How was it that broccoli became the default green vegetable to serve up at dinner? Not that we should complain. It’s versatile, readily available all year long, keeps well in the fridge, and even holds up decently frozen.
However, if broccoli is the fallback veg the majority of your evenings, its presence can trigger weariness—particularly among the kids. The right preparation can catapult broccoli from a dreary afterthought to a beloved favorite that gets gobbled up with nary a floret left. We have a dozen diverse broccoli recipes to weave into your rotation that’ll not only round out the three-point landing of starch and protein, but be a small cause for celebration.
Eat your broccoli, kids. With abandon.
Microwave Broccoli With Sesame Dressing
Steaming veggies in the microwave is quick and easy to master. Many, many nights my mother microwaved broccoli florets when I was growing up. That’s all well and good, but a sesame-ginger dressing will dress it right up into craveable territory. It’s lovely with chicken, shrimp, or beef. Or pork. Or as-is.
You don’t have to relinquish this classic salad to potlucks and picnics. Bacon, red onion, and a touch of mayo make this hearty salad appealing to many. I like to add raisins, too.
Roasted Broccoli With Parmesan
Roasting broccoli is reliably the preparation that converts broccoli haters, young and old alike. It’s fast, hands-off, and brings out its sweetness. A finish of parm adds a savory depth.
Here’s a back-pocket recipe for when you have over-the-hill heads of broccoli that are usable but look tired. Chop the whole thing up (stems included) and toss into a skillet with olive oil and garlic until it’s charred in some spots. Outside of an easy side dish, this makes an excellent element to layer in grain bowls.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
The “add cheese” rule is verified to work 9 times out of 10 when you want a picky eater to consume their veggies. Beaten eggs and plentiful cheddar envelop broccoli florets in an easy bake that could stand in for an entire dinner itself.
Broccoli Slaw With Cranberry Orange Dressing
Save your broccoli stems to shred for this slaw. Or buy a bag of broccoli slaw that’s ready to toss with a zesty dressing. Sweet cranberries are a fitting foil for the burly broccoli bits.
Perfect Steamed Broccoli
Here are all the tips you need for steaming broccoli on the stove to a perfect bright green. Never mushy, never undercooked. If it’s too plain for you, cover it with the cheese sauce we share below.
Easy Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
Stick with me here. We all know a generous drowning of cheese sauce does wonders for those who would otherwise refuse broccoli. If you’d like a more wholesome option, try this creamy, cheesy (yet cheese-free) vegan queso. It’s easy to make in a blender and gets its orange hue from a carrot. Never once has an unsuspecting diner at my home cried foul on this fabulous sauce.
Broccoli With Crispy Cheese
Our news editor Myo Quinn has three hungry boys to feed, and the mere aroma of this super-fast broccoli wonder draws them to the table with delight in their eyes. “I cook broccoli florets in a skillet with a little oil. Halfway through cooking, I sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Some cheese will cling to the broccoli and melt while the rest will fall onto the hot skillet and get crispy. ” Myo shares the precise details in the recipe so you, too, can enthrall your troops as it cooks.
Throw a little stir-fry together to enliven grilled chicken breasts or pork tenderloin.
Broccoli Cheddar Quesadillas
How is a quesadilla a side dish? Perhaps it’s not, but also: how is it we’ve not yet considered broccoli a quesadilla filling? Brilliant!
Lemony Broccoli Rabe With Beans
Broccoli rabe is bitter, hard to find, and more expensive than broccoli. I happen to love it, but I’ve learned to sub broccoli and get highly pleasing results. Try that switcheroo in this lemony recipe and I promise you’ll be convinced as well.