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! 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 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.
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
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 it crisper 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
Pour the lemon garlic dressing over the broccoli, toss gently, and the perfect Garlic Broccoli Side Dish Recipe is complete. I prefer this made fresh and eaten when it is warm. But it is also great chilled. On a hot summer day, this is such a refreshing accompaniment to grilled chicken or burgers. It is one of my family's top picks for keto side dishes (kids included).
Make sure you do use tasty olive 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.
Lemon Broccoli Substitutions
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.
Lemon & Lime: you can sub in lime juice for the lemon if you are out of lemons.
Garlic & Onion: onion powder or shallot powder work in place of garlic powder. Fresh garlic works too but only use a tiny but or it will overpower the flavor of the broccoli.
For an Asian twist try drizzling this keto sesame ginger dressing on the steamed broccoli.
Other Keto Side Dishes:
Side dishes can be hard! 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 doesn't have nearly the same success.
- 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.
Originally Published April 2, 2018. Revised and Republished May 18, 2020.