Dinner Plans: Broccoli

Prep 3 Delicious Meals with 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 half-hour or so 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, 20 minutes

  1. Pare four large heads of broccoli, then trim into medium-sized florets.
  2. Steam three heads' worth of florets, then cool completely. Divide between three labeled containers and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Organize your ingredients for a healthy grain bowl and a soup to serve with grilled cheese.
  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 Dinner

Make this delicious extra-savory roasted broccoli with the remaining raw broccoli. Serve alongside a simple herb-roasted chicken for a healthy, comforting dinner.

Roasted Broccoli with Sauteed Fresh Garlic
Getty Images/Funwithfood

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Unless you're using a very large pot, steam the broccoli in two batches so all the florets cook evenly.
  • Avoid over-steaming the broccoli. Cook it until it's just bright green.
  • Don't be afraid to let the roasted broccoli brown in the oven—it's delicious that way!
  • Complete this meal with hot cooked rice, simple potatoes, or another quick-cooking starch.

Grain Bowl Night

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 meals-in-one need no accompaniment. This one 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 prepped broccoli. 
  • Begin by cooking the brown rice and roasting chickpeas if you didn’t do it on prep day. 
  • Toast nuts for deeper flavor; you can use cashews, whole almonds, or pistachios if you prefer. (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

This lightened up broccoli cream soup relies on nonfat milk to cut many of the calories and fat from traditional recipes, and on potatoes for thickening. 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 broccoli, including stems.
  • 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

About Dinner Plans: Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you get a few interesting dinners on the table by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) when you have more time.

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