Broccoli Seasoning Ideas – 3 Simple & Easy Recipes

Broccoli has a distinct, earthy flavor that some people find unpleasant and bitter. However, the right choice of seasoning can elevate its taste significantly.

You can incorporate a wide range of seasonings in your broccoli recipe depending on the taste and flavor you want to achieve. The most common broccoli seasonings include garlic, lemon, olive oil, cheese, butter, herbs, etc.

This article will highlight some of the best broccoli seasoning options and provide 3 easy and simple recipes for seasoned broccoli.

10 Delicious Broccoli Seasoning Ideas

1. Garlic

Garlic adds a strong, pungent, slightly nutty flavor to broccoli. You can add it in minced or powder form. Either way, garlic pairs well with broccoli. The crunchy texture of broccoli and the strong flavor of garlic combine well.

garlic in peel cut in half

There are different ways to season broccoli with garlic. For example, you can grate fresh garlic and use it alongside olive oil to stir-fry broccoli floret. Or, you can sprinkle minced fresh garlic or garlic powder on your broccoli before baking it in the oven.

If you want a strong garlic taste, add more garlic. Note that fresh garlic is more flavorful than powdered or dried garlic. However, add only a small amount for a slight hint of garlic.

2. Lime / Lemon

Citrus fruits adds a tangy, zesty flavor to broccoli. The acidity of lime or lemon can brighten the color of broccoli. The combination of broccoli and citrus balances a dish’s sweetness, acidity, and nuttiness. You can add as much or as little lemon juice to the broccoli for your preferred taste.

seasoning broccoli with lime juice

You can toss steamed broccoli in lime juice before serving. Or, toss fresh broccoli floret in lemon juice before roasting them in the oven.

Some people prefer to season broccoli with lemon and balsamic vinegar for a sweet and tart flavor. Garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest also combine well. You can also mix it with Italian dressing or ranch dressing for a more balanced flavor.

3. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese adds a nutty, salty flavor and a crispy texture to broccoli. The hard, granular cheese has a sharp, nutty taste that brings a strong and distinct flavor to the dish.

The textures of the two ingredients also complement each other. Broccoli is slightly crunchy and nutty, while parmesan cheese is soft and stringy.

Parmesan cheese can be added to steamed or roasted broccoli. It can also be used alongside other ingredients such as olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, black pepper, nutmeg, and garlic.

4. Herbs

Many herbs can season broccoli, including basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, dill, sage, and thyme.

You can use fresh, dried, or powdered herbs. Dried herbs are less potent than fresh herbs as they lose some flavor during the drying process. Use herbs sparingly to avoid overpowering the flavor of your dish. Also, remember that you can always add more if necessary, but you cannot take it away.

cooked broccoli served in plate

The taste of herb-seasoned broccoli depends on the type of herbs used. Basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, or sage, add a woodsy, earthy and slightly peppery taste, while parsley, cilantro, or dill can bring a fresh, green, and slightly lemony flavor.

Play around with different herbs, and mix and match them as per your preference. You can also add other ingredients like nuts, oils or cheese to complement the flavor of the herbs.

5. Olive Oil

A light coating of olive oil adds a slightly peppery flavor to the broccoli. It also helps other seasonings stick to the broccoli and add richness to the dish’s overall taste. Olive oil provides a smooth and silky texture.

pouring olive oil on broccoli

The final taste of the broccoli depends on the quality, variety, and amount of olive oil used. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong, slightly bitter taste, while pure olive oil is milder. Olive oil can be used as a dressing or to cook broccoli.

6. Spices

Spices can add a variety of flavors to broccoli. Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes add a spicy and smoky flavor.

broccoli seasoned with spices

Turmeric adds a warm, aromatic flavor and a bright yellow color. It is also anti-inflammatory. Other spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon, are sweet. Experiment with different spices to try new flavors and establish what you like.

7. Nutritional Yeast

When added to broccoli before roasting, nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste and an extra savory note.

8. Nuts

Crushed or chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts or pine nuts can be used to season broccoli. They give a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, particularly when toasted before adding.

Pine nuts have a mild, buttery flavor, while walnuts are slightly bitter. Almonds and hazelnuts are slightly sweet and nutty, while pecans have a rich, buttery flavor.

9. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a popular Asian ingredient used in various recipes. It can be used to season broccoli to add a savory, umami flavor. There are various ways to use soy sauce to season broccoli, including as marinade before roasting, grilling, steaming, or stir-frying.

Bear in mind that soy sauce is high in sodium. Therefore, it is contraindicated for people with high blood pressure. It can also make the food extremely salty.

10. Tahini and Sesame

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It adds a sesame flavor to the broccoli. Sesame is nutsy and savory with a creamy texture.

broccoli with Tahini dip

When you add whole sesame seeds to the seasoning, it makes the dish crunchier and nuttier. You can add tahini and sesame alongside lemon and garlic for a richer, well-balanced taste.

broccoli with sesame

Alternatively, you can use tahini and sesame as a dip for your broccoli. Aside from improving flavor, tahini is rich in a wide range of nutrients, including proteins, healthy fats, calcium, iron, and phosphorous.

3 Simple and Easy Broccoli Recipes

1. Tahini and Sesame Seeds Broccoli Recipe


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the broccoli into florets
  2. Steam the broccoli florets for 5-7 minutes until they are tender but slightly firm
  3. In a small bowl, mix the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper to make a tahini sauce
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat
  5. Then, add the steamed broccoli. Stir for about a minute and pour the tahini sauce over the top
  6. Toss the broccoli in the sauce until it’s evenly coated
  7. Stir in the sesame seeds and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is heated through
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  9. Serve hot

2. Baked Broccoli With Parmesan Cheese


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the broccoli into florets
  3. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, olive oil, pepper, and salt
  4. Lay the broccoli on a baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the broccoli
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the broccoli is tender
  7. Remove from the oven and garnish to your liking
  8. Serve hot

3. Air fryer Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs Broccoli Recipe


  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (such as thyme or rosemary)


  1. Cut the broccoli into florets
  2. Put the broccoli, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and dried herbs in a large bowl
  3. Toss them until they are well-mixed
  4. Preheat your air fryer to 400° F
  5. Put the broccoli mixture in the air fryer basket, spreading them out evenly
  6. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the broccoli is tender but slightly crispy. Shake the air fryer basket or stir the broccoli every few minutes of cooking. Cook longer to make the broccoli crispier
  7. Remove and serve while still hot


There are unlimited ways to season broccoli for an enhanced taste, flavor, and texture. Generally, it pairs well with a wide range of ingredients ranging from lemon, spices, herbs, nuts, olive oil, Italian dressing, and many more. The vegetable is versatile and can be seasoned raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled, sautéed, etc.

The right choice of seasoning for broccoli mainly comes down to your preference. Experiment with a combination of seasonings to identify your most preferred taste.

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