Home / Fruit and Vegetable Recipes / Super Simple Blanched Broccoli Recipe with Garlic

Super Simple Blanched Broccoli Recipe with Garlic

This tried and true blanched broccoli recipe tastes good and is good for you! Turns your broccoli into the stuff you swoon over at restaurants. Here’s how to make perfect broccoli to add to any meal.

A plate of broccoli with shallots and garlic.

Ever wonder how restaurants are able to serve up different cooked vegetables in mere minutes to a hundred separate diners at once?

Here’s a chef’s secret: a cooking process called blanching.

The cooking technique of pre-cooking vegetables in salted boiling water just until they are crisp tender then immediately plunging them in ice water is called blanching. It works for almost any vegetable and can be done up to a day or two in advance—great for meal prep.

When you are ready to eat all you need to do is briefly reheat the vegetable with a little oil or butter in a hot frying pan and voilá! Restaurant-quality veggies on your plate.

You can use this blanching process with almost any vegetable (try blanching asparagus or green beans) but today we are using fresh broccoli and then briefly sautéing it with olive oil, garlic and shallots which in my opinion, makes everything better.

*CHEF’S TIP: Keep this quick cooking method (minus the garlic and shallots) in mind for making broccoli salad too. It not only makes the broccoli nice and tender but plunging it right away in the ice water bath preserves the bright green color.

Let me show you how easy it is.

Why You’ll Love This Blanched Broccoli Recipe

A plate of broccoli on a marble table with a spoon in the plate.
  • Only 6 ingredients that are available at any grocery store
  • An easy way to prep broccoli
  • A great quick side dish that’s full of nutrition
  • One of my favorite recipes for meal prep
  • Perfect crisp yet tender texture
  • Quick cook time


All the ingredients to make blanched broccoli including broccoli and more
  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper

How To Make This Recipe (Step-by-Step Instructions With Photos)

step one

Prep the broccoli. I like to eat the broccoli stems as well as the florets but they need to be peeled first. Cut the florets from the stems and cut the end off of the stem. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut the tough outer peel off the stems.

Cut the stems into 1/2-inch thick slices and cut the florets into 3-4 pieces. The size of the florets can be smaller depending on what you are making.

A hand peeling a stalk of broccoli with a knife.

step two

Set up to blanch. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with half ice cubes and half cold water and set aside.

One pot on the stove and one bowl full of ice next to it.

step three

Blanch. Add the raw broccoli florets and stems to the large pot of water and blanch until they turn a vibrant green color and a knife goes through easily, but a fork still meets some resistance, about 2-3 minutes.

Drain (or remove with a slotted spoon) and plunge the broccoli into the bowl of ice water. Submerging it under the water.

A pan of broccoli on the stove

step four

Dry. Once the broccoli is cold. Remove it from the ice bath and place it in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

You can put it in an airtight container at this point and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

A baking sheet with paper towels and blanched broccoli on it.

step five

Add garlic. Heat oil a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and let cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until broccoli is warmed through.

A frying pan filled with blanched broccoli

step six

Serve! Enjoy with your favorite protein like chicken, roast turkey, or steak.

A white plate full of broccoli with a spoon on the side.

Blanching For Freezing

Blanching is also a great way to prep broccoli for freezing. Here’s how:

  1. Cut, blanch, and dry like indicated in the recipe.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a separate sheet pan. Arrange blanched broccoli in a single layer on the pan.
  3. Place sheet pan in the freezer until pieces are frozen.
  4. After the broccoli is frozen, remove from the sheet pan and place in a freezer bag. Return to freezer until ready to use.


A white plate with lemon wedges on it and broccoli.

If you want to take the flavor in another direction, try:

  • Reheating in a skillet with sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Warming with butter and drizzle with cheese sauce
  • Using in a stir fry
  • Topping with melted butter and lemon juice
  • Tossing with bacon and garnishing with parmesan cheese

Top 5 Healthy Side Dish Recipes

  1. Jamaican Curried Cabbage With Coconut Milk
  2. Miso-Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots
  3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  4. Broccolini with Red Onion
  5. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

The Best Way To Cook Broccoli

This simple process will turn anyone into a broccoli lover. Even those who think broccoli has a bitter taste will enjoy blanched broccoli. Give it a try, share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see. Or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.

A white plate with lemon wedges on it and broccoli.

Super Simple Blanched Broccoli Recipe

Author: Kate
This tried and true blanched broccoli recipe tastes good and is good for you! Turns your broccoli into the stuff you swoon over at restaurants. Here’s how to make perfect broccoli to add to any meal.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 93kcal



  • Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice cubes then filling it with cold water. Set aside.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water boil over high heat. Add the tablespoon of salt and the broccoli and blanch until a knife goes through easily, but a fork still meets some resistance, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Drain broccoli through a colander then submerge in the ice bath.
  • Once broccoli is cold, line a baking sheet with paper towels and place broccoli on the baking sheet and pat dry.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until broccoli is hot about 1-2 minutes more.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve.


  1. Make-ahead: Blanch the broccoli (through step 4) up to 3 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Variations: Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and herbs to customize the flavor of the blanched broccoli. See post for ideas. 
  3. Frozen broccoli: Frozen broccoli does not have to be blanched before cooking.
  4. Overcooking: Don’t overcook the broccoli during the blanching process, as it should still have a slight crunch when you remove it from the ice water bath.


In support of this small business, Kate’s Best Recipes earns revenue in a few different ways. Several sponsored posts are published each month. I also earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products I link to— there are a few of those links in this post. I only feature items I genuinely love and personally use on a regular basis. This commission is an arrangement between the retailer and Kate’s Best Recipes (readers never pay more for products). This income allows me to run the site. Thank you for reading!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating