The 40 Best Broccoli & Friends Recipes We Know

Salads, soups, and everything in between.

February 25, 2022
Photo by Ty Mecham

We’re crowning broccoli (pun intended) the MVP of green vegetables—in springtime and all the time. You’ve seen it take the stage as an attention-grabbing side dish; it often mingles with cheddar for creamy soups and crunchy casseroles; and it tends to make its way into all manner of pasta dishes, both hot and cold.

You'll notice that a few of these recipes call for relatives of broccoli: broccolini (aka baby broccoli or Chinese broccoli, which has a sweeter flavor and thinner form than regular broccoli) and broccoli rabe (aka rapini, which is a bitter cousin to broccoli in the mustard family). These are definitely not the same as each other, or the same as traditional broccoli! But they're excellent in their own right.

Broccolini and broccoli rabe look very similar but taste pretty different, so keep an eye out for which one you're grabbing from the store or market before cooking. In general, you can swap in one for the other—or regular ol' broccoli for either—in any of these recipes, but just know that the flavor might be slightly different.

So without further ado, in honor of this sturdy green stalwart and its various avatars, we’re sharing our very best broccoli-and-friends recipes. They include all of the dishes we ran through above plus a whole lot more.

1. Garlicky, Lemony Roasted Broccoli

If someone tells you that they’re serving broccoli as a side dish, cross your fingers that it’s this one. The dependable, lovable green vegetable is roasted and then tossed with caramelized garlic, scallions, the juice and zest of a lemon, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.

2. Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I don’t even need to read this broccoli recipe to know it’s going to be good—some even know it as the best broccoli they'll eat in their life. After all, it’s Ina’s! The roasted broccoli is dressed with essentially a deconstructed pesto sauce—olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil.

3. Triple-Broccoli Pasta Salad

Broccoli doesn’t always need to sit on the sidelines. Here, it makes its way into the center of a zingy, springy pasta salad. Both the florets and broccoli stalks are used for this dish, so not one bit of this precious gem goes to waste.

4. Crispy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Step aside, lackluster broccoli-cheddar soups: This one is packed full of flavor that'll knock your socks off. And it’s also the easiest homemade version you’ll ever make, with just a few ingredients and minimal time.

5. Lemony Broccoli & Mozzarella Sandwiches

Roasted broccoli rabe (a different vegetable entirely!) often finds itself snuggled with spicy Italian meats and creamy cheeses between ciabatta bread, but what about regular broccoli? Give it a chance and see how its hearty texture and lemony flavor make a big impact on an otherwise ordinary vegetarian sandwich.

6. Sheet-Pan Shrimp & Broccoli With Cocktail-Sauce Sauce

For those nights when you don’t feel like cooking and are tempted to order takeout, make this low-maintenance, high-reward sheet pan supper that minimizes dirty dishes while delivering big flavor.

7. Green Pasta Primavera

Pretty much every green veg we could get our hands on (broccoli, green beans, scallions, leeks) is featured in this pasta recipe that celebrates spring.

8. Whole-Roasted Broccoli With Herbed Yogurt, Dukkah & Chile

“When you roast it whole, the little trees get crisp and crunchy at the tips. Topped with cool, creamy yogurt blended with tons of fresh herbs and crunchy, spiced dukkah, it’ll be hard to believe that you ever didn’t like broccoli,” writes recipe developer Eden Grinshpan. And for those of us who have always liked broccoli, we mean it when we say it made us love the vegetable more.

9. Beef & Broccoli

The beauty of stir-frying anything in a wok—meat, vegetables, or in this case, both—is that it all cooks is fast. Like, in under 10 minutes. Don’t walk away from the beef and broccoli here. Don’t try to wash some dishes or set the table or take the trash out. Hang out by the stove for a short, lively spurt, and you’ll be eating dinner in no time.

10. Tahini Roasted Broccoli

The friendly nature of nutty tahini is just the right touch to dress up earthy roasted broccoli. Why didn’t we think of this before?

11. Roasted Frozen Broccoli

For years, I scoffed at frozen broccoli as being a sad, mushy counterpart to fresh broccoli. But this recipe will teach you how to transform it into a crunchy, caramelized powerhouse.

12. Broccoli, White Bean & Cheddar Bake

We love, and I mean love, a one-pan affair. “Somewhere between broccoli casserole and a cheesy gratin, this speedy one-skillet dinner is my idea of comfort food. It's loaded with savory flavor from the bottom up—from the anchovies and garlic sautéed in butter to a generous amount of tomato paste that's slowly caramelized to bring out its full umami,” writes recipe developer EmilyC.

13. Greens Mac 'n' Cheese From Jamie Oliver

This is something that will please both the adults and the little ones in the room—it’s an ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese that’s loaded with good-for-you greens like spinach, leeks, and broccolini (which is also a different vegetable from traditional broccoli, but you could use them interchangeably in this recipe).

14. Melissa Clark's Seared Broccoli & Potato Soup

Instead of just boiling broccoli for this creamy soup, New York Times columnist Melissa Clark sautés them to bring out their flavor and maintain some of their texture. The whole thing is eventually roughly blended with an immersion blender, but some crispy bits still remain.

15. Sheet-Pan Broccoli & Chorizo Salad With Tortilla Chip Gremolata

We truly can’t get enough of sheet pan suppers! This one is a large-format, deconstructed taco salad with spicy chorizo, crispy bits of broccoli, crunchy tortilla chips, and crumbly cotija cheese.

16. Overstuffed Chicken & Broccoli Quesadillas

You know how quesadillas are normally quite thin and flimsy? These are not those. They’re fully loaded with a ton of broccoli, shredded chicken (a great opportunity to use leftovers or rotisserie chicken), and of course, a generous amount of white cheddar cheese.

17. Broccoli Tots

Move aside, potatoes, and make way for broccoli tots. These kid-friendly poppers are a sneaky way to get your little ones to eat their greens.

18. Warm Kimchi Bowl With Spicy Broccoli & Sesame-Scallion Wild Rice

The trick to a delicious rice bowl starts with, well, the rice! Once it’s cooked in vegetable broth to fluffy perfection, it’s mixed with toasted sesame oil, tamari, mirin, and scallions. Then it’s topped with roasted broccoli, kimchi, and sesame seeds for a complete vegetarian meal.

19. Chile-Lime Chicken & Broccoli Salad

This chicken and broccoli salad can be made ahead…and then made ahead again! For starters, marinate the chicken in a chile-lime vinaigrette for four hours. Then, go ahead and assemble the salad as the recipe instructs. The entire salad can be kept in the fridge for a few days until it’s time to serve.

20. Sheet-Pan Chicken With Broccoli, Chickpeas & Parmesan

In one recipe, you’ll find half a dozen cooking tips for how to build big flavor; get super-crispy, golden-brown chicken skin; and save prep time in the kitchen.

21. Broccoli Salad With Pesto, Apples & Walnuts

Guess what? You don’t always need to cook broccoli to enjoy it. Thinly slice it and toss it with homemade pesto, Honeycrisp apples, and chopped walnuts for the make-ahead crunchy-crisp salad of your dreams.

22. Blissed-Out Crispy Cheesy Broccoli Sheet Pan Gratin

You know what takes broccoli to the next level? Cheese? And you know what makes it even better? More cheese.

23. Broccoli Quesadillas

I know what you’re thinking: “How good can broccoli quesadillas possibly be?” Consider, though, the chipotle-peanut sauce, shatteringly-crisp sautéed broccoli, and crumbled cotija cheese. Did you perk up and start salivating? Thought so.

24. Shaved Broccoli Stalk Salad with Soft Feta & Golden Raisins

Repeat after me: save those stalks! They can be used for so much more than compost or vegetable stock; like how about this delicate cheesy salad?

25. Mezzi Rigatoni with Broccoli Pesto & Smoked Mozzarella

When I picture baked rigatoni, I think Bolognese sauce, ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, and the largest handful of shredded mozzarella cheese that I can muster. This pasta only one of those elements and yet, it has totally won my heart.

26. Broccoli Aglio e Olio With Gremolata Breadcrumbs

Make garlic and oil spaghetti a little more exciting by adding really roasted broccoli and crispy breadcrumbs.

27. Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese

You can thank Merrill Stubbs for this genius pairing of broccoli and potatoes that has an old-fashioned culinary flair.

28. Broccoli Rabe in Lemon Cream

“I love bitter greens but always assumed you should let their flavor stand alone as the outlier in a dish,” writes Food52 founder Amanda Hesser. But she found that the cream softened the bitterness of the rabe and a squeeze of lemon juice transformed the dish, “brightening the mineral flavors in the greens and challenging their bitterness with acidity.”

29. Pasta With Broccoli Rabe & White Bean–Anchovy Sauce

The saltiness of anchovies, bitterness of broccoli rabe, creaminess of white beans and ricotta, and adorable nature of orecchiette come together for a truly remarkable pasta dish. But again, if you don't have broccoli rabe, don't worry—traditional broccoli works great here.

30. Sheet-Pan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

This low-fuss broccoli casserole is former Food52 editor Eric Kim’s favorite use of leftovers.

31. Easy Broccoli Salad With Cheese

This salad is simple, yet bold and assertive. In each bite, you’ll get a little bit of broccoli, dates, walnuts, sour cherries, and goat cheese.

32. Parmesan Risotto With Broccoli Rabe

If I’m making a spring-forward risotto, my natural instinct is to reach for asparagus or snap peas. But this iteration made with broccoli rabe (or broccoli, if you'd rather!) is definitely one that I can get behind.

33. Perfect Steamed Broccoli with Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette

No one, and I mean no one, enjoys eating steamed broccoli. Sure, they might take a scoop and eat it out of politeness, but it’s not exciting or delicious. That will all change next time you dress it up with this caper-raisin vinaigrette.

34. Broccoli & Cheddar Snack Bread

“This broccoli and cheddar snack bread is inspired by a simple breakfast bread my grandma would make using Jiffy’s corn muffin mix and frozen broccoli. Served by the slice, it was a comforting, tasty way to ease into the day,” writes recipe developer Joy Cho.

35. Broccoli Stems with Garlic and Anchovies

We can’t talk about our love for broccoli without addressing how much better it tastes when combined with garlic and anchovies. And the fact that we're using the sturdy stems here, letting no broc go to waste? Even better.

36. Spicy Miso Eggplant & Broccoli Salad

A sesame-miso dressing perks up an unexpected duo: eggplant and broccoli.

37. Roasted Buttermilk-Brined Broccoli With Preserved Lemon

“Soak broccoli in buttermilk mixed with the brine from a jar of preserved lemons, and get ready for roasted broccoli like you've never had it before,” advises Food52 contributor EmilyC. We'll corroborate—this stuff is fire.

38. All-in-One Sheet-Pan Brown Rice with Sweet Potato & Broccoli Rabe

Less mess and more flavor? There’s nothing you won’t love about this forgiving vegetarian recipe.

39. Farfalle With Chicken, Broccoli & All of the Herbs

Somewhere in between cacio e pepe and pasta primavera is this pasta recipe that’s the perfect merriment of each.

40. Jalapeño Chicken Meatballs With Broccoli & Yogurt Sauce

You don’t always have to serve meatballs over a bed of spaghetti and eat it Lady and the Tramp style. Here, we bake them (yes, bake for less mess!) with small florets of broccoli.

What’s your favorite way to cook broccoli? Share your go-to recipes in the comments below!

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Former Food52 Staff Editor

1 Comment

Medora V. March 12, 2022
One of my all-time favorite dishes containing broccoli is a broccoli potato salad the recipe for which came from Bread & Circus, the precursor to Whole Foods. I've unfortunately lost the recipe but make it often from (my admittedly faulty) memory. The distinctive features are 1) that the broccoli and potatoes are dressed with vinaigrette while still hot and then refrigerated for several hours, and 2) a second dressing is added, including sour cream, mayonnaise, shallots, and fresh tarragon, followed by more time in the fridge. I've been feeding this to happy guests for several decades. A health-food store wouldn't be passing out this recipe today, given its high fat content, but using vegan sour cream and mayo brings it into line with current tastes.