Quick and Healthy Broccoli Side Dish Ideas You’ll Actually Be Excited to Eat
Broccoli with Maple and Pepitas
Maple syrup isn’t just good for topping pancakes and waffles. Try it as part of the sweet-tangy dressing for this healthy broccoli side! Even though the veggies will get a little tender as they cook, this dish still packs plenty of crunch thanks to roasted pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas). You can also spice up this broccoli side dish a bit by adding crushed red pepper flakes.
Broccoli and Cheese Air-Fried Baked Potatoes
Stuffed baked spuds can double as low-calorie broccoli side dish recipes?! Count us in. Give the potatoes a headstart in the microwave while you whisk up the simple cheese sauce. Then slice open the potatoes, pile ‘em high with broccoli, cheese sauce, and a bit more cheddar, and air fry until crispy (just about 5 minutes). No added oil or butter required!
Caprese salad, meet broccoli! After a quick trip to the steamer, mix your fresh broccoli with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and a few chopped basil leaves to make classic caprese salad even more veggie-ful than before. If you’re feeling fancy, you can experiment with adding a little olive oil or a drizzle of your favorite vinaigrette, but this four-ingredient healthy broccoli salad recipe can shine without any dressing at all.
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Less than 10 ingredients and 30 minutes stand between you and a bubbly pot of this surprisingly-healthy broccoli-cheddar soup. Make it vegetarian by opting for vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and keep it uber-light with milk rather than cream or half and half. Any variation you choose will be delightful when you start with steamed broccoli, American cheese, and fresh lemon zest.
Related: Our Best Vegetarian Soup Recipes
Roasting broccoli caramelizes its natural sugars. Add splashes of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, garnish as desired (we’re fans of shaved Parm and toasted pine nuts), and you've got yourself a five-star, must-make-again healthy broccoli recipe in just 20 minutes.
Deli-Syle Pasta Salad
Pass the pasta salad, please! Just like what you would pick up at your local deli (but with the added benefit of being homemade), this healthy broccoli salad recipe is full of cheese tortellini, fresh broccoli, sliced carrots, and sweet peppers. Even when you make your own dressing, this easy side still clocks in at 25 minutes or less. That's even faster than you can run to the store!
Roasted Broccoli with Feta and Chickpeas
Broccoli takes a trip to the Mediterranean when you serve the quick-roasting veggie with chickpeas and crumbly feta cheese. A bowl of this warm broccoli side dish could almost be a light meal on its own, but it also adds extra protein and nutrients to any meal you serve it with. The elements play so well together, the only dressing you’ll need is a drizzle of olive oil.
Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccolini
Like broccoli's tender cousin, broccolini is the star of this garlic-butter-drizzled recipe (regular broccoli would work just fine, too). Salty Parmesan, briny olives, and tangy lemon perk up the flavors in the healthy broccoli side dish. To round out the epic yet easy line-up, crunchy breadcrumbs provide welcome contrast to the caramelized roasted veggies.
If you like to keep your vegetable side dishes simple, this is the recipe for you. A full pound of broccoli and a few scoops of chopped toasted nuts are the starring ingredients, but they also have support from orange zest, orange juice, and melted butter for a super flavorful steamed broccoli recipe. To elevate this dish to restaurant-worthy territory, serve with an orange wedge garnish on the side.
Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Rice
Easy, cheesy, and ready to eat in just 15 minutes. This healthy broccoli-rice “casserole” does it all. Starting with frozen chopped broccoli will certainly speed this side along, but you can also make it a little more from scratch by starting with a fresh head of broccoli and chopping it yourself. No matter how you make it, we definitely recommend sprinkling a little extra cheese on top before digging in, that's what makes it one of our most popular broccoli sides with kids.