Check out this easy recipe for delicious, tender-crisp steamed broccoli, dressed with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
Ready in just 15 minutes, it's the perfect side dish that literally goes with anything!
Broccoli is one of the vegetables I make regularly for my family. It's an easy choice because it's delicious and everyone likes it (or at least tolerates it) - including The Picky Eater.
There are all kinds of fancy ways to prepare broccoli, such as beef and broccoli, roasted broccoli (or roasted frozen broccoli), broccoli tots, broccoli salad, broccoli cheese casserole, and broccoli quiche.
But I often find that my favorite way to cook broccoli is to simply steam it, as long as it remains tender-crisp.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make steamed broccoli. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Fresh broccoli: When I want to make my life super easy, I buy a bag of pre-washed broccoli florets.
- Fresh lemon juice: It's better than bottled. Fresher-tasting and more flavorful.
- Olive oil: I love drizzling this tasty oil on top of the broccoli. Extra-virgin olive oil tastes best.
- To season: I use kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Sometimes I use melted butter instead of olive oil. It's very good!
- You can add more seasonings, such as a pinch of onion powder, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper.
- No fresh lemon juice? You can use apple cider vinegar instead (but not white vinegar which is too acidic). If using vinegar, use just ½ tablespoon.
Steamed Broccoli Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Photo 1).
- Place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket. (Photo 2).
- Steam them until tender-crisp, for about 5 minutes. (Photos 3-5).
- The final step is to toss the cooked broccoli with the dressing and serve. (Photo 6).
Timing this dish when it's part of a complete meal can be challenging. Sometimes I find that the broccoli is ready but the rest of the meal isn't.
It's tempting to keep the broccoli warm by keeping it in the steaming basket, covered. But I think that's a mistake. It's better to enjoy crisp broccoli at room temperature than to suffer through mushy, limp, warm broccoli!
So as soon as the broccoli is ready, remove it onto a platter. Dress it with the olive oil-lemon dressing, loosely cover it with foil, and serve it when the rest of the meal is ready.
Unless you prefer broccoli with cheese sauce, in which case the broccoli should be the last thing you make. You want the cheese sauce warm and gooey.
It only takes 5 minutes. The key is to cook it until tender-crisp and bright green. So minimal cooking is the secret. You want your broccoli to be a beautiful bright green, not an olive green, which means it's overcooked.
The secret is to avoid overcooking it. Limp broccoli? Not so good. But tender-crisp broccoli that remains bright green, simply dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, is wonderful.
Simple is best, in my opinion. I season steamed broccoli with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That's it! As long as the broccoli is nice and crisp, it's going to be delicious even with just a sprinkle of salt.
Yes. The easiest way is to use your microwave and make microwave broccoli.
Another option is to place the broccoli directly in one inch of boiling water. It's not ideal, because the parts that are submerged in the water will actually boil. But it's better than completely submerging it in water.
This is such a versatile side dish. It goes with anything, really. I often serve it with one of the following:
- Pork roast
- Baked chicken breast
- Baked salmon
- Pan-fried salmon.
- Pulled chicken
- Turkey burgers
- Grilled halibut
Steamed broccoli is also good with a couple of fried eggs or poached eggs as a tasty and filling meatless lunch.
More Broccoli Recipes
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Steamed Broccoli Recipe
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Add 1 inch of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Rinse the broccoli. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalks.
- Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets and pieces, and place them in a steamer basket.
- Steam until tender-crisp. Start checking after 5 minutes. As soon as a fork can pierce the stalks, the broccoli is done. Even if the rest of the meal is not ready yet, remove the broccoli from the steamer onto a plate. Crisp steamed broccoli is delicious even at room temperature. Warm limp broccoli is not.
- While the broccoli is steaming, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the broccoli in a bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently mix. Serve immediately.