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This recipe for Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon Zest and Chili flakes is our “go-to” broccoli recipe -simple & full of amazing flavor! Vegan, healthy and can be made in 15 minutes!  With a video. 
 This recipe for Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon Zest and Chili flakes is our "go-to" broccoli recipe -simple, yet full of amazing flavor! Vegan, healthy can be made in 15 minutes!

It really doesn’t get any easier than this. Or healthier. Or tastier!  This 15-minute Broccoli recipe with garlic, lemon zest and chili flakes is constantly on repeat at our house.  We never tire of it! If feeling fancy a little drizzle of truffle oil is also delicious here too- a fun way to elevate if entertaining.

Simple, clean, ingredients that are incredibly addicting and good for you. It’s a very basic recipe, I hesitate even calling a “recipe”,  but here it is anyway because it really is one of the things we feast on at home, quite regularly. It goes with so many things!

If having guests over, you could fancy it up a bit, using broccolini or broccoli rabe, like we do when we cater events. But when at home, I usually stick with plain old organic broccoli- stems and all.  It’s a little less expensive and I always feel more satisfaction making something tasty out of the seemingly ordinary.

15-Minute Broccoli | 60-sec video

broccoli on the counter

Cut or break broccoli into bite-sized florets.

making broccoli florets
Feel free to add the stems, slicing them very thinly.
broccoli stems being sliced

How to steam broccoli:

  1. When steaming broccoli or any vegetable, make sure the water line lies below the veggies.  When placing the steamer basket in the pot, the water should not come up over it.
  2. Place veggies that have been cut into roughly the same size in the basket, and bring to a boil on high heat.
  3. Cover, lower heat to medium-low, and steam for roughly 5 minutes. Check to see if they are fork-tender and if so, they are done.
  4. Taking care to make sure your veggies or broccoli florets are roughly the same size will ensure even doneness.
Prepare a steamer basket over a  half-inch of water.
setting up a steamer basket
Place broccoli in the basket, cover, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, check at 4-5 minutes, and continue cooking until broccoli is fork-tender.
steaming broccoli
While broccoli is steaming, saute chopped garlic in a skillet with olive oil and optional chili flakes.

sautéing garlic and chili flakes

Add lemon zest and turn off the heat.

garlic, chili flakes and lemon zest sautéing in a pan

When Broccoli is done steaming add it to the skillet with the olive oil and garlic, and toss to combine, seasoning generously with salt and pepper.

add broccoli to the pan

Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

 This recipe for Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon Zest and Chili flakes is our "go-to" broccoli recipe -simple, yet full of amazing flavor! Vegan, healthy can be made in 15 minutes!

Serve it up! This 15-minute broccoli side dish goes with so many things!

This recipe for Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon Zest and Chili flakes is our "go-to" broccoli recipe -simple, yet full of amazing flavor! Vegan, healthy can be made in 15 minutes!

Studies at John Hopkins University show that broccoli is an incredible anti-oxidant. It truly is a superfood. In fact, it is one of the most nutrient-dense veggies available!

Research is showing that broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies) may actually help us mend damaged DNA and reverse our age, and even prevent cancer.

The reason for this is that broccoli includes a magic compound called sulforaphane.

So, kids, eat your broccoli. 😉



More broccoli recipes you may like:

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Vegetarian Side dish recipes

The Best 15-Minute Broccoli!


This recipe for Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon Zest and Chili flakes is our “go-to” broccoli recipe -simple, yet full of amazing flavor! Vegan, healthy can be made in 15 minutes! Updated 1/2022


Units Scale
  • 4-6 cups Broccoli Florets (or broccolini) 8 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter or ghee)
  • 410 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • generous pinch chili flakes (Aleppo or Urfa Biber are nice here)
  • zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: truffle oil


  1. Tear or cut broccoli florets into small florets, roughly the same size to ensure even doneness.
  2. Pour 3/4-inch water in a medium pot and place a steamer basket over top. (Water should not cover the bottom of the basket). Place broccoli in the basket and cover with a lid. Bring water to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer covered, until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Test with a fork.
  3. While the broccoli is steaming, heat oil in a large skillet. Saute garlic over medium heat until fragrant, add chili flakes. When garlic is golden add lemon zest, give a stir and turn the heat off.
  4. Using tongs, add the steamed broccoli to the skillet, season generously with salt and pepper and give a gentle stir.
  5. Taste, adjust salt, pepper, chili flakes. Add a little more olive oil if you like, so broccoli is nicely coated.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Feel free to add a drizzle of truffle oil, to elevate this!


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 96
  • Sugar: 1.6 g
  • Sodium: 324.6 mg
  • Fat: 7.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: best broccoli recipe, vegan broccoli recipe, steamed broccoli, how to steam broccoli, vegan side dish, healthy broccoli recipes,

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    1. Ok, thanks Ernie! I’ll have to thry that next! Glad you are enjoying!

  1. I love the recipe, going to substitute broccoli for brussel sprouts. Going to give it a try.

  2. I used dried ghost pepper flakes from last years garden.
    The recipie is simple and delicious.
    I used a microwave steamer, 2 minutes. Put in pan and sauteed a bit. The broccoli was done perfectly.

    1. Thanks Ernie- glad you gave this a go and appreciate the comment and rating!

  3. Another awesome dish!!!
    I love the mix of spicy chili flakes with the lemon.
    So beautifully prepared and yet so easy to make.
    Thanks again Sylvia 😁

  4. I agree with other comments that it was amazing what a difference lemon zest made! I have squeezed fresh lemon juice over broccoli for years; but the sauteed garlic and lemon zest take it to another level…….not to mention the pepper flakes. Easy enough for a weeknight but tastes like a weekend date night! Thank you for this simple, fast and delectable broccoli dish. Best broccoli ever!!!

  5. Simple but very healthy dish.
    This is the quickest way to prepare a WFPB dish or Vegan. Also excellent side dish.
    I have this 3-4 times per week. I also squeeze some lemon juice, I find it adds to the olive oil flavour, and then dip some bread in the remaining juices. Yum

  6. This is pretty much how I’ve made my broccoli for years. However, I speed things up a bit by “steaming” wet/washed broccoli in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes before dumping it into the skillet.

  7. Fantastic, simple so tasty. This receipe will be a standard in my repertoire, thanks so much for the inspiration.

  8. This looks so good! I cannot wait to try. I need to get a steamer but I do not think they are that expensive? I found your blog through pinterest and repinned this on my website: Hope that was ok! Linked it right back to you 🙂

  9. I almost forgot that I saw this recipe a while back – I do not really like broccoli. But then I do believe in healthy food and variation so the other day I found myself in my kitch with a broccoli in my hand. I followed your instructions and … i was AMAZED! How can something as simple as lemon zest make such a difference!! Thank you for sharing!

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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