A high-heated oven and a couple of small tips make all the difference in this roasted broccoli that is tender on the inside and crispy with caramelized edges on the outside. The perfect side dish, finished with lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Read through for important tips and watch the video below.
Task of the day: Make broccoli the tastiest, sexiest side dish ever. Check!
It turns out, that's not so hard to do after all. This crispy oven roasted broccoli recipe is your ticket! It takes about 15 minutes in a high-heated oven, and a few finishing touches, including fresh lemon juice, a dash of red pepper flakes and maybe a sprinkle of creamy salty feta.
Roasted broccoli is a healthy side dish that will go with almost anything from baked chicken to fish; and if you ever end up with leftovers, throw them in something like olive oil pasta or a big pot of minestrone soup! So many possibilities.
Is it better to roast or steam broccoli?
Depending on how you enjoy your broccoli, steaming or roasting it absolutely fine. Both methods work well and will allow the broccoli to retain a good bit of nutrition. When steaming broccoli, it's a good idea to use a steamer basket which will help it cook evenly and will also keep the florets elevated so the nutrients don't leach into the water. Personally, I much prefer oven roasted broccoli with delicious charred bits. What does roasting do to broccoli? When roasted, the sulfurous notes within the broccoli are removed and a slight sweetness emerges. And for best results, be sure to toss the broccoli in a bit of good olive oil, salt, and pepper before adding to an already heated pan. The crowns and stems of the broccoli will char nicely, the taste is amazing with the finish of fresh lemon juice and Aleppo-style pepper, which adds a slight kick!
Should I steam broccoli before roasting it?
No, you do not need to steam broccoli before roasting it. And in fact, if you're looking for tender-crisp broccoli with delicious charred bits, you should skip steaming and just go ahead and roast it in a high-heated oven. But if you're looking for the florets and steams to be super tender, you can steam or microwave the broccoli (with a little bit of water) briefly before roasting.
How long to roast broccoli?
To make this easy roasted broccoli recipe, you really only need a good coating of extra virgin olive oil, a generous sprinkle of kosher salt, and a high heated oven. Broccoli will take about 15 minutes to roast at 500 degrees F; it will turn out tender on the inside with beautiful caramelized, crispy edges.
From there, you can add more flavor with fresh lemon juice and any number of finishing touches like a dash of Aleppo pepper or a sprinkle of nutty dukkah! You can serve it with a sauce for dipping like tzatziki, tahini or even toum garlic sauce.
Tips for the best oven roasted broccoli
This is such an easy recipe with a short list of ingredients, but if you're looking for the tastiest roasted broccoli with just the right amount of crisp and char, you'll want to follow these simple tips:
- Look for broccoli with tight, dark green florets and firm stalks. This recipe uses the florets and stalks. The broccoli should feel heavy for its size with no yellowing florets or dried out, browning stems.
- Cut the broccoli head into pieces that are similar in size. Trim the stalks by removing the hard bottom part and the tough outer layer. Cut the broccoli so that you have plenty of flat edges touching the hot pan (this will give you great caramelization).
- Dry the broccoli well before roasting. Yes, of course you should wash your broccoli before roasting but make sure it is well dried. You can use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water, then use some paper towels to dry the broccoli florets and stalks very well.
- Use a high heated oven to roast your broccoli. I mentioned earlier that I set my oven to 500 degrees F. It will take 10 minutes for the broccoli to cook on one side before you turn them over to cook for another 5 minutes or until nicely charred.
- Heat your pan first before roasting the broccoli. If you want your broccoli to develop great flavor and perfectly caramelized edges quickly (this is what the professionals call Maillard Browning), stick your rimmed sheet pan in the high heated oven at 500 degrees F for a few minutes until the pan is nice and hot, then arrange the broccoli on it and roast. And it goes without saying that you do not line the sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Do not crowd the pan. Use a large enough pan (or two if you need to) to allow the broccoli ample space so that each piece is in contact with the hot surface.
How to roast broccoli
We've covered all the good tips, let's quickly walk through the steps for how to make this roasted broccoli recipe (print-friendly recipe and video just below)
- Heat the oven to 500 degrees F
Once the oven is heated, put your sheet pan in the oven and leave it for a few minutes until the pan is hot
- Trim and cut the broccoli
Once the broccoli is washed and very well dried, go ahead and trim the tough bottom part of the stalk. Go around the stalk and trim the outer layer off using a sharp knife, then cut the broccoli into similar size pieces (you want plenty of flat pieces to arrange on your hot pan)
- Toss the cut broccoli in olive oil and plenty of kosher salt
I like to use a bowl to mix the broccoli with the olive oil and salt, ensuring all the broccoli is well-coated.
Using a pair of tongs, pick up the broccoli and carefully arrange it in one single layer on your hot sheet pan (leave any excess oil in the bowl). Roast in the heated oven for 10 minutes or until charred on one side. Carefully turn the broccoli over using a pair of tongs and return the pan to the hot oven for another 5 minutes or until caramelized on the other side.
- Add the finishing touches
Arrange the roasted broccoli on a serving platter and finish with lemon juice, lemon zest and if you like a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and feta cheese. As I said earlier, you can serve it with a sauce like tzatziki
Can you roast frozen broccoli?
Frozen broccoli is convenient as it is washed, cut and already blanched. Yes, you can roast frozen broccoli, but it will not be as tasty and crispy as fresh broccoli. If you roast broccoli from frozen, make sure you space the florets out quite a bit as they will have a lot of ice on the inside. You will also need to set your oven to 400 degrees F and allow frozen broccoli a longer amount of time (about 30 minutes) to roast so that the moisture on the inside will evaporate.
Personally, I prefer to roast fresh broccoli over frozen every time.
You may also like
- Roasted butternut squash
- Italian Roasted Vegetables
- Baked Chicken drumsticks
- Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb
- Mediterranean Black Eyed Pea Salad
Hungry for more? Browse my 50+ Top Mediterranean Diet Recipes or all Mediterranean recipes.
Crispy Lemon Roasted Broccoli
- 1 ½ lb broccoli trimmed and cut into florets
- Extra-virgin olive oil, I used Private Reserve EVOO
- Kosher salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, (or Aleppo pepper flakes)
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- feta cheese, optional
- Set an oven rack in the center and heat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Put a rimmed sheet pan in the heated oven to heat.
- Trim the broccoli stems (remove the tough outer peel) and cut the broccoli into similar size florets.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with about 4 to 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a good pinch of kosher salt.
- Carefully take the sheet pan out of the oven. Using a pair of tongs, pick up the broccoli and quickly, and carefully, arrange the broccoli in one single layer on the pan (leave any excess oil in the bowl). Return the pan to the heated oven.
- Roast for 10 minutes on one side until nicely charred. Take the pan out and turn the broccoli over on the other side and cook for another 5 minutes or so until charred.
- Arrange the broccoli on a platter. Sprinkle with more kosher salt, red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper). Add zest and juice of one lemon, and if you like a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Options & Variations: You can serve this roasted broccoli with a side of tzatziki sauce, tahini, or toum garlic sauce. It's also great with a sprinkle of nutty dukkah!
- Make sure to use a rimmed sheet pan for this recipe.
- Ovens do vary, watch your broccoli carefully.
- Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices
I've made this exact dish, except I popped it into the air fryer as it's getting ridiculous hot in Florida. 350 for about 8 minutes. Had those lovely charred bits and the Aleppo pepper was awesome. I did sprinkle an itty bit of sumac, since I had it. Super yum!
Thanks for sharing your air-frying info, Heather. Super helpful!
Looks great, will make tonight. And send a copy to my daughter who loves all these ingredients. Thanks for sharing.
This is a unique take on roasted broccoli, and a big improvement over the standard styles out there (even those with hot pepper). The Aleppo pepper adds an excellent flavor, as does the lemon, and a little feta is the perfect touch. This is my new go-to - it goes really well as a side to just about anything.
Thanks so much!
I don’t even like broccoli and this was delicious ! I could have eaten the whole recipe myself ! I will have this on “repeat” in our house .
This was absolutely scrumptious! My husband loved it (picky eater!).
Crispy and soooo flavorful. Thank you u!
This is by far the best way to make broccoli. The lemon juice is what makes it perfect.
Instead of aleppo pepper i used pul biber (turkisch pepper flakes).
Thanks for the tips!!
So glad you enjoyed it, Marco!