How to Cook Broccoli

5 from 768 votes

Learn how to cook broccoli with this step-by-step guide for cooking on the stovetop or in the oven - makes a healthy and easy side dish!

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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.

Cooked broccoli on slotted wooden spoon over pot of broccoli cooking
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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.
2 image collage to show how to cook broccoli on stovetop

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.
2 image collage to show how to cook broccoli in oven

Tips for cooking broccoli perfectly

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Oven roasted broccoli on tray with lemons

Frequently asked questions

Why did my broccoli suddenly go from bright green to yucky almost brown?

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.

How can I tell when my broccoli has gone bad?

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.

Why is my broccoli bitter?

Broccoli is naturally a bit bitter but that taste gets stronger when the vegetable is overcooked or old.

Broiled broccoli cooked on stovetop

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.

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How to Cook Broccoli

Learn how to cook broccoli with this step-by-step guide for cooking on the stovetop or in the oven – makes a healthy and easy side dish!
5 from 768 votes
Servings 2 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 290
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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  • 1 head broccoli cut into florets

Stovetop Method

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Oven Method


Stovetop Instructions

  • 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.

Oven Instructions

  • 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.


Storage: Cooked broccoli is best enjoyed as soon as it’s made, but it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 


Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 7415mg, Potassium: 966mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1895IU, Vitamin C: 271mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Side Dish

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ian Spriggs says:

    Was just looking for a time and a temperature – couldn’t find either.

    1. Yumna says:

      If you click ‘jump to recipe’ at the top of the page it will give you the full instructions.

  2. Martin says:

    Surely 2 Tablespoons of salt for your stove method to cook fresh Brokkoli, can’t be right? 🤔

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yes, it’s 2 tablespoons for 8 cups of water.

  3. Nancy says:

    So nice

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So glad you found it helpful!