Do you have kids who won’t go near broccoli? My two boys (3 and 14) devoured an entire recipe of roasted broccoli the last time I made it. I helped too, but only a little. This broccoli is so good that we have actually made it as a late-night snack.
My three year old calls this “soft crispy broccoli,” a term we invented to get him to try it. It worked, and the description is actually accurate.
The inside parts of these roasted broccoli pieces cook up tender yet firm, while the tiny florets gently brown and crisp along their edges. If you take the time to arrange the broccoli pieces with their cut sides down (worth your time), the sides against the sheet pan will brown and caramelize. That’s flavor.
Caramelizing a vegetable is simply one of the best ways to add great flavor, but only part of the credit for this best-in-class broccoli belongs to the oven roasting technique. The secret ingredient in this broccoli, which contributes to both flavor and texture at the same time, is Chicago Steak Seasoning.
What is Chicago Steak Seasoning?
Oh, lucky you. You are about to make a new seasoning friend, and their name is Chicago Steak Seasoning. You’ll want to show your new friend around, and introduce them to all of your other produce buddies. Because Chicago Steak Seasoning, despite having “steak” right in the name, is not just for meat. Its flavors of garlic, onion, lemon, and black pepper are right at home on vegetables, too. Especially more bitter vegetables like broccoli.
Chicago Steak Seasoning is sold at supermarkets and spice merchants all over, and the ingredients in a blend will vary by manufacturer. But the version we love the most is from Penzey’s Spices. It’s the touch of sugar in Penzey’s Chicago Steak Seasoning that perfectly balances the slight bitterness of a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli. This tiny bit of sugar also helps the caramelization process along.
I promise, you won’t think you’re eating broccoli as dessert – this blend is not that sweet. But you might not have room for dessert after all the Roasted Broccoli you’ll put away.
How to make Roasted Broccoli
Start with two broccoli crowns. Remove the stems, and divide the florets into small pieces. If you can cut a floret in half or in quarters, that’s great. Those flat surfaces will brown nicely in the oven.
Next, spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray. I love Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray. It’s pure olive oil with no added ingredients. I avoid sprays with vegetable gums like lecithin that can build up on your cookware and leave it sticky.
If you’re not using an olive oil spray or sprayer bottle, you can drizzle about 1 tbsp of olive oil onto the pan. This is all the oil you’ll need to prepare the pan, and coat the broccoli.
Add the broccoli to the pan, and either spray it with more olive oil, or toss it in the pan to coat it lightly with oil. Spread the florets out evenly on the pan, and turn their cut sides down whenever possible.
Sprinkle with Chicago Steak Seasoning.
Roast the broccoli at 425F for about 21-23 minutes, until the edges and undersides of the pieces start to get deeply brown, and the broccoli is tender.
What to serve with Roasted Broccoli
We like to pair roasted broccoli with a dish made on the stovetop, and cook them in parallel. Try Roasted Broccoli with pan-seared chicken breasts, grilled salmon, or even a pasta dish. The crispy texture of this broccoli would be a great complement to tender pasta. This recipe is also vegan, and makes a great snack.
- 2 broccoli crowns – about 6 cups of florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil – or use Bertolli Olive Oil Spray
- 3/4 tsp Chicago Steak Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the stems from the broccoli crowns. Break down into florets, and divide the florets into bite-sized pieces. (If you can, cut a floret in half or in quarters to create flat surfaces which will brown nicely in the oven.
- Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray or spread with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Add the broccoli to the pan, and either spray it with more olive oil, or toss it in the pan to coat it lightly with oil.
- Spread the florets out evenly on the pan, and turn their cut sides down whenever possible.
- Sprinkle with Chicago Steak Seasoning.
- Roast the broccoli for about 21-23 minutes, until the edges and undersides of the pieces start to get deeply brown, and the broccoli is tender.
- Chicago Steak Seasoning is available online from Penzey’s Spices. You can find other versions of this spice blend in the supermarket, but this one is the best.
- Bertolli Olive Oil Spray is a quick and easy way to evenly coat veggies with oil. It contains only olive oil – no extra ingredients that can gum up your cookware.