easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

This easy Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon is one of my favorite go-to ways to jazz up simple steamed broccoli and my children absolutely love it! It’s naturally gluten-free and low carb too!

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

Last week, I was having one of those dog doo on the shoe days, getting a little too bent out of shape for my own good about dumb stuff like blue #1 in the only wasabi peas that they carried at Hannaford and oh my goodness could this line at UPS be any longer. Hi my name is Katie, I have a furrowed brow and I am from the town of grouch city.

Then my friend told me she had unexpectedly lost her family member to a freak car accident. He had died the night before and she had gotten the call that very morning. She was barely holding it together. I was immediately brought back to earth and reminded to keep all the little things in perspective. To focus more on the positive amazing wonderful things I have in my life and to not sweat the small stuff.

When I got home, I had planned to work on my ever mounting pile of things to do, but all I really wanted to do was cook and take some pictures. So I made my daughter’s favorite broccoli recipe with lemon and broccoli. It is so easy it doesn’t require a lot of patience or brain power or skill for that matter. Perfect for my mood. And the smell of cooking garlic is enough to get even the grouchiest people out of their funks.

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

Buying and Storing Broccoli 

When is Broccoli in Season?

Broccoli, while available commercially year round, is actually in season in mid to late summer and into the fall. It is cold hearty and can withstand frost. 

Buying Broccoli at the Grocery Store

  • I recommend that you look for broccoli crowns because they have less stem so you waste less.
  • While I do like broccoli stems for their crunch in certain recipes, in this one I prefer the florets because they soak the lemon garlic sauce up.
  • Make sure the broccoli is not limp. Broccoli comes packed in chipped ice to keep it fresh. If you see droplets of water on it, that’s a good sign that the produce department just put it out, or that it is getting sprayed by the automatic system. Both are good signs.
  • Avoid any bunches or crowns that are black or yellowing- this is a sign that they are over the hill. 

Buying Broccoli at the Farmers’ Market

It is not common to see broccoli crowns at Farmers’ Markets. Instead the broccoli is often bunched with stems attached. You’ll often notice that it has more tender leafy greens along the stems. This is normal. Just keep in mind that you may need to buy two bunches, to get 5 cups of florets, as you’ll end up with stem waste. Save the stems to make slaw. 

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

You may also see Sprouting Broccoli which doesn’t look like a broccoli head or crown, instead it is individual thin stalks with florets. See photo above. This recipe would work just fine with sprouting broccoli or broccolini. Broccolini and Sprouting Broccoli are similar in appearance, but they are not the same thing. Either works, but chop the stems into 1-inch lengths. 

Storing Broccoli

When you bring broccoli home, make sure it is not excessively wet and then store it in plastic in the produce drawer. It should stay fresh up to a week. 

If your broccoli is limp, let it soak in a bowl of cold water for 45 minutes. It will firm up nicely. 

Can I Steam Frozen Broccoli?

The texture of frozen broccoli is too limp to use for steaming. When broccoli is frozen the water in the cells expands, and bursts the cell structure. So when it is thawed out, it is mushy. Frozen broccoli is better used in recipes like my Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli or Mashed Broccoli with Garlic. 

How to Make Easy Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Steam The Broccoli

Steam it in a large pot over boiling water with a steamer basket. Make sure the water level is below the line of the broccoli. Cover and steam until it is just tender.

Meanwhile Make the Garlic and Lemon Mixture

  1. Chop the garlic, you’ll need a whole tablespoon full!
  2. Then sizzle it in hot olive oil in a small skillet. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too brown, then transfer it to a big bowl to stop it from cooking any more.
  3. Add in the lemon to cool it down.
  4. Then you can add in the zest, salt and pepper.

Mix and Serve

Once the broccoli is done, add it to the lemon mixture and toss it to coat. Serve it immediately.

Steps To Make Steamed Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

1. Zest lemon.

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

2. Juice the lemon and chop the garlic

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

3. Steam the broccoli in a pot set up with a steamer basket

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

4. While the broccoli steams, cook the garlic in olive oil in a skillet.

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

5. Scrape the garlic and oil into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

6. Add the broccoli and toss to combine.

Make Ahead Instructions

This broccoli can be made ahead, but the lemon will cause the broccoli to turn yellowish. While it will still taste great, it won’t be pretty.

To Meal Prep This Recipe:

Cut the broccoli into florets and seal in a ziplock bag or glass resealable container. The lemon can be zested and juiced. If desired, you can combine the juice and zest in a jar. The garlic is best chopped and cooked at the last minute

More Easy Vegetable Side Dishes

  • This has quickly become a super popular recipe here: Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard. 
  • The technique for this Simple Steamed Cauliflower with Herbs is similar to the one here today. As is this recipe for Simple Brussels Sprouts with garlic. 
  • If you have never tried Roasted Turnips, this is a great place to start. 
  • Speaking of roasting, these Roasted Carrots are super sweet and delicious as are these Roasted Parsnips. 
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t point out this Simple Skillet Green Bean recipe. If you love this broccoli recipe, you will want to try these green beans too! 

easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

If you love broccoli these are a couple of my favorite broccoli recipes:

  • This make ahead Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole is great for holiday meals. 
  • In the summer I make this Healthier Broccoli Salad with Cheddar and Bacon regularly. It’s inspired by my grandmother’s recipe. 
  • If you love cheese as much as we do in this house try my Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower recipe. 
  • And once you fall in love with the flavor of lemon and broccoli, you’ll definitely want to make this Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon and Asiago. 
  • This Healthy Cream of Broccoli soup from Skinny Taste looks phenomenal. 
  • I love making recipes like this Healthy Crustless Broccoli Cheddar Quiche for a make ahead breakfast. 

Thank you for reading. Please come back and leave a review and star rating if you make this recipe. It helps so much and I really appreciate it! If you’re new here you may want to sign up for my email list or follow me on instagram to keep up with the latest posts.

Happy Cooking!



easy broccoli with garlic and lemon

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