Broccoli has had a bad taste for ages. From the famous disdain of the late former President George HW Bush to all those three-year-olds out there who shut their mouths tight while they ate, this vegetable (perhaps more than most) is rarely hailed as the dinner winner.
But that should change.
Why? Because it’s about time this nutritious cruciferous vegetable took the spotlight. As a member of the cabbage family, broccoli is high in fiber and vitamins. Just one cup has as much vitamin C as an orange! It’s also a great addition to the grocery list as it’s budget-friendly; Plus, it’s available in supermarkets all year round, which means you can use it whenever you want.
If that’s not enough to entice you into eating your veggies, we’re here to help. Luckily, the fabulous chefs and cooks that frequent the TODAY kitchen are flavor wizards who season broccoli up or down, fry it on a sheet pan with crispy chicken parmalade, glaze it in a vibrant miso dressing, and even wrap it in pepperoni rolls can smuggle in so kids (and adults!) could actually get it aroused to eat her broccoli.
So roll up your sleeves, stock up on some goodies, and try these easy, delicious broccoli dishes.
Side dishes and appetizers with broccoli
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon by Peyton Janicke
Roasting veggies with salt, garlic powder, and pepper makes it so delicious. Be sure to distribute the broccoli evenly on the sheet so you get lots of little crispy bits with every bite.
Tender Broccoli with Garlic, Orange and Roasted Almonds by Catherine Fulvio
Making a sauce for veggies, like this zesty orange, adds great flavor and encourages picky eaters who hate veggies to enjoy their veggies more.
Joy Bauer’s Broccoli Tots by Joy Bauer
Say goodbye to bags of frozen tater tots. Joy Bauer’s homemade version is so easy and yummy. By substituting broccoli for the potato, she reduces carbs and calories without sacrificing texture and flavor.
Creamy Broccoli Salad by Ali Rosen
This is a twist on those classic mayo-based broccoli salads, except each element is boosted. Quickly pickled shallots add a zest, gorgonzola adds a touch of tangy creaminess, and salami adds the meaty element without forcing you to fry up some bacon.
Charred Broccoli with Spicy Avocado Sauce by Carla Lalli Music
There’s no reason to throw away the broccoli stalk, which has a radish-like crunch and bland flavor. Cutting into long sticks and sautéing keeps the broccoli crisp while its fibers soften a little, and the creamy avocado sauce doubles as a dip of sorts.
Siri’s Broccoli and Cheese Stratta by Siri Daly
Cheese and broccoli are natural pairings in dips and dinners, but when you add bread and eggs to the mix, you have a stunning side dish.
No-Cook Grated Broccoli Feta Slaw by Ali Rosen
When it’s hot outside and you don’t want to turn on your stove, this light, bright salad is the perfect antidote. Use a grater or your food processor to mince the broccoli, then toss it in with the fresh lemon and saltiness of feta for the perfect summer salad.
Hot Pepper Rolls with Broccoli by Katie Lee
Hailing from West Virginia, pepperoni rolls are a popular snack made with chewy dough filled with pepperoni and gooey cheese. Here Katie Lee makes a homemade version with broccoli. It’s perfect for entertaining and a great way to sneak into the veggies.
Seared Broccoli and Charred Brussels Sprout Salad by Romel Bruno
Serve this easy salad warm with a vinaigrette that’s light, tart, and onion-y. You can fry the pancetta to crisp it up, use the fat to cook the shallot, and add a dash of vinegar and Dijon to balance it all out.
Grilled Broccoli Caesar Salad by Karen Akunowicz
This non-traditional dish borrows ideas from three different countries. The Caesar salad was invented in Mexico, the migas (toasted spiced bread) hails from Spain, and the dressing includes a dollop of Japanese miso.
Panera-style 200-calorie Broccoli Cheddar Soup by Casey Barber
What’s the secret to cramming so much cheese flavor into a soup that’s only 200 calories per serving? A rind from a stick of Parmesan cheese is key to adding plenty of rich flavor while staying on the virtuous side of the spectrum for this comfort food. A second sneaky addition comes from peeled and diced broccoli stalks in the broth, giving you tons of fiber and reducing waste from this nutritious green veg.
Appetizers with broccoli
Spicy Sheet Pan Pork Chops and Broccoli by Lidia Bastianich
Pickled pepperoncini are the secret ingredient here, adding spice and zing. They also serve to spice up meaty pork chops, nutty chickpeas, and earthy broccoli.
Joy Bauer’s Creamy Broccoli Soup by Joy Bauer
This soup contains three nutrient-dense ingredients: onions, broccoli, and Greek yogurt. It’s only 100 calories per cup, contains six grams of protein, and six grams of fiber. Pair it with a piece of oven-roasted salmon for the ultimate (and complete) comfort food.
Baked Cheesy Mac and Broccoli by Antoni Porowski
Broccoli and cheese make a great pair, especially in a baked pasta dish. Antoni Porowski’s pan version is crispy on the edges and has a wonderfully crunchy breadcrumbs – his favorite part.
Broccoli with Cacio e Pepe by John Fraser
What better way to enjoy veggies than with cheesy, peppery pasta? Adding broccoli to the classic cacio e pepe gives the dish a lovely light green color and gives it a healthy boost.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Broccoli Pesto, Basil and Pistachios by Missy Robbins
If you’re trying to get people who don’t like their veggies to finish their broccoli, serve them these pillowy ricotta gnocchi coated in a sweet, slightly spicy pesto sauce and they’ll be begging for seconds.
Savannah’s Mom’s Broccoli Casserole by Savannah Guthrie
This creamy casserole is the epitome of comfort food. The rice makes it filling enough to enjoy as a main course, but still light enough to serve as a side dish. And what better way to eat your green veggies than smothered in melty cheese?
Stewed Acorn Squash with White Beans and Broccoli by Karina Heinrich
This one-pan vegetarian creation is packed with tons of easily digestible plant protein and fiber. The sliced acorn squash and kidney beans caramelize perfectly on the outside and stay creamy on the inside.
One Pot Pasta with Broccoli, Ham and Parmesan by Tom Colicchio
Have you ever wondered what celebrity chefs like to cook at home? Well, now we know one of Tom Colicchio’s favorites: pasta with broccoli, ham, and parmesan cheese. And guess what? All you need is a pot to make this dish, making dinner and cleanup quick and easy.
Coconut Cauliflower Rice with Coconut Chicken and Broccoli by Kelly LeVeque
If you’re a fan of teriyaki chicken rice bowls, this is a low-sodium, low-sugar alternative that’s quick to make from a roast chicken on a night when you’re just too tired to cook. It’s a perfect semi-homemade 10 minute meal!
Chloe Coscarelli’s Healing Cream of Greens Soup
This is the perfect soup when you feel like you need an extra boost of immunity. The greens are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants that will have you feeling stronger and on the mend in no time.
Asian-inspired restaurant-style chicken and broccoli by Kevin Curry
When planning what to make for dinner on a weekday, the checklist usually includes cheap, easy, crowd pleaser, healthy, one-pan, chicken, and delicious. This recipe from Fit Men Cook’s Kevin Curry checks all of those things.
Sheet Pan Vegetable Coconut Curry Rice by Jerrelle Guy
You will love this versatile rice mix. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal as it’s all conveniently mixed together, poured straight onto a sheet pan and ready to eat in 30 minutes. As soon as you pull this pan out of the oven, the onions will caramelize, the raisins will plump and the veggies will be tender.
Katie Lee Pork Fried Rice
Fried rice is the ultimate customizable meal. You have your choice of rice, proteins and various vegetables to create an easy and filling dinner of your liking.
Sheet Pan Chicken Parm with Garlic Bread and Broccoli by Elena Besser
This Sheet Pan Parm skips the frying step and adds toasted garlic bread and broccoli to make it a complete meal with very little cleanup. Plus, it’s a healthier way to enjoy everyone’s favorite Italian-American dish.
James Laird Roast Chicken with Crispy Broccoli
This isn’t your plain boring fried chicken. The beer-based marinade makes this chicken extra juicy and flavorful, and the roasted garlic rub really ups the ante. Plus, there’s nothing quite like super crispy broccoli.
Miso Roasted Sea Bass with Ginger Garlic Broccoli by Richard Ingraham
Sea bass is amazingly buttery on its own, but the marinade takes it to another level. The crispy ginger broccoli brings the perfect contrast in taste and texture.
Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs with Broccolini by Yasmin Fahr
These Baked Chicken Ricotta Meatballs are lighter than their meaty counterparts and don’t require a lot of work. Baking skips the time and mess of stovetop browning, leaving you with a mixing bowl and sheet pan to clean up at the end — and most importantly, 20 delicious meatballs accompanied by crispy broccolini.
Baked Lemony Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta by Yasmin Fahr
Broccoli, mushrooms, and garlic combined with a bright lemon flavor and a hit of heat is a pretty unbeatable combination. Baking the noodles gives the bits around the edge an extra crunchy texture that’s deeply satisfying.
Chicken Divan by Elizabeth Heiskell
This recipe is one to repeat because it’s easy enough to make on a Monday night, but the result is nothing short of a fancy Friday night dinner.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole by Curtis Stone
Curtis Stone’s sumptuous casserole is a fabulous and family-friendly comfort dish that’s easy to make ahead of time, whether it’s a busy weeknight or a special occasion.
Broccoli and Cheese Quiche by Elizabeth Heiskell
A quiche might sound unusual, but it is actually one of the most versatile dishes. It’s a nice brunch dish, of course, but paired with a salad makes a delicious lunch or light dinner.