Steamed Broccoli Recipe

Steamed broccoli is a healthy, delicious side dish that retains most of the nutrients available in raw broccoli. This simple steamed broccoli recipe is an easy way to include more green vegetables in your meals, and it's ready in under 10 minutes. The result is a bright, crisp, and tender broccoli that you can serve with any main dish.

Steamed Broccoli Recipe
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Photos of Steamed Broccoli Recipe

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This recipe calls for broccoli, which is a common vegetable that can be found in the fresh produce section of any supermarket. If you prefer, you can also use frozen broccoli - just be aware that the cooking time may be slightly different.

Essential Ingredients for Simple Steamed Broccoli

Broccoli: This is the main ingredient of our recipe. It's a green vegetable rich in vitamins C and K, and a good source of dietary fibre.

Water: Water is used to create the steam needed for cooking the broccoli. It doesn't have to be distilled or filtered, tap water is fine.

Salt: Salt helps to enhance the natural taste of the broccoli. You can adjust the amount according to taste.

Pepper: Pepper adds a bit of heat and complexity to the flavor of the dish. Again, this can be adjusted according to personal preference.

Butter: A small dab of butter adds a creamy, indulgent touch to the finished dish. If you prefer, you can substitute with olive oil.

One reader, Jaime Pullen says:

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This simple steamed broccoli recipe is a game-changer! The broccoli turned out perfectly tender-crisp and the flavor was amazing. It's a quick and healthy side dish that I'll be making again and again. So easy and delicious!

Jaime Pullen

Techniques Required for Making Simple Steamed Broccoli

How to steam broccoli: This technique involves using a steam basket or colander placed in a saucepan to cook the broccoli until tender-crisp.

How to check for doneness: To ensure the broccoli is cooked to the desired tenderness, pierce it with a fork to check for doneness.

How to season: After steaming, season the broccoli with salt, pepper, and a knob of butter to enhance its flavor.

How To Make Steamed Broccoli

Steamed broccoli florets are the perfect side dish for hearty steak, pasta, and casserole dishes! This steamed veggie dish is easy and quick to make.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • 3cupsbroccoli florets,trimmed and washed
  • cupswater
  • salt pepper and butter,for serving, optional


  1. Place a steam basket or colander into a large saucepan.

  2. Add broccoli and enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan.

  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

  4. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until broccoli is tender-crisp when pierced with a fork.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a saucepan instead. Just add ½-inch water into the bottom of the saucepan.


  • Calories: 14.91kcal
  • Fat: 0.19g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.09g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.79g
  • Protein: 1.59g
  • Sodium: 330.51mg
  • Calcium: 28.42mg
  • Potassium: 173.13mg
  • Iron: 0.47mg
  • Vitamin A: 79.88µg
  • Vitamin C: 49.63mg

Essential Technique Tip for Perfect Steamed Broccoli

To ensure your broccoli retains its vibrant green color and doesn't turn mushy, avoid overcooking it. Keep a close eye on the cooking time and test the broccoli with a fork for the desired tenderness. Remember, it will continue to cook slightly even after you remove it from the heat due to residual heat.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Steamed Broccoli

Prep ahead: Chop and wash the broccoli in advance to save time when you're ready to cook.

Use a microwave: If you're short on time, you can steam the broccoli in the microwave by placing it in a microwave-safe dish with a little water and covering it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap.

Substitute Ingredients For Steamed Broccoli Recipe

  • broccoli florets - Substitute with cauliflower florets: Cauliflower has a similar texture and taste to broccoli, making it a great substitute in this recipe.

  • water - Substitute with vegetable broth: Using vegetable broth instead of water adds extra flavor to the steamed broccoli.

  • salt - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can add a savory umami flavor to the broccoli, enhancing its taste.

  • pepper - Substitute with red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes can add a spicy kick to the steamed broccoli, providing a different flavor profile.

  • butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can add a rich and flavorful coating to the steamed broccoli, providing a healthier alternative to butter.

Best Ways to Present Steamed Broccoli

  1. Elevate the broccoli florets: Arrange the steamed broccoli florets in a visually appealing manner on the plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not overcrowded.

  2. Garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper: Add a touch of sophistication by delicately seasoning the broccoli with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavors and add visual interest.

  3. Drizzle with clarified butter: Using a steady hand, drizzle a small amount of clarified butter over the steamed broccoli to impart a rich, glossy finish and a hint of indulgent flavor.

  4. Present on a fine bone china plate: Choose a pristine fine bone china plate to showcase the vibrant green color of the broccoli, adding an element of elegance to the overall presentation.

  5. Incorporate edible flowers for a pop of color: Introduce a touch of whimsy and color contrast by incorporating delicate, edible flowers as a garnish, elevating the visual appeal of the dish.

  6. Accompany with a decorative lemon twist: Enhance the presentation by adding a carefully crafted lemon twist to the plate, providing a refreshing citrus aroma and a visually striking element.

  7. Serve on a bed of edible microgreens: Elevate the dish by presenting the steamed broccoli on a bed of vibrant, fresh edible microgreens, adding a layer of texture and a burst of flavor to the overall presentation.

  8. Utilize a minimalist plating approach: Embrace a minimalist plating style, allowing the natural beauty of the steamed broccoli to take center stage, creating a visually striking yet understated presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Steamed Broccoli

  • Steam basket or colander: These are used to hold the broccoli while it's being steamed, allowing the steam to circulate and cook the broccoli evenly.
  • Saucepan: This is used to hold the water and the steam basket or colander, providing the heat to steam the broccoli.
  • Fork: This is used to check the tenderness of the broccoli while it's being steamed.

How To Store and Freeze Steamed Broccoli

  • Let the steamed broccoli cool completely before storing. This will prevent the broccoli from becoming soggy and help it retain its texture.

  • Place the cooled broccoli in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. If using a container, make sure it's shallow and wide to allow for even cooling and prevent the broccoli from getting crushed.

  • Store the container or bag of broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It's best to consume the broccoli within this timeframe for optimal freshness and flavor.

  • If you want to freeze the steamed broccoli for later use, follow these steps:

    • Arrange the cooled broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour, or until the broccoli is frozen solid. This process, known as flash freezing, helps prevent the broccoli florets from clumping together.
    • Once frozen, transfer the broccoli to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and amount of broccoli for easy reference.
  • Frozen steamed broccoli can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you're ready to use it, simply thaw the broccoli in the refrigerator overnight or add it directly to soups, stews, or casseroles during cooking.

  • To reheat refrigerated or thawed steamed broccoli, place it in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water and cover loosely with a lid or damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water for a minute or two.

How To Reheat Leftover Steamed Broccoli

  • Reheat steamed broccoli in the microwave by placing it in a microwave-safe dish, adding a tablespoon of water, and covering with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain the broccoli's moisture and prevent it from drying out.

  • For a crispy texture, reheat leftover broccoli in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C), spread the broccoli on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 5-7 minutes, or until the edges start to crisp up and the broccoli is heated through.

  • Sauté leftover steamed broccoli in a pan for a quick and flavorful reheat. Heat a tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices, such as garlic powder or red pepper flakes.

  • Incorporate leftover steamed broccoli into a stir-fry for a quick and healthy meal. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add your choice of protein (e.g., chicken, shrimp, or tofu) and cook until nearly done. Add the leftover broccoli and other vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, or onions. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the broccoli is heated through and the other vegetables are tender-crisp. Season with your favorite stir-fry sauce or a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

Random Fact About Steamed Broccoli

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is closely related to cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. It is packed with nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any meal.

Is Making Steamed Broccoli at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this simple steamed broccoli recipe is quite high. Broccoli is an affordable and nutritious vegetable, and the minimal additional ingredients required make it a budget-friendly option for households. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 8 out of 10, considering its simplicity, health benefits, and cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $5, making it an economical and healthy choice for any family.

Is Steamed Broccoli Healthy or Unhealthy?

The simple steamed broccoli recipe is a healthy choice, as broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Steaming is a cooking method that preserves the nutrients in the broccoli, as it doesn't require the use of oil or other additives that can add unnecessary calories. The recipe also calls for minimal ingredients, which is a plus for those looking to maintain a clean and healthy diet.

However, the addition of butter and salt may slightly detract from the overall healthiness of the dish, as butter is high in saturated fat and salt can contribute to high blood pressure in some individuals.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of using butter, try drizzling the steamed broccoli with a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added flavor
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, to add depth and complexity to the dish without relying on salt
  • Pair the steamed broccoli with other nutrient-rich foods, such as grilled chicken breast or quinoa, to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal

Editor's Thoughts on This Simple Steamed Broccoli Recipe

This simple steamed broccoli recipe is a classic and healthy way to enjoy this nutritious vegetable. The minimal ingredients and straightforward cooking method allow the natural flavors of the broccoli to shine. The steaming process retains the vibrant green color and crisp texture, while the addition of salt, pepper, and butter enhances the overall taste. It's a quick, easy, and delicious side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

Enhance Your Steamed Broccoli Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese
Grilled Chicken: Juicy grilled chicken marinated in a zesty lemon herb sauce
Fruit Salad: Refreshing fruit salad with a honey lime dressing and a sprinkle of mint leaves

Alternative Recipes Similar to Steamed Broccoli

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Add roasted garlic and cream cheese for extra creaminess and flavor.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Roast carrots with honey, butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet and savory side dish.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Marinate chicken in a zesty lemon herb marinade and grill to perfection for a flavorful and juicy main dish.
Berry Cobbler: Use a mix of fresh berries and a buttery crumble topping for a delicious and comforting dessert.

Why trust this Steamed Broccoli Recipe:

This simple steamed broccoli recipe guarantees a delightful outcome. The broccoli is steamed to perfection, preserving its vibrant color and crisp texture. The minimal cooking time ensures that the nutrients are retained, making it a healthy choice. The use of water as the steaming agent ensures that the natural flavors of the broccoli shine through. With just a touch of salt, pepper, and butter, this recipe enhances the natural taste of the broccoli without overpowering it. Trust this recipe for a quick, nutritious, and delicious side dish.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this steamed broccoli recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
How long should I steam the broccoli for?
You should steam the broccoli for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is tender-crisp when pierced with a fork.
Can I add any other seasonings to the broccoli?
Yes, you can add additional seasonings such as garlic powder, lemon juice, or red pepper flakes to enhance the flavor.
Is it necessary to use a steam basket or colander?
Using a steam basket or colander is recommended, but if you don't have one, you can simply place the broccoli directly in the saucepan with a small amount of water.
Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli for this recipe. Just adjust the steaming time as needed, as frozen broccoli may cook faster.
How should I store any leftover steamed broccoli?
Store any leftover steamed broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or steam before serving.

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