Simple Go-To Roasted Broccoli Is a Healthy Side Dish That’s Consistently Delicious

Looking for a go-to healthy side dish? This roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon is simple to make, and consistently delicious.

Closely cropped overhead horizontal image of an oblong white ceramic dish of roasted garlic, with a lemon wedge and a head of broccoli on a blue cloth surface, printed with orange and white text in the middle and at the bottom of the frame.

Cooking can be overwhelming at times. And by cooking, I mean the whole process from finding a recipe to actually making it.

While it’s great that so many recipes are just a few clicks away, the vast number of available meal options is daunting. How do you know which one to pick? Or where to find all those ingredients?

And then, once you finally decide on a recipe to make and gather up all your ingredients, there’s the next challenge of assembling it correctly.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quickly read through a recipe, started mixing and cooking, and then found out that I skipped or misunderstood an important step.

However, even if the recipes that I make at home don’t always turn out exactly like they’re supposed to, I usually end up with something that’s delicious nonetheless. But not always… And this can be frustrating.

Vertical closely cropped shot of a white serving dish of roasted green cruciferous vegetable florets with a wedge of lemon, on a bluish-purple fabric surface.

As much as I love experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes I just want a recipe that I know is going to be good.

Sure, trying out a new recipe on a random night is fun, but trying out a new recipe when guests are coming over can be stressful. That’s where having a few go-to dishes bookmarked is key.

What makes a recipe a “go-to?” For me, these recipes are ones where I usually have most of the ingredients on hand and the rest are easy to find at a local supermarket, the prep is simple and quick, and most importantly, the final dish is consistently delicious.

Overhead horizontal shot of a white oblong ceramic serving dish with two handles, filled with a roasted broccoli side dish with minced garlic, lemon zest, and citrus juice, on a bluish-gray cloth surface.

So, let me tell you why this roasted broccoli is deserving of the “go-to” title:

First, most of the ingredients are pantry staples: olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The remaining two ingredients – broccoli and a lemon – are easy to find year-round at your local grocery store.

Next, the required prep time isn’t extensive. This broccoli recipe can be assembled and ready to roast in 10 minutes or less – depending on how long your oven takes to preheat. Plus, all you need is a cutting board and a mixing bowl, so dishes are minimal.

Save yourself even more time at the sink by covering your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone Silpat pan liner.

Finally, consistency is important. With minimal ingredients required, the main factor for ensuring consistent results each time will be your oven. Having an oven thermometer can be super helpful for getting consistently roasted broccoli every time, as you don’t have to guess at whether your oven is actually at 450°F.

Vertical closely cropped image of a round white ceramic serving bowl of roasted green cruciferous vegetable florets with a wooden heart-shaped serving spoon, next to a wedge of fresh lemon and a green broccoli crown on a bluish-purple fabric surface.

If you don’t have a thermometer, there’s a chance that your oven may be hotter or cooler than 450°F, regardless of what your oven display is telling you. As a result, you may find that your broccoli takes more or less time to get perfectly roasted, but not burnt.

While steaming or blanching broccoli are simple options, roasting them (and any veggie!) is even better to me.

Sure, salads can be pretty and pressure cooking only takes a few minutes, but I just love the slight sweetness that roasting brings out in fresh vegetables – even broccoli.

While I know I just went on and on about how great having simple recipes is, if you’re feeling adventurous, an easy way to change up the recipe a bit is by using an infused olive oil. Making an Italian meal? Use a basil-infused oil. Serving this alongside roasted chicken? Try a rosemary-infused oil.

Whatever you decide to serve it with, you can be confident that this roasted broccoli will turn out slightly crispy with a lovely hint of garlic and lemon each time that you make it.

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Horizontal image of an oval white serving dish with handles, filled with roasted broccoli with a wooden spoon for serving, on a blue fabric surface with a wedge of yellow lemon.

Go-To Simple Roasted Broccoli

  • Author: Kelli McGrane
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Looking for a go-to side dish? With hints of lemon and garlic, this roasted broccoli is family-friendly and incredibly versatile.


  • 1 1/4 pounds broccoli crowns, rinsed and cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place broccoli florets in a large mixing bowl. Add minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat.
  3. Pour broccoli onto prepared baking pan in a single layer.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly charred, tossing halfway through.
  5. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: roasted vegetables, broccoli, lemon, garlic, side dish

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Preheat Oven and Measure Ingredients

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Vertical image of a marble surface topped with two heads of green broccoli, two small glass bowls of olive oil and minced garlic, and two lemon wedges, with brown kitchen cabinets in soft focus in the background.

Measure out all of the ingredients and chop broccoli into florets. Zest a lemon, then juice it, and get out your trusty garlic press to mince the garlic.

Step 2 – Combine Ingredients

Vertical overhead shot of a glass bowl of broccoli florets, with lemon wedges and small glass bowls of olive oil and minced garlic, on a white parchment paper surface.

Place florets in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

A hand is about to sprinkle minced garlic from a small glass bowl onto a pile of green broccoli florets below. The broccoli is in soft focus in the background, on a baking pan lined with white parchment paper, with a few slices of lemon.

If you don’t have a pepper mill, it may be time to invest in one.

Vertical image of a hand pouring olive oil from a small glass bowl onto broccoli florets and minced garlic, on a parchment paper-lined baking pan with lemon wedges.

Grinding your own fresh pepper will provide a more flavorful product than the pre-ground stuff, guaranteed!

Overhead closely cropped vertical shot of a large glass mixing bowl of broccoli florets and minced garlic, on a kitchen countertop.

Toss well to combine.

Step 3 – Place on Prepared Pan and Roast

Pour the seasoned broccoli onto your prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. If any oil remains in the mixing bowl, use a rubber spatula to pour it on top of the vegetables.

Horizontal head-on image of roasted garlic on a pan lined with white parchment paper.

Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until slightly charred, tossing halfway through.

Step 4 – Remove from Oven and Serve

Horizontal image of an oval white serving dish with handles, filled with roasted broccoli with a wooden spoon for serving, on a blue fabric surface with a wedge of yellow lemon.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the cooked vegetables to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

A Go-To Side Dish

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times over the past two weeks, and it’s been consistently delicious. Crispy without being burnt and slightly lemony, the broccoli is delicious hot off the baking sheet, but it’s even better as part of a larger meal.

As the main flavors are garlic and lemon, this is a versatile side dish.

The first time I made it, I served it as part of a grain bowl with a miso dressing. The brightness of the lemon balanced the savory miso dressing perfectly.

The second time, I served it with chicken parmesan, and again, the broccoli was such a good complement to the heavier main dish.

It’s also good pureed into a vegetarian soup! Our roasted broccoli soup is hearty and robust, with savory caramelized notes from the roasted veggies!

Overhead horizontal closely cropped image of roasted broccoli florets in a white ceramic serving dish with rounded edges and a ceramic handle, on a blue cloth surface with a wedge of fresh yellow lemon.

Be sure to check out these other go-to side dishes on Foodal:

Let us know what dish you serve this broccoli recipe with in the comments below. And if you loved this dish, make sure to rate it!

Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 29, 2010. Last updated: April 5, 2022 at 14:46 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.

About Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Kelli McGrane is a Denver-based registered dietitian with a lifelong love of food. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition science from Boston University. As a registered dietitian, she believes in the importance of food to nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. Nutrition is very personal, and you won’t find any food rules here, other than to simply enjoy what you eat.

19 thoughts on “Simple Go-To Roasted Broccoli Is a Healthy Side Dish That’s Consistently Delicious”

  1. Oh my god I’ve been to that Whole Foods and it is incredible. I cannot wait to go back. I could spend the ENTIRE DAY there.

  2. The thing I love about roasted veggies is that they always taste like it’s bad for you. So for me, it’s a wonderful indulgence, but not. Like my roasted asparagus last night. Deliciousness!

  3. First, congratulations on your etsy store. We can struggle through it together! I just favorited your shop 🙂 Second, Spring is here! Trust it. Third, why was there no Whole Foods when I lived in Chicago. Wah. There were no nice stores back then! Finally, yum at all things– especially the broccoli, which I made recently too. Addictive!

  4. LOVE this. and congrats on etsy and tumblr. if you go to, you can set up/connect all your accounts and do ONE POST. love that.

    this broccoli? why make so little? Lol. we’d eat that in a heartbeat. YUM!

  5. I just joined tumblr as well and am still trying to figure some things out but it seems rather nifty. I also made roasted broccoli-we must be on the same wave or something!

  6. Good for you, Shanna! I just saw your Etsy shop–amazing photos! I think you may have just inspired me to get my own!

  7. Ah, roasted broccoli…it’s the only way to go! Try it with Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, and lemon juice if you really want to go crazy. 🙂

    And I’ve been considering a blender purchase for smoothie-making purposes, but the photo/description of your concoction may put me over the edge. Sounds like the perfect breakfast!

  8. Shanna, great post! This post reminds me that I have to do some spring cleaning around my blog as well… So much going on that I haven’t said on twitter (or anywhere, for that matter), and I need to share it all.

    Congrats on your first sale, by the way! 🙂

  9. Just wanted to stop by & let you know that I nominated you for a couple of bloggy awards. Your posts are always beautiful, thought provoking, & yummy! Check out my blog for details!

  10. Anne, It could very easily become my new addiction. If it hasn’t already.

    Aw, thanks, Kim! I am happy, so it’s great the post seems that way!

    Jessica, You and me both! Truly.

    Tim, You are right about that.

    Joanna, Yayyyy!

    Niki, Oh I so agree. Love them, love them.

    Redmenace, Awesome! I favorited yours too. 🙂 And next time you’re in Chicago, prepare to be blown away, that’s all I have to say about it. Wow.

    JessieV, This was TWO big bunches! The broccoli shrinks when it roasts, I swear! I could easily eat an entire head of it. Maybe I did.

    TheDabble, Love that you made broccoli and love that we’re on the same wavelength!

    Elizabeth, Oh do it! Do it! You are so crazy talented. Let the world enjoy!

    Misty, I’d love to hear how it went!

    Maddie, OK, listen to me: get a stick blender/immersion blender. It is the best thing ever. Not only does it make it SUPER easy to make a one-person smoothie every morning (with just one little wand thing to clean) but it also changed my world of soups.

    Flavia, Thanks so much!

    Kamran, Spring clean away! Would love to hear all that’s new with you!

    TJ, Would you believe it was 80 DEGREES here today? I am still smiling.

    MaryAnn, You are so sweet. Thank you for thinking of me and for the kind award!

  11. Whoa, hot kombucha tea?! I know I’ve never seen that, and I even looked for it at the Whole Foods in Naperville, where’d you find that? I drink ginger tea by the same brand, it’s goooood. Also, WOW, the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park does look amazing. That’s probably where you found the tea.

  12. Haha, Alicia, it’s right in the tea section at the one by work, a brand by Yogi, and you’ll see it says kombucha on it. The flavor has plums and something else in it… I actually left my box at Adam’s apartment, but I’ll try to bring you some to try soon!


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