Easy Roasted Broccoli Recipe

The secret to perfectly sweet and nutty broccoli is to hit it with high heat from all sides.

Close-up of roasted broccoli in a serving bowl.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik; Video: Serious Eats Video

Why This Recipe Works

  • Preheating the baking sheet ensures the broccoli is hit with high heat right from the start, from all sides.
  • Setting the oven to such a high heat browns the broccoli and cooks it through quickly, allowing nutty and sweet flavors to develop, not stinky, sulfurous ones.

A broccoli floret may not look anything like a Brussels sprout, but they've actually got a lot in common. Both are members of the brassica family, along with a ton of other not-so-similar-looking cruciferous vegetables—cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, and more. And, just like Brussels sprouts, broccoli turns nutty, sweet, and delicious when roasted right—and unfortunately mushy and sulfurous-smelling when not.

For decades, broccoli (and Brussels sprouts) suffered from a serious image problem, and poor cooking technique was often the culprit. When the level of heat used is too low and the vegetable is cooked too long, the sulfurous compounds inside have plenty of time to develop, leading to the smelly results that put many an American schoolchild off their cafeteria lunch.

But when you subject broccoli to super-high heat, it quickly caramelizes on the outside, producing sweet, nutty flavors and a crispness on the outside that contrasts nicely with the tender interiors of the florets. At that temperature, broccoli also cooks through fast enough that those less pleasant aromas don't have time to take over.

To get there, I preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C), with the oven rack in the top position. To speed up caramelization even further, I line a half sheet pan with foil, and pop it in the oven during the preheating stage. Meanwhile, I cut the broccoli into fairly small florets, about one and a half to two inches, which creates more surface area and therefore greater textural contrast.

I toss the broccoli with a little olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. When both oven and pan are blazing-hot, I carefully transfer the broccoli florets to the pan, and in they go to roast for about 20 minutes. For more even browning, you can flip the broccoli with a thin metal spatula about halfway through, or, if you prefer one side to be crispier and more deeply caramelized, just leave 'em alone for the entire cooking time.


How to Roast Broccoli

December 2017

Recipe Details

Easy Roasted Broccoli Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings

The secret to perfectly sweet and nutty broccoli is to hit it with high heat from all sides.


  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (about 1 pound florets; 450g)

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Adjust oven rack to upper position and preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Place baking sheet on oven rack to preheat.

  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully add broccoli to preheated baking sheet in a single layer. Roast about 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender and deeply browned in spots (for the deepest browning on only one side, do not flip the broccoli during cooking; for more even browning all over, toss and flip broccoli about halfway through roasting). Serve.

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheet

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
129 Calories
11g Fat
8g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 129
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 73mg 365%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 330mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)