roasted broccoli | confections of a dietitian

As a dietitian, I am always trying to find ways to get people to eat more vegetables. The problem is, usually these people do not eat a lot of vegetables because they do not like the taste. Depending on how vegetables are cooked, I’d have to agree with them. Mushy, overcooked carrots, green beans or broccoli are not high on my list of delicious foods. This post isn’t going to tell you how to make every vegetable taste good, but I am going to share how one vegetable went from “meh” to “I want to eat this every day” in our house. That vegetable is broccoli.

crispy lemon garlic broccoli | confections of a dietitian

Before I begin, I want to highlight some of the health benefits of broccoli. It is a nutrient dense food with only 55 calories in one cup. Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamins C, K and folate and a very good source of many other nutrients including fiber, potassium and Vitamin A. These nutrients also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as support eye health, counter act skin damage and aid Vitamin D metabolism. In a nutshell, we should all eat more broccoli! But let’s not eat steamed or par-boiled broccoli that is cold before it makes it to the table. Let’s eat this crispy, roasted, garlic broccoli.

crispy lemon garlic broccoli | confections of a dietitian

Colin and I discovered this recipe a little over a year ago and broccoli in our house has never been the same. Bite sized pieces of broccoli are tossed with oil (I’ve been using grapeseed oil recently), garlic, red pepper flakes and salt before being roasted, with a squeeze of lemon juice added at the end for added brightness. The broccoli pieces get crispy and toasted as they roast in the oven, taking them from mediocre to outstanding. Who knew that roasting broccoli would make me wish I had gotten two heads of broccoli so I didn’t have to share?

roasted broccoli | confections of a dietitian

This dish comes together faster than the oven can preheat, so it’s a great option for weeknights. I never have a problem putting it in the oven at the same time as other dishes, which makes it even easier too. With a broccoli dish that’s as quick and delicious as this, you’ll never have a problem finishing your vegetables again.

Roasted Broccoli

Category: Recipes, Side Dish

Servings: 2 servings (or 1 if you don't want to share)

roasted broccoli | confections of a dietitian


  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of quarter of a lemon, to finish


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the stem off of the broccoli, as close to the crown as you can. The crown should naturally break into some large florets. Cut these into two or three medium size pieces. Divide the remainder of the crown into medium size pieces as well. To avoid a larger mess and losing a lot of broccoli tops, cut up through the stem of the broccoli and use your hands to separate the tops (rather than cutting down through the tops).
  3. Cover a medium size baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle one tablespoon of oil onto lined baking sheet, rolling it around to ensure it is evenly coated.
  4. Toss remaining oil, salt, red pepper flakes and garlic with brocolli florets in a mixing bowl until florets are evenly coated.
  5. Spread broccoli on prepared pan, making sure to scrape out any garlic or seasonings left behind in the bowl onto the pan.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip and move pieces around for even cooking.
  7. Continue roasting for 5-15 minutes, checking and stirring every 5, until broccoli is toasted and charred to your liking (the pictures above were taken after 20 minutes total cooking time.)
  8. Once broccoli is removed from oven, sprinkle lemon juice over broccoli and stir to distribute. Serve immediately.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Nutrition Panel: Serving Size: 1/2 head broccoli Calories: 87kcal Carbohydrate: 6g Fat: 7g Protein: 2g

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