Smashed Broccoli Parmesan

Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Kayla Berman

Are you tired of the same old, bland vegetable dishes? Well, it’s time to revolutionize your plate with my Smashed Broccoli Parmesan — a simple recipe that will change the way you look at broccoli forever. With fewer than 10 ingredients and just 20 minutes of prep, each floret of parmesan roasted broccoli is transformed into a cheesy, crispy marvel. It’s the perfect side dish!

Loving this smashed food preparation method? You have to check out my Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes too.

smashed broccoli parmesan in a bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Crispy Oven-Roasted Smashed Broccoli Recipe

This smashed roasted broccoli parmesan is “where-have-you-been-all-my-life” good! Here’s why you’re gonna be obsessed with my new favorite way to prepare broccoli:

  • 🥦 Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy: Seriously, it’s so simple to make! Got 10 ingredients or less? Check. Minimal prep time? Double check. This parmesan broccoli is your new “I-can’t-believe-I-made-this” showstopper.
  • 🎉 Party in a Dish: Whether it’s a chill movie night, a big fam dinner, or just you and your couch, this smashed broccoli with cheese fits right in. It’s like the little black dress of side dishes — perfect for any occasion! Even the broccoli haters will love it.
  • 💸 Kind to Your Wallet: Who says you need to spend big to eat well? This recipe is all about making the most of what you’ve got. Budget-friendly ingredients, but with a taste that’s millionaire level.
  • 💪 Health? Heck Yeah! Broccoli is one of my favorite superhero veggies, packed with vitamins and all that good stuff. And when it’s this delicious, eating healthy doesn’t feel like a chore.
cheesy smashed broccoli with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients & Substitutions

As promised, you only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this garlic parmesan broccoli. Here’s what to grab:

  • Broccoli – Feel free to purchase bags of fresh or frozen florets to cut back on prep time. Or a whole head of broccoli to chop yourself!
  • Parmesan Cheese – Make sure to grab a wedge of solid cheese rather than the pre-grated kind. You’re also welcome to swap in any other hard-aged Italian cheese like asiago, pecorino romano, or grana padano.
  • Olive Oil – Since we’re roasting at a pretty high temperature, opt for regular (i.e. not extra-virgin) olive oil for a higher smoke point. Alternatively, use avocado, grapeseed, or canola oil.
  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder – This duo of pantry staples adds the sweet complexity of allium goodness without any papery skins or tears to contend with. If you only have garlic or onion flakes, you can pulverize them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. You can also use garlic or onion salt, but make sure to dial back the added salt if you do.
  • Italian Seasoning – This blend is built to pair well with pretty much all the Italian cheeses I can think of. That said, feel free to swap in the seasoning blend of your choosing.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – If possible, avoid iodized table salt which can leave behind a bitter flavor. Also, make sure to freshly grind the black pepper for the best flavor.
flat lay shot of ingredients needed to make parmesan smashed broccoli.

Equipment 

How To Make Parmesan Smashed Broccoli

Making smashed broccoli in the oven is a snap. Here’s how it’s done:

Prep: Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a large baking sheet. Cut the broccoli crowns into individual florets. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Step 1: Parcook the Broccoli. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Then drain the broccoli and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Thoroughly pat dry.

broccoli after being blanched and drained.

Step 2: Make Seasoning Mix. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning to a small bowl. Combine thoroughly.

olive oil with seasoning in a small bowl with a silver spoon.

Step 3: Smash. Add the broccoli florets to a prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Smash each floret with the bottom of a glass jar (or other heavy object) until flattened. 

Step 4: Bring the Flavor. Top each smashed floret with the olive oil mixture. Add parmesan cheese on top. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Step 5: Roast the seasoned broccoli for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the broccoli is crisped to your liking.

Step 6: Serve & Enjoy! I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice too.

Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations

Remember, recipes are just guidelines. Feel free to experiment and make it your own. Check out these super cool twists:

  • Vegan Vibes: No dairy? No problem! Swap out the parmesan for your favorite vegan cheese, or go for a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. Plant-based and proud!
  • Spice It Up: If you’re a thrill-seeker, add a dash of red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne. 
  • Veggie Swap: Try this crispified veggie recipe with cauliflower instead of broccoli. It’s equally delicious! Brussels sprouts would be great too.
  • Cheese, Please! Not a fan of Parmesan? Feel free to experiment with other melty cheeses. 
  • Lemon Freshness: For a fresh, zesty note, grate some lemon zest over the broccoli before serving. It adds a bright pop of flavor that’s seriously refreshing.
  • Extra Crunch: Top your parmesan garlic broccoli with some garlicky bread crumbs or a scattering of toasted pine nuts for extra crunch and richness.
hand holding a floret of crispy, cheesy smashed broccoli parmesan.

Expert Tips

Want to take your Smashed Broccoli game to the next level? Check out these expert tips to ensure your dish comes out crispy, cheesy, and utterly delicious every single time!

  • Go Small for Big Flavor: Small florets aren’t just cute; they crisp up better! The smaller size allows more surface area to get that golden-brown deliciousness. So, chop your broccoli into smaller pieces for the ultimate crunch.
  • Dry, Dry, Dry!: Extra moisture is the enemy of crispiness. Make sure to pat your broccoli completely dry with paper towel after washing. The drier it is, the crispier it’ll get in the oven. Trust, this step is a game-changer!
  • Roast for Glory: Don’t be in a rush! Letting your broccoli roast for a bit longer can make all the difference. Keep an eye on it and roast until it’s beautifully golden. That’s when the magic of crispiness happens!
  • Super Thin, Super Crispy: When smashing your broccoli, go for SUPER thin. The thinner the floret, the more surface area there is to crisp up. Think of it as creating little broccoli chips – so satisfyingly crunchy!
  • Freshly Grated for Greatness: For the best results, ditch the pre-shredded stuff and grate your cheese fresh. Freshly grated cheese not only tastes better and is often cheaper, but it also melts like a dream. 
bowl of crispy smashed broccoli florets with parmesan cheese.

Serving Suggestions

Whether you’re pairing it with a main course or transforming it into a fun appetizer, I’ve got some delectable ideas for serving your smashed parmesan broccoli:

  • Grill Master’s Dream: Serving up some grilled chicken, steak, or fish? The smashed roasted parmesan broccoli’s crispiness is a perfect complement to the smoky flavors from the grill.
  • Very Very Veggie: Pair it with a quinoa salad or a buddha bowl to turn it from a side to the star of the show. Add some grilled tofu or chicken for a pop of protein.
  • Rice Dishes’ Best Friend: It’s also great for serving with a savory rice dish, like risotto or a flavorful pilaf. The simplicity of rice provides a great backdrop to highlight the bold flavors of the broccoli.
  • Broccoli & Dipping Sauce: Create a vibrant platter by serving the cheesy smashed broccoli with various dips like hummus, tzatziki, tomato sauce, or guacamole. It’s a great way to get the party started!
  • Cheesy Broccoli Sliders: For a more filling appetizer, place a piece of smashed parmesan broccoli on a mini slider bun, add a dollop of tomato sauce, top with an extra sprinkle of cheese, and broil for a minute until the cheese melts. These mini broccoli sliders are not only adorable but irresistibly tasty!
baking sheet with parmesan smashed broccoli.

FAQs

What’s the easiest way to break down broccoli into florets?

Breaking down broccoli into florets is a breeze with these steps:

Give It a Good Wash: Start by thoroughly washing the broccoli under cool running water. This helps get rid of any lingering dirt, pesticides, or tiny unwelcome visitors.

Stem Removal: Grab a sharp chef’s knife and slice off the thick stem at the base of the broccoli crown. Don’t toss the stem though! It’s tasty and packed with nutrients. Just peel off its tougher outer layer and chop it into bite-sized pieces for another dish.

Free the Florets: Now, flip the broccoli so the stem is facing up. Begin at the crown’s edge, slicing through the stems of each floret. Aim to cut as close as possible to the main stalk to yield smaller, more manageable florets. If you encounter any particularly large florets, simply split them into smaller ones.

Size It Right: Got some oversized florets? No problem! Just give them a quick trim to your preferred size using your knife.

How should I store leftovers?

First, let your delicious smashed broccoli chill out and reach room temperature. This step is key to avoiding any unwanted moisture in the storage container. 

Next, pop the cooled broccoli into an airtight container – this is your freshness and texture guardian. Tuck it into your fridge, where it’ll stay good for 3 to 5 days. 

Ready for round two? Reheat your broccoli in the oven or on the stove to bring back that delightful crispiness. The air fryer works great too!

A little tip: steer clear of the microwave to dodge the dreaded sog factor.

bowl of smashed broccoli with parmesan cheese and lemon.

Related Recipes

More Veggie Side Dish Recipes

If you make this crispy smashed broccoli recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations

smashed broccoli parmesan in a serving bowl with lemon wedges.

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.

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Smashed Broccoli Parmesan

Are you tired of the same old, bland vegetable dishes? Well, it’s time to revolutionize your plate with my Smashed Broccoli Parmesan — a simple recipe that will change the way you look at broccoli forever. With fewer than 10 ingredients and just 20 minutes of prep, each floret of parmesan roasted broccoli is transformed into a cheesy, crispy marvel. It’s the perfect side dish!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven Roasted

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the broccoli crowns into individual florets. Then bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the broccoli florets. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Then drain the broccoli and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Thoroughly pat dry.
  3. Next add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning to a small bowl. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Add the broccoli florets to a thoroughly greased large baking sheet and spread. Smash each floret with a glass jar (or other heavy object) until flattened. 
  5. Top each smashed floret with the olive oil mixture. Add parmesan cheese on top. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the broccoli is crisped to your liking.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: Smashed Broccoli, Smashed Broccoli Parmesan, Broccoli Chips, Crispy Broccoli Parmesan Chips, Smashed Broccoli with Parmesan Cheese Recipe, Smashed Broccoli Recipe

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