How to Steam Broccoli Perfectly Every Time
How to Steam Broccoli Perfectly Every Time

Delicious basic steamed broccoli recipe! How to steam broccoli so it stays bright green. The easiest way to cook this wonderful vegetable.

In this recipe

  • Tips for steaming perfect broccoli
  • How to serve broccoli
  • Why use a steam basket
  • Best toppings for steamed broccoli

Steamed broccoli is the best cure for overindulgence that I know of. It’s cleansing, healthy, high in vitamin C, protein (45% of the calories in broccoli come from protein) and fiber.

Video: How to make steamed broccoli


How to steam broccoli

Tips for steaming perfect broccoli

The most important thing to know about steaming broccoli is that you are no longer cooking the broccoli seven minutes at most risk of boiling over. After seven minutes, the broccoli will turn olive green instead of the beautiful bright green color we desire.

To ensure the broccoli is perfectly cooked, here are a few tips:

  • TIP 1: Get the steaming water hot and steaming first before adding the broccoli to the steamer basket. A quick way to get the water hot is to use a tea kettle.
  • TIP 2: Set your timer to just five to six minutes. Smaller florets of young fresh broccoli may take as little as five minutes to cook, larger florets of more mature broccoli may take six minutes. I recommend starting with five and then testing the broccoli with a fork to see if it’s cooked through.

How to serve broccoli

As for serving broccoli, the easiest way to flavor broccoli is to dot it with dabs of butter. My favorite way to eat broccoli is toss it with lots of freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with some seasoned rice vinegar. (By the way, black pepper is one of those perfect combinations with broccoli.)

My parents love their broccoli served with some mayonnaise on the side, which is surprisingly good. You can also make olive oil and lemon zest (see picture above), olive oil and balsamic vinegar, etc. Good with toasted slivers of almonds or toasted sesame seeds.

Why use a steam basket

A steamer basket will lift your broccoli out of the liquid and off the bottom of the pan, preventing it from becoming soggy. If you don’t have a steamer, you can just put the broccoli directly into about an inch of boiling water, but keep a close eye on it and remove the broccoli from the pan as soon as it’s done to avoid getting it wet.

Best toppings for steamed broccoli

Want to take your side dish to the next level? Try topping or tossing the broccoli with this:

  • Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan, Pecorino, Asiago or another hard cheese
  • Garnish with warm alfredo sauce

Easier vegetables to serve on the side

  • Fried zucchini with garlic
  • Plain chard
  • Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
  • Simply sautéed spinach
  • Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

From the editors of Simply Recipes

How to steam broccoli perfectly every time

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
10 mins

total time
15 minutes

up to 4 servings


  • 1 bunch broccoli

Lots of options here:

  • olive oilButter or mayonnaise (use olive oil if cooking vegan)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Lemon peel or juice, balsamic vinegar, flavored rice vinegar

  • Roasted almonds

  • Toasted Sesame Seeds


  1. Prepare the broccoli crowns and stalks:

    Cut the tops off the large stems of the broccoli. Break the crown into bite-sized florets. Rinse the broccoli florets thoroughly.

    Peel and discard the thick outer skin of the stalks. Slice the stalks or quarter lengthwise.

  2. Bring steamer water to a boil:

    Add 3/4 to 1 inch of water to a saucepan fitted with a steamer and bring to a boil. (Note that if you don’t have a steamer, you can just add the broccoli directly to an inch of boiling water.)

  3. Add broccoli, steam 5 to 6 min.:

    Place the broccoli in the steamer and cover; Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork. Once pierceable, remove from heat and place in a serving bowl.

    Note that green vegetables like broccoli turn from bright green to drab olive green after about 7 minutes of cooking. So watch the time and don’t let the broccoli overcook!

  4. Dress up with your favorite topping:

    Season to taste with butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon zest or juice, seasoned rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, ground black pepper, toasted almonds or sesame seeds.

nutritional information (per serving)
32 calories
0g Fat
7g carbohydrates
2g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!