Don’t toss broccoli stems! When oven-roasted with olive oil and spices, they are creamy and delicious.
They take a bit longer to cook than broccoli florets, so simply place them on a separate baking sheet. They're still ready fast - in about 30 minutes.
I used to toss the stems when I made roasted broccoli. Not anymore! Now I know that the roasted stems are a surprising delicacy. You just need to know how to cook them.
They are entirely edible once peeled and cooked, and the best part: they are delicious. Sometimes I think I prefer them to broccoli florets. They become wonderfully creamy and buttery when roasted.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Broccoli stems: Remove the tough woodsy ends, peel them, then thinly slice them.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: My favorite oil to cook with. It's so wonderfully flavorful! If you'd like, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
- To season: I use kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Broccoli Stems vs. Florets
Broccoli has two main parts: the stems and the florets. The stems are the thick, elongated parts that connect the florets to the plant's central stalk. They are firm and fibrous, with a light green color.
The florets are small, dark green clusters at the top of the broccoli stalk.
Both parts are edible, but the stems are tougher and require a longer cooking time to become tender.
- Use melted butter or ghee instead of olive oil.
- Add herbs such as dried thyme or dried oregano. I especially like dried thyme.
- Sprinkle the broccoli stems with grated parmesan during the last 10 minutes of roasting.
- Sprinkle the finished dish with red pepper flakes.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- Your first step is to peel the stems, then slice them into rounds. (Photos 1,2).
- In a bowl, toss the rounds with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Photos 3,4).
- Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until tender and golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes per side in a 450°F oven. (Photos 5,6).
- It's best to use two baking sheets, one for the broccoli florets and one for the stems. The florets will be ready faster than the stems. At 450°F, the stems need about 20 minutes in the oven, while the florets should be ready after 10-15 minutes.
- I prefer garlic powder to fresh minced garlic in this recipe because the powder coats the stems more uniformly.
Yes, they are edible. They need to be peeled and cooked - they are quite fibrous. But once prepared, they are wonderfully creamy.
They are tough and woody. But when peeled and roasted, they become creamy and tender. In fact, they are my favorite part of broccoli!
Since my kids frown at them and won't even try them, I am more than happy to eat them all by myself. I prefer the creamy texture of the stems to the coarse texture of the florets.
Yes, just like you can steam broccoli. They will need to be steamed for a longer time, so add more water and ensure there's enough water left in the pan throughout the steaming process.
They'll need to steam for about 10 minutes, but it's best to start checking after 8 minutes.
Anything you would serve alongside broccoli florets goes with the stems as well.
I often serve them with a main dish that I can cook in the same 450°F oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave at 50% power. They are also excellent cold, straight out of the fridge.
More Broccoli Recipes
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Roasted Broccoli Stems
- ½ lb. broccoli stems peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra-virgin
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper or nonstick foil.
- In a bowl, toss the sliced broccoli stems with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Spread the broccoli stems on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
- Roast until golden brown, about 10 minutes per side.
- Serve them immediately.