5 Ways to Serve Broccoli.
If you don’t like broccoli, don’t worry it’s still a good post.

I come from a long line of canned food eaters. Canned peas, canned corn, canned green beans, even canned asparagus which has the consistency of baby food after it’s been digested, expelled and sat upon for a day or two.

When I first moved into my house 16 years ago I loaded up my cupboards with canned peas, canned corn and canned green beans. Because that’s how my mother did it, that’s how her mother did it, and that’s how everyone who was raised on white bread and cellophane wrapped cheese slices did it.

Over the years I started to draw the line on canned goods and bought less and less canned stuff and more and more fresh.

Of course, now I’ve gone and hopped right over the canned vegetable line, landing smack dab in the middle of a raised bed. I don’t just eat fresh vegetables, I now grow them right in my front yard. Like a hippie.

It’s only a matter of time before I throw out my blush in favour of painting flowers on my face.

Even with all the vegetable growing I do, the one thing I don’t grow is broccoli. Unless you spray it and cloak it and babysit it, broccoli tends to get cabbage worms, a caterpillar-like thing. Often they’re large enough to wear hats, but because they’re the same colour as broccoli they’re impossible to spot. Unless they’re wearing their hats of course, which they rarely do.

Almost every time I go to the grocery store I buy a head of broccoli, not because I’m so in love with broccoli, but because there are so many things you can do with it.

So if you’re stuck in a broccoli rut, read on. There’s more to broccoli than over boiling it. (I also come from a long line of over boilers)

I have for you 3 side dishes, a soup and a salad. All easily made with one head of broccoli and 2 or 3 more ingredients.

Broccoli W- Parmesan

Ena Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) has what appears to be a FANTASTIC roasted broccoli with

parmesan cheese recipe.

For a quick version, no recipe needed, just do what I do most of the time …

Toss your broccoli florets in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast at 400 F until tender crisp and slightly caramelized.  Drizzle with olive oil and immediately throw a handful of shaved parmesan cheese on top.  (I shave mine with a potato peeler)  Done!

Broccoli Salad

Salad With Feta

Oops!  The Broccoli w/ Feta recipe doesn’t mention “ALMONDS” in the ingredients.  It should include a handful of slivered almonds.



These are my go-to Broccoli salad recipes for the summer.  Most broccoli salad recipes out there have way more ingredients and usually include bacon.  Broccoli salad is one of the few things I don’t enjoy bacon in.   Do you know what I do like bacon in?  My belly.

Broccoli Soup


I’ve mentioned before how Broccoli soup is my go-to quick meal.  Add in a grilled cheese sandwich and watch their faces light up.


Broccoli W- Lemon


Roasted broccoli all on its own is delicious, but if you want you can add a squeeze of lemon at the end.  It’s a great way to brighten up the roasted flavours.

Toss broccoli florets in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, roast on baking sheet in 400F oven until tender crisp and caramelized.  Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil and finish was a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  


Broccoli Fritters


This looks like a great way to use up leftover cooked broccoli to me.  Deb of Smitten Kitchen fame came up with this when she mashed up some leftover broccoli her toddler didn’t eat, mixed it in with some parmesan, egg and a couple of other things then fried them in a pan.  The Broccoli fritter was born.

As soon as I have a kitchen that acts more like a kitchen and less like a migraine trigger I’ll be giving these a try.

As soon as I have a kitchen I’ll be giving a lot of things a try.  Maybe even canned peas.  Or yodelling.  Or taxidermy.  Who knows.  It’s a new kitchen.  Anything can happen.

It may even me inspire me to make some cabbageworm hats.

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  1. Lola says:

    These are great recipes for those of us who like broccoli, but your link said, “If you don’t like broccoli, don’t worry it’s still a good post.” . . . how is that? My husband hates broccoli, so I was hoping for something that he might like. What exactly is it about this post that would be a “good post” for people who hate broccoli? I must be missing something, because I have tried all these cooking methods, and my husband still hates broccoli, so he would not think this is a “good post.”

  2. Angela Stephens says:

    Hi Karen,
    Love Love Love …Your blog, your sense of humor, your mom, your sister and her pink suede toolbelt and your beautiful chickens. But your killing me with with broccoli (which I love) and elephants (which I love too). I need to see your kitchen…pleeeaassse!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well, not much has happened in the past few weeks so there hasn’t been anything to show. Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about you. ~ karen!

  3. KTC says:

    I have to argue here, Karen. Broccoli salad must include bacon.

  4. Mel says:

    Smoke detector is just outside the kitchen. I always forget to put the fan on until the alarm goes off. Hm, maybe I should put it on at the start and see if it makes a difference. And I’ll pull out my manual and see what it says about checking/changing the temperature. Thanks Pam’a!

  5. Debbie says:

    Love, love, love broccoli! I especially love that I can spell it correctly. We eat broccoli fresh, cooked, cold, and every other way – especially stir-fried with homemade teriyaki sauce (so easy), beef or chicken and whatever other veggies are in the house.

    Roasted broccoli rarely makes it to the table once out of the oven. Who cares?

  6. christyl says:

    Ah yes, I remember my first time growing broccoli. There is nothing like seeing rows of beautiful, organic, heriloom broccoli in the garden only to get them inside and notice a worm, then another, then another, and a billion more. Talk about soul crushing!

  7. Laura Bee says:

    Thanks! Great to have them all together. Pinning it & making fritters soon. My daughter loves corn fritters & broccoli. Snacks on it at the grocery store…it’s not by the pound so it’s ok :) These should be a hit!

  8. Mel says:

    Okay so dumb question: how do you toss anything in olive oil, put it in the oven at 400 degrees and not have the house go hazy and the smoke detector wail like a banshee? I want to try the roasted broccoli and I love your sweet potato fry recipe but it’s a hassle to disconnect our hardwired smoke detectors each time we want to put oil in the oven. It happened with my electric and it happens with the gas oven we got recently.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mel – I’ve never heard of that! The only time my oven has ever smoked is if I’ve dripped bacon grease onto the bottom of it. Maybe someone else could shed some light onto this. :( ~ karen

    • Pam'a says:

      First thing I wonder is about the placement of your smoke detectors.

      Second thing I wonder is if you have an exhaust fan.

      Third thing I wonder is if you’ve checked your oven temp with a thermometer. I don’t think oil should smoke at 400, or even 425 degrees. I had to do this with my oven and found it was way off. To my utter amazement, I pulled out the manual and there’s a way to adjust the thing!

      Good luck. :)

  9. Serduszko says:

    Karen.. Thanks for the broccoli recipes.. I’m headed to Costco soon and will pick some up to try the roasted broccoli tonight Quick question,. For the broccoli salad.. Is that raw broccoli or steamed? I’m a broccoli novice here. :)

  10. Erin says:

    Yummy looking recipes. Just what you want on a SNOWY day like today – a nice plate of green.
    We’ve pretty well mastered the art of growing broccoli without worms the last couple years. Like you said, floating row cover is the ticket. It’s not attractive to look at, but keeps the cabbage whites from landing and laying eggs. Throw a soaker hose in there and you’re golden. We grew broccoli the size of a human head. A big human. It was delicious and caterpillar free.

  11. Rondina Muncy says:

    I grew up on my mother’s canned veggies also. I think the attachment to canned foods came from my grandmother. Having canned food was a blessing at one point because fresh wasn’t available like it is now. Especially, when food was out of season. Now I can go down to the local market and buy veggies from all over the world, so most foods (except Meyer lemons for some reason) are available year round. My mom moved to the city where she could have purchased more fresh veggies, but didn’t out of habit. However, my dad grilled on Friday’s and always used fresh.

    I love broccoli and really look forward to incorporating some of these into my picky little recipe collection. You can also grill the broccoli instead of roasting it. This works for asparagus too.

    I’m wondering about the worms. Have you tried putting some little wood posts around the plants with some netting? I think it would be worth the trouble since you are just cutting enough off the plant for lunch or dinner.

  12. Fifi says:

    Hey, Karen ! We all love broccoli in this house , even my 3 year old thank God!

    Question…..are the 2 salad recipes served with raw broccoli? Can’t say I enjoy raw, hard broccoli, like I do cooked and soft…maybe because I don’t have a full mouth of teeth lol! So , I think I would make those salads with steamed broccoli, or I buy a big frozen bag and nuke some when I need it, therefore eliminating the vile smelling rotting broccoli I had forgotten in the back of my fridge for 2 weeks !!
    And hey, btw…what is the matter with you, Karen?…I think you are slipping!…..where’s the broccoli recipe with tons of ooey gooey cheese sauce poured over top, ya can’t forget the beloved cheese sauce!. ..do you have a fave u can share…I just grate a cheddar /mozz mix over hot broccoli and let it melt over the heat.

    And …anyone reading this…..Karen is as funny or even funnier in person than she is on her blog !! (Remember your humble beginnings at Channel 14 , Karen???…..the olden days of yore…I do miss your off camera silliness, good times!)

  13. Kate says:

    Karen, my comment has nothing to do with broccoli (although for the record, I love broccoli and these recipes look delicious)- I just had to tell you what happened to me this morning.

    I finally got around to reading the April issue Ladies’ Home Journal, and I flipped the page to see… your painted fireplace logs! You may have told us about being in LHJ, but if you did it slipped my mind. I recognized the photo immediately, but didn’t see your credit at first. Let me just tell you, I. WENT. NUTS. I thought somebody at LHJ had poached your idea and your photo, and I was about to raise Hell six ways from Sunday. I was already planning my attack strategy when I happened to glance at the next page- where they credited you and mentioned TAoDS.

    So, um… congrats on the LHJ shout-out! Also, know that if anyone tries to steal credit from you, you have an army of readers ready and willing to go from zero to Hannibal Lector in an instant. I’m not sure if that’s comforting or terrifying.

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Comforting. Very, very comforting. I haven’t seen it yet (I’m not even sure I can find The Ladies Home Journal in Canada) but I hope it looks good! ~ karen

  14. Tara says:

    You know, I almost didn’t click the link to this post when I came across it in my Feedly. I mean, I have plenty of things to do to broccoli. Then I saw it was from you, and I knew that even if I didn’t need the recipes, the post itself would be worth the read.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Tara! That’s actually my goal. Make it readable even if you aren’t interested in (making broccoli, raising chickens, cleaning gutters, clipping your cats toenails). ~ karen!

  15. Barbie says:

    Lub me some broccoli! Thanks for the recipes….
    Looking forward to your kitchen being done and watching you get inspired by it! You will have a ball!

  16. Ev says:

    Just got back from saving the “Smitten Kitten” fritter recipe. All of these sound good, and thanks for sharing.
    The soup would go well with the prime rib I just know you will have for your kitchen’s grand opening! We are all invited, right?

  17. ~gloria says:

    I, too, refuse to grow broccoli for the same reason. Therefore, should you decide to go into the lepidopteran millinery trade, I suggest the ideal cabbage worm hat include a tiny, remote-control exploding device hidden in the hatband. Disguised as a feather. They’re known to be suckers for a feather in the hatband.

  18. Jeannie B says:

    I think I’ve probably eaten a bunch of those caterpillars over the years. It was only when I was once, washing some broccoli that came from a friend’s garden, that I noticed something move. It was exactly the same colour as the broccoli flowerets. Once cooked, you’d probably think that it was part of the plant.
    The only thing about broccoli that I don’t like is the “stink” when it’s cooking. Same with brussel sprouts and cabbage. If you’re serving it to guests, it’s best not to cook it before they come through the front door. Because, that’s what they’ll remember, no matter how good, the meal.

  19. christine says:

    They all sounds very delicious. I am going to try. I love veggie salads. Also, I think you could substitute cauliflower for any of these! Thanks, Karen.

  20. Miriam says:

    Not only did I come from a “canned peas and carrots” home (mix it with mayo and call it salad), but my mother was a notorious over-boiler who would then mash up the broccoli and make it into overcooked fritters. I’m sure they would be much nicer if the broccoli wasn’t overcooked to begin with. I have soup issues: soup is only for when I’m sick.

  21. Deva says:

    I will make the soup today. My favorite broccoli recipe is Smitten Kitchens Spaghetti with broccoli cream pesto. It’s wonderful. I have followed your blog for a few years and I am always interested in what you say. I’m an old lady and you get me thinking about interesting things and doing a lot of them too!

  22. Robin says:

    Here’s a really good way to cook broccoli to the perfect crispness. Put in a pot, place some water in the pot, about half way up to the amount of broccoli that’s in the pot. Place on stove, lid on, full heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, steam coming out of the pot, trying to blow the lid off kinda steaming, cook for 30 – 60 seconds more. Drain and serve. YUM! Crisp, cooked just enough broccoli that still has colour and nutrients to it! Not over-cooked, English style, mother-in-law type vegies!

    Works for Brussel Sprouts too!

    A good summer recipe for a salad – Raw broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes chopped up. Toss with herbs, vinegar of choice and Parmesan cheese. Really delish!

  23. Jane says:

    Our fav is roasted broccoli on the BBQ. We have a metal BBQ basket with holes. Toss the cut up broccoli with olive oil and chopped garlic and roast for about 15 minutes, turning regularly. If I’m feeling lazy I just put it in the basket, spritz with olive oil spray and sprinkle with garlic salt. It’s delicious either way.

  24. Susan S says:

    I grew broccoli years ago and would soak it in water with vinegar or salt to get those green caterpillars to drop into the water. Even doing that some of them clung to the broccoli so I’d have to inspect the florets carefully and poke them off. Turned me off of growing my own broccoli. At least with cauliflower you can see the little critters. I still love broccoli but will never grow it. I respect broccoli growers a lot! I’m going to try the broccoli fritters. Sound delicious.

  25. Kelly says:

    Times have definitely changed: i come from a long line of canned veggie eaters too but that’s probably because canning used to be the ultimate convenience food when people really did have to ‘eat local’ rather than have asparagus imported from Mexico in February. my grandma’s recipe book goes so far as to list cans of things in the ingredients. i’m just not sure what size a 5 cent can of tuna might be!

  26. Diane S says:

    I L-O-V-E broccoli! I learned to make it different ways when my son began loving it at (yes) the age of 2. He preferred it over fries. Which, of course, I was pleased and proud Until one day while shopping we had, shall I say, an incident in the produce aisle. I always kept him in the cart for various reasons known to everyone who has ever had, watched, observed, or avoided children in a retail establishment. He was begging to get down and I decided that eventually I was going to have to give him some space to learn. Otherwise in 10 years we would look rather odd with him in the cart. So…down he went. I watched for a while after telling him that he had to keep at least one hand on the cart at all times. Yeah…well…I was picking out a head of lettuce and started hearing some snickering behind me. I looked back and we had an audience. I immediately looked down and my son was looking up at me…chewing…something. I asked what he had in his mouth and with a full mouth he responded “broccoli Mom”. I immediately looked to the counter and noticed that every head of broccoli along the edge had a single little bite taken out of each one. The roar of laughter behind me ensued and as I turned and asked if anyone wanted to come over for broccoli that evening. I ended up buying 10 heads of broccoli and was immediately thrown into finding ways to use it…fast. Because, anyone who has battled that odd smell in the fridge three days after buying a head of broccoli only to find it was that head that also grew legs was the culprit understands.

    So…thanks for a few I didn’t have in my arsenal of broccoli recipes! These look amazing!

  27. carol says:

    I roast mine with sesame oil!! Fantastic!!!!! and lots of garlic. No vampires in my house!

  28. Beckie says:

    plant old fashioned marigolds (the ones with a heavy scent) in your veggie beds and a lot of insects won’t bother sticking around

    keeps Japanese beetles off my roses and cabbage moths out of my cruciferous crops

    • Karen says:

      I’ve done that Beckie and actually haven’t had any luck with marigolds stopping anything, lol. I must have very brave bugs. ~ karen!

  29. Tigersmom says:

    I may have to try some of these ideas for broccoli. My side dishes are horribly boring. My main dishes are only slightly better. : /

    My son has put in a request for taxidermy. Just sayin’

  30. Su says:

    Fritters! I don’t have a toddler either – just a 64 year old guy thing but I’m going to try them…. thanks for the idea!

  31. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    I will attest to Karen’s amazing broccoli soup! It’s delicious and quick. In fact I made it for lunch yesterday, so I smiled to see this post today. I like it best with Rapunzel vegetable boullion, the herbed version. Plus cream and a bit of cheddar…the fancy version.

  32. I’d make the fritters except I don’t have a toddler

  33. Carol Hogan says:

    My kids who think they hate all vegetables, like broccoli lightly steamed with cheese sauce (just a can of Campbell’s Nacho Cheese soup, heated without water.)

    They also love broccoli salad, which is basically Waldorf Salad (the apple one) with the addition of raw chopped broccoli, white cheddar and sometimes bacon.

    I add a dollop of sour cream to my broccoli soup. Anything is enhanced by the addition of sour cream.

    • Kelly says:

      check the sodium content on the campbell’s soup. i was shocked at how much it contains. might inspire you to whisk a cheese sauce together which is totally easy – just melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan, whisk in a couple of tablespoons of flour, slowly dribble in a cup or so of milk (or more if you want thinner consistency), then throw in a cup or more of grated cheese. Wholesome, healthier and tastes better too!

      • Fifi says:

        Kelly… thanks for the sauce idea, that sounds easy and yummy! gotta see if my little one will eat it that way, but I am just plain glad she likes broccoli at all ;-)

  34. shuckclod says:

    My DH grows broccoli and cauliflower. We do not get any bugs in them. I never boil, only steam them. They are good roasted too. We treat out BBQ like an oven, so I cook them in a pan out there. Our onions are almost ready to dry. The carrots looked great but were 2 inches long :(. DH is getting ready to put the tomatoes in the ground. I only use can green beans and corn. Fresh is the way to go.

  35. Pam'a says:

    I am reminded of a time, when my son was in grade school, that we had the backyard neighbor kid over and he stayed for supper. I gave them both broccoli, and the neighbor kid ate it…and ate it… and ate it some more. Cleaned me out.

    Next day, his mother called. She wanted my recipe because her kid couldn’t stop raving about it. I said, “Do you have a pencil ready?” Yup. She did.

    “Cut up some broccoli. Put it in a dish with a little water. Cover it with plastic and microwave for two minutes. Drain off the water and put butter on it.”

    LOL… One of my finer recipes.

  36. Sharman says:

    Most people I know won’t eat the stalks raw but if you peel the outer skin off they are sooo delicious – raw or cooked!

  37. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I was going to give you my broccoli salad recipe but there is bacon in it..yours sound good..I think I could go for some of those fritters..

  38. TucsonPatty says:

    I love broccoli and didn’t know I did until I was forced to eat it with a boyfriend and his parents many years ago. They served it with mayonnaise which was a deal breaker for me, too, as I grew up with Miracle Whip and wasn’t having any of that other nasty stuff. Needless to say, the mayo is the only way to go now, and I love my broccoli straight up, also.
    I’m going to try all of these broccoli recipes and I’m never going to grow it myself. Just sayin’.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  39. You have shed a whole new light on broccoli! I might even try the fritters. One standby in my house is sauteing broccoli in a pan with garlic, olive oil, and anchovies. Beats canned veggies every time.

  40. Shelley says:

    Fritters OH YES. Taxidermy NO.
    Please don’t try taxidermy in your new kitchen. (See, I read the whole thing.) Canned pea yodelling fer sher, but not taxidermy, k? :D

    Googling cabbageworm hat now

  41. dana says:

    Im with you on the canned veggies. Most are intolerable like sauerkraut (tinny) & carrots (not sweet at all like fresh ones). A few I do like is canned small peas from Aldi, their canned tomatoes & potatoes, & their canned baked beans. By the way—Im in zone 6 & want to grow the mouse melons this year. Theres a few things we do not grow in our garden: cauli & broccoli (worms! Ew..) & carrots (so labor intensive. We love boiled but still firm broccoli with browned butter & roasted garlic, or broccoli with lemon. Our 5yr old is finally over the phase at the grocery where if she saw us put broccoli in the cart she would cry BROCKY until we gave her some. We used to need to hide it under something.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Things could be worse on the brocky front for you. She could be screaming CHIPS! OR BOOZE! Kay maybe not booze.

      I love growing carrots even though I’m completely terrible at it because it’s so great to go out in the middle of winter and wrestle a carrot out of the ground. I grew cauliflower last year and actually had great success with it. I wasn’t positive I’d be able to pull it off, so when they grew absolutely perfectly it was thrilling! omg. I’m such a dork, lol. ~ karen!

  42. Stephbo says:

    I hate, hate, hate broccoli, but I love the roasted/Caramelized version with lemon juice and Parmesan. Yummy!!

  43. Mary Edmondson says:

    I forgot to thank you for the Gravatar link. Yay? I now have a picture instead of a generic avatar. Thanks Karen. I love all your posts & think I have a bead on when you usually post. Last thing before falling into bed?

    • Karen says:

      Midnight Monday through Friday. That way the up late people can read something before they go to bed, and the up earlies are guaranteed to have the post waiting for them no matter when they rise. :) Now go tell all your friends to read my blog. Mama needs a new television, lol. ~ karen!

      • Laura says:

        I love the midnight posts! I get an e-mail with a new post, read it and head to bed. If the post is a few minutes later… I stay up waiting.

  44. Mary Edmondson says:

    I’m going to try every one of these recipes – so easy for a non-cook like I’ve managed to be for 74 years. But sometimes, my cold cereal meals just don’t cut it & the bf is not available for eating out or eating in at his place. Did I mention I’m lazy? Actually, I have just never liked to cook.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary – I’d go for the broccoli soup first then. It’s EASY. You don’t even have to measure. Just chop up a head of broccoli (including the softer portions of the stems) put it all in a pot and cover it with a good chicken broth. Once it’s cooked, blend it, throw some shredded cheddar cheese and croutons on top and you’re done! If you want to get fancy you can add a big splash of cream and stir it in at the end too. ~ karen!

      • Lynne says:

        You can do exactly the same thing with cauliflower. If you want to go crazy, sauté some onions first and then proceed with the basic plan.

  45. Fritters! What a great idea!

    • Karen says:

      I thought so! I can’t wait to try them. I can’t wait to have a range to try them on. I can’t wait for a lot of things, lol. ~ karen!

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