This Sautéed broccoli is an easy and healthy side dish for just about any meal. With very little prep and a short cook time, this one-pan garlic broccoli side dish is great for busy weeknights and meal prep! 

sauteed broccoli in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

What you’ll need:

  • Water 
  • Broccoli florets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • A few cloves garlic 
  • White sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (optional)

How to easily sauté broccoli

One pan, four ingredients, and 15 minutes is all this sautéed broccoli requires! The key to perfect sautéed broccoli is two-fold. First, you’ve got to steam the broccoli briefly before uncovering and letting the water evaporate off. The second step is to add some oil and sauté the broccoli and garlic until crisp tender.

This two-step process results in perfect tender broccoli that’s not over or undercooked in any way.

  1. Bring ½ cup water to a boil in a sauté pan (be sure to bring to the water to a boil with a lid on the pan, otherwise the water will evaporate). 
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into medium-sized florets, keeping some of the stem of visual and textural appeal.
  3. Add the broccoli, cover and steam for 3 minutes. 
  4. Remove the lid and continue to cook until all of the water has evaporated out. 
  5. Add the oil and garlic and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender and the garlic is golden brown. 
  6. Stir in the sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. 
Step-by-step grid of images showing how to saute broccoli

How to reheat cooked broccoli 

This sautéed broccoli recipe is a great meal prep recipe. Make a few batches of this broccoli at the beginning of the week then reheat for breakfast with scrambled eggs, toss over a salad for lunch, or serve with roasted salmon for dinner. 

To reheat this garlic broccoli you can either zap it in the microwave for a minute on high or toss in a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high until warmed through. 

How to store cooked broccoli 

Store cooked broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cooked broccoli cannot be left out overnight, it must be refrigerated!

How to serve sautéed broccoli

I love to serve this sautéed broccoli as a side dish with any kind of grilled or roasted meat or fish. It’s fabulous tossed in pasta with some Parmesan, sprinkled over a pizza, or drizzled with a creamy tahini sauce. 

sauteed broccoli in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

Variations of sautéed broccoli:

  • Substitute some of the broccoli for cauliflower. 
  • Give it an Asian stir-fry flare by adding sliced mushrooms and shredded carrots (add to pan with the oil), and finishing with a splash of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil
  • Give it an Italian flare by adding sun dried tomatoes, basil and Parmesan.
  • Replace the garlic with sliced scallions. 
  • Make it more decadent by using butter instead of olive oil. 
  • Finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan. 

Serve sautéed broccoli with these main dish recipes…

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sauteed broccoli in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

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sauteed broccoli in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

Quick & Easy Garlicky Sautéed Broccoli

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Make perfect sautéed broccoli every time with this one-pan sautéed broccoli recipe that requires just 4 ingredients and 15 minutes! The key lies in the two-part cooking process that starts with steaming the broccoli in the pan, and ends with sautéing the broccoli in oil with sliced garlic.


  • 1  pound broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


Add ½ cup water to a large sauté pan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and steam until nearly crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until water is evaporated. 

Add oil and garlic to skillet, decrease heat to medium-high and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and garlic is starting to brown, 3–4 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and season with salt and black pepper (and red pepper flakes if you prefer); cook 1 minute. 

Season with additional salt to taste and serve immediately.


Store broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 


  • Serving Size: ¼ of recipe
  • Calories: 105
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 185mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: sautéed broccoli, how to sauté broccoli, sautéed broccoli recipe, garlic broccoli

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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