Perfectly Roasted Broccoli

Story by Miranda
roasted broccoli on a baking sheet with a spoon
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Addictively salty-crisp on the outside and tender inside, these perfectly-roasted florets are the polar opposite of your Grandma’s bland, boiled broccoli—and thank goodness for that. 

The Best Roasted Broccoli, We Promise. 

The art of perfectly roasted broccoli is one that anyone can—and should—master. Salt (just enough, but not too much), pretty good olive oil (whatever you’d make salad dressing with), broccoli (duh) and a hot oven are all it takes to churn out this crazy-delicious side dish. It doesn’t even have to remain relegated to the realm of side dish—we’ve made a dinner out of a hot-from-the oven pan of roasted broccoli more than a few times. Add some fresh bread, maybe fry an egg and open a bottle of wine—standing there in the kitchen ripping pieces of baguette and picking at floret after floret of salty, olive-oil-drizzled roasted broccoli? That’s just the kind of low-key, not-dinner-dinner that a person needs sometimes. 

Bowl of raw broccoli
hands putting olive oil on broccoli in a bowl

What is the Best Way to Roast Broccoli? 

Roasted broccoli is as simple as it sounds—crank up that oven and let your favorite cruciferous vegetable crisp up and tenderize in the heat. The simple steps are as follows: 

  1. Chop, then rinse your broccoli. Begin by taking the head of broccoli and removing the long stalk up to the point where head splits into florets. You can discard the bottom stalk, or we love to peel it and snack on it raw (just as you would a carrot). Then remove the florets by hand or using a knife, whichever you prefer! After you’ve broken the head of broccoli into florets, give them a good rinse and set them aside to dry. 
  2. Crank your oven up to 400°F. Don’t fear the high heat! It is your friend—let it work its magic. 
  3. Drizzle with oil. On a baking sheet (no need to line it), spread out the broccoli, and glug some pretty-good (or super-good, if you’re feeling luxurious) olive oil onto the broccoli. 
  4. Salt to taste. Pepper, too, if you like! Go light, since you can always add more after roasting.
  5. Toss to coat! We like to just go ahead and get messy—this is a good step for your tiny helpers!—and do this by hand. Just toss the broccoli around on the sheet pan a bit so that every nook and cranny is slicked with oil and salted. 
  6. Roast! Keep an eye on it—usually the broccoli is perfect right around the half hour mark, but the cooking time will vary depending on how large your florets are. When the edges are turning brown and the stalk is tender, pull it out. 
  7. Devour. If you stand there at the stove and devour the whole tray hot out of the oven, don’t say we didn’t warn you. If your kids gobble the roasted broccoli up with you? Well, you’re welcome. 

How to Complicate It (If You Must): 

Roasted broccoli is a dish whose beauty lies in its simplicity. That said, sometimes you want to dress things up, and we can’t fault you for that—in fact, we’ve been known to play around with it ourselves. Maybe you’re having company over and you just want to give it that extra something, or the rest of your meal is a little plain—we love to serve it with simple dinners, like roast chicken, or grilled salmon—and roasted broccoli is the dish that you feel like could use just a bit of a boost. Here are some of our favorite ways to zhoosh it up: 

A squeeze of lemon: pull your roasted broccoli out of the oven, and give it a spritz of lemon. Citrus juice will give it a little zing, but also is great way to enhance flavor without using extra salt, so this is a great option if you’re wanting to keep the sodium low.

Roasted broccoli with parmesan: probably sort of a no-brainer, but a healthy dusting of grated parmesan is never a bad idea. 

Roasted broccoli with just about any other vegetable you like to roast: toss any other vegetable that you have on hand onto the tray along with the broccoli. Other cruciferous vegetables—like cauliflower or halved Brussels sprouts—are a natural pairing and will have complementary cooking times, but nearly any vegetable you like to roast will work. 

roasted broccoli on a baking sheet
Perfectly Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli Goes With...?

Everything! No really, it pretty much does. But we love to serve it: 

  • Tossed with pasta, a little more good olive oil and a little parmesan cheese for a simple, fast, pretty-healthy dinner. 
  • With fish! Grab a piece (or a few pieces) of fish—whatever looks good that day—on your way home, drizzle with a little oli, salt and pepper, and throw them on a sheet pan in the oven at the same time as you do the broccoli. **Only roast the fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and tender when pierced with a fork but before it starts to flake. Continue to roast the broccoli until tender. If there is a simpler, faster, healthier dinner than that, we have yet to encounter it. 
  • Ok, well if you serve the roasted broccoli with this Turkey-Quinoa Meatloaf, that would qualify as an extremely-healthy dinner (and delicious) too. 
  • And let’s not forget about STEAK. Juicy steak and salty, crisp roasted broccoli—I mean, we’ve talked ourselves into it. How about you?
Cooking crispy roasted broccoli in a frying pan

Pro Tip:

One of our favorite things about this roasted broccoli is that it can be made in large batches and used throughout the week! When you want to re-heat it, simply toss it in a hot, dry skillet and cook until its edges crisp back up and it's warmed through. Easy, peasy.  

Did You Make and Enjoy This Roasted Broccoli?

We’d love to hear about it! Post a picture to Instagram and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can celebrate your dinner win along with you. Happy eating! 

Perfectly Roasted Broccoli

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large heat of broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
black pepper, optional

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut and wash the broccoli into small florets.
  3. Toss with salt and oil.
  4. Roast on a sheet pan until the edges begin to crisp and the inside of the broccoli is tender, about 30 minutes.

* One of our favorite things about this roasted broccoli is that it can be made in large batches and used throughout the week! When you want to re-serve it, simply toss it in a hot dry skillet and cook until its edges crisp back up!