Lemon and Garlic Broccoli

Lemon and Garlic Broccoli
Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 17 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
121 Calories
9g Fat
10g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 261mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 78mg 392%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 355mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Broccoli is a great go-to side dish, bringing color and nutrition to the dinner table. But simply steaming or roasting the vegetable can get a little old after a while. This lemon garlic broccoli takes steamed broccoli up a notch by quickly sautéing it in butter and garlic and finishing it with a squeeze of lemon juice. The buttery lemon and garlic sauce adds just the right amount of flavor to the lightly steamed broccoli, and the citrus contributes a touch of brightness. This lemon and garlic broccoli dish is perfect on a weeknight but also special enough for the holiday menu.

The most traditional way to steam vegetables is with a steamer basket set in a pot filled with 1 inch of water. But if you don't have a steamer basket, you can cook the broccoli in the microwave in one tablespoon of water, or in a 1/4 inch of water in a pan on the stovetop. All methods call for covering the broccoli while it cooks. No matter which way you steam, make sure not to overcook, or else the broccoli will become mushy and lose its appealing green color.

This lemon and garlic broccoli pairs well with a variety of main dishes, such as whole roasted chicken, grilled steak, baked crispy fish fillets, and almost any pasta recipe. Although delicious as is, you can spice up this broccoli with some crushed red pepper flakes, or add another layer of flavor with finely chopped red onion or shallots.


  • 1 large bunch broccoli, trimmed, or about 1 pound frozen broccoli florets

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Steam the broccoli florets until tender but firm, for 3 to 5 minutes, as desired.

  3. Heat the butter in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat until the foaming subsides.

  4. Add the garlic to the melted butter and sauté for 1 minute.

  5. Add the steamed broccoli, lemon juice, and salt and pepper (if using) to taste. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, or until just combined.

  6. Serve hot and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Saute 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion or shallot in the butter until just tender. Add the garlic and continue with the recipe.
  • Replace half of the fresh broccoli florets with cauliflower florets and steam along with the broccoli.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the butter along with the garlic.