Simple Sauteed Broccoli Recipe

If you're looking to up your nutrition game, side dishes are where it's at, and broccoli is a great place to start. These little green trees are nutrient-dense powerhouses with many health benefits plus the added perk of belonging to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Any nutritional elements aside, this simple sauteed broccoli is a delicious accompaniment to any meal and it only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "Broccoli can be made many ways but this simple method with fresh lemon has become a favorite in my house. Sometimes the simplest way is the best way. It goes with just about everything and is a vegetable that is eaten up without complaints." Even if you wanted to jazz up your broccoli with some extra spices or sauces, it's always a good idea to have a classic go-to recipe in your back pocket, and this broccoli recipe is one you can turn to again and again.

Gather the ingredients for simple sauteed broccoli

As you can gather from the recipe name, this is a simple recipe so your needs at the store are simple too. To start you'll need some broccoli, and you can buy this by the head or buy it already cut up and prepped. "Broccoli is one of those produce items that I always buy pre-cut. I go through a lot of it each week and the bags can be more efficiently stored in my refrigerator crisper drawers, and I love that it's ready to go," Hahn shares. While you're still in the produce area grab some garlic and lemon. 

Check your condiment and spice cabinet for olive oil, pink Himalayan salt, and pepper. "I love using a coarse salt here, but you can substitute this for whatever type of salt you have on hand, if necessary," Hahn says.

Step 1: Add oil to a pan

Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat.

Step 2: Add a few ingredients and cook

Add the broccoli florets, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 3: Add the lemon juice

Add the lemon juice to the pan.

Step 4: Continue to cook

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 4 minutes.

Step 5: Serve the broccoli

Serve the broccoli as desired.

How can I customize this sauteed broccoli?

The simple sauteed broccoli is great as is, but really provides a blank canvas for lots of other kitchen creations. For an Asian-inspired flavor, swap out the olive oil for sesame oil in the saute stage, and drizzle some soy sauce over the sauteed broccoli. Top with toasted sesame seeds to complete the Asian flair.

For a sweet and savory combination, mix up some maple syrup and Dijon mustard, then pour this mixture over the sautéed broccoli before serving. You can drizzle in a little tahini to add a little body and thickness.

Fresh herbs are always a nice addition to sauteed broccoli. You can toss in chopped parsley, cilantro, or basil for a burst of freshness and color. "I like to add fresh herbs at the very end right before serving, so they are bright green in color and at their freshest," Hahn recommends. For a hint of heat, add crushed red pepper flakes during the sautéing process. This will give your broccoli a subtle kick.

What can I pair with this sauteed broccoli?

This simple sauteed broccoli is one of those sides that pairs with just about anything. Any type of meat entree like grilled chicken, pan fried steak, or oven baked pork chops work nicely. Serve sauteed broccoli alongside your favorite pasta dishes. It pairs well with creamy alfredo, tomato-based marinara, or olive oil and garlic sauces. You can also toss the sautéed broccoli directly into the pasta for an easy weeknight dinner.

For a plant-based protein option, stir-fried tofu or tempeh can be seasoned and served alongside sauteed broccoli. You can add in some rice or quinoa to make a well balanced and delicious meal.

Create a customizable buddha bowl with a base of quinoa or rice, sautéed broccoli, and additional toppings like avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of tahini or your favorite dressing. "When I make buddha bowls, I like to include a mix of cooked and raw vegetables for a good balance of textures and flavors," Hahn says.

Simple Sauteed Broccoli Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
Round out your dinner routine with this simple but reliable sauteed broccoli recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of broccoli
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  1. Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the broccoli florets, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 4 minutes.
  5. Serve the broccoli as desired.
Calories per Serving 86
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 1.3 g
Sodium 210.9 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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