Learn how to cook broccoli – five easy ways! These broccoli recipes are quick, simple and healthy. Everyone at the table will be asking for, “More broccoli, please!”

Sauteed broccoli in a serving bowl with lemon wedges.

Broccoli is one of my go-to side dishes and I cook it at least once a week. It’s quick to prepare, healthy and versatile! Broccoli is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C. When you add just a few simple seasonings and cook it the right way (no mushy broccoli here), it’s as delicious as it is healthy.

With these easy how to cook broccoli recipes, you’ll be enjoying broccoli more than ever before!

How to Cook Broccoli

Steamed broccoli with lemon wedges in a serving bowl.

Steamed Broccoli

Steaming broccoli is a great way to cook it if you plan to use it in other recipes or want a simple, fast side dish. Learn how to steam broccoli on the stove so that it’s perfectly crisp-tender with a beautiful bright green color. This method works whether or not you have a steamer basket; all you need is a pot with a lid.

Close up of roasted broccoli on baking sheet.

Roasted Broccoli

My personal favorite, roasted broccoli has irresistible golden brown caramelized edges that make it so flavorful. It’s crispy on the edges, perfectly tender in the middle, and so good you’ll want to eat the whole batch straight from the pan! Cooking broccoli in the oven is super easy and this recipe includes how to make basic roasted broccoli plus five flavor variations.

Sauteed broccoli in a cast iron skillet with wooden spatula.

Sautéed Broccoli

Fans of stove top cooking will love this easy sautéed broccoli recipe. It has a delicious crisp-tender bite and is so good seasoned with garlic and lemon. Cooking broccoli in a skillet takes only 8 minutes, and the result is a versatile side dish that goes with almost any meal.

Air fryer broccoli with parmesan and red pepper flakes on a serving dish.

Air Fryer Broccoli

Cooking broccoli in the air fryer gives you the best crispy edges and requires very little oil. This air fryer broccoli is finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a pop of salty, cheesy flavor. You’ll love it! Use fresh or frozen broccoli in this easy recipe.

Steamed broccoli in instant pot.

Instant Pot Broccoli

Cooking broccoli in the Instant Pot is a quick, hands-off way to steam broccoli. You won’t have to watch a pot on the stove (a bonus for us moms who are often taking care of kids while we make dinner). I like to season this Instant Pot broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some grated Parmesan cheese. Everyone at the table will be asking for a second helping!

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Storage and Prep Tips

  • Store raw broccoli in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about a week. To keep it fresh for longer, don’t wash broccoli until right before you cook it.
  • Cooked broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
  • When you cut broccoli, try to keep as much of the broccoli stems on as possible. The stems are a good source of fiber. (You can use them to make Broccoli Slaw!) If desired, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel off the tough outer layer of the broccoli stalk.
  • For the best tasting broccoli, cook it until it is just crisp-tender. Bright green broccoli has a fresh flavor and great texture. If your broccoli turns mushy or loses its vibrant color, it is likely overcooked.

Broccoli Seasoning Ideas

A few simple seasonings can add a pop of flavor to your broccoli to make it even more tasty. Here are some ideas:

  • Simple: A pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil, plus salt and pepper are easy ways to add flavor.
  • Cheesy: Sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese or serve your broccoli with cheese sauce.
  • Olive Oil & Lemon: A simple, yet so delicious combination! Use either lemon juice or lemon zest.
  • Italian: Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle on Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Garlic Butter: Spread some garlic butter on broccoli for a buttery, garlicky treat.
  • Sesame: Try a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Spicy: Sprinkle on a pinch of red pepper flakes, along with your other seasonings of choice.

More Broccoli Recipes

More How to Cook Recipes

Sautéed broccoli with lemon in a serving bowl.

How to Cook Broccoli {5 Easy Ways}

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Learn how to cook broccoli so that it is crisp-tender and flavorful. This easy, healthy side dish is a family favorite! See the notes section below for broccoli seasoning ideas.


Steamed Broccoli

  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli, cut into florets

Roasted Broccoli

  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Sautéed Broccoli

  • 1 pound broccoli crowns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon

Air Fryer Broccoli

  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instant Pot Broccoli

  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup water


Steamed Broccoli

  • Put 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of a pot. Put a steamer basket in the pot. (If you do not have a steamer basket you can cook the broccoli directly in an inch or two of water in the pot.) Bring to a boil on the stove.
  • Once boiling, add the broccoli to the steamer basket (or right to the water in the pot), cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes for crisp-tender broccoli or 5-7 minutes for softer broccoli.
  • Once the broccoli is cooked to your liking, immediately remove it from the heat and take the lid off of the pot. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the broccoli to a serving dish. Season as desired and serve.

Roasted Broccoli

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash the broccoli and dry it well. Cut broccoli into bite-size florets. Cut larger florets in half or even into quarters if very large. Place broccoli florets on the baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat.
  • Arrange broccoli so that any flat cut sides are facing down on the baking sheet and so that there is some space between the pieces to allow air to circulate. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  • Roast broccoli in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Stir/toss broccoli, spread out into an even layer again, and continue roasting for 3-8 more minutes, until tender and browned on the edges.

Sautéed Broccoli

  • Cut the broccoli into florets. Then cut all but very small florets in half. Quarter any very large florets. Pat dry to remove any moisture on the broccoli.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the broccoli to the pan. Use kitchen tongs to turn the pieces so that the flat sides are down against the bottom of the pan. Cook, without stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Then stir the broccoli and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Pour in the water and immediately cover the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the pan and stir in the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Sprinkle the salt, pepper and lemon zest over the broccoli. Stir to distribute. Serve immediately.

Air Fryer Broccoli

  • Cut the broccoli into florets. Cut large florets in half and very large florets in quarters. The pieces should be approximately 1-inch in size. Place broccoli florets in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli. Toss to coat. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and toss to evenly distribute.
  • Add 1 tablespoon water to the bottom of the air fryer. Place broccoli in a single layer in the air fryer (cook in batches if needed). Air fry at 370° F for 5 minutes. Then toss broccoli and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Air fry for 3-5 more minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender. If cooking a second batch, add another tablespoon of water to the bottom of the air fryer first.
  • Serve immediately, seasoned with more salt, pepper and/or Parmesan as needed, to taste.

Instant Pot Broccoli

  • Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot inner pot. Add a steamer basket to the pot. Place broccoli florets in the steamer basket. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • For crisp-tender broccoli, set the pressure cook time to 0 minutes at high pressure. (If your Instant Pot will not allow you to set a 0 minute cook time, you can set it to pressure cook for 1 minute and then cancel the cooking cycle as soon as the pot reaches pressure. Then immediately quick release.) For softer broccoli, set the pressure cook time to 1 minute at high pressure.
  • The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin. As soon as the cook time ends, quick release the pressure by carefully moving the valve to the venting position.
  • Once all of the steam has escaped and the pin drops down, immediately open the pot (to prevent over-cooking). Season broccoli as desired and serve.


Seasoning Ideas:
  • Simple: Butter or olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Cheesy: Parmesan cheese or cheese sauce.
  • Olive Oil & Lemon: Use either lemon juice or lemon zest.
  • Italian: Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Garlic Butter: Serve with garlic butter.
  • Sesame: Try a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Spicy: Sprinkle on a pinch of red pepper flakes, along with your other seasonings of choice.
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
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