Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon

Roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon is one of the easiest, most flavorful side dishes you can throw together to serve alongside dinner. You can optionally add some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top for even more savoriness. We make this roasted broccoli recipe all the time because it’s so hands off, and it compliments everything from pasta and casseroles to meats and seafood. 

Roasted broccoli with lemon and garlic, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese

When I was younger, I didn’t care for vegetables at all, unless you count french fries with ketchup as a vegetable. However, once I grew up and discovered the magic of simple roasted veggies, everything changed.

There’s nothing I love more than simple roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon. I often add shaved cheese and toasted nuts, which I’ve thrown in as optional ingredients, but the broccoli is so good on it’s own that it doesn’t need them to shine.

If I’m being completely honest, the lemon is kind of optional as well (but it’s tasty, so try it). Broccoli (or brussels sprouts, my other favorite vegetable) tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, with a few slices of garlic strewn about, is a side dish I can have with dinner every night and be completely satisfied.

Roasted broccoli is crunchy, savory, healthy, and it compliments almost everything. Serve this recipe alongside pasta like cacio e pepe, stews like Cincinnati chili, baked macaroni and cheese, or crab cakes.

It’s good stuff, and it involves minimal effort!

Raw broccoli and a whole head of garlic on a sheet pan

What Temperature to Roast Broccoli?

Broccoli will successfully roast at any temperature between 400-450 degrees F, but 425 is the sweet spot in a properly calibrated oven. You’ll get the same results if you go down to 400 or up to 450.

However, it will take longer at 400, and you need to keep a careful watch on the broccoli at 450. It will go from nicely caramelized to burned if you’re not paying close attention.

How Long to Roast Broccoli?

At 425 degrees F, broccoli will be perfectly roasted somewhere between 20-25 minutes. Make sure to turn the broccoli florets over after around 12 minutes for even caramelization; the side facing down on the hot sheet pan is where the browning mostly occurs.

Can You Roast Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, you can roast frozen broccoli florets. Do not thaw them first, though, or they’ll turn into mush!

Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the baking sheet in the oven as it preheats. Follow similar ingredient ratios below (but you may want to skip the garlic since 450 is a bit high unless you’re keeping an eye on it).

Toss the frozen broccoli, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Once the oven is hot, carefully remove the baking sheet and add the broccoli. Roast for 15-18 minutes, stirring midway, until the broccoli is browning and crisp on the outside and fork-tender.

What’s the Best Oil For Roasting Vegetables?

I prefer extra virgin olive oil. Other good choices are canola or grapeseed oil. Don’t use pricy oils; save those for salad dressings and dipping bread.

How Much Oil is Needed to Roast Vegetables?

Vegetables should be glistening and evenly coated with oil, but not swimming. Certain veggies like mushrooms are more porous and might require a bit more oil. A good baseline is to start with about 2 tablespoons of oil per sheet pan of vegetables.

Roasted Broccoli Variations

  • Try using asiago or pecorino cheese instead of parmesan
  • Top with a light sprinkle of crushed red pepper at the end for some heat
  • Add 1-2 slices of bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces

Roasted broccoli with lemon and garlic

Looking For More Broccoli Recipes?

You may also like my Broccoli Cheese Soup, Crispy Baked Tofu with Broccoli, and Baked Salmon with Broccoli, Potatoes and Mustard-Chive Sauce! I also love this Broccoli Salad from Recipe Girl.

5 from 9 votes
A close up of roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon
Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon is one of the easiest, most flavorful side dishes you can throw together with dinner.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 - 4 servings
Calories: 160 kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (depends how much you like)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1 medium lemon, halved
  • Optional: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste
  • Optional: 3-4 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
  1. Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
  2. Combine the broccoli florets and garlic on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli and garlic evenly, leaving space in between for even roasting. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, using a spatula to turn the pieces over midway through. The broccoli is ready when browned and crispy on the edges and fork tender.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice over the broccoli, being mindful to avoid seeds. If using, top with the cheese and/or nuts. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

You can save the leftover broccoli stalk for a later use, such as broccoli soup.
To avoid burning the garlic, I recommend slightly thicker slices (cutting each clove into thirds or quarters lengthwise).
Suggested pairings:


About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon is one of the easiest, most flavorful side dishes you can throw together with dinner. Add some optional fresh grated parmesan cheese on top for even more tastiness! #broccoli #roastedbroccoli #sidedishes #savorysimple

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