Dinner Plans: Broccoli

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 4 Heads of Broccoli

Broccoli on a cutting board
Broccoli.

 ImaZinS / Getty Images Plus

 

Eating fresh broccoli has well-known health benefits, but at the end of a busy weekday, prepping it can seem like more than you have time for. This Dinner Plan is a realistic road map to make weeknight meal prep easier. Spend a little extra time prepping and portioning a few bunches to spin three solid broccoli-based meals throughout the week.

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The Best Way to Steam Broccoli

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 hour

  1. Pare four large heads of broccoli, then trim into medium-sized florets.
  2. Steam three heads' worth of florets then cool completely. Place in container(s) and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Cook the brown rice or other whole grain for the grain bowls. Use store-bought crispy chickpeas or roast them, let cool, and store in an airtight container. Make the dressing and refrigerate.
  4. If you're able to, tackle extra veg prep. Rinse and chop the other vegetables for the grain bowl and soup, and shred the cheese for sandwiches to save time and simplify clean-up later in the week.

Prep Day Roasted Chicken and Broccoli

Time: 45 minutes

Use the remaining head of raw broccoli to make this roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. The one-dish meal only uses one sheet pan, making in a cinche to clean-up.

Roasted Sheet Pan Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli
The Spruce / Laurel Randolph 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • If you're good at multi-tasking, steam the other broccoli while the chicken and sweet potatoes are in the oven. While the broccoli roasts, you can cook and pack up the steamed veg for the week.
  • For extra flavor, serve this sheet pan dinner drizzled with homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce.
  • Bulk this meal up by serving it with white rice.

Grain Bowl Night

Time: 20 minutes

Grain bowls have become a favorite takeout option for healthy lunches and dinners. With a protein, some vegetables, and a base of whole grains, these one-dish meals need no accompaniment. This grain bowl is loaded with crunchy vegetables, hearty brown rice, and nuts, all topped with a gingery miso dressing.

Spooning cooked broccoli from a wok to a bowl of rice
Building a Veggie Bowl.  The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 2 cups of steamed broccoli. 
  • Stir-fry the other veggies and add the broccoli at the end just to heat through. If desired, reheat the brown rice.
  • Toast the nuts for deeper flavor. You can use cashews, whole almonds, or pistachios. Or, leave them out altogether—the recipe is meant to be flexible.
  • Wait until just before serving to toss the salad with the dressing to keep everything nice and crunchy.

Soup and Sandwich Night

Time: 25 minutes

This lightened-up broccoli soup relies on nonfat milk to cut many of the calories and fat from traditional recipes. A few potatoes add creaminess. Serve ham and cheese wraps on the side instead of grilled cheese for a welcome reinvention of the soup-and-sandwich combo.

Broccoli Soup with Cream and Croutons
Broccoli Soup. John Shepherd / Getty Images

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 4 cups of steamed broccoli, including stems.
  • Instead of adding the broccoli with the diced potato, add in the last few minutes of cooking to warm through and avoid over-cooking.
  • Quadruple the ingredients for the wrap to make 4 of them. 
  • Make your own Dijonnaise by mixing equal parts mustard and mayonnaise (low-fat is fine). 
  • Bulk up the wraps with your favorite fresh vegetables—shaved carrots, red pepper strips, sliced red onion, or even more finely-chopped broccoli. 

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.