Perfect Roasted Broccoli

September 23, 2019

Perfect oven Roasted Broccoli is just one of those staple, back pocket recipes. It couldn’t be easier to make and it’s easily my favorite way to cook broccoli! Even people who hate broccoli may just convert to loving it with this tasty oven baked method! 

Roasted broccoli on an oval white platter with a serving spoon.

Easy Roasted Broccoli Recipe

Roasted broccoli is actually one of my favorite side dishes. This humble and amazingly simple vegetable side is made with just three basic ingredients. Without much you can turn drab and boring broccoli into an impressively flavorful, enticing savory treat.

And the great thing about it? It goes good with just about any main dish you can think of. So when you aren’t sure what to serve with that entree on the menu keep some broccoli stocked in the fridge for the week (which is about how long it keeps) so you can have that any time you’re running a blank.

Sure it may take a two or even three times longer than steaming, sautéing, blanching/boiling or even grilling does but it’s worth the little bit of extra time, trust me!

Plus roasted broccoli really is the way to go if you are trying to get your kids to eat it. In fact, my daughter actually put broccoli as her favorite food on her “about me” page in first grade. I couldn’t stop laughing.

She must have been referring to roasted broccoli at least. Her teacher probably thought I only serve incredibly healthy food only around here but we all know that’s not true. I like to see it as balance – roasted broccoli and salmon for dinner leaving room for ice cream for dessert, right?

Ingredients to make roasted broccoli

What Ingredients are Needed for Roasted Broccoli?

Broccoli – crowns or bunches will work well here but keep in mind you won’t be using the stalk so plan on another use for it (see ideas below). If going with crowns use a slightly greater weight since there’s more stalk.

Olive oil – don’t use extra virgin olive oil, it has a lower smoking point than the standard refined olive oil. And here we cook at a high temp of 450 so it would burn.

Salt and pepper – this is the only seasoning that’s an absolute must to enhance the flavors of the roasted broccoli (unless you’re on a low-sodium diet of course, but still go with pepper).

Optional Ingredients:

Garlic – I add this almost every time but it is still good without. I like to add the garlic during the last minute so it doesn’t burn and become bitter, this time I spaced it and added a few minutes too early. I hate burned garlic.

Parmesan – I like to add fresh grated parmesan right out of the oven so it has a chance to melt a bit. Doesn’t cheese just make everything better?

Lemon – this brightens it up a little. A little goes a long way here.

Cutting broccoli florets from stem on a cutting board.

How to Roast Broccoli:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Prepare broccoli: Slice florets from thick stalk (reserve for another use). Cut into individual florets while working to cut a long flat surface through stem of florets if possible, long flatter surface areas will brown better.
  • Toss broccoli on baking sheet with oil: Place broccoli on a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (preferably dark coated*). Drizzle with olive oil then toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Raw boccoli florets on a baking sheet before baking.

How Long to Roast Broccoli?

  • Spread and roast: Spread broccoli out even (flat side down if you’ve got time) then roast in preheated 450 degree oven until lightly browned on bottom, about 11 – 13 minutes.
  • Toss and continue to roast: Toss, return to oven and continue to roast until tender, about 4 – 7 minutes longer.

When to Add Optional Ingredients:

  • If using garlic toss with broccoli during last 1 minute of roasting.
  • If adding lemon and parmesan toss with broccoli after removing from oven. Serve warm.

Roasted broccoli florets after baking.

Tips for the Best Roasted Broccoli:

  • Work to cut flat sides through broccoli stems, this greater flatter surface area will brown butter than just a small cluster of those buds that jut out on top will. Preferably turn those flat sides down to roast first.
  • Use freshest broccoli for best flavor. How to tell when it’s fresh and best quality? It should have a vibrant green color and shouldn’t have signs of rotting in areas. Florets should be close and compact. Stems should be firm.
  • Work to cut broccoli florets into even size pieces so they roast evenly.
  • Use a dark coated baking sheet for nice browning if possible.
  • Bake at a high temperature for added browned flavor, 450 is perfect.

What If I Don’t Have a Dark Baking Sheet?

Just skip the tossing party way through baking so the broccoli will have a chance to brown more on first side. It can also help to bake in the lower 1/3 of the oven for more browning, just keep an eye on it to see if it needs tossing if doing so.

Broccoli on a serving plater over a striped napkin and beige table surface.

Can I Use this Same Method for Cauliflower?

Yes. This works great for roasted cauliflower too.

Will Frozen Broccoli Work?

No. Only fresh broccoli can be used here. Frozen broccoli is previously blanched (partially cooked) and doesn’t have the same firm texture as fresh.

Variations:

  • Serve with a cheese sauce (pour it over broccoli or mix some into this sauce). It’s like the flavors of broccoli cheese soup – upgraded since it’s roasted.
  • Add herbs. Italian seasoning goes well here.
  • Try it with a vinaigrette, or a splash of balsamic vinegar or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
  • Try it with a different cheese like Mizithra, Romano or feta.
  • Add pine nuts or walnuts after roasting for a nice crunch.

Close up image of roasted broccoli florets. Ways to Use Leftover Broccoli Stalks:

  • I like to slice the raw stalk into small sticks and dip in ranch.
  • Make into broccoli slaw.
  •  Spiralize and use as noodles.
  • Peel, slice into small coins and add to stir fry.
  • Make vegetable broth along with other leftover vegetable scraps, or add to vegetable soups for added flavor (remove whole stalks after cooking).
  • Slice thin, steam and add to casseroles or a frittata. A broccoli cheddar frittata is sounding delicious to me.
  • Slice into coins and use some for roasting with the florets in the recipe. Again, just don’t overcrowd the baking sheet.
  • Use them for compost.

Roasted broccoli with parmesan and lemon served over top.

More Tasty Roasted Vegetable Recipes to Try:

Roasted Broccoli

This is just one of those staple, back pocket recipes. It couldn't be easier to make and it's easily my favorite way to cook broccoli! Even people who hate broccoli may just convert to loving it with this tasty oven roasted method! 

Servings: 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 - 2 lbs broccoli crowns (About 2)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice florets from thick stalk (reserve stalk for another use see ideas in post above). Cut into individual florets while working to cut a flat surface through stem of florets*.

  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place broccoli on a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (preferably dark coated**).

  3. Drizzle with olive oil then toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Spread broccoli out even then roast in preheated oven until lightly browned on bottom, about 11 - 13 minutes.

  5. Toss, return to oven and continue to roast until tender, about 5 - 7 minutes longer. If using garlic toss with broccoli during last 1 minute of roasting.

  6. If adding lemon and parmesan toss with broccoli after removing from oven. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • *Work to cut flat sides through broccoli stems, this longer flatter surface area will brown better than just a small cluster of those buds that jut out on top will. Preferably turn those flat sides down to roast first.
  • **If you don't have a dark coated pan then you can skip tossing halfway through so the first side has more time to brown.
  • Nutrition estimate does not include optional toppings and variations.

VARIATIONS

  • Serve with a cheese sauce (pour it over or mix into this sauce). It's like the flavors of broccoli soup - upgraded since it's roasted.
  • Add herbs. Italian seasoning goes well here.
  • Try it with a light vinaigrette after roasting, or a splash of balsamic vinegar or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
  • Swap out some of the broccoli for another vegetable like cauliflower or tomatoes.
  • Substitute a different cheese like Mizithra, Romano or feta.
  • Add pine nuts or walnuts after roasting for a nice crunch.
Nutrition Facts
Roasted Broccoli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 38mg2%
Potassium 358mg10%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 706IU14%
Vitamin C 101mg122%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roasted Broccoli
Author: Jaclyn