This is the best Smashed Broccoli recipe if you love a crispy bite! Tender broccoli covered in garlic butter and parmesan cheese roasts until perfectly crunchy.
Smashed Broccoli with Parmesan
You are going to LOVE this delicious Smashed Broccoli recipe! This crispy broccoli side dish has the best flavor after being lightly steamed, smashed, coated in garlic butter, then smothered with parmesan cheese and roasted until crisp. It’s a side dish that’s naturally low-carb, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious!
Kids and picky eaters love this broccoli dish because of all the crispy bits, and you’ll find that the garlic butter and cheese helps mellow out the bitterness of the broccoli. Save time by starting with a steamable bag of broccoli for your new favorite side!
Ingredients for the Best Smashed Broccoli:
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this cheesy keto side dish! Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact measurements.
- Broccoli florets – You want to avoid stem pieces as they don’t get as tender and could become chewy. You’ll be steaming these first, so feel free to buy the kind packaged in a steamer bag!
- Unsalted butter, Minced garlic, Garlic salt, Cracked black pepper – We toss the steamed broccoli in this garlic butter mixture before smashing and baking them. If you only have salted butter, you may want to reduce the garlic salt. If you prefer a healthy oil (like olive oil) instead of butter, you could use that instead.
- Shredded parmesan – You want the good quality parmesan that is shredded, not the grated kind in the can. This gets a great crunchy texture that works perfectly with the broccoli! Asiago would be a great substitute.
How to make the BEST smashed broccoli
This easy side dish recipe turns regular broccoli into a delicious kid-friendly side dish that everyone will love! You’ll need a microwave (if using a microwave steamer bag of broccoli) or a steam basket and pot to steam the broccoli. You’ll also need a large baking sheet, a dish towel, heavy-bottomed glass, small mixing bowl, culinary brush, and oven. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this low-carb broccoli recipe!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While it’s warming up, steam the broccoli to an “al dente” texture. You want it to be soft enough to smash but not so much that it becomes mushy. If you have a microwave-safe steamer bag, simply blast for 3-4 minutes. Otherwise, place fresh broccoli into a steamer basket. Bring about 1″ of water to boil in a pot, then add the steamer basket. Place a lid on the pot and allow the broccoli to steam for 5 minutes or until al dente.
Pat the broccoli dry with a dish towel, then place each piece on a large baking sheet. Give each floret as much space as possible to give yourself room to work. Using a heavy glass (the bottom of a mason jar works well), smash the broccoli flat on the baking sheet, pressing just enough to flatten the broccoli and increase the surface area.
Add garlic butter and cheese
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, minced garlic, garlic salt, and black pepper to form a sauce. Brush this sauce onto the smashed broccoli, then sprinkle a small portion of parmesan onto each piece of broccoli.
Place the baking sheet pan in the preheated oven and roast 18-20 minutes. You want the edges to be nice and crisp, even quite charred if you enjoy that flavor. Depending on the size of your florets and how much you smash them, yours may need a bit more or less time.
How to serve smashed broccoli
We love eating these crispy bites right out of the oven, sometimes with a squeeze of lemon juice for a little boost of flavor! An extra sprinkle of parmesan, and you’re ready to serve. This is a great side dish to serve instead of fries–They’re crispy and fun to dip in ranch or aioli. Serve them alongside these Lemon Pepper Wings or a Keto Bacon Cheeseburger for a tasty low-carb meal.
More keto recipes to serve with broccoli:
- Juicy Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Keto Chicken Nuggets
- Easy Garlic Butter Steak Bites
- One-Pan Keto Pesto Chicken
- Tuna Melt Chaffle Sandwich
Allow the broccoli to cool completely, then transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the fridge up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing as the broccoli becomes mushy, and the cheese becomes rubbery.
The key to reheating smashed broccoli is preserving the crispy texture. For the best texture, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place your leftovers on a baking sheet (maybe lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner if you want to prevent the cheese from sticking). Reheat for 5-10 minutes or until broccoli is crisp and warmed through. If you’re worried it’ll get too browned, cover the broccoli with foil while reheating, then remove it in the last minute or two to help the edges get crisp.
You can also reheat these in the air fryer, though this is only recommended if you like things super crispy. Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees for 3 minutes, then toss in your leftover smashed broccoli. Reheat for 3-5 minutes or until warmed throughout.
If you love this veggie side dish, you’ve got to try these broccoli recipes!
- Cheese Sauce for Broccoli – This easy side dish is quick and simple… Perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner! Leftover cheese sauce is great to add to all sorts of roasted or steamed vegetables.
- Air Fryer Broccoli – If you love perfectly roasted broccoli but wish it were quicker, you’ve got to try it in the air fryer! Each floret gets perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon – We love bringing this recipe for potlucks and tailgates. It’s incredibly easy, and all the textures hold up perfectly for a couple days so you can make it ahead of time!
- Cheddar Roasted Broccoli – This is such an easy recipe! You’ll want to keep frozen broccoli stocked so you can have this side dish any time.
- Keto Broccoli Cheddar Bites – These are easy cheesy bites that are great to pack with lunches or serve alongside some low-carb tomato soup!
- Want more? Check out this list of the BEST broccoli recipes.
Smashed Broccoli Recipe FAQs
Yes, if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves or jarred minced garlic, you can use 1/3 to 1/2 as much garlic powder. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, so you would likely need about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
The Best Smashed Broccoli
- 12 ounces fresh broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup good quality shredded parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes in a microwave-safe bag or in a steam basket over boiling water. The broccoli needs to be "al dente," soft enough to smash but not mushy.
- Pat the broccoli dry with a dish towel and place on a large baking sheet.
- Use a heavy bottom glass to smash the broccoli flat.
- Combine the melted butter, garlic, garlic salt, and black pepper. Brush the smashed broccoli with the mixture and top with the parmesan.
- Roast the broccoli 18-20 minutes until crispy.