Lemon Garlic Broccoli is an easy way to shake up your vegetable side dish. A simple saute, with flavorful ingredients, makes a tasty side dish! 

This easy sauteed broccoli recipe is made with ingredients I generally have on hand plus a couple of heads of broccoli. Lemon, garlic and salt infuse into warm butter and olive oil and bathe every little cranny of each broccoli floret. In a few minutes, you’ll transform an ordinary vegetable into something memorable!

A bowl of food with broccoli, with Garlic and Lemon

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Why You Should Make Sauteed Broccoli

Years ago, I saw Sara Mouton, former editor of Gourmet Magazine, make a pasta dish with broccoli, lemon, and garlic. That got the wheels turning and I created this simple lemon garlic broccoli stir fry with a similar flavor palate.

  • It’s a quick and easy recipe!
  • The broccoli is not watery like when you boil or steam it.
  • The flavors of garlic and lemon are fabulous with broccoli.

How to Make Skillet Broccoli

  1. Melt some butter along with a bit of olive oil in a saute pan, then adding lemon zest (affiliate link), garlic, and salt and cook just until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the broccoli florets and toss them into the flavorful oil mixture.
  3. Add a bit of water (or chicken broth) and a tight lid allowed the broccoli to steam until tender.

Since not all broccoli crowns produce the same amount of florets, I always taste for seasonings and add more salt and a few grinds (affiliate link) of black pepper as needed. Just remember that you can’t take away salt, but you can always add more. If you’re tired of steamed broccoli, it’s time to infuse it with flavor with this tasty sauteed broccoli recipe!

A plate of food with broccoli, with Garlic and Lemon

How to Cook Broccoli

If you don’t cook broccoli long enough, it will be tough to bite through your pieces. On the other hand, overcooked broccoli can change from a bright green to a drab olive color and be mushy. The perfect texture depends on your tastes, but you should be able to pierce the stalks easily with a fork or point of a knife.

Broccoli can be boiled, steamed, sauteed, or roasted. I prefer the last two options. Once the lid is on, this recipe typically takes about 5 minutes for the broccoli to get tender, depending on how high you have your flame or burner set.

I served this to my dad years ago when he came for a solo visit. He was the guy who squeezed fresh lemon juice on his broccoli, so he was thrilled with the taste and even asked how I made this easy side dish. It’s our family’s favorite way to eat broccoli!

Simple as it was to prepare, I’m not sure he ever changed his ways, but I made certain to add this lemon garlic broccoli to our menu whenever he was in town. Feel free to tweak it to your palate’s preference. Options include adding some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, more or less garlic according to your tastes as well as adjusting the amount of salt and lemon zest.

A bowl of food with broccoli, with Garlic and Lemon

More Easy Vegetable Recipes

Ingredient Notes:

  • Fresh Broccoli – buy the crowns if you don’t want to save the stems for soup
  • Fresh Lemon – for zest. Do not use lemon zest in a jar. It’s inferior
  • Fresh Garlic – just a clove or two, mince or use a garlic press (affiliate link).
  • Pantry Ingredients –  butter, olive oil, and kosher salt

Do you have a favorite way to prepare broccoli? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for new ideas!

A bowl of food with broccoli, with Garlic and Lemon

Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Lemon Garlic Broccoli is an easy way to shake up your vegetable side dish. A simple saute, with flavorful ingredients, turns an ordinary vegetable into something memorable!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, optional


  1. In a large saute pan, melt butter, then add olive oil. Add minced garlic, lemon zest, and salt and heat until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add broccoli florets and toss well. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water (or even chicken broth) and cover the pan with a lid.
  3. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until broccoli is fork-tender. Add more water as needed.
  4. Check for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Season with pepper if desired.


Seasonings depend on how much you get from your stalks. Make sure to taste before serving and adjust as needed.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g


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