How Long To Boil Broccoli

Broccoli is an easy and healthy side dish that you can easily make. Boiling broccoli is even easier, it can produce some very tender and crisp broccoli without stealing anything away from its flavor. 

How Long To Boil Broccoli

Boiling broccoli does not take much, and it is really good for you. 

It is high in dietary fiber and protein as well as plenty of other nutrients which are healthy for you. Although boiling broccoli is an easy way to cook it, you could steam, roast, sauté, microwave, or grill it. 

A favorite technique of ours is to boil it and then briefly sauté it with some garlic and herbs for a delicious side dish. Have fun with it, experiment, and play around with your boiled broccoli. 

However, first, you need to know how long to boil it!

Prepping Broccoli

Before you boil your broccoli, you need to prepare it properly. 

  • Good prep starts with picking the right broccoli. You want it to be fresh, bright dark green in color, avoiding any old broccoli with browning spots on the stems or florets. Florets should be bunched tightly together and the stem should feel nice and firm. 

Fresh raw broccoli can last in the fridge for quite a while and will stay fresh for 3 days! 

  • You need to give your broccoli a thorough cleaning. The best way to do this is with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water, soaking it for around 5 minutes to ensure that no insects remain in the florets. Do not forget to rinse well under a cold tap, no one wants broccoli that tastes of residual vinegar!
  • Now you should prepare the florets, using a sharp knife, cut away the stem from the crown, and use your hand to break the crown apart for extra big florets. Then use your knife to slice the florets into easy bite-sized pieces.
  • Finally, prepare the stem, trimming off any leaves there are and do not forget to peel off the tough layer of skin. Then, slice off the bottom inch of the stem and discard it. Cut down the remaining stems into nice thin slices.

When cooking broccoli this way, remember to keep your florets and stems separate as florets will cook faster than stems will.

How Long To Boil Broccoli?

The time you will require to cook the broccoli will be totally dependent on your personal tastes and the size of the florets. Broccoli will cook quickly, you should cook the stems and florets separately as stems take longer. 

Bring some water to boil in a saucepan on high heat and add a pinch of salt for flavor. You should add in the stems and cook them for 2 minutes, then after 2 minutes have passed add in the florets and submerge. 

Boil your broccoli for another 3 minutes until it is crispy but tender. If you prefer a softer texture to your broccoli you can boil it for an additional 2 minutes. So, even soft broccoli will only take 7 minutes to boil, crispier broccoli will take 5 minutes to boil.

This is only the case provided you already brought the water to boil prior to putting your broccoli in the pan.

Now you need to drain the broccoli with a good colander. You should also follow up by submerging the cooked broccoli in a bowl of ice water or cold water straight away. This can 

help to stop the cooking process and ensure the crisp texture of the broccoli.

When broccoli is properly cooked its neutral flavor will come out well. 

Serve your broccoli however you wish, however, if not adding seasonings or having it as a side, we recommend adding some salt and pepper, sprinkling on top, and serving it with some lemon wedges for a fresh flavor.

How Long To Boil Broccoli

Top Tips For Boiling Broccoli

Blanching Broccoli?

If you intend on using broccoli in a salad or in a casserole it is much better for you to blanch it than boil it. You should just shorten the boiling time to 2 minutes to ensure you brighten the color and bring the flavor out. 

Can You Cook Fresh Broccoli In A Microwave?

Yes, although it is much better done on a stovetop. If you have a microwave-safe bowl, add in your pre-prepared broccoli florists and add in 3 tablespoons of water. Then simply cover it up with a lid and microwave it for 3 minutes on a high setting. 

After 3 minutes, check that the broccoli is crispy and tender. If you need to microwave for an additional minute until you get the desired texture.

How Long Will My Broccoli Last In The Fridge?

You can keep fresh broccoli refrigerated for 3 days or so. It will keep for longer, but after this time its flavor and nutritional values will start to decrease. It is best to use it within 3 days of purchase.

Will The Boil Time Vary?

It is possible that the cooking time can differ by a minute or two, especially if you have larger florets. Large florets will take longer to cook than smaller ones, which is why it can work in your favor to break them up before cooking. 

What Happens If I Boil Broccoli For Longer?

If you boil broccoli for too long you are likely to end up with limp florets. 

How Can I Flavor My Boiled Broccoli?

If you want a bit of additional flavor with your boiled broccoli you can add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, or you can season it after you have strained it.


Broccoli is an easy vegetable to cook up, and it can make a beautiful side to any dish. Just make sure that you do not boil it for too long, boiling broccoli for too long results in limp broccoli with little flavor.