How to Cook Asparagus
- How to Cook Brown Rice
- How to Make Breaded Chicken
- How to Roast Frozen Vegetables
- How to Cook Caramelized Onions
- How To Cook Pasta
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot
- How to Cook Cauliflower Rice
- How to Make Vegetable Stock
- How to Make Pesto
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How to Cook Broccoli
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Bring a pot of water and salt to a boil.
- If serving the broccoli cold or reheating, prepare an ice bath to shock the broccoli when done.
- Carefully place the broccoli in the boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
- Once tender, carefully remove or strain the broccoli.
- Place in the ice bath if needed or serve warm immediately.
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if desired (but not necessary)
- Toss broccoli in the olive oil, salt and black pepper
- Place the broccoli on a roasting pan, and roast in the oven until tender and slightly colored, about 7-10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.