parmesan lemon basil broccoli (aka the best broccoli EVER!)

This broccoli is the bomb.  Never before would I consider eating broccoli at several meals in one week, if I had even served broccoli I would have just eaten it because I knew it was good for me and not enjoyed.  But not with this recipe (found via Pinterest) – this broccoli is fantastic!

I actually posted about this awhile back but I didn’t actually post the recipe.  The first time I made it I thought it was ok but it wasn’t super good.  I mentioned in that post that something was a little off, I just wasn’t sure what it was.  I think I’ve figured it out now!  I took it this weekend to a family gathering and it got rave reviews.  Definitely a crowd pleaser!

(disclaimer: this might not even be called a recipe…I don’t really have any measurements for you, so if you don’t like to cook unless you have exact amounts – sorry.  However the recipe is very forgiving so it doesn’t have to be specific)

chop your broccoli into large pieces (make sure they are pretty big because 1. they shrink and 2. the little pieces might get a little burnt and crispy)

The recipe calls for garlic and the first time I made this broccoli I did chop a few cloves of garlic to put in it.  However, chopping garlic is a bit difficult and very sticky so the next time I made it, I just used garlic powder because I didn’t want to fool with chopping the garlic.  And guess what?  I actually liked it better with the garlic powder rather than the real garlic.  The first time I made this, I thought that the basil might have been why the dish tasted a little odd to me, but I used the basil this time around and it tasted great so I’m thinking that the first time it was the garlic I didn’t like.

But if you like garlic, feel free to chop away!

Toss the broccoli with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic (or garlic powder)

put broccoli on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Zest a lemon and sprinkle the zest over the broccoli.  The first time we made this we didn’t own a zester or any sort of grating tool so Michael just used a knife to zest the lemon.  We have since bought a grater with very fine holes to use.

Sprinkle on the zest then squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon over the broccoli, add some basil, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

This broccoli is seriously so good!  Broccoli was on sale this week at Kroger so I bought a bunch more yesterday for us to have this week.

Now, to try to give you the recipe.  Like I said, I don’t really have measurements to give but I’ll do my best.  Make sure to check out the  post where I got the recipe to see what she did.

Recipe (adapted from here)


  • broccoli (how much you need depends on how many people you are serving.  Keep in mind that it will shrink a lot!  This weekend there were 15 people at our get together – I bought 4 bunches (a bunch being 3-4 “trees” rubber banded together).  That looked like way way way too much broccoli but at the end of the meal there was about one serving left over.  For Michael and me usually one bunch is plenty)
  • oil (I used canola oil)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic (I used garlic powder)
  • lemon (the zest and the juice)
  • basil (she said julienned basil – I have no idea what that is so I just used the basil in my spice cabinet)
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • toasted pine nuts (I didn’t use these but they were in the original recipe)


Cut the broccoli into large florets – remember cut them fairly large so they don’t burn.  Make sure they are thoroughly dried (apparently this is the key to keeping the broccoli crispy rather than mushy).  Toss the broccoli with oil, salt, and pepper.  I just guestimated on all the measurements – keep in mind that the broccoli kind of soaks up the oil so it may look like they aren’t coated when in fact they are.  Also sprinkle on garlic powder (again, just guess) or some chopped garlic.  Spread out the broccoli on a cookie sheet (or two if you’re doing as much as I did this weekend!) and roast in the oven and 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  The broccoli should be crisp but tender and the tips with be browned.  Remove the broccoli from the oven.  Zest a lemon over the broccoli (if you’re just making enough for a few people you probably don’t need to zest the whole thing), then squeeze the lemon juice over the broccoli (again, probably not all the juice from the lemon – when I cooked the big amount this weekend I used about 3/4 of the lemon.  When I cook it for just us I use about 1/4 of the lemon).  The recipe says to then drizzle on a little more oil but I left that part out – I though it had plenty.  The recipe also says to add toasted pine nuts but I didn’t.  Finally, add a bit of basil and liberally sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This recipe can be eaten on Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet.

*Updated with nutritional facts*

I made some broccoli last night and tried to measure everything so I could get a better idea of the calories.  I used one bunch of broccoli (3 “trees” rubber banded together), 2 TBSP oil, and about 1/8 cup parmesan cheese (plus the basil, lemon, etc. but they don’t really matter as far as the calories go).  The total calorie amount was about 400 calories; we split it between the two of us, so one serving was 200 calories.  So this is a little calorie-heavy as far as veggies go, but the fat in the oil is good fat and should help keep you full for awhile.



  1. OMG YUM! I love roasted broccoli! Definitely gonna try it this week the next time :)

  2. This sounds wonderful and I will definitely try it. Julienned basil is fresh basil leaves cut in strips (tedious I would think). I love fresh basil, but would just chop it willy nilly rather than julienned.

  3. Oh my gosh! I love ALL of those ingredients! Never thought to put them together! I’m so inspired to make it now! We all love broccoli at my place! Thank you for sharing at my place!
    PS Hope to see you again Wednesday!


You've heard what I have to I want to hear your thoughts!