Garlic Steamed Broccoli

4.60 from 5 votes
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This garlicky steamed broccoli with crispy, buttery panko is an easy 25-minute recipe. A splash of lemon juice and herby parsley brighten everything up for the perfect summer side!

Steamed broccoli with buttery panko and a splash of lemon juice.


Why I Love This Steamed Broccoli Recipe

You’ll make this quick broccoli side for weeknight dinners, cookouts, and gatherings.

  • Beginner-friendly. There are no complicated techniques for boiling the broccoli or making the breadcrumb mixture, making it perfect for cooks of any skill level.
  • Little oil. No oil is needed to cook the tender broccoli, and only a bit of butter is needed to crisp the panko.
  • Convenient. Use fresh or frozen broccoli so you can throw together this easy side on any weeknight.
  • Versatile. Broccoli is an excellent base for experimenting with flavors. Add Alfredo sauce, make it spicy, or top it with lots of melty cheese.
Bowl of garlic steamed broccoli with sliced almonds and a lemon wedge.

The Ingredients

Cooking this steamed broccoli dish starts with gathering some simple ingredients that blend perfectly to enhance the natural flavors of the veggie. The lemon juice adds the perfect amount of brightness!

  • Broccoli – Make sure it’s chopped into florets.
  • Water – For boiling the broccoli.
  • Salt and pepper – I prefer kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
  • Butter – Reduce the salt in the rest of the recipe if you use salted butter.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic or garlic paste are best, but garlic powder will also work.
  • Panko – Regular or Italian breadcrumbs work too.
  • Lemon – You’ll need the zest and juice.
  • Fresh Parsley – This is an optional garnish. Avoid yellow or wilted parsley because it’ll taste bitter.
Boiling the broccoli in a pot.

How To Make Garlic Steamed Broccoli

This delicious broccoli dish requires only a few easy steps to make. The garlic butter adds richness and flavor, and the crispy garlic-panko adds the BEST crunch.

  1. Prepare the broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook it (covered) for 7-8 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain it, pat it dry with a paper towel, and season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside.
  2. Make the panko mixture. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute, until fragrant. Mix in the panko, zest, and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper. The panko mixture should be golden and crispy.
  3. Mix it. Stir in the cooked broccoli and let everything heat up for another 2 minutes.
  4. Serve. Garnish with fresh parsley, serve, and enjoy!

Can You Steam Frozen Broccoli?

Of course! You don’t even need to thaw it. Add 2-3 minutes to the regular cooking time or follow the package instructions.

Angled photo of broccoli with lemon wedges and crispy panko in a bowl.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Steamed broccoli won’t be so boring once you toss it with juicy chicken, melty cheddar, or creamy Alfredo sauce!

  • Make it cheesy. Sprinkle 1-2 cups shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan cheese over the broccoli during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cover the pan and cook until melty.
  • Re-use the pot. To reduce cleanup, once you set the boiled broccoli aside, dry the pot and use it to prepare the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Add crunch. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or cashew nuts over each serving bowl for some nutty crunch.
  • Add protein. Stir leftover Instant Pot Turkey Breast or Juicy Chicken Breasts into the broccoli for a simple side salad. Shredded rotisserie chicken works too.
  • Use leftovers. Process leftover croutons, salted crackers, or toasty bread until fine and crumbly. Use the mixture as the breadcrumbs.
  • Make it creamy. Pour 1 cup béchamel or Alfredo sauce into the pan. Mix it with the broccoli for a creamy side dish.
  • More veggies. Swap half of the broccoli for cauliflower florets.
  • Add heat. Sprinkle 1/4/-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper into the breadcrumb mixture.
Overhead photo of a bowl of cooked broccoli with garlic panko mixture, a lemon wedge, and sliced almonds.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this garlic butter steamed broccoli as a side for all your favorite mains.

Proper Storage

This light recipe is best the day it’s made because the breadcrumbs will stay crispy.

  • Fridge: Place it in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat it: Microwave it in 30-second increments until warm. You can also reheat it in a pan over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly.

More Easy Veggie Sides

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4.60 from 5 votes

Garlic Steamed Broccoli

This easy steamed broccoli recipe with crispy garlic panko, a splash of lemon juice, and fresh parsley is a 25-minute side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds broccoli,, cut into florets
  • ¾ cup water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 whole lemon,, zested
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish
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  • Add the water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cover. Cook for 7 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Drain, pat them dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic to the melted butter and cook for 1 minute or until soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Don't burn the garlic.
  • Stir in the panko crumbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, mix, and stir until everything is well blended and moist.
  • Stir in the prepared broccoli and cook until all is combined and heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.


  • One Pot: If you’d like to minimize cleanup, simply set the boiled broccoli aside, dry the pot, and then use the same pot to prepare the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Use Frozen Broccoli: Opt for frozen broccoli for convenience; there’s no need to thaw it beforehand. Simply extend the regular cooking time by 2-3 minutes or adhere to the package instructions.
  • Storage: Store the steamed broccoli in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 882IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. mojgan says:


    better to cook brochli without water .i mean steam it while cooking rice for dinner .and then marinade it with this best recipie i have ever seen.
    thanks katerina

  2. Judy says:

    This was good, except for the breadcrumbs – they’re pretty soggy, and I think I’ll try this recipe again, omitting them. Otherwise, I used about half as much butter and no almonds, but the taste was good!

  3. Sherry says:

    This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    Gorgeous photos and this broccoli is going on my must-try soon list!

  5. Megan {Country Cleaver} says:

    Ben’s favorite way to eat any vegetable is steamed – my favorite way to eat any vegetable is with garlic. This is totally a win win for both of us! How gorgeous!

  6. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Broccoli has never looked better, I love the garlic and bread crumbs!

  7. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    I LOVE garlic so very much. When I eat it (according to my husband) I smell like it for days. Who cares. It’s totally worth it for delicious garlic 🙂

    1. Anne says:

      Just chew fresh parsley. It takes away the lingering smell of garlic – just a stalk and leaves will do the trick!

      1. Katerina Petrovska says:

        Hi Anne! That’s my mom’s advice, always, and it does work! 🙂

  8. foodwanderings says:

    Katerina, gorgeousness. We’ve been eating bunch of veggies recently. I usually roast never steam. I take it back one veggie I used to steam is broccoli. Garlic-y is always fantastic.