Steamed Broccoli

Steamed broccoli is the best cure for over-indulgence I know. It’s cleansing, healthful, high in vitamin C, protein (45% of the calories in broccoli are from protein), and fiber.

The easiest way to dress broccoli is to dot it with dabs of butter. My favorite way to eat broccoli is to toss it with lots of freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkle it with a little seasoned rice vinegar. Black pepper, by the way, is one of those perfect pairings with broccoli.

My parents love their broccoli served with a little mayonnaise on the side, which is surprisingly good. You can also do olive oil and lemon zest (pictured above), olive oil and balsamic vinegar, etc. Good with toasted slivered almonds or toasted sesame seeds too.

Steamed Broccoli Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4


  • 1 bunch of broccoli

Many options here

  • Olive oil, butter, or mayonnaise (use olive oil if cooking vegan)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon zest or juice, balsamic vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar
  • Toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds


1 Cut the crowns away from the large stems of the broccoli. Break the crown up into bite-sized florets. Rinse the broccoli florets thoroughly. Peel and discard the thick outer skin of the stems. Slice the stems or cut them into quarters lengthwise.

2 Place 3/4 to 1 inch of water in a saucepan with a steamer and bring to a boil. (Note that is you don't have a steamer, you can simply put the broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water.) Add the broccoli to the steamer and cover; reduce heat to medium and let cook for 5-6 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork. As soon as it is pierce-able, remove from heat, place in serving dish.

Note that green vegetables like broccoli will turn from vibrant green to drab olive green at about the 7 minute mark of cooking. So, watch the time, and don't let the broccoli overcook!

3 Dress to taste with butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon zest or juice, seasoned rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, ground black pepper, toasted almonds, or sesame seeds.

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Stephen of Stephen Cooks has a great explanation and method for steamed broccoli.


  1. Daniel

    I absolutely love broccoli. I like to steam it very quickly, so it’s still quite al dente, and then saute in butter/olive oil and garlic. I can easily eat a few heads of it.

  2. Stacey S

    My 3 year old son is crazy about broccoli. We eat it at least twice a week…Our favorite is steamed and then quickly stir-fried with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

  3. Zaq

    Another great variation is to just barely steam the brocolli, then satuee a good amount of crushed garlic in olive oil. Transfer the brocolli to the skillet with the garlic and sautee the complete mixture for another five minutes or so. Add some salt and pepper to taste; it’s just perfect.

  4. Elizabeth

    Thanks! I tried that out with boiling it in an inch of salt water and the butter thing. It was tasty. I’m in college so I’m trying to learn how to cook from the internet ^_^

  5. Hesper

    Secret recipe: Try steaming the broccoli in a bottle of beer. It is unbelievably delicious, I promise.

  6. Cheryl

    Growing up, my mom would mix mayonnaise with a little bit of soy sauce to dress broccoli (or even artichokes or asparagus) – it’s still my favorite dressing. :)

  7. Laura

    Another wonderful way is to steam the broccoli for 4-5 min and then moved broccoli onto a fry pan along with 1tsp of butter, and a dash of garlic & salt for another 3-4 min untill soft. It’s delicious!!!

  8. DT

    You know the actual best way to make broccoli? Steam it in plain water & salt for 7 minutes in the microwave. It’s healthiest that way, and delish!

    • L.D.

      I’ve read that microwaving broccoli depletes the precious water soluble vitamins that it harbors.

  9. Andrea

    I am also a big fan of broccoli, and I appreciate the new ideas for how to serve it.

    Even more, I appreciate the link you provided about how much protein is in various vegetables. That was a very informative and inspiring web site, and makes me feel much more comfortable about eating less meat or even going vegetrian. I am one of those who thought our protein requirements meant the regular consumption of meat. If the info. on the web site is true, I can use meat and fish much more as a “condiment” without worry (or cut it out entirely). Thanks, Elise. The chicken salad recipe also looks fabulous and healthful.

  10. Janis

    My favorite broccoli topping is blue cheese dissolved in simmering cream. Bring cream almost to boil and while stirring cream add ground blue mould cheese allowing it to dissolve. Keep adding cheese until sauce has right consistency. Pour it over your steamed broccoli.

  11. Cooper

    Great recipe! I normally don’t like broccoli at all but I loved this! :)

  12. Chas Lewis

    Thanks to you, I have become a fan of broccoli.

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