How to Use Broccoli

Raw broccoli in a pile

How to Store

Store broccoli in loose, perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

To freeze broccoli, clean and trim into pieces not more than 1½ inches across. Blanch in boiling water or steam, cool in an ice bath, drain, package in freezer food storage bags or containers, and freeze.

How to Clean

Wait to clean broccoli until right before using. Rinse well with fresh, cold water. If freshly picked from the garden, soaking in salt water (4 tsp salt/gallon water) for a few minutes can encourage bugs to leave. Rinse when done.

Five Tips for How to Use

  • Broccoli slaw – Mix shredded broccoli stems with grated carrots, raisins or dried cranberries, seeds or chopped nuts, and your favorite dressing.
  • Roasted – Roast broccoli with olive oil, salt, and garlic. When done, add fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, and herbs like basil. Red pepper flakes and roasted sliced almonds also make good additions.
  • Soup – Broccoli cheddar soup is a classic, but broccoli makes a good addition to a variety of soups, like potato or chicken and broccoli.
  • Steamed – Steamed broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon makes a simple, tasty, and nutritious side dish. You can quickly steam broccoli in the microwave.
  • Stir-fry – Broccoli is a great addition to stir-fries, and the florets soak up the sauce nicely. Add in other vegetables and protein like chicken, beef, or tofu and serve over brown rice or your favorite grain.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Serves: 6


  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth (14-oz.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-lb. broccoli crowns
  • 1 can cannellini beans (15-oz.)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, like extra-sharp cheddar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  2. Chop broccoli. Add the garlic and broccoli to the boiling broth-water and cook until tender.
  3. Drain and rinse beans. Add beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until beans are heated through.
  4. Carefully transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree with ½ cup of cheese. Use caution with hot liquids, following manufacturer instructions. Transfer pureed mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining broccoli mixture and cheese.
  5. Serve warm.


  • Substitute other types of beans, like chickpeas.
  • Add the garlic later in a later step for a stronger garlic flavor.