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Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Zest and Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Zest and Parmesan Cheese

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Broccoli with lemon zest and parmesan cheeese

This is a no-fuss side that will come together in minutes. Just make sure the broccoli florets are uniform in size to ensure they are all properly cooked.


  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¾ pound fresh broccoli florets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ lemon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon zest, olive oil and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Add the broccoli to the bowl and toss well.

Spread out the broccoli on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with salt and pepper and the other ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Pop in the oven. After 5 minutes, stir the broccoli around. Cook for another 5 minutes. The broccoli should be tender, but not mushy. If needed, pop in the oven for a few more minutes. Remove from the oven, lightly squeeze the lemon half overtop and serve.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 head broccoli, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Dietz & Watson Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the broccoli and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Place the broccoli on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Mince the garlic and toss it in with the broccoli.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the broccoli, then season with coarse black pepper and kosher salt.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

Toss in lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil serve immediately.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Balsamic Drizzle

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 side servings 1 x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

The ultimate roasted broccoli recipe, featuring golden Parmesan cheese and tangy balsamic vinegar! Make this easy broccoli side dish for your next dinner and everyone will love it. Recipe yields 4 generous side servings.


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces (from 2 pounds or about 1 ½ bunches of broccoli)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese*
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons thick balsamic vinegar**
  • Lemon zest from ½ to 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice)
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt or kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so you don’t end up with cheese stuck to your pan.
  2. On the prepared baking sheet, toss the broccoli with the oil until all of the florets are lightly coated. Arrange them in an even layer across the pan, then sprinkle salt lightly on top.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Toss the broccoli with a spatula and arrange it in an even layer across the pan again. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the broccoli, then return the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until the florets are turning deeply golden on the edges and the Parmesan is golden and bubbly.
  4. Drizzle balsamic lightly over the broccoli and grate lemon zest on top, to taste. Sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes and flaky salt. This side dish is best served warm, but you can store leftovers in the refrigerator for several days. Gently reheat in the microwave before serving.


Make it dairy free/vegan: Simply omit the Parmesan, or sprinkle on vegan Parmesan after baking.

*Parmesan note: Most Parmesans are not technically vegetarian (they contain animal rennet), but Whole Foods 365 and BelGioioso brands offer vegetarian Parmesan cheese.

**Balsamic vinegar note: For the vinegar to stick to the broccoli, you’ll want to use a high-quality, thick balsamic vinegar (I love Napa Valley Naturals’ Grand Reserve Vinegar—it’s about $7, make sure you get the bottle with 󈬉 stars” on it) or store-bought balsamic glaze/reduction (DeLallo and Alessi make them). You can use regular runny balsamic for less beautiful results, or make your own balsamic reduction by following the note below.

How to make balsamic reduction: Bring 1 cup (or more) runny balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the pantry. Balsamic vinegar is great on everything from pizza to ice cream, Caprese and green salads, and more.

Roasted Broccoli

This oven roasted broccoli recipe is easy and versatile. The crisp, golden brown florets are delicious as a side dish or in all sorts of broccoli recipes!

Do you have any favorite broccoli recipes? I love it in just about anything – broccoli salad, frittatas, pasta, etc. – but my favorite way to eat broccoli might be the simplest: roasted!

Roasted broccoli is so easy to make, and the florets come out of the oven deliciously golden brown, crisp, and tender. I have a hard time not eating them all straight off the sheet pan, but they’re also a fantastic addition to all sorts of recipes and a yummy side dish on their own.

If you love roasted broccoli as much as I do, read on to find my foolproof method for how to roast it, along with a slew of serving suggestions to make it flavorful, filling, and absolutely irresistible. Happy roasting!

How to Roast Broccoli

Making perfect roasted broccoli couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. While the oven warms up, break a head of broccoli into evenly sized florets. Spread them on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Toss the broccoli florets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer them to the hot oven and bake for 15 to 22 minutes, until the florets are browned and crisp around the edges.

That’s it! You can also roast Meyer lemon halves along with the broccoli. Right when they come out of the oven, squeeze the roasted lemon juice over the florets. Then, finish them with a big sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Easy Roasted Broccoli Recipe Tips

  • Wash AND dry your veggies. After you wash your head of broccoli, make sure to dry it off before you toss it with the oil. A little moisture is ok, but if it’s too wet when it goes in the oven, it won’t get brown and crisp.
  • Don’t be afraid of the salt. No one loves bland broccoli, so salt yours generously. I sprinkle mine with sea salt before roasting and then add more, to taste, after it comes out of the oven.
  • Cut your florets to a similar size. Similar-sized pieces will cook at a similar rate, so make sure your florets are all about the same size. You don’t want little ones to burn before larger ones become tender!
  • Don’t let things get too crowded! If the florets are too close together on the sheet pan, they will steam in the oven, and they won’t get brown and crisp. Make sure to spread your florets in an even layer with a little space between each one.
  • Don’t toss the stalk! Chop it and roast it right along with the florets, save it to make soup, or pulse it into broccoli rice. Waste not, want not!

Oven Roasted Broccoli Serving Suggestions

As I said above, my favorite way to serve oven roasted broccoli is with a big squeeze of lemon juice and red pepper flakes. But your options don’t end there! Here are a few more great ways to dress up this simple side dish:

  • Toss it with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or thyme.
  • Sprinkle it with lemon zest and toss it with a simple lemon vinaigrette.
  • Drizzle it with sesame oil and tamari or soy sauce and sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds.
  • In the final few minutes of baking, sprinkle florets with grated Parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake for 2 more minutes or so, until the broccoli is crisp and the cheese is melted.
  • Top it with Everything Bagel Seasoning for crunch and onion-y, garlicky flavor.
  • Drizzle it with a yummy sauce like cilantro lime dressing, tahini sauce, chipotle sauce, peanut sauce, cashew cream, vegan cheese, or pesto, or serve it with the red pepper muhamarra from this recipe for dipping.

Alternatively, make it a meal on its own! Add it to an easy roasted vegetable pasta, or pile it onto a DIY grain bowl with one of the sauces from above, a grain, and a protein. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Grains: Farro, couscous, quinoa, or cilantro lime rice (Or substitute another veggie, like spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice, for the grain.)
  • Proteins: Roasted chickpeas, lentils, or baked tofu

What are you favorite roasted broccoli recipes? Let me know in the comments!

Tips for Preparing Grilled Broccoli

  • Smaller bite-size florets work best when using a grill pan, as shown in the photo.
  • Larger florets are easier to turn on the grill if you don’t have a grill pan, stick to about the size of a clementine orange. These larger florets can then be cut into smaller pieces once grilled.
  • If the broccoli head has a nice long stem, prep that too! Cut off the bottom inch of the stalk, peel the outer layer of the stem, and slice the stem into 1/4-inch slices. You’ll find the stem pieces taste slightly sweeter than the florets.
  • Pre-heating the grill pan will help the broccoli brown and cook more quickly.

Special Equipment: When grilling broccoli, we use a grill pan placed over a gas or charcoal grill. Either type of grill will suffice and give the broccoli that wonderful smoky flavor, although you will find that charcoal does add just a little extra smoke.

How to Make Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli is ready in just a few easy steps!

  1. Prepare, wash, & dry broccoli florets according to recipe.
  2. Whisk oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, & pepper. Add broccoli, toss to coat.
  3. Roast until just crisp, then toss with Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Garlic Butter – Did Somebody Say Lemon Garlic Butter?

Did somebody say butter? Did somebody say garlic butter? Wait. Did somebody say lemon-garlic butter?

When it comes to broccoli, no vegetable is more likely to get a thumbs-down from your kids. Remember school lunches with a side of mushy, tasteless broccoli? Or bags of frozen broccoli that when cooked, lost all resemblance to the original plant? The difference is all about the preparation. Hands-down, fresh is best. And roasting is one of the best methods to preserve the texture and flavor of this exceptionally healthy veggie. And when it’s coated in olive oil, butter, garlic and lemon juice, topped with pine nuts and Parmesan, it’s a thumbs-up at any age.

In the scientific community, cruciferous veggies like broccoli are considered nutritional powerhouses. Studies have suggested that a diet rich in these veggies have been associated with a lower risk of cancer, in particular lung and colon. It’s believed that the sulfur-containing compound that gives them their bitter taste also gives them their cancer-fighting ability by reducing inflammation.

Just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 245% RDA of vitamin K, 135% RDA of vitamin C and 42% RDA of folate. Three carotenoids concentrated in broccoli – lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene – function as key antioxidants. I’ll end this food science lesson by saying there’s plenty more health benefits derived from broccoli than room in this blog!

Choose broccoli with floret clusters that are compact and bright green, avoiding yellow flowers and woody stems. You’ll find me digging my way through the produce section to make sure the head is fresh. Do NOT wash broccoli before storing as water encourages spoilage. It will stay fresh for a good week if stored in the fridge. Do not store on the countertop, as valuable nutrients are lost without refrigeration. Rinse with water right before eating.

Here we go – my favorite recipe for roasted broccoli. These crispy, lemon-garlic nuggets sprinkled with Parmesan cheese are like crack. Cant. Stop. Eating.

Rinse the broccoli in cold water and cut into bite-size pieces. Then toss with oil, salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for a total of 12 minutes, flipping once. Then mix melted butter, garlic, and lemon zest, adding lemon juice after it’s cooled a bit. Top with pine nuts and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese or kick up the heat with some crushed pepper flakes.

Amazing Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Lemon

This roasted broccoli with parmesan and lemon is one of the simplest recipes you will find on this blog and one that, once you try it, I know you will make again and again and again!

“What if I don’t like broccoli?” you might ask. Well, this recipe has been tested on people, who may or may not be my children, who were not particularly friends of this humble vegetable until one bite was enough to make them change their minds. The secret of this recipe, is in the method of cooking. For convenience and ease, many of us have fallen into the routine of just steaming the broccoli and then serving it with a little seasoning. If you roast the broccoli instead, however, something magical happens: as the broccoli caramelizes in a hot oven, it becomes sweet with crispy edges. If that were not enough, the lemon and parmesan cheese make each bite burst with flavor.

Besides having this roasted broccoli with parmesan and lemon as a side dish, why not make it the center of your meal? Broccoli prepared this way is also delicious when tossed with hot pasta or steamed brown rice and makes for a very satisfying vegetarian weeknight meal. If you like spicy flavors, make sure to add some chili flakes for some heat.

In my family, we eat broccoli cooked this way very often, not only because it is so good for us and is such a powerhouse of nutrients, but because we like it so much that we find it almost addictive. It is not uncommon to end up fighting for that last crispy floret encrusted with parmesan cheese at the bottom of the bowl!

Roasted Broccoli: Why You’ll Love It

If you’ve never roasted broccoli, you are missing out on the tastiest way to prepare it!

If you’ve hated broccoli up to this point (confession: I never experienced this phase of life), give this recipe and method a try. I have an inkling that you’ll become a broccoli convert quite quickly.

It goes without saying that many vegetables taste better once caramelized and roasted in the oven. This isn’t ground breaking news, but broccoli is one of my all-time favorites.

Even more so than asparagus, carrots, and the other usual favorites. The broccoli florets get crispy and caramelized, and the normally flavorless stalks transform into addictive bites of heaven. I mean, really, you could stop right there.

Once the roasted broccoli is mixed with toasted sliced almonds, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and aged pecorino cheese – ugh, so good.

So, here’s the deal. I actually posted a version of this roasted broccoli recipe a long time ago, but I’ve adjusted and improved the recipe and felt it deserved new life!

New and improved recipe, new pictures, all good things. Most often, I like to move forward and share new recipes, but sometimes the old ones need some love and attention, you know?

My new favorite way to prepare this dish is to slice the broccoli into ‘steaks’.

It gives the dish a better presentation, and the flat sides of the broccoli steaks allow the pieces to more evenly caramelize on the sheet pan.

To make things easier, the raw sliced almonds are added to the sheet pan halfway through cooking. This makes things really easy, and eliminates the need to toast them separately in a skillet.

Roasted Parmesan Lemon Garlic Broccoli (or Broccolini)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

Parmesan Lemon Garlic Broccoli (or Broccolini) is bursting with flavor, caramelized edges and the quickest side dish to every meal all made in ONE PAN! Delicious enough for company but everyday easy!

Side dishes. Is a love-hate relationship. Love to eat them, hate to make them after already prepping the main event. But not roasted vegetables – that is a LOVE-LOVE relationships. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and seasonings, roast while you prep your meal and dive into crisp-tender caramelized vegetables! Some of my favorites are Roasted Cauliflower.. Roasted Asparagus. Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Carrots and now this Roasted Broccolini!

This Roasted Parmesan Lemon Garlic Broccolini (or Broccoli) – is a love-love relationship because it takes just a couple minutes prep, the the oven does most of the work and you get a company worthy side!

So if you have energy to toss a few pantry staple ingredients with broccoli and spread them on a pan, you can always have a delicious side to every meal!

Oven roasted veggies are some of my favorites like my Honey Garlic Roasted Carrots, Crispy Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries and Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash and Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan. Aside from the minimal prep, the high heat and large surface area caramelizes the natural sugars as the veggies become tender on the inside with nice, golden crispy outside infused with a tantalizing nutty taste.

Roasted Broccoli has also always been a favorite of mine, but have you tried broccolini? You can use either broccoli or broccolini in this Roasted Parmesan Lemon Garlic Broccoli or Broccolini recipe and both are divine – it just kind of depends on what fits your purpose/mood. I find broccolini to look a little more gourmet for special occasions and company (like Valentines, Easter, etc.). Its just as delectable as roasted broccoli with a more mild, earthy taste. If you aren’t familiar with broccolini it looks like baby broccoli with small florets and long stems – and the name sounds like baby broccoli, but it is actually a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli created in 1933.

If using broccolini, you’ll want to start by trimming the bottom 2 inches off the broccolini stems so the are nice and fresh and no woody tasting ends remain and then slice any extra thick stems in half to create uniform broccolini so they will all roast in the same amount of time. If using broccoli, just make sure the florets are roughly the same size, cutting any extra large florets in half.

Next, your broccolini or broccoli gets tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic – all on the SAME pan you are roasting it on (yay for only ONE DISH) and then you spread the broccolini in an even layer to roast. I use a large jelly roll pan but if you don’t have one, then just use two baking sheets. They key here is we want enough room for the broccolini or broccoli to spread out so it can actually roast and not just steam.

After roasting for 12 minutes, we remove the broccolini or broccoli and toss with lemon zest and additional lemon juice if desired (taste first) then spread back into an even layer and sprinkle with Parmesan. Broil until Parmesan is melted, and that’s it for Roasted Parmesan Lemon Garlic Broccoli (or Broccolini)! If you like crispier or more charred florets, feel free to broil for longer – the charred parts are my favorite!

As in all recipes, please remember you can customize the measurements to suit your tastes/mood. You can add more or less garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and/or Parmesan. You can even mix it up and leave off the lemon juice/zest completely or swap it out for a drizzle of balsamic or spice it up with some red pepper flakes. The possibilities are endless for this one pan tender-crispy broccoli (or broccolini) with crispy edges and so is the deliciousness!