Sautéed Broccoli

Easy Two-Step Sautéed Broccoli Recipe

The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Total: 26 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
133 Calories
11g Fat
9g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 362mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 74mg 372%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 350mg 7%
*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.)

If you're in search of a green vegetable side dish, then look no further. This simple but delicious preparation produces perfectly cooked broccoli florets every time. A little olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice are all of the seasoning you need, but feel free to jazz it up with other ingredients if you like.

This two-step sautéed broccoli recipe produces a wonderful bright green color and crisp-tender texture. It's the perfect side dish for many main dishes, including grilled steak, roasted chicken, meatloaf, or a pork roast. Once you know how to make broccoli using this method, you'll never look back!


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"This recipe for crisp-tender, flavorful broccoli is great! You essentially blanch, drain, and toss the broccoli in a pan with olive oil, garlic, seasonings, and lemon juice. It's a great side dish for any entree and is light, yet filling. The touch of lemon juice at the end adds a lovely finish to this dish." —Victoria Heydt

Sautéed broccoli in a white bowl
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound fresh broccoli

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make saute broccoli

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Rinse the broccoli well under cool running water.

    raw broccoli on a plate

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Cut the broccoli into individual florets. Cut the stems into pieces roughly the same size as the florets. If the stems have a tough skin, peel them using a vegetable peeler.

    chopped broccoli on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Place the prepared broccoli in a large pot and add water to cover and about 1 teaspoon of salt.

    broccoli cooking in water

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Bring the broccoli and water in the pot to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes or until the broccoli is just crisp-tender.

    broccoli cooking in water

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. Drain the broccoli thoroughly in a colander in the sink, shaking it to remove most of the water.

    cooked broccoli in a colander

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  7. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic for 1 minute until it is fragrant.

    garlic cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  8. Add the drained broccoli to the skillet with the garlic and oil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is glazed and tender.

    broccoli cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  9. Sprinkle the broccoli with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    pouring lemon juice over broccoli in a skillet

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar


  • When broccoli is boiled, especially for a long period of time, it will turn an unappetizing gray-green color, become limp, and the flavor will be lost. You want to cook it until the vegetable is just tender, but is still green and still has a bit of bite to it.
  • Cooking the broccoli in a large amount of water reduces the bitter sulfur taste it can sometimes have and makes it taste fresh and clean. Then cooking it quickly using a dry-heat method such as sautéing or roasting retains the color and makes the vegetable a bit sweeter.

Recipe Variations

  • For a little spice, add red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Add a touch of salty umami with a drizzle of soy sauce
  • A few gratings of Parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast add a cheesy flavor