How to Blanch Broccoli

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Learn how to blanch broccoli to tame its raw, bitter taste. Then you can sauté it for stir-fries, add it to pasta salads, or pile it on your next vegetable platter.

Broccoli blanching in a saucepan.

Tutorial notes

  • Uniform size: Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Buying: Choose bright green broccoli that has a firm stalk without yellowing florets or brown spots. Broccoli should feel heavy for its size.
  • Storing: Whole broccoli should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Use broccoli within 3-4 days.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Bring 4 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a rapid boil; fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Lower the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green and tender-crisp.
Broccoli cooking in boiling water in a silver pot.
  1. Remove the broccoli and immediately plunge into the ice water. When the broccoli is completely cool, drain well.
Broccoli in iced water in a silver pot.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 6 servings (½ cup blanched broccoli each). 1 pound broccoli yields about 6 cups raw florets or 3 cups blanched florets.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Arrange drained broccoli in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the broccoli is frozen, transfer it to a zipper-top bag and freeze up to 9 months. Remove and reheat any portion size, or thaw the whole bag overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Sauce it up: Blanched broccoli is delicious with a drizzle of hollandaise or teriyaki sauce.
  • Leftovers: Use leftover blanched broccoli in an omelet or scrambled eggs, pasta salad (see Seafood Pasta Salad below), or green salad.
Seafood salad on a black and white platter.

Best broccoli recipes

Broccoli blanching in a saucepan.

How to Blanch Broccoli

Learn how to blanch broccoli to tame its raw, bitter taste. Then you can sauté it for stir-fries, add it to pasta salads, or pile it on your next vegetable platter.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 23 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Cooling Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 servings (½ cup each)
Course Pantry, Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 51

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons Salt (optional)

Instructions 

  • Bring 4 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a rapid boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
  • Carefully lower the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green and just barely tender.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the broccoli and immediately plunge into the ice water.
  • When the broccoli is completely cool, drain it from the ice water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Uniform size: Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. Buying: Choose bright green broccoli that has a firm stalk without yellowing florets or brown spots. Broccoli should feel heavy for its size.
  3. Storing: Whole broccoli should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Use broccoli within 3-4 days.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 6 servings (½ cup blanched broccoli each). 1 pound broccoli yields about 6 cups raw florets or 3 cups blanched florets.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Freezer: Arrange drained broccoli in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the broccoli is frozen, transfer it to a zipper-top bag and freeze up to 9 months. Remove and reheat any portion size, or thaw the whole bag overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  7. Sauce it up: Blanched broccoli is delicious with a drizzle of hollandaise or teriyaki sauce.
  8. Leftovers: Use leftover blanched broccoli in an omelet or scrambled eggs, pasta salad, or green salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 825mgPotassium: 478mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 942IUVitamin C: 135mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this! I am new to the fresh food ideal and I went a little crazy at the farmer’s market. I didn’t want to waste anything and this was the perfect thing to keep my produce from going bad!5 stars

    1. Happy to help Leticia, hope you enjoy all your farmer’s market goodies! – Meggan

  2. Once the broccoli has drained, put it in one layer on a sheet pan lined with a piece of waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the florets are frozen, put them in a ziploc bag and only take out as much as you need at the time. Works great for me because I am the only one in my house who eats broccoli.5 stars

  3. When you place the food in the boiling water, the water cools. Are you saying that the water MUST return to a boil, then count the cooking time, or is it just total time in the water?

    1. Hi Bob, it will be for 2 to 3 minutes of time boiling in the water, so once the water’s heat recovers. It may vary in time depending on the size of the florets, so you will want to look for the broccoli to turn bright green and start to become tender. Thank you! – meggan

    1. Hey there, sorry about that! It’s just a mistake with the nutrition label. We accidentally included the salt for the water as an ingredient. Salting the water is OPTIONAL and if you leave it out, the sodium is negligible. I do personally still salt the water for blanching but that’s just my preference, and its not the same as just eating a tablespoon of salt. -Meggan