I have never been so excited about roasted broccoli. This is a big statement, coming from such a broccoli fan!
This simple side dish recipe features tender broccoli florets, roasted until irresistibly caramelized and crackly on the edges, topped with golden, crispy Parmesan cheese. I finished it off with a drizzle of tangy balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
This roasted broccoli would pair beautifully with your favorite Italian or Mediterranean entrées. It would be lovely with eggs, too, for brunch or a simple breakfast-for-dinner situation. Make it on busy weeknights and special holidays; it will fit right in.
Please make this roasted broccoli recipe as soon as possible so we can gush about it together. It has definitely become a staple side dish at my place. The only hard part about making this recipe is not eating it all straight off the pan!
Roasted Broccoli Tips
Here are a few general tips to make roasted broccoli taste amazing (although, if you follow the recipe as written below, you don’t need to worry about these details).
First, cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. That way, there are plenty of flat edges to lie flush against the pan and caramelize.
Second, don’t overcrowd the pan. Broccoli need some breathing room on the pan, or the florets will produce so much steam that they’ll never turn crisp on the edges. It’s better to use two pans, arranged on separate racks near the middle of the oven, than to cram too much broccoli on one pan.
Lastly, bake the broccoli at a relatively high temperature—but not so high that the olive oil burns on the pan and creates bitter flavors and an acrid smell. Around 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit works best.
Looking for recipes to pair with this broccoli side dish? It could roast in the oven while you cook pasta on the stove. Here are a few of my favorite pasta dishes that would complement with roasted broccoli: spring pea and asparagus pasta, vegan spaghetti alla puttanesca, kale pesto and creamy pumpkin marinara.
You could also roast this broccoli while you’re baking hearty Italian casseroles. Just bake the broccoli on the rack below. Suggestions include my favorite vegetable lasagna, lentil baked ziti and Italian eggplant Parmesan.
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Balsamic Drizzle
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 side servings
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*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 “25 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.