If you are not a broccoli lover, this is the recipe that will make you see the light! If you are a broccoli lover, then let it rain, because this garlicky lemony oven roasted broccoli is going to make your side dish your main dish. I will even show you how to get perfectly crisp-tender roasted broccoli…from frozen!

oven roasted broccoli on a sheet pan with parmesan cheese

We have a Friday night pizza and movie tradition in our house. Sometimes we make it at home, sometimes we get Dominos. Last week I was really busy with work and knew I wouldn’t have time to do homemade, so I told Eric, let’s just order out. Instead he enthusiastically volunteered to make it himself.

I don’t mean to throw Eric under the bus here. He’s a pretty good cook and can definitely hold his own when it comes to dinner. But I walked into the kitchen to find that he had made one tiny tiny pepperoni pizza, and another one that was covered in broccoli.

oven roasted broccoli recipe on a sheet pan with lemons and fork

Eric told me later he doesn’t think he’s EVER gotten so many dirty looks from his family, including me.

I’m sorry, okay?? Broccoli is fine, I love broccoli…just not when I’m expecting hot, cheesy pepperoni pizza.

I’m not alone here, they even made a joke about this in that Inside Out movie. “Who puts broccoli on pizza? That’s it. I’m done. Congratulations San Francisco, you’ve ruined pizza. First the Hawaiians, and now you.” My thoughts exactly.

There is a time and a place for everything though, and broccoli in just about any other context is something that I am TOTALLY on board with. When I was a kid it was one of my least favorite veggies, but I think I had just never eaten it cooked properly.

roasted broccoli in a white bowl with lemons on the side

 

As usual, roasting brings out the best in cruciferous vegetables. Just look at Brussels Sprouts. He went from being the world’s most hated veggie (thanks to our grandparent’s terrible inclination to BOIL them to death) to being the cool new kid on the block that everybody wants to invite to their party. I mean just look at these Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts that have almost 1 million pins on Pinterest.

roasted broccoli recipe, sprinkled with parmesan with lemons and fork in the background

Roasting does magical things for broccoli, too. If you thought you would never be the kind of person to eat an entire pan of broccoli for dinner because you can’t stop nabbing just one more bite, then think again.

How to make Oven Roasted Broccoli

Crispy, browned edges, tender and flavorful on the inside: here is how to make the best, most amazing oven roasted broccoli!

Start by chopping up your broccoli. Avoid letting your knife even touch the “leaves of the tree” part on broccoli. It just makes a mess and you lose a bunch of leaves! Instead, flip it over and chop from the stem.

slicing the stem of broccoli on a cutting board, slitting broccoli florets from the stem end

I like to cook and eat the broccoli stems. Are you a stem hater? Don’t be like that. Roasting brings out the best in these underdogs.

Slice them nice and thin so they get cooked all the way.

Then split each broccoli into florets (again, cutting from the stem-end.) You can make your broccoli florets as large or small as you like, as long as they are uniform in size. The larger the pieces, the longer you will have to roast.

broccoli florets in a bowl on a cutting board, adding olive oil to the bowl of broccoli florets and chopped stems

Don’t forget to add in a few cloves of garlic. It does wonders for flavor! You can skip it if you like, but I think it’s so good (and so easy; you don’t even have to chop. Just smash and go.)

Blanch your broccoli

Now I’m going to tell you something really annoying. If you want the best roasted broccoli experience, take a hot second to blanch (boil) your broccoli before roasting. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the broccoli and set a timer for about 30 seconds. No longer! It will not look like anything has happened. But I promise, this step is a game changer.

broccoli being blanched in water in a large silver pot

This quick blanch in boiling water starts but does not finish the cooking process. It absorbs water INTO the broccoli, then we roast it to evaporate all the moisture on the outside and get those crispy edges. A quick blanch softens the center of the broccoli ever so slightly, taking away that “stalky” or fibrous texture.

You know what I mean? When the inside of your broccoli has a little resistance to it, and you feel a liiiitle bit like a rabbit munching on greens, just for a tiny second. (You’ve all had a bite of the stalky end of asparagus before, right? THAT’S what I’m talking about.) I like my broccoli to be completely tender; crisp-tender, yes. But get that stalky-chewy, fibrous situation outta here.

I’m not alone here. I looked up “Broccoli” in one of my favorite resources, The Flavor Bible, which has no recipes in it. Instead it lists ingredients dictionary style, with information about how best to cook said ingredient and what flavors it pairs best with. They interviewed hundreds of chefs for the book. Next to broccoli, under cooking techniques, it says, “Boil, deep-fry, saute, steam, stir-fry.”

garlic roasted broccoli with parmesan sprinkled on top

Note that is does NOT say roast. A quick blanch changes the game, and makes roasted broccoli a totally delicious option. If I had my way, I would always blanch broccoli before roasting it, to give it the ultimate crispy-edge-texture without a hint of stalky-ness.

BUT. I know how annoying this is. I know that you just want dinner to be over already. Me too!

The good news is that you really can skip the blanching step. You will still get delicious broccoli that is delicious and crisp. Your life will be one step less complicated, and sometimes that’s worth more than perfect broccoli.

Can you roast frozen broccoli?

BUUUT…what if I told you there was a way an even easier, faster way??

Enter frozen broccoli.

adding oil to a glass bowl of frozen broccoli, stirring spices into frozen broccoli

you don’t even have to thaw it!

I will tell you my dirty little secret that I probably should not be admitting. I actually PREFER frozen broccoli for roasting. (And I call myself a food blogger! See that “charlatan” up there?)

Here’s why: frozen broccoli is always blanched before being frozen and packaged. DO YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING? Hallelujah.

Frozen veggies get a bad rap. But that’s usually because people don’t know how to cook them. The veggies themselves are packaged at peak freshness, and preserved perfectly thanks to modern refrigeration.

The risk with using frozen broccoli is that it can end up soggy, if made incorrectly. Nobody wants soggy broccoli.

But correctly roasted broccoli evaporates any chance for sogginess. (See what I did there?)

frozen broccoli spread out on a pan, stirring roasted broccoli halfway through roasting

Hot, hot pan. Lotsa space. And a good stir halfway.

The secret lies in a hot pan and not over-crowding. Simply place your baking sheet in the oven while the oven preheats, and dump the seasoned frozen broccoli (or blanched broccoli!) onto the hot hot pan. It will sizzle and start evaporating all that water right away. The oven finishes the job!

The other important tip is giving the broccoli room to breathe. As long as it has plenty of space and is not crowded on the pan, it will roast perfectly (straight from frozen) and not be soggy.

You can add up to 1 pound of broccoli to a half baking sheet (11×17 inch pan).

(For fresh broccoli, you can add 2 pounds of broccoli to the pan and still get crisp-tender results.)

Toss with oil and spices

Whether or not you blanched, whether using frozen or fresh broccoli, the next steps are simple. Toss in olive oil and spices, and roast! (Do NOT thaw frozen broccoli!)

spices in a bowl, adding spices to a glass bowl of broccoli

on one of my tests I accidentally grabbed the ginger instead of the mustard. It was so good! See notes for more ideas.

I chose to do this in a bowl, but you could easily just dump it right on the pan and mix it up there. One less dish to wash!

Add the spices. You really only NEED salt and pepper, but I love my broccoli to be a little extra, so I add garlic, mustard, and cayenne. Mustard is the perfect compliment for broccoli! Trust me. Cayenne adds a bit of flavor and not much heat (but a little bit.) You can leave it out if you want.

I like to mix the spices up first so you don’t get a random bite with tons of pepper, or no salt on another piece. Add half the spices, stir, then add the remaining half, and stir again. This helps it distribute properly!

How long to roast broccoli?

This is a matter of debate actually. I like my broccoli to be crisp-tender with crispy brown edges. The total roast time is usually about 15-25 minutes, but it’s very important to stir halfway through! Set a timer for about 10 minutes. Stir when the timer goes off, then continue roasting for at least another 5-10 minutes. You will know they are done when they are fork tender! I almost always reach my fork in and grab a piece. Wait a minute for it to cool and taste to see if it is exactly how you like it!

Then continue with eating the entire pan. Bet you thought you couldn’t eat a pound of broccoli in one sitting? You were wrong.

roasted broccoli on a pan, scraping up the browned bits with shredded parmesan

Pro tip: arrange your florets on their sides. If the “tree” part is against the pan, it will stick, like in the photo on the left. Although…then you have the benefit of scraping them all up into one Epic Crispy Bite, as you can see on the right.

But wait! One last thing. Don’t forget to drizzle a teensy bit of either red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice on top of your broccoli. This really brightens the flavor and is my number one tip for jazzing up vegetables for a weeknight dinner. That kick of acid just steps it up a notch! If I have a lemon on hand, I will just squeeze a half over the top. But if I don’t, I always have red wine vinegar in my pantry. Quick and easy!

roasted broccoli recipe with garlic and a lemon

Oven Roasted Broccoli cheat sheet

Here are the basics. I had to go and make broccoli complicated:

  • Chop broccoli into uniform florets. Chop stems thin.
  • Blanch your broccoli for 30 seconds before roasting, for the best texture.
  • (Frozen broccoli is already blanched! It’s the best hack! Don’t thaw!)
  • Coat with oil, and stir as you add spices.
  • Roast 2 lbs of fresh broccoli per sheet pan; 1 lb of frozen or blanched broccoli per sheet pan
  • Heat the pan in the preheating oven if roasting frozen or blanched broccoli
  • Stir halfway through roasting time.
  • Taste the broccoli to see if it’s ready to come out of the oven between 20-25 minutes!
  • Top with lemon or red wine vinegar!

More broccoli recipes you are going to love!

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Oven Roasted Broccoli

If you are not a broccoli lover, this is the recipe that will make you see the light! If you are a broccoli lover, then let it rain, because this garlicky lemony oven roasted broccoli is going to make your side dish your main dish. I will even show you how to get perfectly crisp-tender roasted broccoli...from frozen!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard*
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, OR lemon juice
  • shredded parmesan cheese, to garnish

Instructions

Straight Up Roasting Instructions (fresh broccoli)

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Start by chopping up your broccoli.** Chop off the end of the stem and discard. Slice the stem into thin pieces, then chop into bite size pieces. Chop the broccoli from the stem-end into florets that are all about the same size.
  • Add the broccoli directly to your 11x17 inch pan (half baking sheet), or you can mix it in a bowl if you prefer. Add 1/3 cup oil and 3 cloves of smashed garlic. (This adds flavor and aroma. I love to eat them but you can toss them out if you are one of those heathens who doesn't appreciate roasted garlic.)
  • In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder*, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Sprinkle over your broccoli as evenly as possible, stirring as you pour. Try to get all the broccoli coated. Pour onto a half baking sheet (11x17 inch) if you used a bowl to mix. Don't use parchment paper, silpat, or foil. Just put it directly on the pan for the best crispy edges.
  • Roast at 425 for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the broccoli from the oven, shut the door, stir the broccoli on the pan, then return to the oven.
  • Continue roasting for another 5-15 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your broccoli. Taste it! Total roasting time should be 15-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar OR fresh lemon juice.
  • Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Blanching and Roasting Instructions (fresh broccoli)

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place TWO*** half baking sheet pans(11x17 inch) in the oven to get hot. (Or you can halve the recipe and just do one pan.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Chop up your broccoli.** Chop off the end of the stem and discard. Slice the stem into thin pieces, then chop into bite size pieces. Chop the broccoli from the stem-end into florets that are all about the same size.
  • When the water is at a rolling boil, add the broccoli. Cover with a lid and set a timer for about 30 seconds.
  • Drain as well as you can. Do your best!
  • Meanwhile, mix your spices together: in a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder*, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • At this point you will need to work quickly. Take the hot pan out of the oven and dump the blanched broccoli on it. It will sizzle!
  • Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil, add 3 cloves of smashed garlic, and finally sprinkle the spices over the broccoli, stirring as best you can. Spread the broccoli out on the pan and place it back in the oven.
  • Roast at 425 for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the broccoli from the oven, shut the door, stir the broccoli on the pan, then return to the oven.
  • Roast for another 5-10 minutes. Taste it! Total roasting time should be 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar OR fresh lemon juice.
  • Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.

Frozen Broccoli Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place TWO*** half baking sheet pans (11x17 inch) in the oven to get hot.
  • In a medium bowl, dump the bags of frozen broccoli. (Frozen broccoli usually comes in 14 or 16 ounce bags, you will need about 2 pounds of broccoli; or halve the recipe and use one bag.)
  • Add 1/3 cup oil and 3 cloves of smashed garlic. (This adds flavor and aroma. I love to eat them but you can toss them out if you are one of those heathens who doesn't appreciate roasted garlic.)
  • In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder*, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Sprinkle over your frozen broccoli as evenly as possible, stirring as you pour. Try to get all the broccoli coated. Pour onto a half baking sheet (11x17 inch). Don't use parchment paper, silpat, or foil. Just put it directly on the pan for the best crispy edges.
  • Roast at 425 for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the broccoli from the oven, shut the door, stir the broccoli on the pan, then return to the oven.
  • Roast for another 5-10 minutes. Taste it! Total roasting time should be 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar OR fresh lemon juice.
  • Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.

Notes

*I like the bright, almost bitter flavor that dry mustard brings to broccoli, but you can replace this 1/2 teaspoon mustard with almost any spice. Basil, caraway, curry, oregano, parsley, tarragon, thyme, etc. On one of my tests, no joke, I accidentally grabbed the ginger instead of the mustard. It was delicious. 
**Skip the chopping and buy a bag of fresh pre-chopped broccoli from the produce section!
***You can roast 2 pounds of fresh broccoli on one 11x17 inch pan because they don't have as much moisture. For blanched or frozen broccoli, I recommend adding only 1 pound of broccoli to a pan. (The extra moisture needs more space for evaporation.) So for blanched or frozen, you can either halve the recipe and do 1 pound on one pan, or do 2 pounds of broccoli on two pans.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 g, Calories: 154 kcal, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 14 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 4 mg, Sodium: 485 mg, Potassium: 214 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 440 IU, Vitamin C: 55 mg, Calcium: 89 mg, Iron: 1 mg