5-Minute Skillet Broccoli {Three Ways!}

This easy skillet broccoli side dish is super tasty and takes less than 10 minutes to make proving that a good side dish should be simple and totally stress-free.

Skillet with broccoli and Parmesan cheese.

Can we talk side dishes for half a second? 

I know seeing a recipe for “skillet broccoli” pop up in front of your online face may not be the most exciting thing in the world, and trust me, I wish I was actually staring at a decadent ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie recipe, too, but side dishes aren’t all bad.

And they are kind of important if you are a menu planning nerd like me. Here’s how the side dish situation usually goes down around here. {Alternate title: keep your expectations low.}

White bowl with skillet broccoli and Parmesan.

Weeknight dinners are really straightforward. A main dish (very possibly leftovers at least once a week). And one (maybe two-ish) side dishes. And I use the term “side dishes” very loosely. Many nights we’re talking things like: cottage cheese, sliced cheese, cut up fresh fruit, fresh veggies with ranch, applesauce, crackers, etc. 

I am all about simple, simple, simple side dishes. Believe it or not, as much as I love to cook, there aren’t any angels singing hallelujahs at my house during the dinner hour. It’s usually kind of chaotic and rushed even with the best planning efforts in force, and I don’t have any extra energy to fuss around with elaborate side dishes (I’d much rather save that energy for dessert – ha!).

The one thing I’m kind of particular about is having a couple vegetables present at dinner – either embedded in the meal (like Shepherd’s Pie or Chicken Pot Pie or vegetables in a soup like this minestrone) but mostly as a substantial side dish. I feel like it is good for kids’ souls (and adults too) to come face-to-face with vegetables on a regular basis.

Some variation of these roasted vegetables easily happens multiple times a week, and thrown together green salads, no recipe required, are also a popular veggie side dish. 

Another quick side dish we love and turn to often are these skillet green beans. Because I’m often giving side dish suggestions to you guys (have you ever noticed the “what to serve with this” section right before the recipe for main dishes??), I wanted a placeholder for an equally yummy, but more importantly, equally tasty skillet broccoli recipe.  

Skillet with crisp tender broccoli.

This easy skillet broccoli side dish is so fast, you may not make another side dish ever again. And the flavor! Pretty amazing for something so quick and simple. It’s due in part to heating up the bit of oil in the skillet until it’s piping hot so the broccoli sizzles when it hits the pan. Those golden brown spots scream YUM! A quick splash of broth boosts the natural flavor of the broccoli…

…and then you can choose how to dress it up! I’ve given three flavor variations below – each very delicious. Parmesan. Lemon. Sesame. 

So, yeah, while this may not be the most exciting recipe in the world, I’m hard pressed to minimize the excitement when I’ve literally been guilty of snitching almost the whole pan of this delectable broccoli before it even hits the table. 

Also, BIG HINT, this cooking method works great for cauliflower and asparagus, too. 

One Year Ago: Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken + Veggies Dinner {30-Minute Meal}
Two Years Ago: Rock Salt Roast BBQ Honey Chicken
Three Years Ago: Pressure Cooker Dulce de Leche {Stovetop vs. InstantPot}
Four Years Ago: Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix
Five Years Ago: Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

5-Minute Skillet Broccoli {Three Ways!}

5-Minute Skillet Broccoli {Three Ways!}

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 6 cups broccoli florets (about 15-16 ounces)
  • Pinch of coarse, kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (see note)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Add the broccoli in a mostly single layer and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let the broccoli "roast" in the hot skillet for 30 seconds or so and then give it a good stir. You can let it keep browning for a minute for more flavor or move on to the next step.
  2. Pour in the broth, immediately cover the skillet with a lid (or foil), and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the broccoli simmer for 2-3 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Add additional time if you want the broccoli more tender.
  3. Remove from the heat, add seasonings to taste (additional salt or variations below), and serve.

Notes

This recipe can easily be halved in the same size or smaller skillet. Just make sure you have a lid to fit (or use foil in a pinch!). You can also use water in place of the broth; there won't be quite as much flavor so taste and add salt, if needed. I haven't tried this with frozen broccoli.

VARIATIONS: 1) Parmesan (sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top after the lid comes off the broccoli before serving), 2) Lemon (squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the top of the cooked broccoli and grate a bit of lemon zest over as well), 3) Asian-vibe (drizzle 1 tablespoon sesame oil over the cooked broccoli and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds).

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe