Turn anyone into a broccoli fan with my delightful Lemon Butter Broccoli. You may want to make enough for second helpings!
If you or anyone in your family or circle of friends doesn’t like broccoli, you have to make my Lemon Butter Broccoli for them. They will be converted. It’s not a regular, ordinary lemon butter either. This one has a secret ingredient.
Video: Making Lemon Butter Broccoli
How To Bring Out Sweetness In Broccoli
To bring out the natural sweetness in the broccoli and to counteract the bitterness that tends to turn people away, I’ve incorporated two techniques. First, oven roasting the broccoli, and then tossing it in the lemon butter sauce (with the secret ingredient).
Roasting in general brings out the natural sugars in vegetables, and broccoli is no exception. I even sometimes just take a head of broccoli, add olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast it whole. It brings out so much sweetness. When broccoli is broken into florets like for the recipe below, it will be about 20 minutes in the oven. At that point, the broccoli becomes a perfect tender-crisp, with lightly browned and charred edges, and sweeter than before it was roasted.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
Bagged broccoli, which is what I often use for convenience, or heads of broccoli can be used interchangeably. If using heads of broccoli, you’ll need about two to equal the 24 ounces called for in the recipe. The bagged broccoli won’t contain the stems, but if using broccoli heads, peel the stems to remove the tough, woody part, and then finely chop the stems. Or, save the stems for another recipe.
To enhance that sweetness even more, the broccoli is tossed in lemon butter that is infused with garlic, salt, lots of lemon zest, and a scant amount of sugar. When divided into six servings, it turns out to be about a pinch of sugar per person. That tiny amount of sugar surprisingly makes a big impact on the flavor of the broccoli and eliminates much of the bitterness.
How To Make My Special Lemon Butter Broccoli
To make the Lemon Butter Broccoli, first preheat the oven to 400°F. Then, in a large bowl add the broccoli, olive oil, and salt. Toss this all together until broccoli is well coated in the oil and salt, which will help it roast evenly in the oven.
Transfer the broccoli to a large sheet pan and spread out the florets in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. You want the broccoli crisp-tender and lightly browned around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven, and set it aside while you make the lemon butter.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, garlic powder, and sugar. Microwave this for about 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir to ensure the butter is melted, and then add the zest.
Transfer the broccoli to a serving bowl and drizzle melted lemon butter over the broccoli. Immediately toss the broccoli to distribute the butter and serve warm.
Note that you can actually cook the broccoli in other ways and still use this lemon-butter sauce. I routinely steam my broccoli until it’s the tenderness that I like. Then I toss it with the lemon-butter sauce, adding some salt to taste as I gently stir it up.
More Veggie Recipes
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for more recipes that are loaded with veggies. Have a look through my large collection of side dish recipes to get some delicious inspiration, or go on over to some of my favorite vegetable recipes at the links here:
- Creamy Farro and Spinach
- Beet Greens
- Roasted Whole Eggplant
- Italian Roasted Cauliflower
- How To Cook Zucchini
- Microwaved Corn on the Cob
- Cucumber Onion Salad
Podcast About Making Lemon-Butter Broccoli
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this broccoli, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
Turn anyone into a broccoli fan with my delightful Lemon Butter Broccoli. You may want to make enough for second helpings. Enjoy! -Christine xo
- 1 (12-oz.) bag raw broccoli florets*
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. salted butter
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400°F.**
- In a large bowl add broccoli, olive oil, and salt. Toss until broccoli is well coated.
- Transfer broccoli to a large sheet pan. Arrange in a single layer.
- Place pan in oven. Bake 20 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender and lightly browned around the edges. Remove pan from oven, set aside.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, add butter, garlic powder, and sugar. Microwave 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir in zest.
- Transfer broccoli to serving bowl. Drizzle melted butter mixture over broccoli, toss to coat. Serve warm.
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*If using a head of broccoli, 1 large head will be sufficient. Remove the florets from the stalk and cut into bite-sized pieces and then peel the stem and cut into bite sized pieces.
**If you’d prefer to cook the broccoli in a different way, you absolutely can. I routinely make steamed broccoli and then stir it with the lemon butter sauce. It’s perfect!