Cheesy Smashed Broccoli

5 from 3 reviews

This smashed broccoli recipe is an irresistible riff on regular roasted broccoli! It’s cheesy, tender, and makes a great snack or side dish. Recipe yields 4 to 6 side servings.

smashed broccoli recipe



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the cheese from sticking (parchment paper is key for this recipe!). 
  2. To prepare the broccoli, cut the florets generously, using some stems to keep the little guys intact. First trim the stalk, then find a natural separation, then cut and turn and find another natural separation, and ultimately the florets should be about 2 to 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick or less. You might need to halve the really big florets to make this work.
  3. Place the broccoli florets on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli and sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Toss until evenly coated (if you don’t have enough oil to lightly coat it all, then add another small splash). Arrange the broccoli in an even layer across the baking sheet.
  4. Roast the broccoli for 18 to 21 minutes, until the stems are easily pierced by a fork, then place it on a stable heat-safe surface. Use a sturdy, flat-bottomed jar or glass to smash each piece of broccoli, to the point that the stems splay out a bit. It works best to smash and then slide the jar forward to release the broccoli. 
  5. Once each floret has been smashed, arrange them evenly across the pan again. Distribute the cheese over the broccoli, trying to center the cheese on each smashed broccoli. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if using, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and the cheese on the pan is turning golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drizzle the lemon juice all over the warm broccoli, and promptly serve while warm. Leftovers will lose their crispness over time, but will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.


Make it dairy free/vegan: Omit the Parmesan and finish the dish with a hearty sprinkle of Easy Vegan Parmesan Cheese.

▸ Nutrition Information

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