Crisp and tender sauteed broccoli with garlic is a versatile healthy side dish you can pair with any weeknight meal. All you need are a few ingredients including fresh broccoli, fresh garlic, olive oil, and lemon. Ready to serve in 15 minutes!

white bowl with sauteed garlic broccoli on a dish towel surrounded by a few ingredients and serving spoons

If you’re looking to serve broccoli as a side with dinner tonight, these garlicky sauteed broccoli florets are quick, easy, and delicious!

While I adore roasted broccoli, sauteeing it takes less time so it’s on the table in 15 minutes or less.

There are two easy tricks to ensure your sauteed broccoli is crisp and tender and evenly cooked:

  • Don’t overcrowd the pan with too many broccoli florets
  • Add a small splash of water to lightly steam the broccoli florets at the end

As a Registered Dietitian, I’m probably one of the few people that gets excited about broccoli. But hear me out!

This recipe features simple, widely available ingredients and just a few steps. It’s an approachable healthy recipe to try.

This garlic sauteed broccoli proves that getting veggies on your plate doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming!

This recipe is vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and serves 3-4 people as a side dish.

sauteed broccoli ingredients measured out

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this side dish. You likely have most of them in your kitchen already!

  • Broccoli: Fresh broccoli is the star of this recipe. When shopping for broccoli, look for firm heads with bright green florets that have no brown or grey spots. For even faster prep, you can also use pre-cut broccoli florets.
  • Garlic: Sauteing involves cooking food over medium-high heat. You will slice garlic for this recipe, since it is less likely to burn, and imparts a robust garlic flavor into the cooking oil and broccoli. The sliced garlic pieces get golden brown and a little crispy – yum!
  • Olive oil: Use regular olive oil for sauteing – it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil, and can hold up the the medium-high cooking temperature. Alternatively, you can use another neutral al flavored, high smoke point cooking oil such as avocado oil.
  • Salt and pepper: This broccoli recipe is simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Lemon: A squeeze of lemon juice at the end of cooking adds a welcome kick of fresh and zippy flavor. And who doesn’t love garlic and lemon together?!

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Large saute pan or frying pan, 12 inches or larger *it’s important to use a large enough pan to allow space for all the broccoli florets to make contact with the surface of the pan. Otherwise, the broccoli will steam too much, become mushy, and lack flavor.
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife, 8 inch
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Visual step-by-step instructions

chopped broccoli florets on a wooden cutting board
1. Chop broccoli into bite-size florets that are roughly the same size as each other, about 1 inch in size.
sliced garlic on a wooden cutting board
2. Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves.
Sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil in a stainless steel saute pan
3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in your saute pan. Cook garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
broccoli and garlic slices being sauteed in stainless steel saute pan
4. Add the broccoli florets and mix everything up. Let the broccoli cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes to it to brown a little. Continue to cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
hand squeezing lemon juice onto sauteed broccoli in a saute pan.
5. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, cover, and cook for 1 minute to allow the broccoli to steam just a little. Then squeeze fresh lemon juice over everything, stir it up, and serve.

What to serve with sauteed broccoli

Keep this recipe in your back pocket, because it’s versatile enough to pair with any dinner recipe. Here are some recipe pairing suggestions from around the blog:

Storage

Store any leftover sauteed broccoli in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until the broccoli is heated through.

saute pan with sauteed broccoli florets surrounded by some ingredients

Broccoli nutrition benefits

Broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable to include in your diet frequently.

It’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

These vegetables contain a powerful plant compound called glucosinolates. These compounds are highly anti-inflammatory and may help prevent certain types of cancer.

One cup of broccoli provides:

  • 2.4 grams of dietary fiber (9% of your daily needs)
  • 2.6 grams of plant-based protein
  • 0.521 mg pantothenic acid (10% of your daily needs)
  • 57.33 mcg folate (14% of your daily needs)
  • 92.5 mcg Vitamin K (77% of your daily needs)

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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15-Minute Sauteed Garlic Broccoli (Easy Side Dish)

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: saute
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Crisp and tender sauteed broccoli with garlic is a versatile healthy side dish you can pair with any weeknight meal. All you need are a few ingredients including fresh broccoli, fresh garlic, olive oil, and lemon. Ready to serve in 15 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 23 tbsp olive oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into bite size florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Few cracks of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 12 tbsp fresh lemon juice


Instructions

  1. In a 12 inch stainless steel saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Add the broccoli florets, salt, and pepper. Stir everything up, then let the broccoli cook undisturbed for 1 minute to allow it to brown a little.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon of water into the pan and cover. Cook for 1 minute to allow the broccoli to steam a bit.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice onto the broccoli and stir to combine. Serve warm.

Notes

Storage

Store any leftover sauteed broccoli in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until the broccoli is heated through.