Sautéed Broccoli

published Jan 8, 2022
Sautéed Broccoli Recipe

This simple recipe is sure to become a go-to side dish for any night of the week.


Prep5 minutes

Cook14 minutes

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sautéed broccoli in a pan
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

If you’re looking for a simple vegetable side dish that pairs with anything you’re serving, sautéed broccoli can’t be beat. Grab a few heads of broccoli, a couple of garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and in under 20 minutes you can have a wholesome, family-friendly veggie ready to go.

Should I Steam Broccoli Before Sautéeing? 

No! My preferred method is actually the opposite: Sauté the vegetable first, then pour a bit of water into the pan, cover, and steam until perfectly tender. If you do the steaming first, the broccoli will be too wet to brown nicely.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

How Long Do You Sauté Broccoli? 

Broccoli cooks fairly quickly. You’ll sauté the stems for a couple of minutes first, since they take longer to become tender. Then you’ll add the florets, sauté for a few more minutes, and finally steam the broccoli for a few minutes mores. Total cook time is under 15 minutes.

What Should I Serve with Sautéed Broccoli?

Sautéed broccoli pairs with just about everything. Here are a few of our favorite main dishes to serve it with.

Sautéed Broccoli Recipe

This simple recipe is sure to become a go-to side dish for any night of the week.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 14 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    broccoli (about 3 medium)

  • 3 cloves


  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/3 cup



  1. Trim 1/2-inch off the woody, dried-out bottom of the stems of 1 pound broccoli and discard. Cut the florets away from the stems and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the stems into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon until you have 1 tablespoon juice.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat until shimmering. Add the stems, season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook undisturbed until the bottoms start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the florets and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the florets are browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour 1/3 cup water over the broccoli, cover, and steam until the broccoli is bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, drizzle the lemon juice over the broccoli, and toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.