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How to Cook Broccoli on the Stove

Although it’s possible to roast broccoli – which actually gives it an amazing flavor and is something we totally recommend – it’s good to know how to cook broccoli on the stove too.

Cooking it on the stove is by far the quickest option and it takes just a few minutes for the florets to be ready to eat!

How to Parboil Broccoli Picture

There are three main ways of cooking broccoli on the stove – boiling, steaming and frying.

Which ever option you choose, you need to be careful not to overcook it. Perfectly cooked broccoli is bright green in color, holds its shape and has just a little ‘bite’ to it – in other words, it shouldn’t be crunchy, but it shouldn’t be mushy either.

Overcooked broccoli tends to get very waterlogged, has a mushy texture and doesn’t taste great either!

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Preparing your broccoli for cooking

First, separate the head of broccoli into florets. Try to make them all roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. 

Some people cook only the florets and discard the stem, but we think the stem is tasty too and slice up a little of the upper part to cook alongside the florets.

Just make sure you slice it thinly enough, though, so that it’s all tender at the same time!

Toaster Oven Roasted Broccoli Image

How to boil broccoli

  1. First, bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil.
  2. Add your florets and bring the water back to the boil.
  3. Immediately lower the heat and simmer the broccoli until cooked. This can take as little as 2 minutes, depending on the size of the florets and the texture you want.
  4. Drain and serve. If you want to use the florets in something like a salad, plunge them into cold water at this point to stop them cooking any further.

How to steam broccoli

This is our favorite option. Steamed broccoli tends to have a better texture and flavor than boiled. It’s also a lot healthier! That’s because some of the nutrients in the broccoli leach into the cooking water when it’s boiled. This does not happen when the broccoli is steamed, meaning that all those vitamins and minerals end up in your meal, rather than down the sink!

  • Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Ensure that your steamer basket sits above the level of the water and that the water isn’t touching it.
  • Add the broccoli to the steamer basket and cover.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and leave the water bubbling for 3 minutes. Check to see if the broccoli is done – if it’s still a little too crunchy, continue to steam for a couple of minutes more.



Toaster Oven Roasted Broccoli Pic


How to fry broccoli

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan.
  • Add the broccoli in a single layer and cook for a couple of minutes without stirring.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for 2 minutes more, giving the water time to evaporate.

More ideas with broccoli

How to parboil broccoli

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How long to bake broccoli