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best way to cook frozen broccoli

best way to cook frozen broccoli

best way to cook frozen broccoli

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best way to cook frozen broccoli

It’s quick and easy to make great tasting frozen broccoli. Start with a bag of broccoli, add garlic and lemon and you’ll soon enjoy a flavorful side.


  • 1 (12 ounce) bag frozen broccoli, florets or cuts
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional


  • Parmesan cheese
  • sambal oleck


  1. Place broccoli in a microwave-safe container. Add water. Cover. Microwave until broccoli until thawed but not hot, about two minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil shimmers but does not smoke. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is light brown.
  3. Add the drained broccoli to the skillet. Toss the broccoli to coat with oil and garlic. Cook until broccoli is hot and bright green, about three to four minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice. Toss to combine. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Optional: Add parmesan cheese or sambal oleck to taste.
best way to cook frozen broccoli
best way to cook frozen broccoli

Cook Frozen Broccoli with Pasta or in Soup

In the mood for a quick and easy bowl of pasta with broccoli? Add the frozen broccoli directly to the pot of boiling pasta about three minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain the pasta and broccoli together in a colander then sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. This is also a great way to add a boost of nutrition and color to packaged mac and cheese or instant ramen. Our Lighter Three-Cheese Mac with Broccoli recipe is a shining example of using the vegetable with pasta.

If soup is more your speed, there’s no need for any thawing or cooking in advance when adding frozen broccoli to a soup recipe. Just stir the broccoli into the pot and let it simmer until tender, even for classics like Cream of Broccoli Soup, or new-to-you favorites like our Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon.

Cook Frozen Broccoli on Stovetop

You can cook frozen broccoli on the stovetop by boiling it in salted water.

Pros: The benefit of this method is that it is simple and relatively quick to do. Since broccoli has already been blanched (a short boil), it will cook within a couple of minutes.

Cons: A big negative of this method, in my opinion, is that I find that the broccoli retains moisture, especially in the stems. This results in a softer end product, and lacks the crispiness that fresh broccoli would have. I also find that the broccoli has a ‘frozen broccoli’ flavour when cooked during this method.

When to use it: since boiling frozen broccoli is so quick, it is a great method to have in your arsenal when you’re short on time. I find this method is best used when cooking pasta. You can add frozen broccoli to the pasta water in the last minute of cooking, then combine it with your protein and sauce.

best way to cook frozen broccoli
best way to cook frozen broccoli

What are the ways I can cook frozen broccoli?

In general,  frozen broccoli can be cooked by:

  • Boiling,
  • Steaming,
  • Roasting
  • Microwaving,
  • Stir Fry
  • Skillet cooking

Other ways you might use frozen broccoli would be in recipes for

  • Instapot
  • Crockpot
  • Pressure Cooker

Because frozen broccoli has already been cooked a tiny bit in the processing, I personally think it is better to use fresh broccoli for these last applications.

Broccoli does tend to become mushy and to fall apart when cooked too long.

Roasted Frozen Broccoli Recipe

How to make roasted frozen broccoli in the oven. This easy method makes crispy frozen vegetables and is such a timesaver. Perfect for fast, healthy sides!


  • 16 ounces frozen broccoli florets do not thaw
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar optional to help the broccoli caramelize
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 small lemon halved


  • Arrange one rack in the lower third of your oven and one in the upper third and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the sheet pan on the lower rack while it preheats.
  • Place the broccoli in a large mixing bowl and top with the oil, sugar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. With a big spoon or your fingers, toss to combine.
  • Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Add the broccoli (it will sizzle as it hits the pan) and spread it into an even layer. Where possible, turn the flat sides of the broccoli florets so that they are touching the pan.
  • Return the pan to the lower third rack, and bake until the broccoli is tender and beginning to brown at the tips and edges, about 16 to 18 minutes. If you’d like the broccoli even more crisp, switch the oven to broil and move the pan to the upper rack. Bake for 1 to 2 minutes, until the broccoli becomes even more caramelized.
  • Remove from the oven and squeeze the lemon over the top. Serve hot.

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

This air fried frozen broccoli is the best easy side dish idea! Learn how to make frozen vegetables in the air fryer taste delicious.


  • 24 oz frozen broccoli florets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • olive oil spray


Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray, then place the frozen broccoli florets in the basket. For best results, do not allow the broccoli to thaw at all prior to baking, place it straight from the freezer into the air fryer.
Spray the broccoli florets with olive oil spray, then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Give the basket a shake to mix the spices around.
Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir and shake the basket, then air fry an additional 5-15 minutes, until desired level of crispiness.
Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese if desired

best way to cook frozen broccoli
best way to cook frozen broccoli

Oven-Roasted Frozen Broccoli

A fast and easy recipe for frozen broccoli, roasted until caramelized and finished with plenty of salty Parmesan cheese.


1 (16-ounce) bag  frozen broccoli florets (do not thaw)

2 tablespoons  olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 medium lemon, halved


Arrange one rack in the middle of the oven and one rack in the highest position, then heat to 450°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it’s heating.

Combine the broccoli, olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and toss to coat. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, add the broccoli, and spread it into an even layer. Roast on the middle rack until the broccoli is tender and beginning to brown at the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Switch the oven to broil. Scatter the Parmesan evenly over the broccoli. Return to the oven and broil on the upper rack until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half over the broccoli and toss to combine. Cut the other lemon half into wedges and serve alongside the broccoli.

Are Frozen Broccoli And Cauliflower Nutritious?

Broccoli and cauliflower are both cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables have low calories packed with nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Both are high in fiber, vitamin C, and micronutrients that are our bodies need. Broccoli has more vitamin C and K while cauliflower has higher vitamin B-6 content. These vegetables are antioxidants, which also help prevent cancer and other heart diseases. A cup of broccoli already meets the daily intake need for vitamin C!

Frozen broccoli and cauliflower are better than fresh ones. This is because the vegetables undergo “flash freezing”, which helps stop the aging process and loss of nutrients. A study shows that frozen broccoli retains more vitamin B than its fresh state. Even so, whether you like your vegetables frozen or fresh, you can still get your daily needs of nutrients.

best way to cook frozen broccoli
best way to cook frozen broccoli

How To Make Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli Cauliflower?

Making a healthy version of this classic dish is much easier than it sounds. An air fryer, broccoli, cauliflower, and a few more ingredients will give you a delicious side dish that the whole family will love.


  • Broccoli florets – see How To Freeze Broccoli or purchase storebought.
  • Cauliflower florets – check out How To Freeze Cauliflower or use storebought frozen cauliflower.
  • Avocado oil – or your favorite oil, whether grapeseed, olive.
  • Garlic powder and Onion powder – add all the flavor you will need.
  • Salt – I used Himalayan salt but you can use regular seas salt or Kosher salt.


  1. Wash broccoli and cauliflower florets and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Toss the florets in olive oil to coat.
  3. Add garlic powder and salt, toss to coat the florets.
  4. Place the florets in an air fryer basket or tray in a single layer. You might have to work in batches.
  5. Place the basket in the air fryer and cook at 380° for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove veggies from the air fryer and serve hot with ranch or any of your favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy!


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