Free: Healthy Freezer Meals Recipe EbookGet It Now
Sometimes the simple meals and recipes taste just as good as the complex ones, don’t you think? Take this sauteed broccoli recipe with garlic, for example. It’s incredibly easy, only 3 ingredients, and tastes just as amazing as roasted broccoli… but much faster and just as simple. It’s also a lot like sauteed zucchini — the edges get perfectly browned and caramelized!
I love serving sauteed broccoli as a side for a low carb dinner (or any healthy dinner), or as part of a meal prep lunch. It’s easily adapted to any type of cuisine… meaning there’s never a bad time for it! Add it to chicken (I love it with a pan seared chicken breast) or a top sirloin steak recipe, and you’ve got yourself a full meal that’s both healthy and delicious.
Why You’ll Love This Sauteed Broccoli
- Bursting with garlicky flavor
- Perfect crisp tender texture
- Browned, caramelized edges
- 3 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Ready in just 12 minutes
- Naturally low carb, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan
- Versatile, healthy side dish
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for sauteed broccoli with garlic, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – Like any sauteed vegetables recipe, you need oil to saute broccoli. I like to use olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil or coconut oil as an alternative.
- Garlic – For the best flavor, use 4 cloves of fresh garlic. If needed, you can substitute it with 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic for convenience. You can also simple sprinkle the broccoli with garlic powder instead, but this sauteed broccoli recipe is much better with fresh.
- Broccoli Florets – You can buy a head of broccoli and cut into florets, or buy pre-cut florets for convenience. I highly recommend fresh broccoli, but you can use frozen broccoli if that’s all you have, though the texture will be more mushy. (If you have frozen broccoli, air fryer frozen broccoli turns out better.) Make sure your broccoli florets are all the same size to ensure even cooking. Cut them in half if they are too large. You want maximum surface area, which will also give you those nice, browned edges.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – Or kosher salt also works instead of sea salt.
TIP: Broccoli will shrink by about 25% when cooking.
If you start with 4 cups of raw broccoli, you’ll end up with about 3 cups of sauteed broccoli.
How To Saute Broccoli
This section shows how to make sauteed broccoli, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Brown the broccoli. Add the broccoli florets, and season with salt and pepper (or any other seasonings you want). Increase heat to medium-high heat. Sauté broccoli until it starts to turn bright green and brown a bit.
- Steam until tender. Add water to the pan. Cover with a lid and let the broccoli cook until crisp tender. Check the sauteed broccoli for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
TIP: Cook off all the water.
If any water remains when you remove the lid, continue to saute the broccoli until it evaporates.
Sauteed Broccoli Recipe Variations
This is a super easy sautéed broccoli recipe and I kept it simple, but you can customize it to add other flavors:
- Herbs – Add dried herbs, such as basil or thyme, together with the salt and pepper. Italian seasoning also works great!
- Lemon – Add a splash of lemon juice after removing from heat, or even lemon zest for a more intense flavor.
- Spicy – Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even a drizzle of sriracha for a kick.
- Cheese – Toss with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese after cooking, or sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and cover to let it melt.
- Balsamic – Instead of using only water to steam, combine it with a splash of balsamic vinegar. You can also drizzle with balsamic glaze at the end.
- Store: After you saute broccoli, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also use the leftovers in a chicken bacon ranch casserole.
- Meal prep: If you’re planning on making it ahead of time or for meal prep lunches, cook for 1-2 minutes less so that when you re-heat it, it doesn’t get mushy! Portion into meal prep containers with your favorite protein (see serving ideas below!).
- Reheat: Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F, in the air fryer, or pan fry on the stovetop.
- Freeze: Cool completely, then spread the sauteed broccoli florets onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Then, transfer to a zip lock bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can thaw in the fridge overnight or just place in the oven from frozen.
What To Serve With Sauteed Broccoli
Pan fried broccoli recipes pair well with any main dish! Here are some delicious options to try:
- Chicken – Pair with juicy grilled chicken thighs or baked chicken breast for a fast, simple meal. For a more classy combo, try it alongside marry me chicken or spinach stuffed chicken breast.
- Steak – I like to pair these veggies with a juicy air fryer steak for a quick and easy meal. In the summer, it’s great with a grilled steak.
- Pork – Cook juicy air fryer pork chops while you saute broccoli on the stovetop for a fast meal, or bake up a pork tenderloin for a melt-in-your-mouth dinner.
- Seafood – You can’t go wrong with any fish recipe. Try air fried tilapia, flaky air fryer cod, quick broiled salmon, or even lobster tails for a special occasion.
More Easy Broccoli Recipes
Broccoli is so easy to add in recipes! If you like sauteed broccoli, you might also like these easy dishes:
Sauteed Broccoli (Easy Recipe With Garlic)
This easy sauteed broccoli recipe with garlic creates perfect crisp-tender florets with browned edges. Ready in just 12 minutes!
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the broccoli florets. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Increase heat to medium high. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli starts to turn bright green and brown a bit.
Add the water. Cover with a lid and cook for 3-5 minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender. (There will be steam under the lid.) Remove the lid and if there is any water remaining, stir fry for another minute until it evaporates. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
This helps other readers and also helps me continue to provide free recipes on my site.
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
Want to save this recipe?Save This Recipe Now
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂