This Lemon & Garlic Broccoli Recipe may not look like much but it is the best broccoli you will ever eat. I could seriously eat pounds of this stuff. It is one of my favorite keto side dishes. Keto broccoli is one of my kids' favorites too!
I promise you this lemon & garlic broccoli is not just any old broccoli. Every bite is bursting with flavor. My Aunt Kathy is known for her high heels, gold lipstick, and fabulous cooking. I love when she hosts holidays because she goes all out and every dish on her table is delicious. She is an amazing lady. In our family, she is famous for this broccoli. I'm sure you will find out why as soon as you try it.
This easy side dish recipe has only 5 ingredients is low carb, keto, paleo, whole30, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
I make a whole 3-pound bag of broccoli florets from Costco and as soon as I add the lemon garlic dressing the broccoli starts to disappear. I grab a few pieces, my husband comes into the kitchen and grabs a few more, and then every kid who walks through the kitchen. It's amazing if there is a decent amount left when we actually sit down for dinner.
How to Steam Broccoli
Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. You can discard the stem or peel it and chop it into bite-sized pieces as well as the florets.
I steam my broccoli for about 8 minutes. I put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot, add the broccoli, cover, and bring to a boil. Then I set the timer for 8 minutes. I like my broccoli a little on the softer side. If you want crisp broccoli check it after 5 minutes. Then you can proceed with the important part of this keto broccoli, the lemon garlic dressing.
I doubled this recipe and the broccoli took closer to 12 minutes since there was so much in the pot. Once you hit the five-minute mark just taste a piece every couple minutes until it is slightly crisper than you like. It will get a little softer as it sits. I do not put it in cold water because I don't want to wash away any of the nutrients.
Dressing for Broccoli
To make the lemon garlic dressing for my favorite broccoli side dish recipe simple blend together 4 simple ingredients: a good quality olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder (raw garlic is too strong), and salt.
Blend the lemon garlic dressing until creamy. The olive oil and lemon emulsify and make a creamy dressing without any dairy ingredients.
I've tried to get away with using a lesser quality olive oil and can definitely taste the difference. If you use a cheap olive oil the dressing can taste bitter. By good quality, I don't mean you need to spend $50 on a small bottle. You just need an olive oil that you enjoy the flavor as is. This will typically mean spending a little bit more and not buying the least expensive bottle in the store.
How to Make Keto Broccoli
Step One: Combine the dressing ingredients in a small food processor, rocket blender, or mason jar. Mix or shake until the oil has emulsified and the mixture is creamy.
Step Two: Pour the lemon garlic dressing over the steamed broccoli in a large bowl, toss gently, and serve.
Sometimes my family will even just squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on our broccoli, sprinkle with salt, and call it a day. It isn't hard to dress up a simply steamed broccoli recipe.
Lime - You can sub in lime juice for the lemon if you are out of lemons. We like to add some cilantro when we use lime.
Vinegar - Swap out the citrus juice for apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar. My top choice of those three is red wine vinegar.
Creamy - Mix ¼ cup of mayonnaise into the dressing. The mayo will make the dressing nice and creamy.
Spices - Onion powder or shallot powder work in place of garlic powder. Fresh garlic works too but only use a tiny bit or it will overpower the flavor of the broccoli. Or saute the fresh garlic before adding it. You can cook it in olive oil. You can also add black pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, or fresh herbs.
Asian - For an Asian twist try drizzling this keto sesame ginger dressing on the steamed broccoli.
Oil - Avocado oil is a good choice in place of olive oil in a pinch.
Crunch - If you want some crunch you can add toasted walnuts or pecans, or crisp bacon.
What are some other Keto Side Dishes?
Side dishes on a keto diet can be hard! I find they are harder to plan than the main course. It's easy to overlook them but my kids are much more willing to eat vegetables when they are flavored and seasoned. Just nuking a few bags of steam-in-bag veggies and putting them on the dinner table as that night's healthy side dish doesn't have nearly the same success.
We love this Keto Broccoli Salad made with cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, and a creamy ranch dressing and we make it all year (although a bit more often in the summer). Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese is an excellent sub for mashed potatoes.
My oldest daughter has been making this Keto Caesar Salad on her own since she was 9 or 10. It is that easy to make.
And these Broccoli Cheese Nuggets are a favorite with younger children and toddlers.
Can I use this dressing on roasted broccoli?
Absolutely. We do that sometimes too. You can even add some parmesan cheese for a nice cheesy flavor.
To roast broccoli, I bake it on a rimmed baking sheet at 425 for 25 minutes.
Can I use bottled lemon juice?
I don't recommend it. The flavor can be bitter and overpowering.
Make sure you use tasty oil and fresh lemon juice. Cheap olive oil and bottled lemon juice do not work in this dish. It is so simple that quality ingredients are key to success.
How do I store leftovers?
I prefer this made fresh and eaten when it is warm. To me, it is comfort food despite being healthy, full of nutrition, low in net carbs, and packed with fiber. If you want to make it ahead of time you can store the steamed broccoli and dressing separately. Reheat the broccoli in the microwave and then add the dressing
But it is also great chilled. If you have leftovers or want to try this keto broccoli recipe chilled just transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
On a hot summer day, chilled keto broccoli is such a refreshing accompaniment to grilled protein such as grilled boneless chicken thighs or keto turkey burgers. It is one of my family's top picks for keto side dishes (kids included).
- Steam broccoli until tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt in a small blender. Blend until creamy.
- Pour the lemon garlic dressing over the broccoli and toss gently. Season with additional salt as needed.
More Keto Broccoli Recipes:
Originally Published April 2, 2018. Revised and Republished January 23, 2023.