Lemon Parmesan Broccoli


I have to admit sometimes I feel guilty posting a simple recipe on my food blog.

Do people go to a food blog to look for an easy recipe, like Lemon Parmesan Broccoli? I am not sure, but I know that as a busy Mom I go looking for these types of recipes sometimes a lot.  I enjoy conquering a long, complicated recipe, but unfortunately my reality is that some weeks there just isn’t enough time in a day or energy for that matter.

Hopefully someday I will have more freedom to cook throughout the week and have the energy to do it.  I have realized that I need to accept the fact that I work 40 hours a week, have an energetic 18 months old (I wish he could pass his energy on to me) to chase around and spend time with, not to mention those day to day things like laundry, cleaning (BOO), finding time for exercise and so on.

This recipe is for all of those people that like a 10 minute side dish, that tastes delicious.


Even though I am busy, cooking healthy is important to me. I try to always serve a vegetable and/or salad with our meals (sometimes getting my husband and son to eat them is challenging).  If you can spice these dishes up or add a little citrusy zest they disappear a lot faster.

This Lemon Parmesan Broccoli is a healthy side dish that we make a lot.  I really enjoy the light lemony flavor mixed with a little garlic.  When I saw this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine I knew it would be a winner in my house (and not just because I love lemon). I think broccoli tastes great steamed with a pinch of salt or even raw (yup, I love it) but I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me on that (including the two people I cook for).

broccoli text

Lemon Parmesan Broccoli takes about 10 minutes to make and there are usually leftovers (great for the little ones throughout the week). I like to steam my vegetables; they are crisper that way and have more nutrients but feel free to cook the broccoli however you desire.

Lemon & Parmesan Broccoli

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 3-4

Lemon & Parmesan Broccoli is a quick and healthy side dish with a light lemony-garlic flavor.
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets (5 cups raw)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (2 for less garlic flavor)
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind (lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh shaved Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash broccoli, cut into florets and place in a steamer. Steam, covered, for about 4-5 minutes or until crisp but tender (don’t let broccoli overcook or you lose a lot of the nutrients. It should be a bright green color).
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Remove broccoli from steamer and place in a large serving bowl. Add oil mixture, rind and juice to broccoli and toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle broccoli with salt to taste and Parmesan. Serve warm or keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
For the lemon zest use the yellow side (rind or peel) of the lemon and use a zester or grater to grate the rind. I do not melt the Parmesan on the broccoli but you could let it sit on the hot broccoli for 5 minutes and this should melt it. If you really want it to melt you could quickly heat it in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

What are your favorite quick and easy side dishes or vegetables?


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    • A Cedar Spoon says

      I totally agree, like your roasted cauliflower that looked so yummy! If I could spend everyday in the kitchen I would–hopefully someday I can work that into a job! :) Thanks for stopping by.

  1. says

    I also love broccoli raw. So crunchy. Mike hates broccoli. He seriosuly throws a temper tantrum when I make it. But, he begridgingly eats it. He eats it first thing and like wolfs it down! I don’t even think he has time to taste it. hahaha! Nothing better than a quick veg with a bit of lemon and of course cheese!
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    • A Cedar Spoon says

      My husband (also Mike) would NEVER eat raw broccoli. Ha. The thought of that makes me laugh..BUT I can get him to eat this so I guess I have to settle for that.

    • A Cedar Spoon says

      Thanks! Yes, these are perfect for a busy night and you can just let the broccoli steam and go about your meal which is nice.

  2. says

    I usually roast the broccoli with very similar ingredients. It gets a nutty flavor besides the deliciousness of the parmesan and lemon. Everyone loves it, including the kids.

    • A Cedar Spoon says

      Roasting is a great idea…I actually haven’t roasted broccoli but I do cauliflower a lot. I have to try it out!

    • A Cedar Spoon says

      I agree– you have to have a lot of these healthy recipes that you can easily throw together throughout the week. I am always looking for new, tasty ways to make veggies!

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