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How to Cook Broccoli Spears by Steaming, Sautéing, Roasting or Blanching

How to Cook Broccoli Spears by Steaming, Sautéing, Roasting or Blanching

how to cook broccoli

There are several easy ways to cook broccoli. Here we share how to cook broccoli spears by steaming on the hob and in the microwave, cooking in the oven or by blanching and sautéing them.

The quickest and easiest method is simply to blanch them while the longest method is to roast them.

Blanching takes about 3 minutes while roasting them takes much longer at about 20 to 25 minutes

Broccoli is a very versatile vegetable, it is easy to cook and can be used in all sorts of meals either as a simple veg or part of a recipe.

How to Cook Broccoli Spears

 How to Prepare Fresh Broccoli Spears & Stems for Cooking

To get the best out of you broccoli you want to make sure you pick them at their best.  Ideally, make sure they haven’t gone to flower or started to open up or they haven’t gone yellow or brown. They should be fresh and green with nice and firm florets. You can remove the roots and compost if you want to.

  1. Remove any excess leaves and discard  (See note below)
  2. Rinse off any dirt and debris
  3. Cut down your large broccoli head into florets
  4. Check them over and wash again (This stage can be left if you bought in the shops or are not too worried about the odd bug)
  5. Some people prefer to cross the base of the florets with a knife to help with cooking you only really need to do that with larger spears or if you are not cutting them down to individual spears

Green & Frugal Tip: Although in the UK most people tend not to eat the leaves of a broccoli (they are often not even supplied in the shops) they are perfectly edible if you either don’t want waste or are being frugal)

how to cook broccoli

How to Steam Fresh Broccoli Florets on the Hob

Steaming your broccoli florets on the hob is a quick and easy way to get the best from your fresh spears.  They come out tender but not so heavily cooked as to lose the flavour or the goodness.

  1. Prepare your florets (See the how to prepare section)
  2. Prepare your steamer by adding boiling water to it
  3. Put them into your steamer
  4. Place your steamer pan on a medium heat on your hob. Make sure you do not run out of water in your steamer
  5. The Cooking time is approximately 4 to 6 minutes.  Your florets are ready when they are firm yet also tender

How to Steam Broccoli in a Microwave

Using the microwave is a perfect way to cook your broccoli quickly without using the hob.

  1. Prepare your florets for the microwave (See the how to prepare section)
  2. Put them into a microwavable bowl or microwave steamer
  3. Add a couple of tablespoonfuls of water if you are using a bowl. If you are using a microwave steamer check the cooking guidelines
  4. Place your lid on your steamer leaving the vent open to allow the steam to escape
  5. Allow approximately 2 minutes cooking time per portion (about 4 minutes on average in total) but check after 2 minutes to avoid overcooking
  6. Open your bowl carefully so you don’t get steam on you
  7. Check your broccoli is ready
  8. Your broccoli florets are now ready to serve

    Roasted Oven Cooked Broccoli

    This tasty roasted broccoli recipe is easy to do.

    How Long to Roast Broccoli in the Oven?It takes about 20 minutes to roast broccoli in the oven at about 230C.

    Blanching Your Broccoli

    Blanching your broccoli is perfect if you have too much in one go and want to freeze it and save it for later or if you want to add it to a salad.

    1. Prepare your broccoli florets as directed in the prepared section at the top of the page
    2. Boil some water in a saucepan allow enough space to put in your broccoli
    3. Prepare some ice water. All you need to do is get a bowl of icy cold water If you have some ice cubes you can add them or just pop the water in the fridge beforehand
    4. When the water on the stove is boiling carefully put your florets into it
    5. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes for florets that are 4cm in width
    6. What you are looking for are florets that are firm but slightly cooked and not fully cooked
    7. Drain your broccoli a colander is best as this is the fastest method
    8. Immediately plunge the florets into the icy water to cool them down
    9. Now they are ready to either be served cooked further or frozen

    Preserving Tip: If you want to freeze your florets after blanching pat dry, lay them out on a tray and freeze separately.  Once they are frozen your florets can they be put in a bag, this helps to reduce (although not eliminate) the chances of them sticking together.  Pack in the amounts that you think you will need.


    Easy Sautéed Broccoli Florets

    Easy Sautéed Broccoli Florets

    A simple tasty side or main dish of sautéed broccoli florets

    Course Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine English
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 6 minutes
    Total Time 11 minutes
    Servings 4


    • 500 g Broccoli florets
    • 2 tbsp Oil Most people use olive oil but use the oil you prefer
    • 1-2 cloves Garlic crushed
    • 2 pinches Salt & pepper


    1. Prepare your broccoli florets by washing them and cutting the spear into florets
    2. Use a medium heat to heat your oil in a frying pan or skillet
    3. Add your crushed garlic cloves cook for about a minute
    4. Then add your broccoli florets and the salt and the pepper and cook for a few more minutes
    5. When your broccoli is tender and changes colour to a brighter green it is ready to serve
    6. remove from the heat and serve

    how to cook broccoli spears easily