Smashed Broccoli with Parmesan and Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
Air Fried, Broccoli, Vegetables

Smashed Broccoli: A Flavorful and Nutritious Delight


Are you tired of your usual steamed or roasted broccoli? It’s time to unleash the deliciousness and discover the magic of smashed broccoli! This not-so-ordinary way of cooking this nutrient-packed superfood will take your taste buds on an exciting journey.

Smashed broccoli is more than just a side dish; it’s a culinary adventure that brings out the natural flavors and textures of this green veggie. Imagine tender stalks and crispy florets, coated in a mouthwatering blend of seasonings and olive oil. The result? A dish that will have even the pickiest eaters asking for seconds.

But smashed broccoli isn’t just about taste; it’s also about health. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s a fantastic addition to any balanced diet. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile – from salads and pasta dishes to stir-fries and gratins, the possibilities are endless.

So, say goodbye to boring broccoli and embrace the excitement of smashed broccoli. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body with this delightful and nutritious dish that will make your meals truly unforgettable.

What is smashed-broccoli?

Smashed Broccoli with Parmesan and Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
Smashed Broccoli with Parmesan and Garlic-Infused Olive Oil

Smashed-broccoli is an innovative and delicious way of preparing this nutrient-packed vegetable. Unlike traditional methods of steaming or roasting, smashing the broccoli florets and stems creates a unique texture and flavor profile that will delight your taste buds.

The process involves gently pressing down on the broccoli with a fork or potato masher, breaking it into smaller pieces while still maintaining some of its structure. This technique allows the natural sugars in the broccoli to caramelize, resulting in a sweet and savory combination that is both satisfying and indulgent.

The smashing process also exposes more surface area of the broccoli, allowing it to better absorb the flavors of the seasonings, oils, and other ingredients you choose to pair it with. From garlic and herbs to chili flakes and parmesan, the possibilities for creating mouthwatering smashed broccoli dishes are endless.

The health benefits of smashed-broccoli

Broccoli is widely recognized as a superfood, packed with an impressive array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When you smash this vegetable, you not only unlock its delicious flavor, but you also enhance its nutritional profile.

One of the key benefits of smashed-broccoli is its high fiber content. The act of smashing the broccoli helps to break down the cell walls, making the fiber more accessible to your body. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system, promoting feelings of fullness, and regulating blood sugar levels.

Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is crucial for immune system function, collagen production, and skin health. Smashing the broccoli can help to preserve and even increase the bioavailability of this important nutrient. Additionally, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.

Furthermore, smashed broccoli is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense option that can be easily incorporated into a balanced diet. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your overall health, or simply enjoy a delicious and nutritious side dish, smashed broccoli is a fantastic choice.

Nutritional value of smashed-broccoli

Broccoli is a true nutritional powerhouse, and when you smash it, you unlock even more of its beneficial properties. One cup of smashed broccoli contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 55

bohydrates: 11 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

3 grams

Smashed Broccoli
Smashed Broccoli

Vitamin C: 135% of the daily recommended intake

Vitamin K: 116% of the daily recommended intake

Folate: 14% of the daily recommended intake

Potassium: 288 milligrams

ium: 21 milligrams

In addition to these essential vitamins and minerals, smashed broccoli is also rich in antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health, and glucosinolates, which have been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.

The act of smashing the broccoli also helps to increase the bioavailability of some of these nutrients. For example, the process can make the carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, more readily absorbed by the body. This means that you can reap even greater health benefits from incorporating smashed broccoli into your diet.

Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system, support heart health, or simply add more nutrient-dense foods to your meals, smashed broccoli is a versatile and nutritious choice that should be a staple in your culinary repertoire.

How to prepare smashed broccoli

Preparing delicious smashed broccoli is a simple and straightforward process that can be easily mastered in your own kitchen. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:


Broccoli florets and stems, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Olive oil or avocado oil

Garlic (minced or crushed)

and pepper to taste

seasonings: lemon juice, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, etc.


reheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Spread the broccoli florets and stems on a large baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer and not overcrowded.

Drizzle the broccoli with a generous amount of olive oil or avocado oil, ensuring that all the pieces are lightly coated.

Sprinkle the minced or crushed garlic over the broccoli, followed by a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

. Using a fork or potato masher, gently press down on the broccoli, smashing it into smaller, irregularly shaped pieces. Be careful not to completely mash it into a paste.

. Roast the smashed broccoli in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are crispy and the broccoli is tender.

the smashed-broccoli is out of the oven, you can add any additional seasonings or toppings you desire, such as lemon juice, parmesan cheese, or red pepper flakes.

The key to perfect smashed-broccoli is to strike the right balance between tender and crispy. The smashing process helps to caramelize the natural sugars in the broccoli, creating a delightful flavor profile that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and flavor combinations to find your personal favorite. Smashed broccoli is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side, a topping for salads and pasta, or even as a main course when paired with protein-rich ingredients.

Smashed-broccoli recipes

Smashed broccoli is a versatile dish that can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes, from simple side dishes to more complex main courses. Here are a few delectable smashed broccoli recipes to inspire your culinary adventures:

Garlic Parmesan Smashed-Broccoli

A classic flavor combination is a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to become a new family favorite. Start by roasting the smashed broccoli as described in the previous section, then toss it with minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of lemon juice. The result is a savory, cheesy, and slightly tangy dish that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or roasted salmon.

Broccoli Salad

your typical broccoli salad by incorporating the smashed technique. Toss the roasted smashed broccoli with diced red onion, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and a tangy vinaigrette made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. This salad is a delightful balance of textures and flavors, making it an excellent choice for a light lunch or a nutritious side dish.

Broccoli Pasta

a heartier dish, combine smashed broccoli with your favorite pasta, such as penne or fusilli. Sauté the smashed broccoli with garlic, red pepper flakes, and a splash of white wine or vegetable broth. Toss the mixture with the cooked pasta, grated parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil. The starch from the pasta helps to bind the dish together, creating a satisfying and comforting meal.

Smashed Broccoli Gratin

ate your smashed broccoli by transforming it into a creamy, cheesy gratin. Arrange the roasted smashed broccoli in a baking dish, then top it with a bechamel sauce, shredded cheddar or gruyere cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. This dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a special occasion.

These are just a few examples of the endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating smashed broccoli into your culinary creations. Get creative with your favorite flavors and ingredients, and let the versatility of this delightful vegetable shine.

Tips for making the perfect smashed broccoli

Mastering the art of smashed broccoli is easier than you might think. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect balance of crispy edges and tender, flavorful broccoli:

  1. Use fresh, high-quality broccoli: Start with fresh, bright green broccoli florets and stems. Avoid using broccoli that is wilted or discolored, as it may not hold up well during the smashing process.
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces: Aim for florets and stems that are roughly the same size, around 1-2 inches in length. This will ensure even cooking and make the smashing process easier.
  3. Preheat your oven and use a baking sheet: A hot oven is crucial for achieving the perfect caramelization on the broccoli. Use a large baking sheet to ensure the broccoli is in a single layer, which will help it crisp up.
  4. Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet: Leave a bit of space between the broccoli pieces to allow for even cooking and crisping. If the broccoli is too crowded, it will steam instead of roast.
  5. Use the right amount of oil: Drizzle the broccoli with just enough oil to lightly coat it. Too much oil can make the broccoli greasy, while too little may result in dry, crumbly pieces.
  6. Smash gently: When it’s time to smash the broccoli, use a fork or potato masher and apply gentle pressure. You want to break the broccoli into smaller pieces, not turn it into a puree.
  7. Roast until crispy: Keep a close eye on the broccoli as it roasts, and remove it from the oven when the edges are crispy and golden brown, but the centers are still tender.
  8. Experiment with seasonings: Smashed broccoli is a blank canvas for all sorts of flavors. Try different combinations of herbs, spices, citrus, and cheeses to find your perfect flavor profile.
  9. Serve immediately: Smashed broccoli is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, when the texture and flavor are at their peak. Serve it hot, straight from the oven, for maximum enjoyment.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious, perfectly cooked smashed broccoli every time. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this flavorful and nutritious dish.

Variations of smashed broccoli

While the classic smashed broccoli recipe is a delightful and versatile dish, there are numerous ways to put your own spin on this culinary creation. Here are a few variations to inspire your next smashed broccoli adventure:

Spicy Smashed Broccoli

those who love a little heat, try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha or other hot sauce to the roasted smashed broccoli. The spicy kick will perfectly complement the natural sweetness of the caramelized broccoli.-Infused Smashed Broccoli

ate your smashed broccoli by incorporating fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano. Simply toss the roasted broccoli with chopped fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright, flavorful twist.

Cheesy Smashed Broccoli

inkle grated parmesan, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese over the roasted smashed broccoli, allowing the heat to melt the cheese and create a creamy, indulgent topping.

Nutty Smashed Broccoli

Add a crunchy, nutty element to your smashed broccoli by tossing it with toasted slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or pine nuts. The nutty flavor and texture will complement the broccoli beautifully.

Smashed Broccoli with Bacon

a savory, indulgent twist, cook some crispy bacon and crumble it over the roasted smashed broccoli. The smoky, salty bacon will add a delightful contrast to the sweet, caramelized broccoli.

Lemon-Garlic Smashed Broccoli

ten up your smashed-broccoli with a zesty lemon-garlic flavor. Toss the roasted broccoli with minced garlic, lemon zest, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a refreshing and vibrant dish.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing your smashed broccoli. Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations and ingredients to find your personal favorite.

Serving suggestions for smashed-broccoli

Smashed-broccoli is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some serving suggestions to help you incorporate this tasty veggie into your meals:

 a Side Dish

d broccoli makes an excellent side dish, pairing well with a wide range of main courses. Serve it alongside grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken, salmon, or steak, for a balanced and nutritious meal.

Topping for Salads

inkle crispy smashed broccoli over your favorite salad to add texture, flavor, and an extra boost of nutrients. It pairs particularly well with leafy greens, roasted vegetables, and protein-rich ingredients like chickpeas or grilled shrimp.

Topping for Pasta or Grain Bowls

ashed broccoli with your cooked pasta, quinoa, or farro to create a hearty, satisfying dish. The broccoli will add a delightful crunch and depth of flavor to your grain-based meals.

Appetizer or Snack

smashed broccoli as a standalone appetizer or snack, either on its own or with a dipping sauce, such as a creamy garlic aioli or a tangy balsamic glaze.

Ingredient in Casseroles or Gratins

smashed broccoli into baked casseroles or gratins, where it will add both flavor and texture to the dish. It pairs especially well with creamy sauces, cheeses, and breadcrumb toppings.

 for Pizzas or Flatbreads

inkle smashed broccoli over your homemade or store-bought pizza or flatbread for a unique and delicious topping. The broccoli will add a lovely contrast to the other toppings and the crispy crust.

No matter how you choose to serve it, smashed broccoli is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Its versatility and delicious flavor make it a fantastic addition to a wide range of meals and snacks.

Frequently asked questions about smashed-broccoli

What is the difference between smashed-broccoli and roasted broccoli?

    main difference between smashed broccoli and roasted broccoli is the preparation method. Roasted broccoli is typically cooked whole or in larger florets, while smashed broccoli involves gently pressing down on the broccoli to break it into smaller, irregularly shaped pieces. This smashing process helps to expose more surface area, leading to better caramelization and a unique texture.

    Is smashed broccoli healthier than other cooking methods?

      d broccoli can be considered a healthier option compared to some other cooking methods. The smashing process helps to preserve more of the broccoli’s nutrients, particularly vitamins C and K, as well as its fiber content. Additionally, the increased surface area allows for more efficient absorption of beneficial compounds like sulforaphane.

      How do I ensure my smashed-broccoli comes out crispy?

        crispy, caramelized edges on your smashed-broccoli, be sure to use a hot oven (around 400°F/200°C), avoid overcrowding the baking sheet, and use just enough oil to lightly coat the broccoli. Additionally, resist the urge to over-smash the broccoli, as this can lead to a mushy texture.

        Smashed Broccoli Delight: Crunchy and Nutritious

        Recipe by Donnie Caves
        0.0 from 0 votes
        Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


        Prep time


        Cooking time




        Total time



        This Smashed Broccoli Delight is a quick and easy side dish that’s packed with flavor and nutrition. Perfect for a healthy meal, it’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

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        • 1 lb broccoli florets

        • 2 tablespoons olive oil

        • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

        • 1 teaspoon onion powder

        • Salt and pepper to taste

        • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

        • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

        • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional for non-vegan)


        • Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
        • Prepare Broccoli: In a large mixing bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
        • Roast Broccoli: Spread the broccoli florets out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until they start to get tender.
        • Smash Broccoli: Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a potato masher or fork to gently smash each broccoli floret to flatten them slightly.
        • Season and Roast Again: Sprinkle the smashed broccoli with red pepper flakes (if using) and lemon juice. For non-vegans, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges are crispy and golden brown.
        • Serve: Remove from the oven and serve hot as a delicious and healthy side dish.

        Recipe Video


        • For a vegan version, skip the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese alternative.
        • For extra flavor, you can add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
        • This dish pairs well with grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

        Nutrition Facts

        • Total number of serves: 4
        • Calories: 90kcal
        • Carbohydrates: 8g
        • Protein: 3g
        • Fat: 6g
        • Saturated Fat: 1g
        • Sodium: 150mg
        • Fiber: 4g
        • Sugar: 2g

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