Broccoli Vs Green Beans – Which Fits Better In Your Meal Plan

Are you looking to add some variety and nutritious goodness to your meals? Broccoli and green beans are great options for any meal plan. However, if you are wondering if one veggie is a more suitable option than the other, this article compares the flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles of broccoli vs green beans.

On one side of the vegetable showdown is the renowned cruciferous – broccoli, while on the other side are vibrantly colored, subtly crunchy green beans.

Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits

Both broccoli and green beans have unique nutrients and health benefits the body loves.

Nutritional Comparison of Broccoli and Green Beans

Broccoli – A Nutrient Powerhouse

Broccoli is a micronutrient powerhouse. It is a fantastic source of immunity-boosting vitamin C. A 100g serving of raw broccoli provides up to 148% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake.

It also contains 92% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps to maintain healthy bone density.

Broccoli head on a white background

The micronutrient content of broccoli does not stop there. This vegetable also contains a significant amount of the daily recommended intake of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B – Supports cell growth and development
  • Potassium – Supports heart health
  • Iron – Aids in the production of red blood cells

Broccoli contains a unique antioxidant compound referred to as sulforaphane. Studies show that sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables has anticancer properties.

In terms of its macronutrient profile, broccoli is made of 90% water. It has 7g of carbohydrates and 2.8 grams of protein. It contains only 0.4g of fat per 100g serving.

A 100g serving of raw broccoli contains 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber aids in digestion by normalizing bowel movements. Overall, broccoli also has a low-calorie content. A 100g serving contains 34 calories.

Green Beans – A Versatile Green Vegetable

Green beans have a similar micronutrient profile as broccoli. However, they have lower amounts of vitamins C, E, A, and K and lower potassium and calcium. On the other hand, green beans have higher levels of magnesium, iron, and manganese compared to broccoli.

Blanched green beans in baking dish

Magnesium is crucial for optimal muscle functioning and regulating blood sugar levels. It helps form connective tissues, bones, platelets, and sex hormones.

Like broccoli, green beans are also low in calories, making them the ideal candidate for any meal plan. A 100g serving of raw green beans contains 31 calories, slightly lower than broccoli’s calorie content. Green beans have a lower protein content and a similar carbohydrate content as broccoli.

A 100g serving of raw green beans contains:

  • 1.8g of protein
  • 7g of carbohydrate
  • 3.4g of dietary fiber

Culinary Uses and Cooking Methods

Both broccoli and green beans can be used in various recipes and cooked using different techniques, making these veggies super versatile.

Steamed broccoli and green beans

Broccoli – Cooking Techniques and Recipes

When it comes to culinary versatility, broccoli is a true superstar. It can be cooked in different ways to bring out its unique textures and flavors.

Steaming is a classic cooking method for broccoli that helps preserve its beautiful, bright color. To prevent overcooking your broccoli and turning it into a mushy mess, steam it for only a few minutes.

Grilling broccoli achieves a crisp and tender texture. Broccoli can also be roasted or stir-fried. Both roasting and grilling caramelize the vegetables, adding a smoky taste.

When it comes to recipes, broccoli is super versatile, and the options are endless. Broccoli combines excellently with many other ingredients. It can be incorporated into stir-fries, pasta dishes, soups, salads, quiches, and casseroles.

Here are some popular broccoli recipes you just might want to try:

  • Broccoli cheddar soup
  • Broccoli and assorted vegetables stir-fry
  • Roasted broccoli and quinoa salad
  • Broccoli and chicken casserole
  • Broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken breast
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Broccoli pesto pasta

Green Beans – Cooking Techniques and Recipes

Like broccoli, green beans can be cooked in different ways to bring out various textures and flavors. They can be blanched, stir-fried, steamed, sauteed, or roasted. Blanching removes the raw taste while maintaining a vibrant green color and a crunchy texture. Similarly, steaming preserves the natural flavor and crunchiness of the green bean.

Green beans on a white background

Sautéing enriches the taste of the green beans because it caramelizes the natural sugars. Stir-frying makes the vegetables crisp yet tender with a slight char. It adds a delightful smoky flavor and a slightly crunchy taste. Like sauteing, roasting intensifies the flavor of the green beans as it also caramelizes the natural sugars.

Experiment with different cooking techniques to explore the versatility of green beans and achieve your preferred flavor and texture.

Here are some popular green bean dishes and recipes to try:

  • Sauteed garlic green beans
  • Green bean almondine
  • Asian stir-fried green beans
  • Green bean casserole
  • Green bean salad
  • Green bean casseroles
  • Green bean potato salad

Flavor Profiles and Pairing Options

Broccoli – Taste and Pairing Suggestions

Broccoli has a distinct flavor profile. Raw broccoli has an earthy and slightly bitter taste with a hint of sweetness. When cooked, the subtle sweetness becomes more pronounced and balances out the overall flavor of the broccoli. The milder taste of cooked broccoli mixes well with other ingredients.

Broccoli pairs well with:

  • Garlic and onions. The savory flavor of garlic and the mild sweetness of onions complements the earthiness of the broccoli.
  • Cheese. The tangy and creamy taste of cheese adds richness and depth to the slightly bitter taste broccoli can have.
  • Lemon and citrus. The acidity of citrusy fruits cuts through broccoli’s earthiness, adding a refreshing flavor. You can sprinkle a squeeze of lemon juice or sprinkle lemon zest on the broccoli.
  • Nuts. Nuts add a pleasant crunchiness and nutty flavor, enhancing broccoli’s overall taste and texture. Walnuts and almonds pair particularly well with broccoli.
  • Butter. Even a small amount balances out the bitterness of the broccoli and adds a smooth mouthfeel.
  • Soy sauce. Adds a touch of umami taste.
  • Herbs and spices. They add a pop of flavor and depth to cooked broccoli.

Green Beans – Taste and Pairing Suggestions

Raw green beans have a crisp, fresh, slightly sweet flavor and mild earthiness. When cooked, the earthiness diminishes while the sweetness becomes more pronounced.

They also have a slightly grassy taste. Their texture is tender yet firm, offering a satisfying crunch. Their texture and flavor complement both mild and bold flavor pairings. You can pair them with all of the ingredients recommended above for broccoli, including onion, garlic, herbs, spices, nuts, butter, soy sauce, cheese, and citrus.

Green beans also pair well with balsamic vinegar. The vinegar adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.

Meal Planning and Dietary Considerations

Incorporating Broccoli and Green Beans Into Your Meal Plan

Both broccoli and green beans can be incorporated into various meal plans and dietary preferences. They are suitable for all kinds of diets and meal plans, including vegetarian, vegan, and Mediterranean diets.

Broccoli and green beans are also great for any gluten-free and low-carb diet. These veggies are a good source of plant-based protein and minerals in vegetarian and vegan meals. For people allergic to gluten, broccoli, and green beans are safe and nutritious alternatives for grains or gluten-containing recipes.

Since they are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, they are suitable for low-carb and keto diets. They are a great substitute for high-carb ingredients such as rice and pasta.

When used in Mediterranean meal plans, they pair well with Mediterranean ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, lemon, thyme, and oregano. They can be used in Mediterranean roasted vegetable platters or to complement grain bowls.

Notably, both broccoli and green beans are excellent vegetable options if you are on a weight management diet plan. They are high in dietary fiber, promoting satiety.

They also help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. You can incorporate them into various recipes to create balanced and low-calorie meals the whole family will love.


So, in the debate between broccoli vs green beans, which one should you include in your meal plan?

Both are great vegetable options to include. They are rich in nutrients and offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. They provide delicious flavor profiles and can be cooked in different ways. You can incorporate both into your meal plan or just go with whichever ones your taste buds prefer!


There is no one healthiest green vegetable. Each type of green vegetable has its unique set of nutrients that provide particular benefits. Therefore, choose your vegetables according to your nutrient needs and preferences.

Green beans are healthy vegetables as they are nutrient-rich, providing a wide range of health benefits.

Broccoli is considered a highly nutritious vegetable. However, other vegetables are equally or more nutritious. They include kale, spinach, swiss chard, Brussels, sweet potatoes, etc.

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