My Friends Use To Laugh At Me...And THEN I Made This Broccoli Recipe

February 15, 2011   42 Comments

Do you think Snack Girl is done trying to convince you to eat broccoli? I will NEVER give up (really).

Roast Broccoli Recipe

Back in January, I took a stab at convincing broccoli haters to eat broccoli again with a broccoli and peanut sauce recipe.

But, I am not done.

I kept working on the "how to make broccoli delicious" concept and came up with a broccoli recipe that includes a SECRET ingredient that I will now share with you.


Mind blowing, no?

Have I made broccoli unhealthy by adding some sugar? Well, if you believe that one teaspoon of sugar - a mere 15 empty calories - is going to ruin your 2 pounds of broccoli - then I feel for you.

The idea is pretty simple. You add sugar to the broccoli so that when it roasts you get a sweet flavor (and it caramelizes a bit). And, yes, add some olive oil too!

Also, you need to cut the broccoli lengthwise (like in the photo) and cook it a very high heat. This way, you seal in the lovely flavors and the result is unlike any broccoli you have ever tasted.

Sweet, crunchy, aaaah.

Be sure to follow the exact directions below. My husband neglected to preheat the baking sheet (and he used a glass casserole dish) and the broccoli didn't get soft enough for the kids to eat.

I guess he doesn't trust me :)

Make a whole bunch of this broccoli and keep it in your fridge for snacking. You can add this to your favorite salad as a welcome change or just create an entire salad of this recipe.

My 6 year old devoured this broccoli and asked for more! (I was thrilled.)

It can be served cold, room temperature, or hot and would make a great party snack.

This recipe boasts 337% of your daily value of Vitamin C and 9% of your daily value of Iron. Broccoli is just a fantastic source of nutrients!

Have you tried adding sugar to broccoli?"


Roasted Broccoli Recipe

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(makes 4 servings)

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2 pounds broccoli crowns
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
ground black pepper (optional)


Preheat oven to 500F. Cover the bottom of a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (not necessary but aids in clean-up). Place sheet on the lowest rack of the oven while oven heats up.

Cut crowns into 4 wedges LENGTHWISE (see photo above). Place broccoli in bowl and add olive oil, salt, sugar, and pepper to taste (optional). Toss to combine. When oven is heated, place broccoli on baking sheet and roast for 11 minutes (until slightly browned). Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Per serving: 141 calories, 7.6g fat, 16.1 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g protein, 5.9 g fiber, 366 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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We eat brocoli at lease 3x week. I also like to add a little dill and garlic . Very tasty

I love roasted broccoli. I actually don't think I would like it with the sugar at all. I like the natural caramelization that happens when it roasts. I just throw it in the oven without anything on it - no butter, oil, salt or pepper - and roast it till it is a bit charred as above. Then I toss it in a bowl with a bit of butter, salt and pepper and put wrap on it to finish steaming a bit. Delish! I've converted a lot of people to broccoli this way.

We roast broccoli at least once a week - it's my favorite veg ever! Excited to try it with the little bit of sugar added! Thanks for the tip!

I love roasted broccoli...never tried it with sugar,though. I always add a touch of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Delish! Cauliflower is also delicious cooked this way!!! It gives it an entirely different try it if you don't usually like it. My kids love both cooked this way. You can also sprinkle some parmesan cheese on both for even more flavor. Yum!

Interesting... I will have to try this for sure! I also love broccoli though. I hope you win over some broccoli haters.

Last night I was sauteeing my asparagus and I was thinking, "man I can't beleive my mom used to boil this stuff... Blah!" Veggies taste so much better roasted or sauteed. My first thought was well maybe my mom was trying to keep it light and healthy, but then I remembered that we ate the boiled asparagus with a glob of mayo. Talk about unhealthy.

I've been roasting broccoli this way for years! High heat + veg = carmelization. YOU DON'T NEED THE ADDED SUGAR! It unnecessarily raises the carb count on a low carb veg. (carbs/sugar = fat!) The roasting brings out the natural sugars. Try all your veg this way, cauliflower is amazing, asparagus, root veg of course.

These all sound great! I've roasted asparagus (on the grill) but never tried broccoli. I'm going to try this tonight! Wonder how it would be on the grill (once summer comes)? Anyone ever tried it?

I love broccoli--so much so that I plant 3 different varieties every summer. Since my granddaughter is going through a new phase where she "hates" broccoli, I'll roast it with a little sugar and see what she says--thanks for the great idea. I also press a lot of garlic and add it to the oil/lemon vinaigrette,so it sticks to the broccoli and roasts, too. Muy Bueno!

This looks great. I love roasted broccoli, but I have never tried it with sugar - I am not sure it even needs it. I usually just add olive oil, salt and pepper... sometimes lemon juice/zest or balsalmic vinegar.

I love roasted Broccoli!! Never had it with sugar though! My kids eat it steamed, raw and roasted so I guess I'm lucky! They've always eaten it. I may try it with the sugar just to see how it tastes! Thanks for all your hard work!

This sounds yummy... as for boiling asparagus or anything else, I did find a great one-step pasta method... what I do is basically BLANCH the asparagus by boiling the pasta, turning off the fire underneath, adding asparagus for a minute, adding some spinach and/or arugula until it wilts (less than a minute) and then pour everything into a strainer. A little butter/olive oil mixture, a bit of truffle salt and pepper, and some romano or parmesan and it's heaven! It works with broccoli or cauliflower too although with those you have to add them the last minute of the pasta cooking as they're thicker.

I do a similar thing with asparagus. Saute it (not long in order to keep that crunch!) in a little olive oil and honey (or sugar) over pretty high heat. So good!

I am the one who asked if some of my students could interview you, and I wanted to send you my food ethics blog with all the student blogs listed on the blogroll.


I adore broccoli, but it makes me gassy :( Can I try it with cauliflower?

You absolutely can use it with cauliflower, Daniella! It's delicious!I've never tried it with sugar, though. The salt and olive oil give it a yummy nutty flavor! Enjoy!

Very cool. I've never tried cooking it at such high heat before, will def do so now. I would also suggest to the sugarphobics to try adding splenda or something close instead. I love veggies but can't get my kids to eat most of them, especially broccoli, so I will have to try this on them!

My husband has taken over the cooking duties! I will def show him this. We LOVE broccoli and this sounds divine :)

love broccoli no convincing needed. I like to roast, as you did, sans sugar and add lemon juice/lemon zest to it. Delicious. Continue the great work snack girl converting non-broc eaters everywhere.

I love Dr. Weil's recipe to cook broccoli.

Steam in a small amount of water to which you've added 1-2T of oil oil and several cloves of coarsely chopped garlic.

I love brocolli. Try brocolli squash mushrooms eggplant purple onion asparagus all roasted together with a touch of cooking wine and olive oil with garlic and Cajun spices. Add tofu for protein and you've got a meal.

Goodness! Broccoli is my FAVORITE food. Ever. And now I have got to try this recipe. Thanks!

Roasted broccoli is sooooooooooo tasty and good for you. Try dusting it with a little grated or shredded r-e-a-l Parmesan cheese (not from the green shaker) at the end.

If you feel the same way about cauliflower (not crazy about it), subsitute it for the broccoli, only cut it into florets. Sensational!

I haven't tried sugar but have done honey with a little soy sauce and olive oil. Delish! I serve broccoli at least twice a week---I am that big a fan. It's my favorite veggie

I tried it tonight- delicious!

Thank you for this recipe! I was so happy that I happened to have some broccoli, and I tried this recipe right away. It was completely delicious. I was not sure if I would like the sugar, so I made half the recipe with it, half without it, and it was wonderful both ways.

I made this recipe yesterday for an Oscars snack, and found it to be delicious! My husband who HATES broccoli, still didn't care for it. One question - after 11 minutes, the florets were a bit charred, but overall were not that crunchy...wondering if I did something wrong? The taste was still delicious, but I expected them to be crunchier.

Thank you Snack Girl for this article/recipe!

Always loved broccoli, have roasted many a vegetable, but never thought of roasting broccoli, and it's been an epiphany. I've roasted everything from broccoli to brussel sprouts every night this week, and it's all delicious! Can't say thank you enough!

tried this with asparagus too. Equally as yummy!

I love it! I just ate around 2 portions with some leftover whole-wheat pasta and chicken... Uhm, I think I'll just file it under 'a growing teenager girl's body needs more nutrients'...

I made a few additions. Except for broccoli florets I added chopped stems (the thick one without skin), medium onion cut into four wedges (next time I do this I'll make them smaller), skins from two tomatoes (left from making a sauce) and a bit less dark muscovado sugar instead of white sugar. Since heating my so-much-very-crappy gas oven is a pain, I used a toaster oven. It had close to the same temperature, but I baked broccoli for almost 20 min, adding the chicken for the last 5 to heat up. Then I sprinkled some Herbes de Provence over vegetables. They were nicely sweet, though with less crunch than I thought they will have.

Huge thanks for the recipe!

P.S. Sorry for any mistakes, English isn't my primary language.

I wasn't sure if you leave the baking pan on the lowest rack when you actually cook it or if you move it up higher. Please advise and thanks so much for the recipe.

Just made this, it was super yummy (although my 2 year old, who's used to plain old boring boiled broccoli, was not crazy about it) but I think I used too much oil (or rather, not enough broccoli, since I reduced the amount of broccoli to feed just myself and aforementioned 2 year old, but didn't reduce the oil. It was a little drippy. Fail.

Still super yummy though! Gonna try it with some other veggies too.

@Heather -you leave it on the lowest rack. Thanks for the question!

I just made this last night...AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. Thank you for this easy to make recipe.

you've successfully converted me!! making this for the second time this week tonight!

I often make roasted broccoli with oilive oil and sea salt, but never with adding sugar. Well, just tried this and yummmm! Makes it like candy (without the guilt).

Thanks for this yummy looking idea. I'll be getting 2 broccoli shares at the food co-op tomorrow, plus I already have some in my fridge. It's not my favorite food, so I've been wondering how I'll deal with it - besides putting it in a green plastic bag so it will keep forever. (Lisa, you should review the Debbie Myers Green Bags - they are fantastic at making fruits and veges last a very long time!)

This is my new favorite way to make broccoli. My daughter loved it too. Mmm mmm good!

Every Sunday I roast a cookie sheet full of mixed veggies, broc, eggplant, onion, caul, peppers, a real mix and then I have my veggies for all week. Lunch or dinner.

I love broccoli! I will have to give this a try. I've been trying to get my kids to eat more of it.

Just wanted to tell you, Snack Girl, that roasted broccoli has become the IT vegetable at our family holiday dinners now, thanks to your recipe. We roast a couple platters of it, and it all disappears incredibly fast, with people asking for more.

I was intrigued. A broccoli recipe that even a six-year old loves? Adding sugar to broccoli? Really? Well, let me tell you... it is DELICIOUS! I do like broccoli and eat it for it's health benefits, but now I will eat it because it tastes so good and I can just grab it as a snack from the fridge. Thank you, Lisa! Your creativity is amazing!

I love roasted broccoli. This recipe looks delish! I am going to put 2T of sugar on it - because sugar isn't anything to be afraid of. I avoided it for five years only to destroy my thyroid. Bring ooonnnn the sugar, I say! *watchesasthesugarphobesgasp*

I just made this. It is so good! I've done it before without the sugar but I like it with the sugar more.

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