At our house, we tend to eat broccoli at least once, sometimes twice a week.
It’s an unassuming veggie the kids seem to enjoy (probably easier to get them to eat than carrot soup), and I can get on the table right alongside the main dish of the night.
Not only is it fast and easy, but there are so many different ways to prepare broccoli to keep things interesting – my favorite right now?
How to roast broccoli
Roasting broccoli is pretty straightforward; you can use the same procedure for just about any veggie you have around or love dearly.
To roast, you basically want dry broccoli and high heat in your oven, with a few added editions.
Roasting broccoli adds a bit of crunch as it dries out the outer pieces of the broccoli top and adds an almost caramelized flavor to each piece.
You can roast to any level of doneness, but you generally want to keep it in the oven until the edges are slightly brown and the center stalks have shrunk slightly.
Be sure to go easy on the oil – a dash of oil will help keep the broccoli from drying out, but without adding a ton of extra calories.
Also, be sure you keep the oven temperature in line with the smoke point of the oil you’re using.
If you crank the oven heat up above what you oil can handle, you’ll have smoking and a destroyed broccoli side dish.
Check out this chart to see which suggested oils are best for your dish!
Once you master the technique with broccoli, you can also roast asparagus, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, even lettuce.
Best pan for roasting broccoli
Whenever you’re roasting, you want as much surface area of the broccoli exposed as possible.
To do this, you’ll smooth them into a single layer on a big pan.
Metal pans conduct heat very efficiently, helping the broccoli cook evenly on the top and the bottom. Even still, you’ll likely want to toss the pieces halfway through the cooking.
Adding a wire rack to your pan will help air circulate under the veggies and make it even easier to crisp both sides at once.
The veggies still come out perfectly, nothing sticks, and the whole works goes in the dishwasher when we’re done.
You can also roast broccoli on the grill, just create a tinfoil “sheet pan” and add the broccoli as your recipe describes – the higher temp means you’ll have to watch them and turn them often, but they’ll come out just like the oven.
Roasted Broccoli with New Flavors
Overall, I’m generally a veggie purist – a bit of oil, salt and I’m good to go. With a bit of experimentation, however, I’ve found that my kids are much more likely to eat a particular vegetable dish when I jazz up the flavorings a bit more than that.
Garlic and Parmesan, like featured here, go well with just about any main dish you want to pair it with, but the options don’t stop there.
Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite roasting flavorings – it caramelizes in the oven to create this thick, almost smoky sauce that coats the veggies.
If you want something with a bit more tang, lemon juice or Italian dressing are other options that pair well with a whole lot of main dishes. Just be sure not to add too much liquid so your broccoli can still crisp up in the oven.
To keep things simple, I also like thyme or herbs de province on all kinds of veggies, but especially broccoli. You can pair the herbs with lemon juice or Parmesan for an Italian flare.
How to cut and prepare broccoli for roasting
If you’ve ever plunked your broccoli tree down on the cutting board and asked yourself how you’re going to make bite-sized pieces out of it, you’re not alone.
Here’s my take on how to get your broccoli ready for roasting in a flash – no mangling required!
- First, don’t throw away your broccoli stems! Chopped into bite sized pieces they are fantastic, full of vitamins and minerals, and because of the texture, kids often like them better. Plus, unless you bought only the crown, you paid for them!
- Even if you don’t want to roast the stems, pop them in the fridge to add to casseroles or salads another day.
- To cut florets, lay the broccoli on its side. Find the top of the stem and make a clean chop across. Then work your way around the broccoli cutting the florets off as you go. If you end up with a piece with a stem longer than you’d like, go back and trim the stem to your liking. You can continue to divide the florets into as small of pieces as you like.
- Cover with homemade cheese sauce
It’s a fast, easy, and kid-friendly side loaded with health benefits you can go to again and again.
Need a perfect recipe to sit this along side?
Try these homemade chicken nuggets!
Sink your teeth into delicious bites of broccoli covered in garlic and Parmesan all while learning how to roast broccoli right in the oven for perfection every time
- 2 heads broccoli chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl drizzle broccoli with olive oil. Add garlic and mix well to evenly coat. Take your time with this, mixing well.
- Spread broccoli onto prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
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