Broccoli hasn’t always had the best reputation. Television shows, commercials and movies have depicted parents begging their kids to eat their broccoli — the camera panning to an unappetizing pile of waterlogged, steamed florets. Gone are the days of broccoli being relegated to an obligatory side dish. When prepared in countless delightful ways, broccoli is far more than a supporting character with nutritional value. When treated right, broccoli can be the star of the whole show.
When shopping for broccoli, look for crowns that are bright green and have firm stems. If there are any visible brown spots, or if the stems are slightly soft, it’s a sign that the vegetable’s best days are behind it.
If you give broccoli (and its cousins broccoli rabe and broccolini) the love and attention they deserve, they become a blank canvas for so many flavors. You can simply roast it with olive oil and salt or sauté it with garlic and chili flakes for an easy side dish or blend it into a creamy soup for the main meal. One of our favorite secrets for sneaking broccoli into a meal? Mash it into a chunky guacamole for an extra boost of greens.
Let’s all agree to give this underrated vegetable the star treatment it deserves. We’re sharing 50 broccoli recipes that will help do just that. From simple sautéed side dishes, to creamy, cheesy soups (yes, even a dupe for that quick service favorite), broccoli is making a name for itself on your weeknight dinner table.
Eating your broccoli doesn’t have to be a big to-do, especially when it’s this delicious. Cut broccoli florets off the crown and season with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake until crispy, then squeeze fresh lemon on top for a pop of brightness.
Sure, you can buy frozen tots, but once you make this healthy version at home, you’ll never go back to the store-bought version. Blanch broccoli, then finely chop and combine with eggs, diced onion, cheddar cheese, seasonings and breadcrumbs. The fun part is shaping them into individual tots for baking, so go ahead and get your kids involved.
This cheesy broccoli dish is the ultimate comforting casserole. With just a few pantry staples and a bag of frozen broccoli, you’ve got a nostalgic dinner that’ll please every palate. Simply combine cooked instant rice, diced onion, butter, frozen broccoli, canned cream of chicken soup and cheese sauce. Cover with fried onions and bake until golden-brown and crispy.
For a slightly more elevated broccoli casserole, try making this fresh version. Diced chicken thighs are a welcome addition, adding lean protein to your dinner. The cheesy chicken and broccoli mixture can be made up to one day in advance, so all you need to do is top with breadcrumbs and bake.
This nostalgic dish is basically broccoli cheddar soup in the form of a crowd-friendly casserole. Combine milk, sour cream, crushed red pepper and cream of mushroom soup in a large casserole dish. Stir in broccoli florets, fried onions and shredded cheddar, then bake for 30 minutes. Top with even more cheese and onions before returning to the oven for a final bake.
These battered broccoli bites are called poppers for a reason. Once you pop one into your mouth, you won’t be able to stop. To make them, dip broccoli florets into an easy sesame batter. Plop them on a baking tray and bake until crispy. Toss with a spicy miso sauce, then broil to marry all the flavors together.
Broccoli, cheese and potatoes are an unbeatable combo that are showcased perfectly in these twice-baked potatoes. First, bake the potatoes. While you wait, cook broccoli in butter with leeks and garlic. Pulse in a food processor, then mix with shredded cheddar, cream cheese and goat cheese. Fold in the scooped-out baked potato filling, then stuff and bake once more until slightly crisped.
Instead of romaine lettuce, use crispy grilled broccoli florets as the base for this atypical Caesar salad. The resulting dish is an umami-rich salad, thanks to toasted cubes of seasoned sourdough bread and homemade miso dressing.
Skip a trip to the chain café in favor of making a cozy pot of better-for-you broccoli cheddar soup at home. To make this low-calorie version, use a Parmesan rind to add major flavor, and peeled broccoli stems for extra bulk when puréeing. Of course, don’t skimp on the shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
If you want stuffing for breakfast, run, don’t walk, to make this broccoli and cheese strata. Sauté onions, garlic, and broccoli, then stir in bread, mozzarella and a mixture of whisked eggs, milk and seasonings. Pro tip: use day-old bread so that it doesn’t get soggy. Bake the strata until golden and bubbly and enjoy as a breakfast casserole or dinner side.
Here’s an idea you probably never thought of: Blend roasted broccoli into your pesto. Don’t worry, you’ll still use plenty of basil in addition to the broccoli for that classic pesto flavor. Mix with garlic, olive oil, capers, lemon zest and juice until smooth, then toss with pasta or smear over pizza with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Next time you need a four-ingredient dinner, look no further than this vegetable-packed pasta recipe. Boil your favorite noodles, then toss with steamed broccoli and walnuts. Top each serving with a heaping spoonful of ricotta, which will melt into a dreamy sauce.
Never settle for boring broccoli again. For the perfect broccoli side dish, slice garlic and sauté it in olive oil. Add blanched broccoli florets, toss in the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The result is a crave-worthy broccoli side that takes just minutes to make.
Winter veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts unsurprisingly pair wonderfully together. Pre-heat a sheet pan, then roast them until tender and crispy with a simple coating of olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. While they cook, crisp up pancetta and shallots in a honey-mustard sauce. Toss everything together for a flavorful roasted vegetable side dish.
Ree Drummond was onto something with this oven-friendly pasta sauce. While your pasta boils on the stovetop, place broccoli, cauliflower, onion and garlic in a baking dish. Pour in cream and broth, then top with butter and broil until the vegetables are roasted. In the meantime, toast some pine nuts then toss everything together.
Rethink your favorite stuffed shells recipe with this make-ahead-friendly recipe. Simply grab a rotisserie chicken, then give it a good shred. Combine with cooked broccoli and a creamy Parmesan sauce, then stuff into jumbo pasta shells and bake until bubbly and crispy.
If you’ve never thought to pair chicken thighs with Caesar dressing, think again. This one-skillet dinner makes your favorite salad dressing the star of the show. First, brown chicken thighs, then add finely chopped broccoli stalks and florets to the drippings. Drizzle with Caesar dressing, then finish it off in the oven and season with freshly ground pepper, lemon zest and Parmesan crisps.
Instead of ordering delivery one night this week, give this takeout-inspired ginger beef and broccoli recipe a try. Sear thinly sliced flank steak in a wok then set aside. In the same pan, sauté green onion, garlic, bell pepper and chopped broccoli. This dish comes together with a sugar-free sauce made with chicken broth, soy sauce, minced ginger and arrowroot powder (to thicken) and tastes just like your favorite takeout order.
Season pork chops with olive oil and salt, then sear until evenly browned. Add broccoli, chickpeas and halved pepperoncini to the pan, then sit back and relax for 30 minutes until dinner is served.
Inspired by summer coleslaw, this creamy broccoli salad features a sweet and tangy dressing made with Gorgonzola cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. To make it, blanch broccoli florets, then toss with the dressing, sliced almonds, diced salami and homemade pickled shallots.
Here’s a trick to give broccoli a new-to-you preparation: Use a grater or food processor to shred broccoli into a riced texture. Toss with crumbled feta, chopped basil, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil and salt for a spoonable salad that makes for a great summer slaw.
Get your fruits and vegetables all at once with this refreshing salad recipe. Charred broccoli is tossed with a miso-soy dressing, ripe peaches and bok choy. It’s a salty and sweet cruciferous salad that checks all the right boxes.
The star of this slaw is the spicy gochujang-buttermilk ranch dressing that ties everything together. (It’s so good you’re going to want to make extra.) Pour that tangy dressing over a mixture of shredded broccoli, thinly sliced kale stems, julienned Granny smith apple and sunflower seeds.
Fluffy ricotta gnocchi meets its match in this light and airy broccoli pesto sauce. To make it, blend blanched broccoli, broccoli rabe and basil with water and garlic. Stir in olive oil, pistachios, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese, then combine with gnocchi for a delightful green bowl.
Here’s a vegetable-packed mac and cheese recipe you can feel really good about serving to your family. Boil your favorite pasta shape along with broccoli florets. While that does its thing, make a cheese sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan. Toss with the broccoli, cooked pasta and lemon juice, then top with panko breadcrumbs and bake until bubbling.
Cook this on a weeknight and you’ll feel like you just set foot in a high profile restaurant where the chef’s a vegetable whisperer. The secret is keeping the stalks intact, while cutting the broccoli into long spears. Give it a good sear in a cast iron skillet, then serve with a creamy sauce made with smashed avocado, sour cream and buttermilk.
While it doesn’t look like traditional cacio e pepe, this broccoli-packed version hits all the same creamy, peppery notes. Toss cooked rigatoni in a pan with butter, pasta water and broccoli pureé. Top with Parmesan, a generous amount of black pepper and a sprinkle of broccoli “couscous.”
Since when does broccoli belong in guacamole? Mashed broccoli is virtually undetectable when stirred into creamy, ripe avocados. Add in chopped tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, cilantro and garlic and you’ll second guess whether you ever added any broccoli to begin with.
Why does spinach-artichoke dip get to have all the fun? Instead of the leafy green, combine chopped roasted broccoli with artichokes, scallions, shallot, tarragon, cumin, paprika, Greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese.
Take the flavors of Philly’s famous Italian roast pork, broccoli rabe and provolone sandwich, and turn it into a heaping platter of nachos. Slow-cooked pork makes the perfect nacho topping along with chopped broccoli rabe, melted provolone, sour cream and sweet roasted peppers.
Know a broccoli hater? This warm, crunchy salad might just change their mind. Add cooked rice to an oiled skillet and fry until the bottom is crispy. While you work on the rice, roast broccoli and delicata squash until tender and slightly charred. Fold the roasted vegetables into the crispy rice along with candied sunflower seeds and fresh pomegranate arils, then dress with homemade lemon vinaigrette.
Have you ever wondered why vegetables taste so much better at restaurants than at home? (Hint, hint: the answer is butter…) But thanks to this recipe, you can try that trick at home. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet, then add in broccoli and cauliflower. Cook until crisp-tender, then add in the garlic. The final step? Add a splash of water to fully steam the broccoli and cauliflower.
This creamy broccoli soup is so ridiculously luxe that it’s hard to believe it’s packed with nutrients. Blend a combination of aromatics, broth, broccoli florets and canned white beans until smooth and creamy, then stir in a few dollops of Greek yogurt for added creaminess.
For a well-rounded, low-carb dinner, this cauliflower rice with coconut chicken and broccoli is a must-try. Stir-fry cauliflower rice with coconut milk until your desired consistency. Top with shredded rotisserie chicken, broccoli and a mixture of melted ghee, coconut aminos and sesame seeds.
Next time you have the urge to throw out your broccoli stalks, resist! If you give them the proper treatment, they can transform into a fantastic and unexpected side dish. The secret is to peel the broccoli stems to get rid of the tough exterior. Blanch until tender, then top with a mixture of chopped herbs, lemon zest, Parmesan, olive oil and breadcrumbs.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, scan the produce aisle for tender stem broccoli (aka baby broccoli or broccolini). It’s sweet, crunchy and cooks even more quickly than its more ubiquitous cousin. The sauce is key: melt butter with garlic, chives and orange juice. Add orange zest, salt and pepper, drizzle over the steamed broccolini and serve with toasted almonds.
All credit for this dish goes to vegetable wizard Chef Dan Kluger of New York City’s Loring Place. Grill fresh broccoli until nice and charred. Serve over orange aioli and top with pistachio vinaigrette, chopped jalapeño, sliced radishes, mint and orange zest.
Broccoli Rabe Recipes
Mix up your vegetable sides with broccoli rabe, broccoli’s slightly more bitter, leafier cousin. Cut off the tough ends and peel the knobbier stems. Give it a good wash, then sauté in olive oil, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Add a splash of water and cover to steam until the broccoli rabe is tender.
This family-size frittata will feed a crowd. The formula is simple: a dozen eggs, a cup of cheese, a dollop of full-fat dairy and whatever mix-ins you’d like — in this case, sausage and broccoli rabe. Bake until the frittata is set, then dig in.
For perfect rapini (broccoli rabe), give it a quick blanch in salted water to remove any bitterness, then sauté with olive oil, garlic and chili flakes until fragrant. Add in some butter, lemon juice, zest and Parmesan cheese for a restaurant-worthy side dish.
These little handheld stromboli make the perfect grab-and-go appetizer. Make the dough from scratch or use store-bought pizza dough to save time. Sauté chopped broccoli rabe, baby kale and garlic, then stuff into the dough balls with a generous cube of provolone cheese. Seal them up, brush with olive oil and bake until cooked through.
Make rigatoni alla vodka a little more virtuous by adding broccoli rabe to the roster. In a large casserole dish, combine the pasta alla vodka, fontina cheese, sausage, mozzarella and Parmesan, then bake until the cheese is bubbling for a hearty casserole.
Parchment packets are an excellent way to steam fish, vegetables and aromatics altogether right in the oven, leaving minimal clean-up. Arrange salmon filets, potato halves and broccoli rabe in individual parchment packets. Drizzle with white wine, a pat of butter and a slice of lemon, then seal and cook.
As with most Ina Garten recipes, the beauty in this roasted broccolini lies in its simplicity. Trim the broccolini, then cut each stalk in half lengthwise. Cover with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast until crisp but still tender. It makes for an elegant vegetable side dish with any protein, especially chicken or fish.
Once you learn that all it takes to make green vegetables taste irresistible is by blanching and sautéing them in olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic, you’ll be a greens machine. You’ll want to eat this crave-worthy broccolini every night of the week.
Give your vegetables the sheet pan treatment in this one-pan dinner recipe. Load the pan with seasoned eggplant slices, broccolini, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Cook until the veggies are blistered, then top with Parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and serve yourself a giant heap of goodness.
This sheet-pan dinner is a one and done wonder. Making sure not to overcrowd the pan, arrange halved cherry tomatoes, trimmed broccolini, sausage and feta slices all over the baking sheet. Cover the vegetables with olive oil and salt, then bake for 25 minutes until the broccolini is crispy.
Forget babysitting meatballs on the stove. Once you roll and shape them, pop them into the oven to bake alongside broccolini and lemon slices. Squeeze the baked meatballs and broccolini with fresh lemon juice and top with grated Parmesan for a 30-minute meal.
These chicken breasts — seasoned with lemon, olive oil, parsley and chili flakes — roast alongside the vegetables, so the flavor seeps into every bite. If you don’t have broccolini or carrots, don’t sweat it. This sheet pan dinner is super forgiving and perfect for a busy weeknight when you want a well-balanced meal.
This pasta dish comes together in the time it takes the pasta to boil. Remove sweet Italian sausage from its casing, then brown alongside garlic and broccolini. Once the pasta is cooked through, add it to the sausage and broccolini along with Parmesan cheese.